For campers of all types, propane gadgets are the perfect luxury. Portable and durable, they bring the comforts of home on the road.
You probably remember the Coleman lanterns from childhood with their finicky elements and hiss of gas. Fortunately, companies keep developing new devices that use the fuel more efficiently to cool, heat, light, and caffeinate campers.
Today, we’ll let you know about our top five favorite propane gadgets you might want to add to your gear.
The Scoop on Propane Gadgets
You don’t usually have access to power while you’re out in the sticks. And when you’re boondocking, you want to save your electricity for other uses. Propane is an excellent alternative because it’s a low-carbon fossil fuel. Easy to transport, you can always keep a bottle handy.
Funnily enough, gadgets powered by propane are 40% more efficient than their electrical counterparts. You can find plenty of applications for propane around the house, but its versatility shines off-grid. Everything from stoves to heated showers use the familiar little green bottles.
In recent years, propane gadgets have gotten smaller for use in the backpacking industry. Because items must be small and portable, more efficient and innovative tools are necessary. So, whether you’re using it for grilling at home, heaters on the patio, or boiling water for coffee, now you’re cooking with gas.
Pro Tip: Find out Where to Refill Your RV Propane Tanks to keep your gadgets in perfect working condition.
5 Must-Have Propane Gadgets
Our favorite propane gadgets fall into a couple of categories. The first involves food and beverage preparation, and the second enhances the camping experience. Each of these tools makes your RV or tent camping experience better.
#1 Propane Coffee Maker
The most important thing on the road is a cup o’ joe, and coffee shops aren’t always nearby. For those situations, propane coffee makers have come a long way. Cowboy coffee isn’t your only option if you’re in the boondocks. Instead, you could have something fancy.
One of our favorites is the Coleman QuikPot, a propane-fueled gadget you’ll love to use. You only need to add water and ground coffee to this all-in-one unit before lighting the gas. After that, it’s just like a traditional coffee maker.
If you’re more interested in a stripped-down option, the Jetboil Flash Java Kit may be your jam. Designed for backpackers, this simple coffee system works on the French Press model. Simply boil the water and then add coffee grounds. Wait three to five minutes, press, and enjoy.
True connoisseurs probably already have an AeroPress in their coffee arsenal. You could pair this gadget with the Jetboil for coffee house quality on the go. Known for high-quality, espresso-like java, this is one for the hipster crowd.
#2 Camp Stove
If you’re a regular camper, you’re probably already familiar with a propane camp stove. Essentially a gas tank and a burner, camp stoves have come a long way since they debuted. The best allows you to cook just like you do at home. Some even come with griddles alongside the burners.
Gas ONE is great for a couple out for the weekend. With only one burner, the versatile little stove packs a powerful 15,000 BTUs into a tight package. Commonly seen on cooking shows, this propane gadget is perfect for the gourmet chef and camper alike.
Our favorite for a crowd, though, is the Camp Chef Ranger II. Packing 34,000 BTUs into a two-burner setup, this is a serious cooker. A matchless lighting system and recessed flame make setting up a breeze. This is a heavy-duty unit and weighs in at 17 pounds.
#3 Propane Lantern
Classic propane lanterns are nostalgic for us. They’re perfect when you’re out camping and need to make the light last a little longer.
Sure, you can use a flashlight or electric light, but the warm glow of a Coleman is perfect.
With just a couple of pieces that connect to a one-pound bottle, the classic QuickPack Deluxe is powerful. Two elements fire up with matches and last as long as you’ve got fuel. In the right setting, it’s almost as bright as day. And because they operate on gas flow, you can adjust for the situation.
#4 Camp Oven
Ever since Cookie pulled out the Dutch oven to slow simmer a pot of beans, the camp oven made its case. We’ve used a few of these to varying degrees of success over the years.
If you’re looking to bake or roast food out on the range, more power to you. There are traditional campfire ovens, but recently the propane variety caught our eye.
Camp Chef comes through with the winning Outdoor Camp Oven. Powered either with a one-pound bottle or an adapter from a larger tank, it’s a keeper. Not for the backpacker set, this oven is a tank and can reach temperatures of 400 degrees. Perfect for tailgating or RVing, this one takes the cake.
Coleman has another option that adapts to their stove with the Packaway Oven. It’s mostly just a metal case that surrounds the unit and packs flat for easy transport. The best part of this option is that it’s a cheap add-on to the stove. For a car camping weekend, this one doesn’t take up a lot of space and is easy to clean.
#5 Propane Shower
When you’re out camping and you want something other than a cold dip in the creek, solar propane showers come in clutch. They’ve been around for a long time but take forever to heat up. The propane-powered versions on our list work on the tankless water heater model. Cold water goes in through a heat exchange and comes out hot.
Gasland produces the best and can pump out over one and a half gallons per minute. Great for washing up, too, this propane gadget is ready to go as soon as you light it up. The heater is easy to hang and perfect for showers, pets, and filling that portable hot tub.
Camplux’s Pro 1.32 Tankless Propane Water Heater is another excellent choice. One benefit of this unit is that it works with lower water pressure. Cabins and campsites may have weak flow rates, and you don’t want that to cramp your style. Quiet and easy to use, we recommend this for its price too.
Pro Tip: Try out these Simple RV Propane Hacks When Camping on your next adventure.
Propane Gadgets Make Camping More Comfortable
Better living through propane might sound silly to some, but these gadgets indeed make life sweet. Easy to travel with and power up, these tools bring some luxuries to camping we all miss.
Especially if you’ve got a reluctant camper, offering a hot shower wherever you are might be the ticket. So bring a little glamping enhancement on your next trip to the woods!
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