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GO Outdoors Guide to Cooking Outdoors

We're a nation that loves a good barbecue (when the weather permits) so cooking outdoors is a big favourite. With so many options to choose from these days, there really is the perfect cooking appliance for your chosen activity. Whether you're a minimalistic backpacker through to a family camper cooking for many - you'll find all the cooking equipment you need with GO Outdoors. This guide will cover a brief introduction to cooking outdoors as well as some safety tips that are worth remembering.

What are the different cooking options?

With so many different cooking appliances on the market, it's worth noting what use you will need from your stove/bbq for your trip.

Multi-Burner Stoves
  • Popular with family campers  / large groups
  • Multiple cooking areas (in some cases including areas such as a grill or toaster)
  • Often fuelled by gas bottle connection
Single Burner Stoves
  • Popular with couples/solo campers. Great for festival use if the festival allows gas.
  • Range from basic single ring stoves to lightweight backpacking stoves
  • Single cooking area
  • Fuelled by gas cartridge or gas bottle (dependent on the stove)

Backpacking Stoves
  • Popular with backpackers/wild campers where space/weight is paramount.
  • Small and lightweight
  • Suitable for simple one pot meals
Solid Fuel Stoves
  • Festival friendly
  • Fuelled by burning small tablets
  • Small and lightweight
  • Suitable for simple one pot meals
  • Cheap to refuel
Liquid Fuel Stoves
  • Festival friendly and popular with backpackers/wild campers
  • Instant lighting
  • Fuelled by methylated spirit or Fuel4's bio ethanol solution
  • Suitable for simple one pot meals
  • Cheap to refuel

Gas Barbecues
  • Festival friendly and popular with backpackers/wild campers
  • Ideal for family camping or large groups
  • Large cooking area
  • Fuelled by gas bottle
  • Less mess than charcoal
  • Works best in conjunction with a stove for water boiling etc
Charcoal Barbecues
  • Ideal for family camping or large groups
  • Large cooking area
  • Fuelled by gas bottle
  • Less mess than charcoal
  • Works best in conjunction with a stove for water boiling etc

What are the different types of gas?

In this section, we'll explain the different types of gas you can hire from our stores and what they should be used for.


Butane is the more widely used gas for camping.

  • Ideal for spring/summer camping
  • Efficient burner
  • Burns cleaner than propane

At GO Outdoors we stock two different brands of Butane.

  • Calor Gas - Ideal for UK camping, efficient burning and plenty of refill points around the country.
  • Campingaz - Suitable for European travel, the only brand you can get refills for in Europe.


  • Ideal for winter camping
  • Works in low temperatures, can even work below freezing.

How to fit your gas bottle regulator?

On choosing your gas, the next thing you need to know is how to fit the hose and regulator, so that you can connect it to your stove/barbecue.

Carbon Monoxide Health and Safety Warning

Carbon Monoxide poisoning is still a real issue for campers with around 50 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning. This can be easily avoided by following some simple rules

  • 1) AVOID cooking inside a tent or enclosed camping spaces.
    If you need a sheltered cooking area, consider a gazebo or a tent porch with sufficient air circulation and ventilation.

  • 2) NEVER use gas stoves/fuel burners to heat your tent when cold.
     All gas powered items need plenty of ventilation to prevent a build up of carbon monoxide. If you need to stay warm, make sure you layer your clothing, and pick up a warmer sleeping bag.

  • 3) NEVER operate petrol/diesel powered engines in confined/enclosed spaces. 

If you need more information on the dangers of carbon monoxide, please visit:


When it comes to cookware and utensils, you may want to use your own pans, plates or cutlery. This is perfectly fine, but if you want to save on space and weight, you can purchase almost all cookware in a lighter camping variety. Camping cookware is specifically designed to save on space or weight, with items such as folding kettles, stacking pans etc.

Most camping pots and pans will be made from aluminium or steel, making them durable enough to last for many uses. 

Whether you're taking everything (even the kitchen sink) or you're a backpacker looking to streamline your cooking needs, you should be able to find the cookware you need in our camping department. 

Camping Recipes

In the age of the internet, wonderful camping recipes are a mere google search away, but before you go searching for the weird and wonderful things that you can cook with your camping stove, why not try out the GO Outdoors Camping Cookbook, it's FREE to download, and easy to print off and take with you on your trip.

FREE Downloadable Camping Cookbook

At our camping live event we were joined by Josh from Guy Rope Gourmet, who was kind enough to take us through a breakfast, lunch and dinner option for campers. We hope they inspire you:

Camspite Breakfast Pancakes

Linguini, Pine Nut and Rocket Salad

Campsite Pulled Pork