As much as I love my Trangia 27-series alcohol stove (read a review of it here), I decided it was time to add a propane camping stove to my kitchen setup. After much research (and plenty of practice setting them up in stores), I chose the GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 stove.
It may seem a little weird but the bright orange cover was part of what swayed me. I like the high visibility as duller colours like the standard forest green tend to get lost, especially in low light or while crammed into a trunk. The steel construction means that it can survive being at the bottom of all the gear in the trunk as well.
This GSI stove is larger and heavier than my Trangia stove and is definitely more suited for use as a car camping stove rather than for backpacking. A convenient handle allows for easy carrying; a must if you have a hike-in campsite.
As with any stove, you’ll want to make sure that you set it up in a place that is far from combustibles like your tent or dried grass; a picnic table or the tailgate of a truck are both ideal. It should go without saying that this should never be used indoors. Ever. If you're stuck at home in a power outage, this is great to use...outside.
Specifications (per GSI Outdoors)
- Size: 21.4 x 12.9 x 3.8 inches
- Weight: 10 lbs
- Output: Two 10 000 BTU burners
- Fuel: Propane (recommended 16 oz. canister)
- Ignition: Piezo ignitor (that's the red button in the photos) or matches
Advantages of the GSI Outdoors Stove
This propane camping stove sets up extraordinarily fast with all the parts packed inside the stove and no tools required. The only thing that needs to be connected is the regulator and then the propane tank. You simply push the regulator onto the fuel nipple, tighten the coupling, then screw on the propane tank.
With two burners, the GSI Outdoors camp stove allows for a wider range of cooking options which is essential if you are cooking for more than one person. The stove is also large enough to have two 10" pots cooking at the same time.
You can use any kind of cookware for this stove so you don’t have to go out and buy more pots or pans. If you want to bring old cookware from home, that will work just fine.
The recommended 16 oz. canisters can be purchased at any outdoor supply store and is the ubiquitous camp stove fuel. Most parks even have recycling drop-offs for the empty canisters. If you buy the canisters during the off-peak camping season, you can sometimes get them on sale too.
A removable pot support and solid steel around the burners makes for easy clean up of spilled and burnt on food.
Disadvantages of the GSI Outdoors Stove
If space is at a premium, figuring out how to pack this stove, propane tanks, and the necessary cookware may be difficult. Depending on how long the trip and whether you are travelling during peak season, you may want to pack several canisters just in case they get to be hard to find.
The weight and size makes this unsuitable for carrying long distances during a backpacking trip or campsites with a long hike in unless you have a cart or someone to help. The Trangia Stove is perfect for those kinds of situations.
Because of the low profile, the pot support is close to the burners which means this stove tends to run hot. This is fine for fast cooking but if you’re looking for something that needs a low heat, you may have to really watch so your food doesn't burn.
The GSI Outdoors stove is a great piece of equipment to take with you when you want to have an "at home" cooking experience. The two burner configuration allows for two pots or pans up to 10” to be in use at the same time. Each burner has a flame adjuster valve which provides a high degree of precision, however it may be difficult to maintain a slow simmer as it does tend to run a little hot.
A rugged design and easy set-up is perfect after a long day on the road when you just want to cook something a bit more exciting than ramen…again.
Do you have a GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 stove? Or any other brand of propane camp stove? What do you love or hate about them? Share your thoughts below.