AJ’s advice is to spend for quality and only buy gear that lasts. So, what happened when my two-burner Coleman camp stove crapped out? I bought another low-cost Coleman stove. D’oh. On a spring trip to Yosemite, the Coleman was nothing but trouble. The flame disappeared with no warning, gas pressure was all over the place, and 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 just 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. Running on eight-ounce butane canisters, it boiled four cups of water in a little over two minutes. It simmers like a well-tuned engine. I’ve made oatmeal, tofu scramble, quesadillas, and more—hey, I never claimed to be 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 double windscreen design improves efficiency, but I’ve only cooked in still weather. I also can’t verify that the 11,000-BTU burner will run on high for 71 minutes, but after half a dozen meals, my canister 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 Fore Winds worth the cost? I wouldn’t abandon a properly working stove and replace it with this one, but if you’re in the market for a new one, definitely.