Last Updated on December 31, 2020
Anybody who travels regularly, especially those who travel in a van, will know the importance of planning.
It’s important that you plan for the time that you are away, as well as preparing for emergencies.
It is common for vans to experience issues, and it is easy to run out of gas for your stove.
If your stove runs out of gas, that essentially cuts off your access to warm food and drinks.
Everyone who has been traveling in a van will know the importance of access to warm food and beverages.
The nights can get incredibly cold in a van, especially if you are traveling during the winter months, which is why access to warm snacks and drinks is so important.
That is why the most avid of van travelers will always take an emergency stove with them, every time that they travel. An emergency stove is essentially a backup stove to the one that is built into your van.
It has a different source of ignition to the stove in your van, meaning that you will still be able to use the emergency stove even if you experience issues with the central gas system.
Emergency stoves tend to be small and can be tucked away into a corner of the van and forgotten about until you need it. So if you are looking to go traveling, we would definitely recommend buying an emergency stove.
But with so many different options available, we understand that it can be difficult to know which to buy. The market is extremely saturated which makes it hard to know which is the best for you.
However, there’s no need to worry because we’ve put together this handy guide to the best emergency stove on the market.
It’s packed full of all the essential things you need to know about emergency stoves, with suggestions of some of the best products on the market, and an FAQ section to clear up any confusion.
In a hurry?
If you need an emergency stove for a trip that you are going on soon, we would recommend buying the Redcamp Windproof Portable Backpacking Stove.
We’ve ranked this option the best on the market because it is excellent value for money and is packed with wonderful features, including:
- It has a lightweight and portable design which weighs only 8.5oz and can be easily fit into your backpack or tucked away within your RV.
- It is powered by gas but is not tied to one specific gas, instead, you can power this device with either propane or butane.
- The device comes with a thick aluminum build for higher efficiency and enhanced heat, allowing the device to boil 1 liter of water in only 5 minutes.
- It comes with piezo ignition for an easy start and adjustable heat, with no need for matches or lighters to ignite a flame.
Our favorite option on the market is the Redcamp Windproof Portable Backpacking Stove.
This device is packed full of excellent features which make it a great option to keep in your RV for future, emergency use.
Our favorite thing about this device is its lightweight design as it weighs only 8.5oz and is built to be easy to carry and move around. Despite being a gas stove, it is compatible with both propane and butane giving you more flexibility with what you use to light it.
Additionally, it comes with piezo ignition which eliminates the need for matches or a lighter and makes it easier to start the stove when you need it.
Despite its small build, this device is still able to accommodate up to an 8-inch pot or pan which allows you to cook for multiple people and cook a variety of different foods.
When not in use, this device can be easily folded away into a carry case to store away until you need it next. With all of this and a thick aluminum build for higher efficiency and greater heat, there’s no question that this is one of the best options available.
- Lightweight and portable, weighing only 8.5oz
- Compatible with both propane and butane
- Thick aluminum build for higher efficiency and greater heat
- Folds away into a carry case when not in use
- Accommodates up to an 8 inch pot/pan
- Piezo ignition for easy start
- No notable drawbacks
- ▶Broad compatibility: REDCAMP windproof portable camping stove propane with piezo ignition is compatible with any 7/16 thread single butane/butane-propane mixed fuel canisters (EN 417)
- ▶Windproof and high-efficiency: Structured of buit-in wind deflector and thicker aluminum alloy infrared conducted heat network, enhanced the heat efficiency and save 1/3 your fuel than most stoves. Takes 5 minutes to boil 1 liter water (with air temps in 68°F). Our stove is not suitable for coleman 1lb propane tank
- ▶Easy to use and store: Foldable supports and buit-in piezo ignition are convenient to store and ignite. With a carry case/container, you can take the ultralight stove set anywhere for backpacking, camping and hiking
- ▶Sturdy material: Thicker anti-slip stainless steel supports accommodates for up to diameter of 8" pan/pot to use in more stability and balance. All of our stoves are shipped after the professional valve-testing, ignition-testing and stability-testing
- ▶100% REPLACEMENT GUARANTEE: REDCAMP offers a 365-day limited manufacturer warranty. If there is any problem with the stove, please contact us and we will resend you a new one FREE without any extra charges
We also love the Gas One GS-3900P dual fuel stove. Similar to the Redcamp product, this device is also compatible with both propane and butane making it a great option if you need to use it in an emergency situation.
It also comes with piezo ignition, just like the Redcamp stove, which removes the need for matches or lighters and makes it easier to start in an emergency.
As the device comes with piezo ignition, it also comes with an adjustable heat dial which allows you to choose the specific heat for what you are cooking.
If you want a device that comes with safety features, this might be the best option for you. It has a built-in pressure sensor that ejects the fuel cartridge should the pressure grow too high, and also has a gas flow cut off mechanism which activates when necessary.
With wind blocker build which protects the flame from the wind and means that you will still be able to cook in bad weather. With all of this, as well as being user-friendly, it’s clear that this is one of the best options available.
- Compatible with propane and butane
- Piezo ignition – no need for matches/lighters
- Adjustable heat dial
- Built-in pressure sensor and gas flow cut off for safety
- Windblocker build protects the flame
- No notable drawbacks
- ✓ 15, 000BTU MOST POWERFUL STOVE IN THE MARKET - Compatible with both butane (Fuel not included) and propane fuel (Fuel not included) / Operates on a single butane cartridge 8 oz or a propane cylinder 16. 4 oz (Propane adaptor hose Included)
- ✓ PIEZO-ELECTRIC IGNITION - that eliminates the use for lighter/matches in order to ignite flame
- ✓ EASY TO USE - Our GS-3900P is easy to use with adjustable heat dial and piezo-electric ignition ***Great for Camping, Backpacking and Emergency Preparedness***
- ✓ SAFETY FEATURES - Built in Pressure Sensor Cartridge Ejection System and Gas Flow Cut Off Mechanism
- ✓ WINDBLOCKER - With Heavy duty Windblocker 4 corners of the burner head, It eliminates stove from turning off from the wind
You should also consider the UniGear Wood Burning Camp Stove.
This differs from the products before it on this list, as this device is powered by wood but can also be powered by burning twigs, leaves, and fuel tablets for ease of use.
This makes it an excellent option for use when camping as you will probably have easy access to twigs and woods from the woodland area you are staying in.
The device comes with a stable and durable build for long life, and protection against damage. It comes with a portable and lightweight design, and easily stores away in a carry bag when not in use, making it a great choice to store away in the corner of your RV.
Despite its small build, this device is compatible with multiple different pots and pans and can be used to cook a variety of different things.
With all of these excellent features, there is no doubt that this is one of the best options available.
- Stable and durable build
- Portable, ultra-compact design
- Works with multiple pots and pans
- Compatible with not only wood but twigs and leaves too
- Comes with a carry bag
- Great for cooking a variety of different things
- Wood-burning design is more time-consuming than gas or electric
- Stable and Durable: Made of premium quality stainless steel for rugged backpacking.
- Portable and Ultra Compact: Unigear camping stove made with stainless steel, which can be folded like a book, and come with a carrying bag for your easy carry. Perfect for camping, hiking, backpacking.
- Multifunction: Camping stove can work with many kinds of pots, which can cook Food, boil water and BBC. Meet your camping needs.
- High Efficiency: Those camping stove not only can use wood, also can use spirit burner, twigs, leaves, coal, gas and solid fuel tablets, which makes it easy for outdoor camping or hiking.
- If you have any quality problems within 6 months, you can contact us at any time for after-sales service.
Another great option is the Pocket Stove Folding Emergency Stove.
Similar to the UniGear stove, this device is also not powered by gas or electricity, instead, this pocket stove is powered by fuel tablets.
It is not as powerful as the other options we have looked at but is a great option for use in an emergency. It has an extremely lightweight design, weighing only 3.8oz making it the lightest option on this list.
If you are nervous around buttons and gears, this extremely user-friendly design will be perfect for you as you simply add the fuel tablets, light them and you are ready to cook.
It is built with aircraft-grade aluminum making it incredibly durable and allowing it to withstand being dropped and banged against different surfaces.
When not in use, this device is easily stored in a carry bag and can be tucked away in your RV until you need to use it.
With all of these wonderful features, there is no need to question that this is one of the best options available.
- Extremely lightweight – only 3.8oz
- Easy to use – no buttons or gears to adjust
- Incredibly durable – aircraft-grade aluminum build
- Built to last and survive wear and tear
- Comes with its own carry bag
- Easily tucks away in your RV
- It is heavy on fuel (fire tablets)
- CRAZY LIGHTWEIGHT: No prepper or camper should ever be weighed down by their outdoor cooking supplies...and with this crazy lightweight stove (3.8 oz!) that will never be an issue.
- INSANELY EASY TO USE: With no knobs, buttons or gears to adjust, this is probably the simplest stove you'll ever use. Simply open the stove, insert the fuel tablets, light the fuel tablets, and then place your cooking pot on top. It's that easy.
- SUPER DURABLE: This compact stove is surprisingly durable thanks to its aircraft-grade aluminum exterior. Every angle has been designed to withstand drops and abuse along the way, while still cooking your survival food perfectly every time.
- COMPLETELY SELF-CONTAINED: Survival Frog's Pocket Stove carries all of its fuel tablets inside of it, making this self-contained stove a breeze for transporting. Simply put the fuel tablets in, close it up, and you're good to go on your next adventure.
- BEST GUARANTEE IN THE INDUSTRY: We guarantee the Pocket Stove with our 6 Month "Any Reason" Refund Guarantee. Ships from USA. Click Add to Cart Now!
Finally, you should consider the Coleman Bottle Propane Stove.
Just like the majority of the products we’ve looked at, this is also a gas stove, however, it can only be powered by propane. When put together, this device has a chunky build, however, this can be dismantled for compact and easy storage.
It comes with pressure control for consistent performance, and an adjustable burner for precise temperature while you are cooking.
When connected to a 16.4oz propane cylinder, this device will burn for up to 2.5 hours giving you plenty of cooking time. It comes with a shield burner to protect the flame from wind and also uses less fuel than the majority of other stoves available.
This device can fit up to an 8 inch pan, allowing you to cook a variety of different things, and making it one of the best options available.
- Pressure control for consistent performance
- Uses less fuel than other stoves
- Adjustable burner for precise temperature
- Fits an 8 inch pan
- Shield Burner for protection from wind
- Burns for up to 2.5 hours on one 16.4oz propane cylinder
- The lowest setting is still quite high
- COOKING POWER: Up to 10,000 total BTUs
- PRESSURE REGULATOR: Pressure control for consistent performance, even in extreme conditions
- PERFECTHEAT DESIGN: More efficient cooking with less fuel
- 1 ADJUSTABLE BURNER: For precise temperature control; fits an 8 inch pan
- WIND BAFFLES: Shield burner from wind for maximum heat
Best Emergency Stove Buyer’s Guide
If you are an avid traveler, you will know the importance of an emergency stove.
They may seem a pointless purchase for a while as you don’t need to use them, but as soon as an emergency arises and you need to use the stove you will appreciate its worth.
On a cold, early morning when you are parked up in the woodland, the last thing you want is to not have access to warm beverages and food.
But if you have an emergency stove, you will always have warm snacks at your fingertips, even if your campervan’s stove starts acting up.
With so many different options of emergency stoves on the market, we understand that it can be difficult to know which is the best for you.
But there’s no need to worry because we’ve put together this handy buyer’s guide which is full of all the information you need to know before buying an emergency stove.
So with no further ado, let’s take a look.
The first thing that you should consider is the weight of the stove.
You will carry the emergency stove in your campervan, so it is likely that you want a device that is as light as possible.
Just like cars, campervans also have maximum weight limits which might seem high until you realize that you need to fit everything that you need to live into the van.
Anyone who has been traveling in a van will know that as soon as you start moving your things into the van, they seem to shrink. When your space is limited, the last thing you want is for something that you will most likely not use to take up a lot of room and weight.
That is why we would recommend looking for a lightweight emergency stove. Not only will this come in handy when storing the device in your van, but it will also be a more versatile option if you go on survival trips or camping when you have limited space in your rucksack.
Type of Stove
You should also consider the type of stove that you should buy.
There are lots of different types of portable stoves which will be more appropriate depending on your situation.
These different types of stoves are usually dictated by the way that they are powered, and the main three types are electric stoves, gas stoves, and wood-burning stoves.
Electric stoves are probably the easiest option to use as they work incredibly similar to our stoves at home, however, they can be difficult to use in case of an emergency as they have to be connected to an electricity point to operate. This is why gas and wood-burning stoves are more popular.
Gas stoves are usually powered by either propane or butane which most people use and have easy access to, on RV/camping trips.
Whereas wood-burning stoves are powered by the burning of wood, which is another great option in case of emergency as you can usually get access to twigs or leaves to power the burner.
Strength and Stability
As you will be using the emergency stove while you are out in the wilderness, you will want the design to be both strong and stable.
Ideally, you want to buy a device that is built with a strong metal such as aluminum or stainless steel. These strong metals can withstand damage and are unlikely to be affected by the everyday wear and tear that can occur when traveling in an RV.
Similarly, you want a device that is stable as you are likely to be using it on an uneven surface. The last thing you want is for your lunch to end up on the forest floor, or for the water that you have been eagerly boiling to spill everywhere so stability is an absolute must when buying an emergency stove.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an emergency stove?
As its name suggests, an emergency stove is a stove that you can use in case of emergencies.
It is very common for avid travelers, especially those who travel in vans or campers, to keep an emergency stove aboard their vehicle.
If something goes wrong with the internal supply of gas to your vehicle’s inbuilt stove, you can then bring out the emergency stove.
The emergency stove will have a different source of ignition, allowing you to still have access to warm food and drinks even though there is an issue with your internal gas supply.
Access to warm food and drinks is essential while you are on the road, especially if you are traveling in cold areas of the country or traveling in your camper during the winter months.
How easy is it to use an emergency stove?
The ease of use of your emergency stove will depend on the type of stove that you buy.
A lot of emergency stoves are basically just smaller versions of the stove that is part of your campervan, so in this case, they are relatively easy to use.
However, you will find that some emergency stoves are more difficult to use than others which is why it’s so important that you buy an emergency stove that comes with clear instructions on how to operate it.
What can I cook on an emergency stove?
You can cook a variety of different dishes on an emergency stove. However, due to their small size, you might want to limit the dishes that you cook to smaller, more simple ones.
You can also use the stove to boil water for coffee or tea, or a variety of other hot drinks depending on what you enjoy drinking.
Before deciding what dishes you will cook on your emergency stove, you should also check the different heats that the stove can reach to ensure your food cooks through properly.