What is the best backpacking stove that you can use on your outdoor adventure? Every outdoor enthusiast knows that a portable stove is essential for cooking food in the wilderness. Simply imagine a hot cup of coffee in the morning and a warm meal throughout the day.
Backpacking stoves have evolved throughout the years. In the past, backpacking stoves were inconvenient because they were large and heavy. Today, there are many ultralight backpacking stoves in the market. Not to mention portability and exceptional design.
The Best backpacking stove
It is essential to know exactly the best type of backpacking stove you would want to use. For instance, if you are just planning on a short hike or simply heading out for a day pack, you would want to choose an isobutane canister stove.
On the other hand, alcohol stoves are also suitable for ultralight backpacking. You simply need alcohol and aluminum cans for the stove while liquid fuel stoves work very well in cold weather. Wood-burning stoves are also convenient to use and very light to carry.
Things will be more enjoyable and cooking tasks will be easier once you choose the best backpacking stove for your outdoor adventure. However, there are many factors to consider when choosing the best backpacking stove.
The initial factors that you need to look for will be weight, size, fuel-efficiency, and durability. You can also check for additional features that each stove has. Let us look into the different types of backpacking stoves.
Isobutane Canister Stoves
The benefits of using isobutane-propane canister stoves are that they are very easy to use. Simply screw the canister directly to the stove. However, the downside is that canisters cannot be refilled for future use. They will also freeze in extremely cold weather.
Liquid Fuel Stoves
One of the best things about liquid fuel stoves is that they are refillable. You can use this stove even in extremely cold conditions. This is ideal when you are traveling overseas as well as for long-distance hikes.
Solid Fuel Stoves
Solid fuel stoves are very simple to use. It is also cheap and the weight is relatively light. However, these stoves are very slow in heating or cooking food. Another downside is that these are quite expensive.
As mentioned above, you can make your own alcohol stove using an aluminum canister. In fact, thru-hikers prefer this kind of stove since it is very easy to use. This is also one of the cheapest backpacking stoves that you can have. Denatured alcohol is the primary fuel for alcohol stoves. This is a relatively inexpensive backpacking stove.
Wood-burning stoves primarily use wood for fuel. You do not need to carry as well as worry about fuel. This is similar to a campfire, although you can use a stove to put the pot on. The wind will be the most common problem that you will encounter when using this type of stove.
Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Backpacking Stove
In general, you will need to consider the weight and packability of the stove. You can also try to determine the price as well as the availability of fuel to run it.
In fact, you also need to consider if you are planning on a solo backpacking adventure or whether you are joining a group. It is also essential to have good knowledge about the weather condition of the place where you are going to travel.
In general, you need to consider the price, if you think you will just use it once or twice, then it would be best to buy a cheaper stove. On the other hand, choose a more durable backpacking stove if you need to use it often. However, the price would definitely be higher.
An excellent backpacking stove should be able to withstand the wind. They should also be able to burn fuel efficiently in winter conditions.
Selecting the best backpacking stove really depends on your needs. For instance, if you think you will mostly boil water on your adventure, you may want to consider a stove that can boil water fast.
On the other hand, if you are going to simmer or cook food, then it would be essential to choose a backpacking stove that has a good simmer control.
Tips On Using The Best Backpacking Stove
It is essential to bring a match or a lighter just in case your stove’s piezo igniter will not work. Consider a flat area to cook your food to avoid spills. Another key point is to avoid cooking inside your tent. Not only will this be a fire hazard, but it also might cause carbon monoxide poisoning resulting in death.
It is also essential to bring extra extra fuel especially if you plan to have long-distance hikes. The only downside is that you will be adding a lot of weight to your backpack. However, you if you’re backpacking with a couple of friends or with family members, you can distribute the fuel to each member.
In general, one of the most important aspects that you need to keep in mind is that you should have a backup plan just in case your fuel runs out. In fact, I always bring different fire starter kits. There are many excellent brands in the market and you just need to choose the best brands.
A lighter might be a good choice but it also runs out of fuel and it is not waterproof and windproof. A waterproof match and a lighter would be a good backup fire starting tool. In fact, I personally prefer a magnesium fire starter. However, you need a little bit of practice. It’s as simple as lighting a match.
Below are the recommendations for the best backpacking stove that you can use on every backpacking adventure.
The Jetboil Minimo backpacking stove is very easy to use and has an integrated canister stove that is equipped with piezo igniters. This is a fuel-efficient stove that you can use for simmering food.
The Minimo has an overall weight of 12.2 oz. However, the Jetboil is mainly for boiling water and not for cooking. The wide pot design and low center of gravity make the Minimo very sturdy.
The Jetboil backpacking stove has PVC-coated metal handles. It also includes a pot stabilizer. The Minimo also comes with a 10-ounce plastic bowl and also includes a coffee press as well as a pot stand. It can boil up to one liter of water. However, the exposed handles can easily burn your skin, so it is essential to take extra care when using it.
The Soto Windmaster has a big Triflex pot that offers good stability. The Windmaster has an overall weight of 3 ounces. The Windmaster is also very easy to set up and can boil water to a maximum of 4 minutes.
It also has a Micro-regulator which allows the flames to distribute heat evenly. The built-in igniter makes it easy to light the stove. The burner has a raised guard for wind protection. There is also a minimal distance between the burner and the bottom of the pan making it more effective when cooking or boiling water.
MSR Whisperlite Universal
The MSR Whisperlite Universal burns most types of fuel such as kerosene, white gas, isobutane-propane canisters, and gasoline. This is a multi-day, fuel-efficient backpacking stove. White gas can boil water in a span of three minutes. The Whisperlite Universal has a windscreen, fuel pump as well as a heat reflector.
MSR PocketRocket 2
The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 has an overall weight of 2.5 ounces. Lighting the stove requires using a match or a lighter as it does not have an igniter. It takes around 3 minutes to boil water. The Pocket Rocket has an exceptional simmer control system. The Pocket Rocket 2 is excellent for boiling water but not for cooking.
Vargo Titanium Hexagon
The Vargo Titanium is a sturdy wood-burning stove that is constructed of titanium. It has an overall weight of 4.6 ounces. On the good side, you do not have to worry about fuel. In general, you will need to gather wooden sticks for fuel. Make sure to put the stove on a flat surface to maintain airflow. You also need to be aware of fire regulations in the area.
Trail Designs Caldera Cone
When it comes to alcohol stoves, the Trail Designs Caldera Cone is designed to perform in lower oxygen and higher heat environment. This stove is equipped with a fuel bottle. Additional features include a measuring cup. This is excellent for ultralight backpacking.
The Caldera Cone has an excellent cone-shaped windscreen. The pot is also made from titanium. This backpacking stove is very easy to light up and has a sturdy design.
Snow Peak GigaPower 2.0
The Snow Peak GigaPower 2.0 is an excellent canister stove that has a push-button igniter and an accurate simmer control. The Gigapower has four flat pot supports and provides exceptional stability. However, this is a heavy backpacking stove and does not perform well in windy conditions.
Solo Stove Alcohol Burner
The Solo Stove Alcohol Burner is an excellent choice for long-distance backpackers and thru-hikers. In general, the Solo Stove is a lightweight, inexpensive as well as easy to pack. The Solo Stove can be an excellent backup stove just in case your primary stove would not work.
The primary fuel for the Solo Stove includes alcohol, ethanol, and methanol. In fact, denatured alcohol can also be used and is inexpensive. The flame regulator also lets you control and extinguish the fire.
The Etekcity Orange stove is an ultralight canister stove which is excellent for lightweight backpacking. The Etekcity’s overall weight is around 3 ounces. This stove is compatible with all screw-type isobutane canisters. The pot stand is foldable and it is also equipped with a piezo igniter.
The MSR WindBurner is a windproof backpacking stove. It is very easy to use and has a compact design. The boiling time is also super fast and efficient at around 3 minutes for one liter of water. The MSR WindBurner is a functional backpacking stove that is suitable for individual backpacking.
In summary, when selecting the best backpacking stove, it is essential to know your needs first. Start with your budget and determine which features you need most such as weight, fuel-efficiency, durability, and packability. For instance, if you plan to go backpacking for a week or two, then you will need a backpacking stove that you will be able to use easily for two weeks. You can definitely choose from the recommendations provided above.