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Best Backpacking Stove: A Buyer’s Guide

best backpacking stove

If you are camping, you will need fire to cook some food or boil water. Not all places allow the use of open fire. Therefore it is best to carry a backpacking stove with you while camping. Here is a guide to select the best backpacking stove for your camping.

Product

Size

Burners

Price

Rating

Primus Classic Trail Stove

4.9 x 4.9 x 2.2in.

One

$

MSR PocketRocket Stove

4.1 x 2.1 x 2in.

One

$$

BioLite Wood Burning Campstove

8.27 x 5 x 5in.

One

$$$$

Emberlit Stainless Steel Stove

6 x 5.5 x 4in.

One

$$

MSR WhisperLite Universal Stove

5 x 6 x 6in.

One

$$$

What to Consider When Choosing a Backpacking Stove

When it comes to backpacking stove, there are three types that are available in the market: canister stoves, liquid fuel stoves and alternative fuel stoves. Before deciding, which one of these backpacking stoves are right for you, there are a few things that you need to consider.

Size of the Group

The number of people in the group is a deciding factor when you are choosing a backpacking stove. Ideally, if you have four or more people in the group, you should buy more than one backpacking stove to avoid unnecessary wait. Today, there are many light and compact backpacking stoves available in the market, it's feasible for backpackers to carry their own stoves.

Use of the Stove

How you are planning to use your stove should also be considered before you buy a backpacking stove for your camping. Some people only need a stove for boiling water and other need a stove for simmering.

Different types and models of backpacking stoves are designed to cater different needs. Canister stoves are highly efficient when it comes to boiling water and some of the models are designed for simmering.

The liquid fuel stove is perfect if you are looking only to boil the water and that too pretty quickly. Again, different models have different simmering capabilities. The alternative fuel stoves are designed primarily for boiling water; however, they are much slower than canister or liquid fuel stoves.

Size of the Stove

When you are backpacking, you need to travel light. Therefore it is necessary to find a stove which is smaller in size. A small sized stove will be convenient to pack and easy to carry. This also goes along with the size of the group; you have to make sure you will have adequate space to cook for the number of people in your group. 

Type of Fuel

Different types of backpacking stoves are compatible with different types of fuels. You can find wood, petroleum fuels, solid fuels, liquefied fuels and liquid fuels and alcohol fuel. The petroleum fuels are best to use at places where temperature is sub zero.

The fuels like propane and isobutane are used in canister type stoves can perform better in cold temperatures. Napatha or white gas is the usual fuel for liquid fuel stoves and performs well in sub zero temperature. There are models of liquid fuel stoves that are compatible with kerosene, diesel and jet fuel. The solid fuels like Esbit and Triox are clean and safe to use however, they are slow to burn.

Fuel Consumption

Before choosing a backpacking stove, you need to estimate your fuel need. This depends upon the number of people who are camping and the length of the trip. Since, backpacking stoves are compact, their fuel capacity is limited. Therefore, you may need to carry supplement fuel for your trip.

The Best Backpacking Stove: A Buyer's Guide

Product

Size

Burners

Price

Rating

Primus Classic Trail Stove

4.9 x 4.9 x 2.2in.

One

$

MSR PocketRocket Stove

4.1 x 2.1 x 2in.

One

$$

BioLite Wood Burning Campstove

8.27 x 5 x 5in.

One

$$$$

Emberlit Stainless Steel Stove

6 x 5.5 x 4in.

One

$$

MSR WhisperLite Universal Stove

5 x 6 x 6in.

One

$$$

Primus Classic Trail Stove

best backpacking stove

With Primus Classic Trail stove, you can easily cook meals for three people. The stove measures at 4.9 x 4.9 x 2.2 inches with a weigh of ounces which makes it sturdier for campsite cooking. The ten thousand BTU allows you to boil water in around three minutes.

The arms of this backpacking stove also works as wind shields. The stove does not come with an ignition switch and have to be started manually.

However, you can easily get an ignition accessory if you prefer. The Primus website also offers you to estimate your fuel needs depending upon your trip.

MSR PocketRocket Stove

best backpacking stove

The MSR PocketRocket stove is a compact stove with a dimension of 4.1 x 2.1 x 2 inches and a weigh of just three ounces. This portable size allows you to carry it conveniently. You can also fold this stove into a plastic case that comes with the stove and prevents the stove from getting damaged.

It is a canister stove that runs on isobutane and propane. It has a large key to control the fuel flow. You can also turn the key even when you are wearing gloves, owing to its large size. The fuel control feature makes this stove excellent for boiling as well as simmering. You need a power source to light this stove.

BioLite CampStove

This backpacking stove not only cooks food for you but also can recharge the batteries of your electronic devices as the heat energy is stored in this stove and can be used as power. The fuel used in this backpacking stove is twigs.

The thermoelectric generator coverts the heat generated from burning twigs to electricity. As you need only twigs and small pieces of woods, carrying fuel separately is not required. However, it also means that this stove may be not very helpful in wet weather conditions. This stove is also a bit heavy, weighing at 33 ounces.

Emberlit Stainless Steel Stove

This stainless steel stove is designed to burn wood, which means that you do not need to carry extra fuel in your backpack. It also weighs only at 11 ounce, keeping you light while hiking. Moreover this stove can be collapsed to make it more portable and convenient to carry around.

The compact size however, doesn’t affect the stability of this stove. You can easily use large pots with this stove. The stove also comes with a lifetime warranty. The stainless steel design provides it durability which is a much desired feature if you are a regular backpacker.

MSR WhisperLite Universal

This is one of the most versatile backpacking stoves that are available in the market. It is a hybrid stove that can use both canister and liquid fuels. The components of this stove are burner, fuel tank and a hose connecting both.

Though the weight of this stove is a little higher at 19.4 ounces, it is easy to pack and carry around. As fuel, this stove can use white gas as well as kerosene. The hose is broad enough to use less clean fuels without worrying about clogging.

This stove also comes with a fuel pump, wind screen, inversion stand and field parts. These additional items, though increases the cost of the stove, also enhances its reliability when you are outdoors.

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Emma Suzanne

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