Choosing your first backpacking stove, or upgrading the one that you currently have, is a really difficult thing to do. This is because you quickly come to realize when you read reviews that the idea of a ‘top’ backpacking stove does not actually exist. There are actually hundreds of backpacking stoves out there that all come with their own positive and negative factors. Your job involves trying to work out which one is the ‘best one’ for you. In this article we will be giving you the best backpacking stove guide for your next adventures to come.
Is a backpacking stove really the right option for you?
Before we go any further, you need to work out whether or not a backpacking stove is the right option for you. Backpacking involves spending a lot of time in the wilderness with just a backpack carrying all of your equipment in. Due to this, backpacking equipment has been specifically designed to be small and lightweight.
Backpacking Stove Guide
On the other hand, if you are actually just planning on going camping and taking your car with you, then you can afford to take equipment with you that is larger and heavier. The best thing about doing this is that the equipment is usually better because of the extra space that it can consume. Backpacking stoves generally feature a single burner, while camping stoves feature too.
What sort of backpacking stove is the right one for you?
There are a few different options that you need to consider when you come to choose a backpacking stove. Each type of backpacking stove has a set of unique positive and negative factors that you need to take into consideration.
Small canister stove
This is one of the most common types of stove that you will see in the world of backpacking. These stoves are known to be lightweight, compact and adjustable. But, they are also not very stable on the majority of surfaces and they have a very poor level of wind resistance.
Integrated canister stove
An integrated canister stove is essentially the older brother of the small canister stove. It is much better in that it has a faster boil time and that it is much more efficient when it comes to the way in which it uses fuel and the amount of fuel needed to cook food. It also features a higher level of wind resistance. But, these benefits come with an additional cost of both more money and a heavier weight.
Liquid fuel stoves
Liquid fuel stoves are wonderful in that they can quickly be disassembled and assembled while you are on the move. This makes it really easy to repair them while you are on the go; no other stove can do this. They are also fuel efficient and they can generally be used with a lot of different fuel types. One of the problems that you have to be aware of is the fact that liquid fuel stoves are often heavy and consist of a lot of different pieces.
Alcohol stoves are the perfect choice for thru-hikers and long-distance backpackers. We would never recommend them for casual backpackers, but they are lightweight enough to be perfect for people who are traveling miles and miles. Unfortunately, you have to pay a cost for this benefit. You will not have any control over the flame when you light an alcohol stove, nor will you have a good boil time.
Wood burning stoves
These are really unique because they are powered by things that can be found in the wilderness. You just have to gather a few twigs and you can then create a fire, meaning that you do not have to carry around a large amount of fuel. This is really cost effective, but you will also run the risk of creating a large amount of smoke and having no control over the actual flame.
As you can see, each of the stoves on this list has a large number of different good and bad factors that are unique to that individual stove. Your job is to decide which stove offers you the best factors while also allowing you to avoid the worst ones. A lot of people who spend their time in the backcountry actually have more than one stove, enabling them to juggle them around if they feel like one stove is not suitable for a specific excursion.