I have been a camper for more than 40 years and I have gone through a number of camp stoves. One thing all of us finds out with experience is there is no substitute for quality gear. A lesson learned the hard way on a recent 500 mile trip where my store brand $40 stove just refused to work. Even before that it started falling apart and it was just over a year old.
After that trip, I was in the market for a new stove and this time cost was not going to be a factor. The new stove would carry a “brand name” from a company with a good reputation for quality. A trip to the local Sportsman’s Warehouse to see what they had and to check out a few stoves side by side was in order.
Sportsman’s Warehouse has a nice selection of camping stoves and all of them are out of the box on display. After looking at two major brands, I narrowed my choice to the Camp Chef brand. Ryan Steele, the store manager, told me Camp Chef has been around for 20 years and the quality of their products is second to none.
The decision now was which of the three models of their new Mountain Series stoves would best meet my needs on the trail. All three of the stoves are compact and light, an important consideration. The Teton has two burners, the Rainier has a large grill and one burner, and the Denali has two burners and a smaller grill in the middle. I chose the Rainier as it was perfect for the needs of myself and Carol for the weekend or week-long trip.
The Rainier has an easily cleaned stainless steel drip tray, the center grill is non-stick aluminum, and it’s the perfect size for two steaks or a couple of burgers. Flanking the grill are two 12,000 BTU side burners which provide more than enough heat for my cooking needs. The Camp Chef stoves all have built-in carry handles, and I like gear that has transport bags to keep it looking good over the years. Chef offers such a bag which I also recommend.
So how does my new stove work? GREAT! I am very pleased with both the quality and performance. If you are in the market for a new camp stove, you should get out to your local Sportsman’s Warehouse or equivalent and give serious consideration to the Camp Chef models.