AJ’s advice is to spend for quality and only buy equipment that lasts. So what happened when my two-burner Coleman camp stove went wrong? I bought another low cost Coleman stove. Oh. On a spring trip to Yosemite, Coleman was nothing but trouble. The flame went out without warning, the gas pressure was all over the place and the simmering was a joke. (This wasn’t the first time.) The Coleman is now on its way to Craigslist, and I’ve already picked up its replacement, the $150 Fore Winds Rugged Camp Stove. This was the stove I should have bought first. Yep, there’s only one burner, and yep, it costs twice as much as the Coleman. But the Fore Winds is a powerful, consistent, hard-charging single burner that gets the job done. It ran on eight-ounce butane canisters and boiled four cups of water in just over two minutes. It smolders like a well-tuned engine. I’ve made oatmeal, tofu scrambles, quesadillas, and more—hey, I’ve never claimed to be a gourmet—and every meal has felt like I’m cooking on a gas burner at home.
The piezoelectric starter rocked every time. Fore Winds says its dual windshield design improves efficiency, but I’ve only cooked in calm weather. I also can’t confirm that the 11,000-BTU burner will run on high pressure for 71 minutes, but after half a dozen meals, my container still feels full. The only complaint is that the stove comes with a cheap plastic case, which feels unnecessary and a waste of plastic. Is the upside worth the price? I wouldn’t give up a properly functioning stove and replace it with this one, but if you’re in the market for a new one, sure.