Choosing a backpacking stove can be a confusing experience.  Most outdoors shops carry an assortment of brands and types, but the one they recommend as "the best" often turns out to be the most expensive.  There is no single, perfect stove for every backpacker, but there are important criteria that should be considered in choosing which stove is best for you.

  • Cost - What is the cost of the stove and any required accessories?
  • Weight - Just how much do you have to lug around?
  • Ease of Use - What does it take before you can start cooking a meal?
  • Dependability - What are the chances that the stove will stop working when you're 10 miles from the trailhead?
  • Fuel - How easy is it to find fuel, what does it cost, what are the upsides and downsides?
  • Stability - What are the chances that dinner will end up dumping on the ground? This is something that first time stove buyers rarely think about, but is one of the most important criteria for the experienced camper. Spill your dinner in the backcountry and going hungry will be the least of your problems. Every animal within five miles will be setting up camp with you. And if you happen to be in bear country ... well, you get the idea.