It doesn’t matter whether you are backpacking for hiking, hunting or camping, a backpacking stove is an important necessity. There are other gears you need during your camping or hunting trip, which you can learn more about here. If you like to travel alone, you can try backpacking solo. You don’t have to worry about the cost too, because solo backpacking trips won’t cost much.
If you are backpacking to your favourite camping or hunting spot, there are some equipment you need to help you survive. This includes getting a backpacking stove.
The importance of having a backpacking stove
As you are travelling, it may be the case that you will feel hungry. In this situation, you will likely want to grab something to eat. If you are caught in a cold climate, you may even want to satisfy your hunger with freshly cooked meals or hot beverages. If you want to prepare yourself a hot cup of coffee along the trail, you’ll need a backpacking stove.
A backpacking stove is a portable cooking stove, made to be easily portable. For example, you can get a liquid fuel stove to help cook meals. You don’t need go through the trouble of building a campfire. Just buy an extra can of fuel and you are good to go.
Before making a huge purchase
There are various types of backpacking stoves available depending on your personal needs.
Whether you are a rookie or an expert backpacker, there are some factors you need to be aware of when purchasing a backpacking stove.
Having a suitable backpacking stove is important to ensure comfort and convenience. Here are 5 things you must consider before picking a backing stove.
1. The type of backpacking stoves you want to get
First thing first, there are three different categories of backpacking stove which are canister stoves, liquid fuel stoves and alternative-fuel stoves. Each stove function differently.
The canister stove is the most basic type of backpacking stove, hence its suitable for beginners. They are lightweight and require little maintenance.
Next, I would like to talk about liquid fuel stoves. A liquid fuel stove runs on white gas, which is highly refined to only contain minimal impurities. If you like to travel around internationally for backpacking trips, the liquid fuel stove would be a good fit for you. You can find refillable fuel bottles in most countries.
Lastly, I’ll talk about the alternative-fuel stove. This type of stove include stoves that run on wood or solid-fuel tablet. This type of stove is considered to be one of the lightest backpacking stoves, if you compare it with other kinds of stoves.
2. Size of your travel group
The next factor to consider before picking your portable stove is the number of people you are travelling with. Whether you are having a solo trip or a group consisting of two or more backpackers will make a huge difference as to how much food you need to prepare. Some stoves can cater for a larger group, while some stoves are only capable of cooking a small amount of food.
If you are a solo traveller, you can consider getting a stove which is more compact and lightweight since you will only need to prepare meals for yourself. The stove will take up less space in your backpack too.
However, if you are travelling with five or more backpackers, your stove needs to be able to cater for more individuals. Either you have to get more than one burner, or you have to get a stove which is capable of cooking huge amount of food. In this scenario, you can consider getting a stove which is more powerful such as a multiple compact two-burner.
3. The weight of your backpacking stove
The size of your travel group correlates with the weight of your stove. The weight of a backpacking stove can be as light as 2.6oz going up to 14.7oz. It is best to pick the lightest stove to ensure that it does not weigh you down as you thread along.
If you are backpacking with larger groups, you will require a heavy-duty stove which will be heavier. Of course, you will have many friends around you which can help lighten your burden.
4. How long can the fuel of can last
Next, you have to know that fuel on backpacking stove does not last forever. You need several backup cans of fuel in your backpack to refuel.
Generally, fuel canister have three different sizes which is 3.5 ounces, 8 ounces and 16 ounces. An 8 ounce canister of fuel can burn up to 3 hours continuously on high heat. However if used efficiently, it can last up to a week worth of fuel.
Therefore, it is important to know how long are you planning to go on the trip, and the size of your group. This prevents you from carrying unnecessary load that will weigh you down. On the flipside, you can avoid the possibility where you run out of fuel and you are forced to eat uncooked meals.
5. Know the surrounding conditions of the place you are travelling to
Finally, you need to consider the climate and condition of the place you are backpacking to. Are you camping at a local forest, or are you going to further places that involves climate changes?
The kind of weather can affect the type of backpacking stove you use. For example if you are going to somewhere with colder temperatures, it is best to avoid picking a canister stove. This is because canisters can easily depressurise, resulting to an unstable flame.
On the other hand, liquid fuel stoves work well in both cold and warm temperatures. Liquid fuel provides consistent heat regardless of the weather conditions, which means it’s a better choice for backpackers who travel in extreme climate.
These are the few things you should consider before selecting on a backpacking stove. If you manage to get a good one, it will definitely serve you effectively on your backpacking trips.
In the event where your backpacking stove malfunctions, you may need to resort to primitive fire-making. I hope that the tips I shared helped you out.