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  • Writer's picturePaul Burrows

Best Camping Stove for Camping and backpacking

Updated: Jun 25

Light weight camping stoves for food and hot drinks on the go.

As the spring and summer seasons approach, many outdoor enthusiasts, including myself, start planning their adventures and contemplating the essential gear to bring along. One crucial piece of equipment that often comes to mind is a portable stove. Whether you're embarking on a day trek or preparing for an extended trip lasting several weeks, having a reliable stove that fits comfortably in your backpack is essential for cooking meals and enjoying hot beverages on the go.

When considering the type of stove to choose, several factors come into play

Size and Weight

Portability is key when it comes to backpacking stoves. Look for compact and lightweight options that won't add unnecessary bulk to your backpack. Stoves made of lightweight materials like titanium or aluminium are popular choices as they strike a balance between durability and weight.

Fuel Type

Backpacking stoves typically use various fuel types, including canister stoves, liquid fuel stoves, and solid fuel stoves. Canister stoves are popular due to their convenience and ease of use. They use pre-pressurized canisters containing a mix of propane and butane, providing a reliable heat source. Liquid fuel stoves, such as white gas or multi-fuel stoves, are more versatile and efficient in extreme weather conditions but require more maintenance. Solid fuel stoves use tablets or cubes as fuel, offering a lightweight and compact option but with slower cooking times.

Cooking Style

Consider your cooking style and the types of meals you plan to prepare. If you prefer simple meals that require boiling water, a minimalist stove with a compact burner may suffice. However, if you enjoy more elaborate cooking with simmering capabilities, look for stoves with adjustable flame controls.

Simplicity and Ease of Use: Look for stoves that are easy to set up, ignite, and operate. Some stoves feature integrated ignition systems or piezo igniters, eliminating the need for matches or lighters. Quick and hassle-free assembly and disassembly are particularly valuable when you're on the move.

Efficiency and Performance

Fuel efficiency is important, especially for longer trips where resupplying fuel may be challenging. Stoves with efficient fuel consumption can help you carry less weight and reduce the need for frequent refueling. Look for stoves that offer good heat output and quick boil times, ensuring you can cook your meals efficiently.

Durability: Backpacking stoves need to withstand the rigors of outdoor adventures. Look for stoves made from durable materials and with sturdy construction. Stainless steel and high-quality aluminium are often used for stove components, offering durability without excessive weight.

Safety Features

Safety is paramount when using a backpacking stove. Look for stoves with built-in safety features such as flame control valves, sturdy pot supports, and stability features to prevent accidental spills.

Environmental Considerations

Some stoves are designed with environmentally friendly features, such as efficient fuel combustion and reduced carbon emissions. If environmental impact is important to you, consider stoves that prioritize sustainability.

By considering these factors and evaluating your specific needs, you can choose a backpacking stove that fits your requirements. Additionally, reading reviews and seeking recommendations from experienced outdoor enthusiasts can provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision. Remember, a reliable and efficient stove will not only enhance your outdoor cooking experience but also contribute to the overall enjoyment of your spring and summer adventures.

1. Vango Compact Stove

Vango compact stove on a white background

Vango Compact Stove

I literally take my Vango Compact stove with me everywhere weather its a day out or a fortnight camping. When I'm family camping I find having this Vango Compact invaluably as I can put it in a small pocket in my bag knowing its there if I need it but it takes up minimal space making it great to whip out on a long walk. The stove takes a screw on gas can such as the Coleman c100 making it a very compact combination with a combined weight for both stove and fuel of just 200g. When you combine that with the fact that the price for the Vango Compact stove is particularly low we think that it makes an ideal emergency or back up stove but after testing the model while out and about id also personally recommend it for any weight conscious backpacker or hiker.

Size Folded 9cm x 8cm

Power 3000w

Weight 100g

Fuel Screw on canisters

Boil time 1L 4 Minutes

2. Jetboil MiniMo

Image of a Jetboil showing the metal handle, insulating cosy, push button ignition a d simmer control

Jetboil MiniMo

I simply love Jetboil systems. Jetboil are a cutting edge company to never fail to come up with new innovations to make life on the trail more comfortable. We looked at the Jetboil MiniMo which is one of Jetboil's 3 season stoves which is aimed at the backpacker wishing to keep their system lightweight, be able to boil water as well as cooking food. The MiniMo has clearly made an impression on the backpacking and trekking community as it have achieved 4.8 stars on Amazon. It is significantly more money than the Vango but is the Jetboil MiniMo worth it?

Well firstly this Jetboil is a complete cooking system meaning that you get the stove incorporating Jetboil own flux ring technology, cooking pot, cooking pot cosy and stabilising feet to keep the system stable while cooking. the only thing not included is the gas. in terms of size, sure it could be smaller but everything including a small canister of gas folds inside the system for carrying so the points it loses for size we think it makes up for in functionality. Jetboil recommend their own brand fuel for their stoves which is a high performance 4 season fuel.

Size Folded 15cm x 12.5cm

Power 2600w

Weight 340g

Fuel Screw on canisters

Boil time 1L 2 Minutes Jetboil MiniMo Jetboil Power Fuel

3. Jetboil Flash

Jet boil highlighting the colour changing indicator, the insulating cosy and the push button starter

Jetboil Flash

The flash as the name suggests is quick, very quick in fact with bringing 1L of water to boil in just 1 minute 40 seconds! The flash is aimed at the camper who wants to fix up a hot drink or re-hydrate noodles of rice and then get going again as fast as possible. The flash is light and compact too making a real consideration for anyone looking for a light camping stove that wont hold you up waiting for your water to boil.

The Jetboil flash comes in various designed including the Java which turns you Jetboil into a French press for fresh coffee in the fresh mountain air!. This model also comes with automatic ignition making it easy to light without matches or lighters.

Power 2600w

Weight 371g

Fuel Screw on canisters

Boil time 1L 1 minute 40 seconds

Jetboil Flash

Jetboil Flash Java Kit

Jetboil Flash Camo

4. MSR Pocket Rocket 2

MSR pocket rocket along with the included cook set and measuring cup

MSR PocketRocket 2.0

Sitting somewhere between the Vango Compact and both of the Jetboil systems we have looked at is the MSR Pocket Rocket 2.0 this is a very compact, efficient and light system which has proved a huge hit with backpackers, trekking enthusiasts, camper and climbers. its a great compromise for those who want a cooking system but don't need the 1L capacity of the Jetboil systems but want a bit more bang of their buck compared to the simplicity of the Vango Compact. This stove has achieved a respectable 4.7 stars on amazon and has become a big hit. Although not as fast as its competitors when it comes to boiling 1L of water it should be remembered that the MSR Pocket Rocket is a 600ml system rather than the full litre. this all adds up to what can only be described as an ultra light system.

Size Folded 4.3cm x 3.3cm

Weight 73g

Fuel Screw on canisters

Boil time 1L 3.5m

This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase using one of my links I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. Many thanks for your support


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