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Being able to heat water for a hot beverage or make a warm meal makes our outdoor adventures more enjoyable and comfortable. Everyone in our family has an ultralight backpacking stove in their pack.
There are many variations of lightweight stoves, we think these are the best backpacking stoves to carry that are still affordable.
We use our stoves when we go hiking, mountain biking, motorcycle riding, hunting, snowshoeing and even kayaking. Having a small stove can offer a quick heat source to warm yourself or create an enjoyable meal.
Often, Montana summers do not allow us to have open fires because of the dry conditions and high fire danger. Backpacking stoves allow us to boil water or cook a hot dog without sparks and the threat of pissing off Smokey the Bear.
Late season hunts or snowshoe trips are cold and building a fire can sometimes be difficult when things are wet or frozen (using a Swedish Fire Log can help with this too). It can take a lot of time to build a fire once a suitable area has been found making the stove a much faster and easier option.
BRS-3000T Backpacking Stove:
This is by far my most favorite stove for our outdoor adventures. It is an incredibly portable cooking stove and heats up like a champ. An economical little stove that has treated me well for several years now.
It’s ultra-compact size (2″ x 1.5″ x 1.5″) and lightweight (0.9 ounces) allows it to fit into small cook sets with ease. Mine will fit easily in either my Toaks 750ml Titanium pot or my Toaks 550ml Titanium pot with room to add other important essentials.
My personal kit is a Toaks 750ml titanium pot filled with the essentials.
Inside is my BRS-3000T stove, aluminum foil (to wrap and cook food), two bullion cubes, a few loops of a thin wire (to hang meat over the flames), tea, coffee singles, and a Toaks folding titanium spork.
This setup is light and compact but provides me with everything I might need for an extended outing.
If I had one negative critique of this mini propane stove it would be that it has a small platform to cook on.
Not a big deal though, I use it exclusively for boiling water in small containers to make my Mountain House meal, beef stew, at camp or on the trail. It still makes my list as one of the hiking stoves.
MSR Camp Stove (Pocket Rocket 2):
Although not as compact and portable as the BRS, the MSR Camp Stove is an outstanding little stove.
It has the typical quality that you expect from a MSR backpacking stove and will nestle nicely in your pack. This little giant weighs in at 2.6 ounces and measures 2x2x3 inches.
The MSR stove is one of the first ultralight camping stoves that we purchased. It is one of the best mini camping stoves and we use it frequently.
It has a larger cooking platform than the BRS which works well with bigger cook sets but is still a decent portable stove. Boils water quickly and is a durable little sucker.
Lixada Twig Stove:
This fun little twig stove folds up flat and can go anywhere. It can burn wood or be used with an alcohol burner. When we take this stove out it is usually used as a wood-burning camp stove.
I have used it on many occasions when I needed something small and didn’t want to carry a camp stove fuel canister. The biggest benefit of this “twig stove” is that unlike other styles of wood burning backpacking stoves, it is super easy to assemble.
I also like the fact that you can continue to add fuel to this stove as needed. You are not limited by the backpacking stove fuel that you can carry. Because it burns both wood and alcohol it is the best multi-fuel stove.
This compact camping stove also comes with a decent little nylon pouch to carry it in. Being a small camping stove and burning multiple fuels makes this a very user-friendly addition to your portable camping stove collection.
DIY Alcohol Camp Stove:
Although there are commercially made alcohol stoves on the market, I prefer to make my own. The best alcohol stove can be made from a few recycled materials.
Used beer cans with a screw-top lid work very well and are easy to acquire. They do not take long to build and are super inexpensive. This means you can have a cheap camping stove that is still effective.
The weight of an aluminum alcohol stove is surprisingly light.
I prefer to carry denatured alcohol in my pack when I use this type of stove so that in the event of a spill it won’t hurt my pack or food. Using an alcohol stove backpacking is limiting, but it is a quick and reliable heat source.
The other plus to using denatured alcohol is that you can burn it in your tent without the risk of carbon monoxide.
This type of stove is susceptible to wind and it can take a few minutes to heat up, especially in colder weather. Once the liquid has vaporised and the stove is rolling, it is just as fast to boil water as any gas stove.
Choose a stove and try it out. You may want to try more than one just for the variety and to see which one you prefer to use.
Stoves for Backpacking and Hiking
We would be hard-pressed to pick the best camp stove for backpacking. Finding a backpacking wood stove that also burns a second fuel is a bonus. Tools that have multiple uses when you are out camping, hiking or backpacking is a must.
Spending a lot of time outdoors means you need a backpacking camp stove that is reliable, portable, lightweight, and efficient. These same qualities should be looked at for a hiking stove. You don’t have to camp overnight to use these stoves. Day camps are just as enjoyable and they are just as useful.
We use our small stoves for various adventures and rotate through them frequently. Sometimes, you just want to drink your tea or coffee somewhere in nature.