Don't go camping without one of these

You checked all the essentials for your camping trip: tent, sleeping bag, bug spray — the list goes on. All that's left to do is think about how you're going to cook food outside. You could stick to roasting hot dogs or trying to hold a skillet over a fire pit, but you can do better than that.

A camping stove gives you a better surface for cooking actual meals. Plus, not every campsite will have a fire pit, so you want to be prepared.

Types of camping stoves

Not every camp stove is the same. They come in different shapes, sizes, and fuel types. For backpacking, you need a small stove than can fit in your pack without taking up too much room or weighing too heavily. The BioLite CampStove 2 is relatively small and lightweight, but for long backpack excursions, we suggest the MSR PocketRocket 2, which is basically just a burner with a couple cooking accessories and is super compact and lightweight. Read more...

More about Food, Outdoors, Cooking, Camping, and Mashable Shopping IMAGE: REI

BEST PORTABLE STOVE

BioLite CampStove 2

This stove is small enough to fit in a pack and harnesses power to charge your devices.

Fuel type: Wood Heat output (per burner): 10,000 BTUs $149.95 from REI

IMAGE: REI

BEST BUDGET CAMPING STOVE

Coleman portable butane stove

This stove is a nice size for your basic cooking needs.

Fuel type: Butane Heat output (per burner): 7,650 BTUs $34.95 from REI

IMAGE: REI

BEST FOR GRILLING

Coleman propane grill stove

This multi-use stove features a grill and a burner.

Fuel type: Propane Heat output (per burner): 11,000 BTUs $138.95 from REI

IMAGE: Dick's Sporting Goods

BEST BEGINNER CAMPING STOVE

Camp Chef Everest

If you're new to outdoor cooking, this is a good place to start.

Fuel type: Propane Heat output (per burner): 20,000 BTUs $129.99 from Dick's Sporting Goods

IMAGE: REI

BEST BACKPACKING STOVE

MSR PocketRocket 2

This tiny, lightweight camping stove is great for backpackers.

Fuel type: Isobutane-propane Heat output (per burner): 8,000 BTUs $79.95 from REI

IMAGE: Dick's Sporting Goods

BEST FOR LARGE GROUPS

Camp Chef Explorer

At a larger size, this stove is ideal for extended camping or large groups.

Fuel type: Propane Heat output (per burner): 30,000 BTUs $129.99 from Dick's Sporting Goods

IMAGE: Cabela's

BEST FOR FIRE PITS

Adjust-A-Grill

No fuel required, 'cause this grill plate sits above your fire pit.

Fuel type: Wood $49.99 from Cabela's

IMAGE: REI

BEST FOR AN OPEN FLAME

BioLite FirePit

For campsites lacking fire pits, this provides an open flame for cooking.

Fuel type: Wood and charcoal $249.95 from REI

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