Adventure: The Almighty Coleman Stove

Sweet Jesus does Coleman have a stranglehold on the camping stove? I’m not talking about portable backpacking stoves. Nope, I’ve got one that fits in the palm of my hand, but for that countertop, tabletop, car camping, van camping, backyard-with-the-kids camping scenarios, well, Coleman is king.

Now, I have funny stories about these stoves. Some from my father either breaking them, losing them, or accidentally blowing them up which is NOT easy to do. (This was forty years ago.) I also have a wonderful and heartwarming story about hiking a five-day trail in Alaska in the middle of a blizzard. We came across a Canadian family in sneakers and flannel shirts. That’s it. The father had a four-burner Coleman stove strapped to his back with bailing twine. Let me repeat that. A four-burner, ginormous, green Coleman stove strapped to his back with bailing twine.

His wife was frozen midway up a talus field. Terrified and freezing in the whiteout conditions. As a good husband does, he saddled up to her all cozy then proceeded to scream at her at the top of his lungs. “Get your f^%$%$# ass up that hill!” Life coach, he was not. But the stove, as far as I know, survived.

This current model is smaller than my normal two-burner but man does it just work. I’ve now used it dozens of times and love pulling this thing out. I know there are other stove options, newer, hipper, more stylish but there is something about seeing that green stove that just gets my heart beating in the right kind of way. I think if you are looking for a brand that has created more fun, more contentment, and relieved more pressure, like making my wife’s coffee first thing in the morning, you would be hard-pressed to find any brand more deserving than Coleman. If you have a funny Coleman stove story please share. I love this stuff.

18 Comments on “Adventure: The Almighty Coleman Stove”

  1. I, like maybe more West-Europeans, especially the French and the Belgians, have the same relation with all the Camping Gaz models. It’s the blue and white graphics team against dark green and red graphics team. All models have passed by, one-pitch burners with all but safe pinch through cartridges, two-burners with orange hoses connected to little, medium and large propane or butane cans. They were growing in size along with the growing size of the family. The pinch through was the reason of my first camping horrormovie scene : you have to screw and pinch the burner in the cartridge, not the cartridge in the burner, you stupid adolescent! Things got separated quickly again after the wrong try out leaving me with a non sealed propane can ejecting gaz all around the campsite. Frightened faces, screaming mothers, telling their children to get the hell out of sight. Those where the days.

    1. Reiner,
      I’m laughing. That has happened so many times and each time it’s hilarious. (When people don’t get hurt.)

  2. Haven’t touched my camping stoves in a long time. A failing, a terrible failing. I used to have one of those coffee makers. Can’t remember what happened to the damn thing. I use an aeropress these days – easy! But I miss those steel contraptions. Might be time to get a new one.

    1. Scott,
      They make them in stainless now, which is the way to go. This one is aluminum so not great for the body or brain. But yes, the Euro style machines. Love them.

  3. Back in 2013 my wife and I drove cross country in our jeep. Here is her description of what happened when we used the Coleman stove her parents gave us:

    Now I do have to mention our camp stove caught on fire just before making this elegant meal. My parents lent us their Coleman stove that they’d had since the dinosaurs roamed the Earth or at least since before I was born. Mom said it looked old, but it worked great. I believed her entirely until the dial that you turn to regulate the flame burst into flames. I, of course, screamed for Paul who was intently working on getting the campfire to ignite and actually burn the firewood. I know now that screaming, “Baby, the stove is on fire, the stove is on fire!” repeatedly is not the correct way to deal with this kind of situation. Luckily, Paul came to the rescue and put out the fire by simply turning the gas dial off. So I panicked a little, what can I say. We were able to still use the left burner without the stove bursting into flames and therefore, my rice was cooked to perfection. However, we did have to bid farewell to the old family camp stove after all these years of dedicated service.

    1. Paul,
      That is called a rite of passage. An explosion, the put out, the contemplation and the retirement.

  4. We did a lot of camping holidays when I was a kid and we had a Primus stove – I remember my dad pumping it to get it going…and the Tilly lamp!

    1. Lynn,
      We had the pump stove too. That thing was around when my parents first got married and was STILL around when I was born.

  5. Never had one of those, but did have the one burner Coleman, which ran on stove fuel AND unleaded gasoline, which is a little scary. Toughest piece of camping/backpacking equipment I ever owned, indestructible and always reliable…pump it and light it…cooked multi course meals on that one burner many times. Heavy to backpack with, but wort the extra weight.

  6. Coleman stove…the first one lasted me 20 years, helped by a couple of burners replacement. The new one I got last year will most likely outlive me.

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