best portable stove for backpacking

Best portable stove for backpacking in 2020

Access to hot water or heat while backpacking is considered necessary, especially if you are backpacking in a clod region. It can also be a living nightmare when you have to worry about building a fire in the middle of the woods, especially on a cold night. Fortunately, you do not have to go through that hustle anymore.

When you invest in a portable stove for backpacking, not only will you be able to heat water, cook your meals, or reheat packaged foods, you will also stay warm without having to tend to fire regularly. Here are the best portable stoves for backpacking.

Top 5 portable stove for backpacking

NameFuelCook OptionsPrice
Jetboil Flash Camping and Backpacking Stove Cooking SystemProprietary fuel canisterJetboil cooking accessories
Jetboil Zip Camping Stove Cooking SystemProprietary fuel canisterJetboil cooking accessories
MSR PocketRocket Ultralight BackpackingIsobutane-propane fuel canister Folding cooking rack, supports wide array of utensils
Solo Stove Titan - 2-4 Person Lightweight Wood Burning StoveFirewoodFixed Stand for wide range of cooking utensils
Jetboil MiniMo Camping and Backpacking Stove Cooking SystemProprietary fuel canisterJetboil cooking accessories

Jetboil Flash Camping and Backpacking Stove Cooking System

jetboil flash camping and backpacking stove cooking system

The Jetboil flash winter backpacking stove has been optimized for efficiency. It flash boils water in as little as 100 seconds. It comes with a 1-liter FluxRing cooking cup and an insulating cozy that makes boiling water fast and easy.

The stove starts heating instantly, and it features a pushbutton igniter and a Thermo-chromatic color-change heat indicator. It is compatible with a wide range of Jetboil accessories: a coffee press, hanging kit, pot support, skillet, FluxRing cooking pot, and other utensils.

It also comes with a fuel canister stabilizer, and the bottom cup doubles a one-year limited warranty.

Features

  • Flash cooking
  • Thermochromatic color-change heat indicator
  • Insulating cozy
  • FluxRing technology

Pros

  • Fuel canister stabilizer
  • One-year limited warranty
  • 1 Liter FluxRing cooking cup

Cons

  • The handle is not heat resistant

Jetboil Zip Camping Stove Cooking System

Jetboil Zip Camping Stove Cooking System, Carbon

This Jetboil backpacking stove is powered by FluxRing technology. It can boil water in just over two minutes, with half the fuel consumption of traditional camping stove systems. The stove comes with a 0.8-liter FluxRing cooking cup with an insulating cozy that makes heating food or boiling water faster. It also keeps your water or food warmer for longer.

The bottom cover doubles as a measuring cup and a bowl. It features a space-saving design, which makes it easier to pack.  It is compatible with other jet boils camping essentials such as a coffee press, hanging kit, pot support, skillet, FluxRing cooking pot, and utensils.

The cup has a drink-through lid with pour a spout and a strainer. The stove only weighs 12 ounces making it a negligible luggage addition. It also comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Features

  • 8-liter f=Fluxring cooking cup
  • Insulating cozy
  • Bottom cover
  • Fuel canister stabilizer
  • Weight: 12 ounces
  • Match ignition
  • Compatible accessories: Skillet, fluxring Cooking Pot, Utensils

Pros

  • Compact space-saving design
  • Easy to pack
  • One-year limited warranty.
  • Bottom cover doubles as a measuring cup and bowl

 Cons

  • It generates very little heat.

MSR PocketRocket Ultralight Backpacking

MSR PocketRocket Ultralight Backpacking

The MSR ultralight folding canister stove only weighs 2.6 oz and measures 2x2x3 inches making it ideal for backpacking, hiking, trekking, camping, and global travel. It can boil one liter of water in just 3.5 minutes. The stove’s flame can be adjusted from a simmer to a rolling boil.

A high-performance isobutane-propane fuel canister fuels it, and it features a self-sealing threaded canister for fuel conservation. It is also easy to set up and operate. It starts heating water or food immediately and does not require priming, preheating, or pressuring to work. The stove’s serrated pot-can accommodate a wide range of pot sizes and styles. It also comes with a lightweight, protective case.

Features

  • Weight: 2.6 oz
  • Measurements: 2x2x3 in
  • Boils one liter of water in just 3.5 minutes
  • Fuel: isobutene-propane
  • Self-sealing threaded canister fuel
  • Folding pot supports
  • Insulated Mug

Pros

  • Easy to set up and operate
  • Robust pot supports
  • Wind-Resistant

Cons

  • Cannot support a heavy pot

Solo Stove Titan – 2-4 Person Lightweight Wood Burning Stove

Solo Stove Titan - 2-4 Person Lightweight Wood Burning Stove

The Solo stove features a patented design with a unique double wall that creates ultra-clean gasification and secondary combustion. This allows fuel to burn more completely and with less smoke. It uses natural renewable energy, making it environmentally friendly.

It can boil water in four to six minutes. The stove is made of premium stainless steel and nichrome wire, and it comes with a free nylon storage sack.

It can cook food for two to six people. And it only requires small wood shavings or easy to find items such as dries twigs, pinecones, or leaves.

Features

  • Material: premium stainless steel and chrome wire
  • Assembled size: Height 7.9 inches, Width 5.1 inches
  • Weight: 16.5 oz

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Boiling time: 4-6 minutes
  • Built to last
  • Nature Friendly – uses renewable energy

Cons

  • Need cleaning after use to remove soot produced

Jetboil MiniMo Camping and Backpacking Stove Cooking System

Jetboil MiniMo Camping and Backpacking Stove Cooking System

This collapsible backpacking stove combines a precision cooking system’s versatility and efficiency in a convenient and portable form. It uses FluxRing technology to provide an unparalleled simmer control that allows temperature regulation by up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its 1-liter FluxRing cooking cup has an insulated cozy and metal handles for easier cooking and eating—additionally, the bottom cover doubles as a measuring cup and bowl.

Features

  • 1-liter FluxRing cooking cup with insulating cozy
  • Metal handles
  • Temperature adjustment range: 20 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Bottom cover doubles as a measuring cup and bowl
  • Push-button igniter
  • FluxRing Technology
  • 6 ounces

Pros

  • Unbeatable simmer control
  • Easy to light and use
  • One-year limited warranty

Cons

  • The igniter is temperamental

 How do I choose a backpacking stove?

Before you spring for the first backpacking stove you find, you need to consider several factors to ensure you get the best stove for your backpacking needs.

  1. Weight

Look for a lightweight and compact stove to reduce your hiking load and ensure you can fit it into your luggage. The last thing you need is an extra load that makes backpacking tiresome.

  1. Efficiency

Look for a stove that can heat water in a few minutes. The fewer, the better. This is essential to reduce fuel consumption and ensure you do not spend half your backpacking night trying to make a meal or boil a water cup.

  1. Altitude compatibility

Remember to take into consideration your elevation above sea level when choosing a camping stone. Also, make sure you can use it in freezing weather. Gas stoves tend to depressurize when exposed to freezing weather, so look for a stove that can work at a higher elevation or freezing weather.

How do you light a backpacking stove?

Now that you have decided what type of camping stove you need for your backpacking trips, you need to ensure you can actually use it. Imagine being stuck on top of a mountain and unable to use your stove because you cannot light it.

Here are the different approaches you can use to ignite your camping stove

Piezo Igniter

This is one of the best options as it uses a piezoelectric crystal to make a spark to light the stove. In most cases, the igniter comes attached to the stove, and you only need to push a button to create the spark.  It is also the best way to light a fire on a windy day as the breeze cannot put it out.

Matches

This is the best backup method for lighting a stove. Matches cost less than the other lighting options. However, they can become waterlogged and stop working, which is not a demerit for other lighting methods.

Check this too: Best Freeze Dried Meals for Backpackers

Lighter

This method is easy and reliable. Unlike matches, a lighter fire cannot be put out by heavy winds. And as long as it does not sink in a pond, the lighter cannot become waterlogged when you get rained on.

Fire steel

This method uses a magnesium rod and a piece of steel to create sparks in order to start a fire. It is the most outdoorsy way to start a fire. It is similar to using stones to start a fire but with a better chance of success. The metal will corrode over time due to the chemical reaction of placing two metals against each other, but this will only happen after months and months of use.

How much fuel do I need for backpacking?

This depends on how many people are going hiking with you and how often you intend to use your stove. If you are only going to be cooking for one, you can get away with packing a single canister of fuel.

It would also help if you plan your meals for your backpacking trip and supplement with ready to go meals that only need some water to rehydrate. If you intend to camp for more than one day, then several fuel canisters are necessary unless you want to end up eating cold meals.

If you plan to cook every day, then a canister a day is a safe bet, especially if you will be preparing breakfast and dinner every day.

Either way, you need to think about a plan B if your stove does not work or runs out of fuel. A campfire will still get the job done while keeping you warm and toasty.

How long do backpacking fuel canisters last?

One average one eight-ounce canister of fuel can last for three hours with continued use. But this can also vary from brand to brand. You also need to consider the flame size as a low simmer will use less fuel than a roaring boil. However, if you only need to use it for heating water to rehydrate your freeze-dried meals, one canister can last you an entire backpacking trip.

Here are some average lasting times for different brands of camping stove fuel;

Stove NameFuel TypeWater Boiled (per oz of fuel)
MicroRocket2L
PocketRocket 22L
SuperFly1.8L
SuperFly with Autostart Igniter1.8L
WindPro II1.8L
WhisperLite UniversalWhite Gas1.3L
Kerosene1.6L
IsoPro1.8L
WhisperLite InternationalWhite Gas1.3L
Kerosene1.6L
WhisperLiteWhite Gas1.5L
DragonflyWhite Gas1.6L
Kerosene1.7L
Diesel1.7L
XGK EXWhite Gas1.5L
Kerosene1.7L
Diesel1.9L
WindBurner 1.0L Personal Pot2.3L
WindBurner 1.8L Duo Pot2.3L
WindBurner 2.5L Sauce Pot1.7L
WindBurner 4.5L Stock Pot1.7L
Reactor 1.0L2.3L
Reactor 1.7L2.8L
Reactor 2.5L2.8L

How to conserve your backpacking stove fuel

  1. Cook once a day to reduce fuel consumption and help stretch the usage of your fuel.
  2. Prep before cooking to reduce the amount of time spent wasting fuel as you chop up ingredients to add into the pot.
  3. Cover the pot when cooking as the trapped steam will help to cook your food faster.
  4. Reduce liquids in food to reduce boiling time, ultimately reducing coking time.
  5. Soak ingredients before cooking to reduce cooking time.
  6. Opt for a freeze-dried meal that only requires hot water to rehydrate the food.

Conclusion

The best portable stoves for backpacking should be easy to use, easy to carry, and easy to clean. It should also be able to boil water or cook food fast. Lastly, it should be wind-resistant, cold-resistant, and altitude resistant.

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