Tips For Selecting A Good Backpack Camping Stove


If you desire a cooked food or hot tea while backpacking, you definitely require a portable back pack stove. The type of stove you would need depends on a lot of things including: the portability, the versatility, the use- fat boiling or simmering stove, the number of individuals eating the meal, the location of the camping, whether it is local or foreign camping and the type of cooking fuel that you can easily get.

Follow the tips below to help you choose the best backpacking stove:

The types of stove

Backpacking stoves are commonly grouped based on the type of cooking fuel they use and the manner of storing the fuel.

The specifications and features of the stove

Different types of stoves come with different burn time. You may wish to consider the standard boil time of the stove, the weight and ease of use to help you decide which one is best suited for your needs.

Tips for proper usage of backpacking stove

Proper knowledge of how the stove works will help you to choose right when you want to shop for a backpacking stove.

Different types of Backpacking Stoves

There are three major types of backpacking stoves:

  • Canister stoves

A canister stove is user-friendly and does not require a lot of maintenance. It is normally screwed upon the threaded tops of self-sealing fuel canisters made up of two gases isobutane and propane, pre-pressurized.

Recommended: MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove

  • Liquid fuel stoves 

These flexible cooking stoves come with refillable fuel bottles. A number of liquid-fuel stoves make use of white gas. However, there are other supplementary stoves, which may be very handy when you are traveling abroad.

Recommended: MSR WhisperLite Stove

  • Supplementary-fuel stoves

There are a number of extra forms of back packing stove currently emerging. Some of these stoves make use of fuel pellets or wood.

Recommended: Lixada Portable Wood Stove

If you have come up with a decision about the type of backpacking stove you want, the following easy-to-view chart may assist you but bear in mind; one type may not be suitable in all situations. For instance, you may require a particular stove type for fast and not heavy summer backpacking and another type of stove for winter camping. To get a better clue, see additional information below:

Fast Guide to Backpacking Stoves

Excellent for:Canister backpack stoveIntegrated Canister backpack stoveRemote Canister Back packing stoveLiquid Fuel Camping StoveWoodburning Backpack stovesAlcohol/Tablet backpack stove
Cold weather and high altitudeX (a few)X (a few)X
Bigger Camping groupsXXX
Essentially boiling waterXXXX
Simmering needsXXX
Portable, lightweightÿmountaineeringXXXX
Travelling abroadX (users various types of-fuel)
User-friendly cookingXXXX

Canister Stoves

Canister stoves need little maintenance and are user-friendly. They fasten around the threaded tops fuel canisters that are made up of two different gases isobutane and propane which are pre-pressurized. A number of these stoves are very small. They are compact and light weight. They are highly portable and can be used abroad.

Recommended: MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove


  • They’re light weight and portable
  • You don’t need a lot of effort to light them. You don’t need to do any priming before turning the stove on. All you need to do is, merely, turn the valve and light it with matches, lighter or piezo-igniter.
  • A number of them have an easily adjustable flame, and they simmer perfectly.
  • The canister seals itself when you undo the stove and thus keep your mind at rest against any form of spillage or leakage.
  • A number of canister stoves feature an integrated pressure valve that supplies regular heat all through the lifespan of the canister. This as well boosts cold weather and helps it to perform better in high altitude.


  • Canister stoves do not come with large arms that can suitably support big pots.
  • You can hardly know the amount of gas remaining inside the closed canister. Thus, you may need to take enough to avoid running out.
  • You must not use a windscreen due to the fact that it can gather up excessive heat which can result in an explosion.
  • Canisters can lose pressure during cold weather. This result to the production of weaker flame except the stove comes with a pressure regulator.
  • The cost of fuel is high when compared to stoves that make use of liquid-fuel.
  • You need to devise proper disposal for used canisters. You have to seek out recycling options in your locality.

Recommended: MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove

Other types of canister stoves are:

Integrated canister systems

This elongated cooking stove comes with a burner that screws upon the fuel canister and pairs flawlessly with a twist-on, padded cooking pot that has a cover with exhaust holes and/or a dispense/taste opening. They can be utilized with accessories like French press used for making coffee.

It can contain a 4-ounce fuel canister that is sold differently.

They are commonly structured for use to boil water fast. They are not great for cooking or simmering foods. However, a number of models are multi purpose. They can allow you to use other pots apart from the ones that come with the unit. The new models are not very long. They allow you to eat from them easily. They feature a windscreen which helps them to boil water easily and effectively. A number of them as well feature a built-in pressure regulator that helps it to work constantly at low temperatures and at higher altitudes.

As opposed to regular canister stoves, the integrated canister stove is heavier and can easily tip over.

Recommended: Jetboil Minimo

Remote canister stoves

This form of backpacking stove has an in-built base on which you can stand it together with a fuel hose that attaches it to the canister. They are basically small and lightweight. However, they are a little bit heavier than a regular canister stove.

Some forms of this stove can be overturned to improve their performance when the weather is cold. They come with wider arms which make them more stable.

Liquid-fuel Stoves

Recommended: MSR WhisperLite Stove

Every form of liquid-fuel stoves makes use of white gas, which is highly developed. Thus, it contains only minimal or no impurities. It burns very well and gives off the clean gas. This type of stove works well in areas with a temperature below the freezing point.  It is not as costly as the standard fuel for the canister.

A number of multiple fuel stoves can make use of any of the following: unleaded car petrol, kerosene, jet energy or diesel.

Multiple choice fuel stoves are a good selection for those traveling outside the US. Apart from during emergencies, it is not recommended to use unleaded vehicle gas from a gas station pump due to additives that are usually added to petrol which can damage the stoves.

There are two key cons of liquid-fuel stoves:

A number of liquid fuel stove need priming. This requires the initiation of a few drops of fuel in a cup under the burner to produce a small flame which is used to preheat the fuel line. This helps the liquid fuel to convert into vapor. You also have to pump the fuel bottle to boost the pressure.

You as well need to maintain them occasionally by cleaning the fuel pipe or changing O-rings in the stove and on fuel containers.


  • Liquid-fuel stoves are modest and are more stable on the jagged ground.
  • You can easily see the quantity of fuel by looking at the fuel bottle.
  • Although you don’t need to purchase a fuel bottle, you don’t need to worry about canister disposal.
  • This type of stove works better at a higher altitude than any other form of and in cold temperatures.


  • They require priming and maintenance.
  • It is possible to have fuel spills.
  • They are heavy.
  • They are expensive.
  • Other types of fuels apart from white gas contain a number of impurities which can eventually clog stove like the fuel tube.

Recommended: MSR WhisperLite Stove

Supplementary fuel Stoves

These stoves can be a good choice for camping in a distant location and also for home emergency kits. A number of them are very light while some are heavier.

Woodburning Stoves

These types of stoves make use of twigs and plant leaves collected from the backcountry to provide the fuel.  It is a great option for backpacking in a far distant land.


  • These are uncomplicated and lightweight. They are similar to titanium base and come with a windscreen and pot-support structure that can easily fold flat.
  • A number of models can produce enough electricity while burning twigs. This energy can be utilized to charge a mobile phone or another small gadget through a USB connection.
  • A number of models come with no obligatory grill.


  • Collecting dry fuel during wet weather can be taxing.
  • It may be illegal during a burn ban or in a number of places at high altitude. For instance, Yosemite prohibits twig-burning stoves in altitudes higher than 9,600 feet.

Recommended: Lixada Portable Wood Stove

Denatured Alcohol Stoves

This type of stoves is great for ultra light backpackers due to their light weight. They are highly portable. Also, the only fuel you need to carry is a bottle of alcohol sized fuel container to cover your entire trip.


  • Denatured alcohol stoves feature a number of parts which need to be occasionally maintained.
  • Denatured alcohol is not costly and is readily available all over U.S.
  • The fuel does not make noise when it is burning.


  • Alcohol burns slower than a canister fuel or white gas. Thus, the water takes a long time to boil which implies you need more fuel.
  • It often requires the use of a windscreen
  • You cannot easily get denatured alcohol outside the US.

Solid-fuel Tablet Stoves

These are also a popular choice among light backpackers. A number of these stoves are tiny enough to be folded and packed into your pocket.


  • They are not costly.
  • They are low weight: a pocket-size form may be as light as 3.25 ounces. They can as well come in a pair with a stove and a pot combination.
  • It comes in small size
  • Tablets light easily and may be turned off to be used later.


  • They don’t boil water easily
  • The tablets may have some forms of smell.
  • The tablets may leave greasy residue under the pot.

The specifications and Features of Backpacking Stove

We have provided below additional tips to help you make an informed decision about the best backpacking stove:

The weight of the Stove

If you’re interested in a light weight single backpacking, your choice of stove may differ from that of an individual backpacking with friends.

The ease of burning

You may also want to consider how long it takes the stove to burn and the quantity of fuel it consumes.

Standard boil time

The specifications can assist you to choose the type that is most suitable for your needs especially if you are conscious of the fuel consumption and cost of fuels.

Standard tips for boiling and simmering

  • Integrated canister systems have the fastest water boiling capacity. It as well makes use of the least amount of fuel. It is possible to use it for simmer but that is not the main aim of design.
  • Canister stoves boil can boil water fast, and a number of them are good great for simmering and a good option for preparing camping food.
  • Liquid-fuel stoves have fast water boiling capacity both in cold weather. Simmering capacity differs broadly by types.
  • Supplementary-fuel stoves are structured mainly for boiling, although they don’t boil fast.


This is a switch spark present on a few canister-fuel stoves. This is a great feature to use if you have lost your matches are lost or when your matches are wet.


Stabilizers may be placed at the base of fuel canisters to prevent the possible trips. However, you need to purchase these differently.

Recommended: Lixada Anti-Slip Canister Tripod

Stove Usage Tips

Tips for proper use of any backpacking stove:

  • Avoid cooking inside tents or poorly ventilated areas. This can poison you with carbon monoxide and lead to an increased fire risk.
  • Examine the stove and accessories for damage or leakage before putting light on the stoves.
  • Use your stove on a very flat surface.
  • Take tools you may require for repair
  • If you are not worried about weight, you may use a metal base like an old car license plate for your stove.
  • Always carry waterproof matches even if your stove has a piezo-igniter.

 Usage tips for canister stoves

  • Upcoming fuel canisters come with the little amount of air at the top which helps the stove to ignite as soon as the air is exhausted. Avoid tipping the stove to prevent large yellow flames.
  • During the winter months ensure you keep the canisters stoves warm by storing it away in your bag at night or carrying it in your back pocket hiking.
  • Use a stove with a pressure regulator in higher altitudes to minimize wastage of fuel.
  • While cooking above, insulate the canister under with a piece of foam to avoid getting a chunk frozen ice on the base.
  • A number of US made canisters have a Lindal valve with uniform threading. These make it possible for fuel canisters of one brand to be used on another although some producers recommend the use of fuel brands.

Tips for proper use of liquid-fuel stoves:

  • Whenever possible makes use of alcohol for priming to avoid soot
  • Avoid overfilling the fuel tank. Allow a little room for incoming air to supply it with adequate pressure.
  • If you want to store your stove for a long duration, discharge the fuel inside.
  • Use a windscreen.
  • Get a heat exchanger during cold weather trips or during extensive backpacking to make your pot boil faster and save fuel.
  • Avoid allowing spillage on your skin as this could result in frostbite when there is fast fuel evaporation.
  • The quality of white gas fades over time. It is not recommended but if you are using it; get a strain to remove any small residue that may clog your stove.


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