I'm planning on road tripping from San Diego to Boston in September. Since we want to keep costs down by cooking our own food most night and camping the whole way I was wondering if anyone had any advice as to what kind of stove I should get? I really like the Biolite Wood Burning Stove because it is very efficient, creating a lot of heat for a little amount of fuel and it charges electronic devices. It comes with a hefty price tag at about $130 plus tax. But my other options seem to be camping stoves like the Primus Yellowstone Classic Trail Stove ($20) which runs on Primus LP butane/propane cartridges. Or a the standard Coleman two burner stove running about $70 and running on 16 oz. propane fuel cylinders.
My main concerns are:
1. I have heard that some campgrounds do not allow fires however, the biolite is a contained fire unlike the traditional campfires. It is very contained within the metal fire cylinder and so I 'm not sure if it would fall within the category of prohibited fires. But if some of you more experienced roadtrippers have noticed that a large majority of campsites so prohibit such fires then I will have to look at the butane/propane stoves.
2. The other thing I'm worried about is the cost of fuel and the added inconvenience of having to constantly stop and spend money and time to get more fuel for those stoves. If camp grounds don't limit you to certain types of heat elements, it would be great to be able to cut the added inconvenience of having to stop for fuel out of our plans. I know I could save some money by buying a propane stove off of craigslist for cheap but I am still worried about the cost of propane since I don't really know how long each can would last and if the cost of propane would end up making a coleman just as expensive I would rather just get the biolite. (I would look up the costs of fuel myself but I have no Idea how many I would need and CA won't let vendors sell fuel over the internet so I can't even price check a single can)
3. Lastly, I know that wood burning fires tend to make utensils dirtier faster with soot and I'm ok with that but are there any other considerations that I'm missing? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!