Gear Guy

Is the new Backpacker Oven on par with the old standby equipment?

I pretty filiar with the Outback Oven, in which you have to bake in a pot or a frying pan. But I recently saw the new Backpacker Oven and wondering if you have used this or if you think this might be something to look into. Dave Lancaster, California

I have long been an avid fan of the Outback Oven ($75 in 10" model), a handy gadget that turns many camp stoves into a convection oven. I’m intrigued as well by the newer Backpacker Oven ($50), which is basically a metal box that fits over a camp stove. One advantage of the Backpacker Oven is that you can cook two things at once, as opposed to only one for the Outback Oven. The Backpacker Oven is really just a folding metal box with two shelves and a heavy diffuser plate near the bottom. The whole thing sits over a stove, the stove heats the diffuser plate, and the oven heats up. Whatever you can bake at home you can bake in the Backpacker Oven—biscuits, pizza, brownies, you name it.

If the Backpacker Oven has a flaw, it’s weight. The whole thing weighs about 28 ounces. The Outback Oven comes in at 22 ounces but also comes with a nonstick skillet that can be used for other things besides baking. On the other hand, in principle the Backpacker Oven seems easier to use; the Outback Oven can be a little bit tricky.

Either way, it is such a treat to have baked goods when car-camping, bike-camping, and so on. Both are a little heavy to take backpacking, but maybe with a group of four you could split the thing up.

Keep in mind, you can not use either oven with a stove that sits atop its fuel source, whether liquid or propane/butane. It must have a fuel supply that sits off to the side and feeds the burner through a hose. Otherwise, the whole thing heats up and…ka-BOOM! Your brownies are in orbit.

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Filed To: Camp Stoves

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