Some people opt to take backpacking food that doesn't have to be cooked at all, to avoid having to bother with a stove, but then there are few things better than a big hot meal at the end of a long day of backpacking. And if you want a big hot meal, you are going to need a backpacking stove. And not just any backpacking stove will do, you should be trying for the best backpacking stove. You have a wide variety of fuel sources when choosing a backpacking stove, but there are still a few things to keep in mind.
Best Backpacking StoveFeatures to look for on backpacking stoves.
- Lightweight - If you're backpacking then you are carrying that backpacking stove. And if you are having to carry it, there is no reason to carry a heavy backpacking stove when there are many excellent lightweight backpacking stoves available. Lighten your load a little and get a lightweight backpacking stove.
- Fuel Source - You have a couple of different fuel sources to choose from when shopping for backpacking stoves. The two big ones are canisters and liquid gases, but there are others, like solid fuels and even plain old wood, that you should definitely consider when shopping for a new backpacking stove.
Best Backpacking Stove ReviewsReviews of some of the better backpacking stoves.
- Snow Peak LiteMax Stove - At a mere 2 ounces, or 53 grams, the LiteMax is one light backpacking stove. It's a canister stove, so you will have to add the weight of one or more canisters to that, but still, impressively lightweight. This is a fairly basic unit, but it will boil your water and cook your food just fine, and you cant argue with that weight. If you have a preference for canister stoves, this is a great choice.
- Trail Designs GramCracker - Many people will probably never have heard of solid fuel, which is also sometimes called Esbit tabs, but they are a small chunk of material that will burn for quite a while when lit. The GramCracker will hold these tabs, and at just .1 ounces, or 3 grams, you will never even know you're carrying it. You have to factor the weight of the Esbit tabs in to that, and maybe a few accessories, like a wind screen, but still, an incredibly light backpacking stove option.
- MSR SimmerLite Stove - The SimmerLite is another very lightweight stove, this time for liquid fuels, more specifically white gas. It weighs 8.5 ounces, or 240 grams, which is still very light for a good backpacking stove. So if you like the reusability of liquid fuel containers, the SimmerLite is a great option.
- Vargo Titanium Hexagon Wood Stove - One last backpacking stove option, this time using wood as a fuel source. The great thing about wood is that there's no need to drag your fuel around with you, apart from maybe a few starting materials. Of course you may have to deal with fire bans, or wet wood, or even a lack of wood, but as long as you have a good idea of the conditions you are going in to, wood stoves are a great option for backpackers. This particular one is a simple enough hexagon, which weighs 4.1 ounces, or 116 grams.