Best Backpacking Stoves

Types of Backpacking Stoves

Similar to water treatment devices, there are many stove options out there. Stoves are usually grouped into categories based upon their fuel. The choice again is based on personal preference.

1. Alcohol

  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive
  • Fuel is readily available
  • Weight decreases with fuel consumption
  • Generally not great for simmering (although the example below is quite good at it)
  • Takes some practice to get use to
  • Generally inefficient in temperatures below freezing or wet weather
  • Example: Brassiite Turbo II-D

2. Canister

  • Easy to use
  • Moderately priced
  • Good solution for simmering
  • Efficient
  • Canister is heavy and constitutes the bulk of the weight
  • Resupply can be an issue in certain areas
  • Example: Jetboil Flash

3. White gas

  • Excels in extremely cold temperatures and high altitudes
  • Efficient
  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Noisy
  • Example: MSR Whisperlite

4. Zip

  • Burns commonly found items on the trail (twigs, wood, cones)
  • No need to carry fuel
  • Boils water quickly once it warms up
  • Fuel hard to find in prolonged periods of wet weather
  • Requires a battery
  • Need to have basic fire starting skills
  • Time consuming because you need to find fuel and constantly add it to the fire
  • Example: ZZ Sierra

5. Solid fuel

  • Lightweight
  • Efficient
  • Resupply can be a problem in certain areas
  • Fuel is expensive
  • Generally not good at simmering
  • Example: Esbit solid fuel
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