How To Choose a Backpacking Stove (infographic)

backpacking stove

Buying a new backpacking stove is an important decision. But how to choose the right model from the numerous options available on the market? There is a quick and easy guide to help you get the stove that fits your needs and budget.

First and most important step in a stove selection is to determine your  trail cooking style by answering a simple question “What is your stove for?” Here are some of the most common types of backcountry cooking:

1.Base Camp Cooking
If you are a Camp Chef and you have to cook for a group of people in mountain expedition or for winter hikes, choose  liquid fuel stoves. They have a high heat output, fast boiling time and can work in extreme sub-freezing temperatures.

2.No “Real” Cooking
If you are a lightweight/solo hiker, and you just need to boil 1-2 cups water to rehydrate your freeze-dried meals or DIY dehydrated meals, you can choose any stove, however, upright canister stoves, alcohol stoves and fuel tablets will help you to keep your backpack weight as low as possible.

3.Gourmet Backpacking
If you plan some gourmet cooking or even baking on the trail, choose remote canister stove. It’s easy-to-use, has great heat output and stable enough to hold a large pot or frying pan.

How to choose a backpacking stove

Once you know your cooking needs and stove type that fits them, you can start looking at such factors as fuel efficiency  and availability in the regions where you are planning to hike.

Check out our infographic guide to choose the right stove that complements your style of trail cooking and fits within your budget.  You’ll know about different types of stove systems and also pros and cons of each option.

Click on the image below to download guide

how to choose backpacking stove

Our recommendations

When you have decided on the type of stove, you only have to choose the right model. Here are some of backpacking stove recommendations in each category:

Remote Canister Stoves:

Kovea Spider Stove
MSR WindPro II
Optimus Vega

Upright Canister Stoves and Integrated Systems:

Soto Amicus Stove
Optimus Crux 8019260

Alcohol Stoves

Trangia Spirit Burner
Mini Alcohol Stove 

Solid Fuel Stoves

ESBIT 1100ML Lightweight Solid Fuel stove

Liquid Fuel Stoves

MSR WhisperLite
MSR Dragonfly

MSR XGK-EX Multi-Fuel Mountaineering Expedition Stove
Kovea Booster Stove

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  1. nico on March 2, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Nice idea… 😀 So, I think I am a Base Camp Cook… 😀
    Best regards from Germany!


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