Camping Stoves – What are the best backpacking stoves?

Never mind where you hike, a camp stove is a must have. 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.

Camping stoves are divided into different categories depending on what fuel is burned

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.

Gas – propane stoves for camping

Gas cookers are the most popular used camping stoves. They are easy to use with simple and quickly adjustable flames and have a high heat output. The cookers are robust and need low maintenance. Gas cookers are sold in all sizes from small 1-burner storm stoves to large multi-flame cookers.

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 of Alcohol fuel is only half that of gas cookers, the cooking time is longer.

Advantages of an alcohol camp stove:

Low weight and packing size and ease of use make alcohol stove very popular. They are robust, require low maintenance, are safe to use and work well at low temperatures. Fuel is widely available fuel widely available.


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?

A White gas camp stove is a great all-around option. The fuel is worldwide available and White Gas also known as Naphta has a high heat output. White gas stoves can be used at high altitudes and at very low temperatures. The fuel stove combines the advantages of the gas and alcohol stove. However gasoline produces soot during combustion, a white gas camp stove requires proper maintenance and it needs time cleaning cooking appliances.

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?

Hobo cookers are operated with solid fuel debris such as wood. They are robust and of low maintenance. Wood and debris are in nature readily available this helps you to save on weight in fuel transport. The cylindrical structure of the Hobo stove exploits the chimney effect and uses wood fuels at a much higher efficiency than a regular campfire. But as it is basically cooking on an open fire, the device may violate some fire safety regulations in forests or national parks.

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?best camp stove, dutch oven

  • 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?

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