Never mind where you hike, finding the best camp stove is a must. Not in every environment is wood or other natural fuel ready at hand. A good lightweight backpacking stove allows you to cook a good meal anywhere and quickly. Especially if you had a long day hiking and it’s getting late to set up your tent. But what’s the best camp stove? Whether you use a hobo stove or a white gas stove the buying choice is overwhelming. Consider the environment, the time of the year, locally available fuel. Inform yourself about regulations such as a prohibition of open fires or availability of campsites with prepared fireplaces. Choosing the right one amongst the best backpacking stoves is not easy and should be carefully considered. A camping cooking system consists of a cooking hob for the cookware and the fuel supply. The larger the stove the more stable it becomes for carrying larger pots and pans. Those who want to travel light should look at a lightweight backpacking stove such as the Trangia Stove Kit or similar. They weigh often only a few hundred grams and take up very little space in your pack.
Camping stoves are divided into different categories depending what fuel is burned
Gas – propane stoves for camping
Advantages of a camping gas stove:
Cooking with gas is odorless and clean, the gas cannot be easily spilled. The cooking appliance is easy to clean as there are no carbon deposits.
They are not the best camp stove to be used in winter or at very low temperatures as the use of butane and other liquid-gas mixtures may become difficult. The remedy here is the use of special gas mixtures of butane, isobutane, and propane. However, these gas mixtures can become expensive. They are only used at special expeditions to extreme environments.
Spirit or Alcohol Camp Stove
Alcohol cookers are popular among outdoor enthusiasts due to their reliability and low maintenance. Compared to other camping stoves they are very cheap to buy and operate. Alcohol stoves can be used at temperatures below freezing. However, the heat output is only half that of gas cookers, the cooking time is longer.
Advantages of an alcohol camp stove:
Alcohol has to be preheated at very low temperatures to ignite and burn properly. Burning alcohol can produce soot causing more cleaning time for cookware.
White Gas camp stove, the best camp stove?
Advantages of a white gas camp stove:
White gas fuel is worldwide best available and also burns at very cold temperatures at high heating power. For camping trips at high altitude, they are just as well suited as in deep winter and low temperatures.
Gasoline stoves are slightly heavier compared to the same expensive gas cookers. They smell, handling and maintenance are complex, after using gasoline stove must be cleaned. Can not be transported in an aircraft.
What is a Hobo Stove?
Advantages of a Hobo Stove:
Availability of fuel sources in most terrains may make the Hobo stove the best camp stove to bring along a hiking trip. The simple design is also of great advantage as there is not really much that can break or malfunction.
Burning wood produces soot and smoke which leads to great wear of cooking gear and is time-consuming cleaning. In many forests and national parks, fire safety regulations may apply and the use of hobo stoves could be prohibited.
So what’s the best camp stove?
- Where will the stove be used, climatic conditions, altitude, low temperature?
- How often do you use the camping stove? Once in the morning or for three meals a day?
- Burning strong and reliable, problems with odor or soot?
- The weight of stove and fuel, availability of fuel?
- Low operating costs, no empty cartridges as waste?
- Ease of operation, maintenance friendly?
- Operating in a closed tent?
- Suitable for air travel?