Campfires are an integral part of American tradition. You can spend a full day hiking, making friends, and listening to the crackling of a good fire—or you can spend that time waiting for your food to cook.
Camp stoves represent a great way to supplement your backcountry cooking repertoire. The list of options is long, but if you’re after the best, you’re going to want to start your search with The Best Camp Stoves.
Luke Cuenco 06.11.21 Cooking is an important part of extended hiking and camping. For the average family hiking to a groomed site, this shouldn’t be a problem; most national parks provide grills and sell firewood at the ranger’s office, and some of the more dedicated hikers usually bring propane grills or their own large camp stoves. What do you cook when you’re alone with a handful of friends and weight is a big issue? That’s where the portability and packability of the best modern camping stoves come in. These compact cooking options take up little space and are ideal for travelers and adventurers. Whether you’re climbing to the top of a remote mountain, heading out into the wilderness for a wilderness adventure, or heading to a local campground for a weekend getaway, a camping stove will provide a hot meal and more. + – Table of contents
1. Jetboil MiniMo Cooking System – Editor’s Choice
Jetboil is one of the leading suppliers of portable camping stoves, and for good reason. Their compact cookers and integrated product range offer one of the most practical and high quality cooking equipment that any walker can enjoy. The MiniMo stove is equipped with a cooking control function that allows you to precisely control the temperature when cooking in camping conditions. The MiniMo features a push-button igniter, a large bowl for easy spoon-feeding, an insulated drink lid, and a fuel tank stabilizer to make the most of uneven cooking surfaces. The Jetboil MiniMo is available for $149.99, and replacement cartridges cost about $5 each. Pro/ Affordable fuel, modern high-tech design and a wide range of products specially designed for the mobile kitchen. Cons/Only cookware and not very large surface for use with pans or other cookware. Conclusion/ The Jetboil system is excellent if you are willing to fully commit to it. You’ll love the seamless integration and wide range of options the MiniMo gives you to prepare your favorite camping meals.
2. Solo Stove Lite Stove – A good value choice
If you don’t like to carry around extra fuel cans, the Solo Stove light is the best choice for you. The Solo Stove Lite is an autonomous stainless steel camping stove that can use alternative fuel sources such as sticks, branches, pine cones or other biomass found in nature. It is capable of boiling water in just under 10 minutes. The stove is small enough to be portable, but large enough to make good use of the cooking pot, so you can easily cook for about 2 people. Thanks to the design of the vents at the bottom of the bowl, the fire draws in fresh air of its own accord and gives the flames an extra boost for cooking. The Solo Stove Lite can be purchased for $70. Advantages / affordable price and no need to carry fuel cans. Disadvantages/ Takes up a lot of space compared to compact camp stoves and requires biomass to be prepared for combustion. Conclusion: This is probably the most environmentally friendly way to cook while camping, as you no longer have empty gas cans to throw away at the end of the trip. A good option if you want to carry as few separate items as possible.
3. Eureka Gonzo Grill camping stove – the best stove for a large group
This option is ideal for large groups of people who want to integrate and distribute their equipment throughout the group. While not as compact or portable as some of the other options on this list, the Gonzo grill has the most features and the most versatility, meaning you can prepare just about anything, up to fresh ground meat. The Gonzo Grill has multiple cast iron cooking surfaces that allow you to turn the stove into a grill or a skillet, depending on whether you’re grilling moose steaks or making pancakes for the crew in the morning. The large surface of the hob also allows you to prepare several hot dishes at the same time. Another great feature is that the Gonzo grill can use a standard propane tank and distribute the fuel supply to multiple Eureka grills or ovens with a single tank. The Gonzo Grill from Eureka is available for $189.95. Benefits / Greater versatility and larger cooking area than smaller camp stoves. Disadvantages/ Heavier and bulkier than other options Bottom Line / Ideal for groups of campers or campers who have a little more room for kitchenware.
4. MSR WhisperLite International Stove – Multi-Fuel Stove
MSR offers a wide range of different camping stoves, but the WhisperLite International stove stands out from the crowd. WhisperLite International is a hybrid design that can run on white gas, unleaded fuel straight from your car or ATV, and even kerosene. Fill the jerry can with fuel and pressurize it, that’s all. The cooking area is also quite a size, and I’ve found that a good way to keep everything together and ready to cook is to keep it all in a pull-top jar and put that directly in the backpack. The cooktop and legs are made from one piece of stainless steel, making them very durable and will last a lifetime. The MSR WhisperLite International is on sale for $109.95. For / Versatile fuel sources and robust construction Cons / The fuel source is highly flammable and can be dangerous if not handled properly. In short: ideal for long walks and ideal for use in the car as a reserve fuel.
5. BioLite Campstove 2+ – Multi-purpose stove
Charge your electronics while you cook The latest innovation is a hybrid design: The BioLite Campstove 2 is both a camping stove and a USB charger. If you want to keep your phone and other USB-powered gadgets charged, BioLite can do that while you heat up your favorite drink in camp. The BioLite system works with any biomaterial or fuel pellets you can find, and only requires an initial manual ignition to get started. The built-in battery can store up to 3,200 mAh of energy and can boil 1 liter of water in just under 5 minutes. Best of all, the system weighs only 2 pounds and shrinks to the size of the wide mouth of a 32-pound water bottle for easy storage and transport. If you’re worried about smoke contaminating your food or drink, you’ll be happy to know that the BioLite stove’s design creates a powerful vortex that produces a smoke-free flame. The BioLite Campstove 2+ is available for $149.95. Advantages / Integrated power supply that charges while the flame burns Cons: To keep the flame going, you have to get food. Conclusion A somewhat eccentric gadget, but one that has many advantages for the modern hiker/backpacker. Don’t forget the charging cables
Best fuel for camping stoves
Most camping stoves run on propane or butane. Butane tends to last longer, but propane cooks better at lower temperatures. Another option is to build a campfire, which has the advantage of not having to transport fuel, but has the disadvantage of being harder to light and getting soot on your cookware. To find out what works best for you, try out different methods and find the one that best suits your style. I often use multi fuel stoves to have options in case something changes while I’m not home.
Cooking in warehouses or rooms
If you want to use a camping stove in your tent, you should think carefully about the type of fuel you use. Propane and gasoline stoves pose the greatest danger, besides the presence of fire in the room. It is also not advisable to use a charcoal or kerosene stove indoors, as the rapid emission of smoke and CO2 can pose a serious health and safety risk to you and your family. The best way to use a camping stove indoors is with white gas, spirit or propane, which are safe if properly vented. The best ventilation when using a cooker in a tent is a vent in the tent roof, often built into the tent structure. I also recommend a low vertical, which can be as simple as unlocking the bottom edge of the door. If you have a CO2 problem, it will sink to the bottom of the tent because CO2 is heavier than air. Low Fidelity helps you stay safe, no matter what type of fuel you use. Make sure the cooking zone is safe before turning on the cooktop. This is ideal if you are cooling off outside the tent and need to be able to locate the source of the burning fuel to prevent accidental ignition.
Camping stoves, campfires and national parks
As a general rule, campfires are allowed in national parks. Open fires are generally only welcome in designated areas, and the use of campfires probably wouldn’t be bad in those areas either. I’m sure the park rangers won’t mind if you warm up a cup of coffee at the lake or somewhere safer, but you should always inquire about local regulations as they can vary from park to park. It’s also a good idea to know the fire situation for the day, so you can choose a suitable place to cook and avoid a forest fire. Remember, you are 100% responsible for your fire source, whatever it may be. Fire safety should be at the top of your list. I know this is true for me.
Can I fly a camping stove?
The camp stove itself shouldn’t cause any problems for the flight. Fuel sources, on the other hand, do. Airlines generally do not allow fuel sources in checked or carry-on baggage, simply because of the risk of fire and explosion. If you must fly with a cooker, plan ahead for fuel sources when you land at your final destination. If you have any questions, contact the TSA and they will have the final say.
How to use a camping stove
The use of the camping stove is different for each stove. The fuel sources must be lit normally and have a switch to turn them on, or you can light them with an external fire source, such as a lighter or a match. Before you go out with your stove, you should test it at home to be 100% sure that it works and is comfortable to use.
About the author
Luke Cuenco. Luke writes regularly for TheFirearmBlog.com, OvertDefense.com, AllOutdoor.com, and of course .com. Luke is a competitive shooter, gun enthusiast, reloader, outdoorsman and generally interested in all things outdoors. Luke is also a licensed private pilot and is in the process of obtaining his commercial pilot’s license in hopes of becoming a professional pilot. Luke’s other interests are all things aerospace and defense, and American Conservatory activities. Instagram: @ballisticaviation YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BallisticAviation thefirearmblog.com/blog/author/luke-c/ overtdefense.com/author/luke-c/ alloutdoor.com/author/lukec/ We are committed to finding, researching and recommending the best products. We receive commissions for purchases you make through the links in our product reviews. Learn more about how it works.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best backcountry stove?
Backcountry cooking is one of the best parts of any trip, but it can also be one of the most challenging. There’s a lot of trial and error involved in setting up a stove for cooking and cleaning up afterwards. That’s why I decided to write a guide on how to choose a backcountry stove for backcountry cooking. If you’re looking for the best camping stove, you need to understand a few things. Why and when you might use a stove, what to look for in a good stove and what to avoid in a bad one.
What is the best camping stove for backpacking?
With all the hype surrounding camping stoves these days, it’s hard to decide which one is the best. But to help you figure that out, we’re going to help you through a series of questions to help you decide what’s best for you. Stoves are an essential piece of gear for backpacking trips. You need a dependable means of cooking food and boiling water, and on any trip, you probably don’t want to haul out a full-size kitchen. But you don’t want to compromise on stove performance or reliability. We look at the top choices for backpacking stove reviews.
What are the best camp stoves?
Camping is a great way to spend time with the family and friends, as well as a fun way to get outdoors and enjoy nature. If you’re looking for a way to make your camping experience even more enjoyable, then the best camping stoves are the ones that will get the job done. Camping has come a long way over the past few years. You can now try all sorts of recipes, tools, and techniques that would have been impossible just a few years ago. But what’s the best way to cook outdoors? The best camp stove? Pressure cookers? We’ll answer those questions, along with many others, on the blog “Higher Yearning” where we focus on outdoor cooking.
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