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Top 5 of the Best Backpacking Stoves

Backpacking stoves serve an irreplaceable purpose for the seasoned hiker or camper.

Portable stoves make it much more manageable to cook food on long treks or in particularly difficult climates. It saves time and energy and also makes it much easier to cook food such as meat and fish more safely.

But no two backpacking stoves are created equal. Luckily, we found five killer backpacking stoves that are perfect for just about any situation they could call for.

Related: Essential Cooking Gear for Camping

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Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stove

This backpacking stove is affordable and great for campers who need a more compact design. Etekcity’s stove is full collapsible down to 3.15 x 2.36 x 1.81 inches and is made of aluminum alloy and stainless steel.

It’s also really compatible with a number of different fuel canisters, so users aren’t stuck with one often overpriced brand.

If safety is a concern for you, this backpacking stove has great adjustable control for fast max heat output down to the slightest simmer. Etekcity also adheres to a strict “leave no trace†principle when it comes to their camping and backpacking products. As a result, this stove burns clean with no debris or soot left before.

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Solo Stove Titan & Solo Pot 1800 Camp Stove Combo

Solo Stove is a little bit on the pricier side, but it certainly makes sense why it costs a pretty penny. This backpacking stove features a special double wall design that burns gas clean with as little smoke as possible. If you plan to backpack in areas that already suffer from smoke pollution, this stove and pot combo would be perfect for your trips.

This eco-friendly stove uses twigs, leaves, pinecones, and wood chips as fuel and completely gets rid of the need to lug heavy and polluting canisters of fuel on your trek.

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Jetboil Zip Cooking System

Do you plan on hiking or exploring wilderness areas that have rough terrain, lots of potentially dangerous wildlife, or plan on hiking in situations that require you to cook and eat quickly? If so, Jetboil’s outdoor stove may be worth looking into.

Jetboil boasts that their FluxRing-powered cooking system can boil water in under two minutes and use half the typical amount of fuel consumption that other stoves use. The ultra-portable design features a cooking pot that doubles as a drinking mug, measuring cup and bowl. This is one of the best choices for travelers who need to sanitize water or cook food quickly and with minimal gear.

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Fire-Maple Fixed Star 1 Personal Cooking System

If you’re a camper who needs something inexpensive, useful, and powerful enough to cook food for you and multiple travel companions, Fire-Maple has you covered with their little backpacking stove.

This small stove is compact and features a heat exchange system that is very efficient, meaning you won’t run out of gas as quickly as other stoves. The stove also comes with heat-proof covers and handles so you can go from cooking to traveling in minutes without having to wait on substantial cooldown.

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Jetboil MiniMo Camping Stove Cooking System

If you’re planning on a solo trek and want a backpacking stove that is small and easy to carry but powerful enough to cook decent meals, Jetboil’s Minimo may be perfect for you.

This cooking system is optimized for a low spoon angle, making it ideal for personal cooking and eating. At only 14.6 ounces, you’ll probably forget you even have this stove in your backpack. If you want to create the level of cuisine you actually like, this stove can simmer, boil, saute, and fry anything you might want on the go. Camping doesn’t have to equal bad food.

Now that we’ve covered some of the best backpacking stoves, let’s explore a little more about what backpacking stoves are and what you can do with them.

What is a backpacking stove?

A backpacking stove is a type of portable cooking device used for heating and cooking food in the wild or abroad in areas without access to conventional cookware appliances.

Back in the day, backpacking stoves were substantially less portable than the modern, lightweight devices we use now. They could weight over fifty pounds and be several feet in diameter, making them quite cumbersome to carry up steep cliffs.

Now backpacking stoves are very portable and can serve different purposes. Several forms of backpacking stove technology include solid fuel stoves, gas cartridge stoves, liquid fuel or alcohol stoves, and pressurized liquid multi-fuel stoves.

What can you cook on a backpacking stove?

Portable stoves are awesome because they are so boundless in what they can produce! A few things on can cook or make with a modern backpacking stove include:

  • Hot coffee
  • Oatmeal
  • Grits
  • Scrambled or fried eggs
  • Various types of meat, such as bacon, beef, pork, poultry, seafood, etc.
  • Bread
  • Hot dogs
  • Kabobs
  • Individual pizzas
  • Quesadillas
  • Some types of casserole
  • Fritters
  • S’mores
  • Pies
  • Burgers
  • Instant noodles
  • Instant rice
  • Pasta
  • Pancakes
  • Potatoes

The options are pretty much endless when you take into consideration what you can and want to take with on your backpacking trip in terms of cookware, pans, pots, etc.

What makes a stove the best camping stove for backpacking?

The main types of backpacking stoves include:

  • Canister stoves. Low-maintenance stoves that screw onto the top of fuel canisters that hold pressurized gases.
  • Liquid fuel stoves. Stoves that connect to refillable bottles of liquid fuel.
  • Alternative-fuel stoves. Stoves that run on my eco-friendly material such as wood or pellets.

These stoves vary in weight and quality. There are numerous features that one should look for when purchasing a backpacking stove:

  • Lightness, if that is a preference for you
  • Quality, if that is a preference for you (High-end backpacking stoves tend to be on the heavy side
  • Inexpensiveness
  • Durability
  • Boil time
  • Convenience and ease of use
  • Easiness to light
  • Safety
  • Environmental impact

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