CAMPING & HIKING

Best Camp Toaster: Enjoy the Best Toast Anywhere

Best camp toaster
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Toast. So simple, so humble and so delicious. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t enjoy a nice, hot slice of toast in the morning with breakfast. With electric toasters common in most households, people tend to take toast for granted. Simply stick it in the toaster and get on with things until it’s ready.

Toast is so normal and so humble that it’s not until you’re unable to make it that you realize just how much you miss having it at your fingertips. You don’t need an electric toaster to make toast, nor even a grill oven. Many years before toasters existed, people were enjoying toast.

Whether you want to prepare for power outages, you’re going camping or you live off grid, a camp toaster is a worthwhile investment.

They’re cheap and easy to use and typically pack away very small. But how do you go about finding the best camp toaster for you? There are many out there and several different types each with their faithful followings.

Read on to find out what to look for in a camping toaster and the different types available. Finally, we will have a look over five of the most popular on the market at the moment.

Who needs a camp toaster?

The obvious answer to that is people who enjoy toast and who are going camping. However, a camping toaster shouldn’t be limited to purely camping trips. Many people use them in place of an electric toaster.

Happy campers

Camping is all about going back to basics and enjoying nature. That doesn’t mean that one forgo a few luxuries. Toast with a cooked breakfast makes for a great start to the day and as such, more and more people are taking toasters camping with them.

For anyone roadtripping in an RV an electric toaster can use up valuable electricity, whereas a camping toaster will generally be quicker, easier and yield better results.

Anyone who has attempted to make toast using a stick or a fork and holding the bread over a stove or campfire knows that this method is normally met with limited success. More often than not your efforts are rewarded with a charred mess. Using a proper camp toaster is far more reliable.

Living off grid

For those who have decided to live off grid and become self-sufficient, electricity is normally generated from solar power or a generator. Cooking toast is not a good use of valuable electricity, but you need not go without. With a camp toaster, those living off grid can enjoy toasted goods and not feel guilty about using electricity.

Emergencies

Sudden loss of power/electricity is an all too realistic threat in certain parts of the country. Natural disasters or breaches of security can lead to a loss of power for an undetermined amount of time.

Prepping is all about being prepared for the worst and being able to live comfortably and survive whatever may occur. Toast might not be top priority initially but after a few days in the dark, every little luxury helps. Creating a sense of normality is essential for morale.

Camping toaster

The taste

Many people will agree that you cannot compete with the taste of toast cooked over a gas stove or even better, a campfire. The perfect crispness, the softness inside and the taste to die for. For this reason, alone many people are ditching electric toasters and replacing them with camp toasters. They’re easy to use, cheaper, smaller and use no electricity.

Types of camp toaster

When looking for a great camp toaster you will no doubt come across several different types. Although specific designs function slightly differently, the general principle is the same.

Camping toasters are lightweight and small and are typically designed to be used with a camping stove. Many can also be used on a campfire, BBQ or a gas stove at home, though these might not be as effective as a camping stove.

Camp stove top toasters

Within this category thereseveral subcategories. They all function in much the same way, however. The toaster is simply placed on top of the stove, typically on a medium flame.

Many toasters work best if preheated before adding bread to them. The toast is added and should be monitored as it can quickly go from perfect toast to a charred mess. The toast will need to be turned halfway in order to cook both sides.

Compact camping toaster

Don’t expect it to pop up when it’s finished either, that’s down to you. This allows you to make the toast exactly how you like it. It can take a bit of time to work out the perfect heat and time to use. There is a little bit of a learning curve, but you will soon be producing fantastic toast each time.

The simplicity of this design is part of its charm. With so few moving parts there is very little to go wrong and a good quality camping toaster will last many years. Stove top toasters are available in several types:

Fold up toaster

These compact toasters consist of a base plate and a number of folding grips or arms. The base plate has a number of holes drilled in it to allow heat from the stove to spread out evenly on the toast.

Bread is placed vertically onto the grips – normally four slices – and must be turned half way. This is typically the cheapest option, though these toasters are also fairly flimsy. They can be fiddly to use and toast can occasionally fall.

Fold up toaster

Box toaster

A little larger than the fold up version and they don’t pack up as small. They consist of a metal box, with two angled baseplates and a rack. Again the base plates are drilled to spread the heat.

These toasters normally fit two slices of bread on them, which lay on the rack. They’re typically quicker than folding – and electric – toasters and cook more evenly. Some have handles and some fold up also.

Pyramid toaster

Similar to the fold up toaster, this one looks a little bit like a cheese grater. They’re sturdier than fold up toasters but are normally more expensive. Typically four slices can be toasted at once.

Gauze toaster

These are typically smaller than the others and can only toast one slice at a time. Rather than a base plate, a gauze base sits below a rack. The gauze is placed on the stove and glows orange when it gets hot. The toast sits above the gauze on a rack and cooks fairly quickly. The gauze is similar to the heating elements in an electric toaster.

A review of five great toasters

Stansport Folding Toaster

Stansport Folding Camp Stove Toaster

Number of slices: 4

Size: 8” x ⅝” (folded)

Weight: 0.5 pounds

Specific Features: Rust resistant, folds up for easy storage

Best use: Excellent for those who are traveling light or short of space

This simple design is a timeless classic. Stansport Folding Toaster folds up more or less flat meaning that it’ll fit in even the tightest of spaces. It’s perfect for those who are looking to travel light, or who are already carrying a lot. The toaster will work on any camping stove.

Simply open the rack up, put up to four slices of bread on the holders and place on top of the stove. Any propane camping stove will work fine and some campers have had success using a rack over an open fire or BBQ. It’s so easy to use that you can be eating toast in less than ten minutes of opening the box.

Some users claim that it takes quite long to get the desired toastiness rather than warm bread. However, it seems to depend on the individual, as others have perfect toast in three minutes. Patience may be required, especially for those used to an electric toaster. Take care with crumbly bread, as the crumbs can fall through the holes and burn. This can set the fire alarm off and it doesn’t smell great either.

Check the price on Amazon

Coghlans Camp Stove Toaster

Coghlans Camp Stove Toaster

Number of slices: 4

Size: 9” x ⅝” (folded)

Weight: 0.5 pounds

Specific Features: Folds up for easy storage, sure-grip toast holders, rust resistant grips

Best use: Excellent for those who are traveling light or short of space

Made in Canada, Coghlans Camp Stove Toaster receives mixed reviews, but on the whole, feedback is positive. The design is simple and it’s easy to use. The improved grips ensure that slices are held securely with no overlapping. Other toasted goodies can be cooked on this toaster, such as bagels and English muffins.

Results differ for everyone, with some claiming that they get perfect toast on a propane stove within minutes. Others have had no luck getting toast at all, even after ten minutes of waiting. The majority of campers are happy with the results, however.

For best results, ensure the toaster is warmed up before racking the bread and use a camping stove. Be prepared to keep an eye on it as it cooks, as it can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds. The build quality is debatable. Several unhappy campers have had problems with rust after just one use, to the point where the toaster is unusable. It is only the base that rusts however and this is never in contact with the bread.

The stainless steel grips are coated and rust resistant. Others have had problems with the arms breaking and issues with folding and unfolding it. The bottom can seem a little flimsy and has been known to blacken while on the stove. Other users have commented that it is not the most sturdy thing in the world, but it does the job and the price is reasonable.

Check the price on Amazon

Camp-A-Toaster CT1

Camp-A-Toaster CT1 Camp-A-Toaster

Number of slices: 2

Size: 9.1” x 5.2 “x 2”

Weight: 8.5oz

Specific Features: Toasts quickly and evenly, sturdy, easy to clean

Best use: Fantastic for using in a motorhome

The Camp-A-Toaster CT1 old fashioned camping toaster enjoys excellent feedback and has quite the following. It’s quick and easy to use and fantastic toast can be cooked in just a few short minutes. If it can be toasted, this toaster can manage it.

From bread and bagels to muffins and crumpets, all is possible. For delicious, evenly cooked toast, set on a propane stove on a medium light and flip halfway. Keep an eye on it to avoid burning and enjoy. It’s a solid, sturdy design that is built to last.

As such, it’s also rather bulky and doesn’t pack away small. If you’re tight on space this could be an issue, though, for anyone with a vehicle, it should tuck away nicely. Rust isn’t a pressing issue, with many campers using their toaster for several years before rust sets in.

There can be an element of discoloration of the metal after a short time, although this has no impact on the quality or taste of the toast. The toaster can be used on an open campfire or coal BBQ as well. It also works well on a typical gas stovetop, though it may take a little longer.

Check the price on Amazon

Out Topper folding Toaster

Out Topper folding Camp Stove Toaster

Number of slices: 4

Size: 8.8”x ⅝”

Weight: 5.2oz

Specific Features: Folds up for easy storage, stainless steel

Best use: An excellent backup toaster and good for camping trips

Another folding toaster that does exactly what it says on the tin. Out Topper folding Toaster features food grade stainless steel grips. Unfortunately, the base is not made from the same material. It is however heavy duty and sturdy. It feels solid in the hand and appears to be built to last.

The toaster works best on a propane stove, as the higher heat ensures the toast is cooked quickly and efficiently. It can be used on a home gas or electric stove also, although the results are not quite as good. It also takes longer than when used with a camping stove.

The grips are removable for quick and easy cleaning and the entire device packs away very small. Most toasted goods can be cooked on this toaster, as long as they’re not too chunky. Bagels and English muffins are fine. Some campers have had issues with the toast not cooking properly and only becoming singed at the edges.

This is not a common issue however and as long as you keep an eye on it as it toasts, it should turn out well. On the whole, it’s a well made, durable toaster that is easy to use and efficient.

Check the price on Amazon

Camp-A-Toaster 41296

Camp-A-Toaster 41296 Stove-Top Camp-A-Toaster

Number of slices: 2

Size: 9.3”x7”x2.8”

Weight: 8.8oz

Specific Features: Fast and even toasting, durable, sturdy design

Best use: An excellent backup toaster and fantastic for road trips

Sturdy and durable, simple to use and effective. What more could you ask for? Camp-A-Toaster 41296 enjoys excellent reviews from campers, preppers and just about anyone who has used it. It will typically toast faster than an electric toaster, so it is worth keeping two eyes on it during the process to avoid charred offerings.

It will work well on home gas and electric stove tops, open campfires and BBQs, though for best results a propane stove is recommended. Depending on toast preference use either a low or medium heat. Be sure to preheat the toaster before adding the bread.

It toasts bread quickly and evenly and offers consistent results, though it may take some time to work out the settings that work best for you. The build quality is good and many claim they have been using their toaster for years. There are a couple of criticisms.

The metal is a little thin and can bend under pressure, although with normal usage this shouldn’t be an issue. Some campers have had issues with rust after a few months, though it depends on the conditions in your area. Finally, the device gets very hot and there is no handle to remove it from the stove after use.

For most people, this is not an issue and once the flame is off the toaster cools relatively quickly.

Check the price on Amazon

Summing up

Having seen some great examples of camping toasters there’s nothing left to do but get out there and get the best one for you. Think about where and how you will need to use it. If you just want a small and easy to use toaster for hiking and camping trips, a fold up toaster may be your best option.

Preparing to make toast

For something a little more durable consider a box style toaster. These are also great for emergencies in a blackout and are worth keeping around the house. They don’t pack up quite as small as the folding types, but they can easily be tucked away in the kitchen.

Or why not replace the electric toaster altogether? The quality of toast cooked on the stove is far higher and with a little practice, you can be making your perfect toast each and every time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

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