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Camping

Best Camping Stove

When planning and preparing for a camping trip, food supplies and their corresponding preparation are typically among the top priorities. There are plenty of camping stove options to meed the needs of your adventure, whether that involves a cozy car camping trip with all the trimmings or a minimalist backpacking adventure through unforgiving high altitude terrain. Current stove options offer an array of fuel types, sizes, weights, amount of hear produced (measured in BTU), and additional amenities to further simplify and enhance the cooking process. These stoves are typically designed with a particular purpose in mind, so consider the type(s) of camping you will be engaging in as well as what you will need from your stove to help simplify your search for the best camping stove to meet your needs.

MSR Pocket Rocket Backpacking Stove

Just hold it in your palm and marvel that it fits there, let alone serves as a top-performing backpacking stove. The compact and powerful MSR Pocket Rocket weighs a minuscule 3 ounces (not including the canister), and can have a liter of your water boiling in around 4 minutes or less. The adjustable flame and included Wind Clip help you customize your cooking experience to meet your individual mealtime needs and weather conditions. Setting up and lighting this stove is a breeze, and it can pack away into an itty bitty pocket or corner of your pack. A lot of users are often surprised at this stove's efficient use of fuel as well.

Jetboil Flash Cooking System

Jetboil is notorious for creating all-in-one systems that simplify the cooking process and anticipate the numerous needs of backpackers. The Flash Cooking System is a bit heavier than some other comparable backpacking stoves on the market, but makes up for it in terms of convenience, functionality, and performance. The cooking cup boils your water, and handily doubles as a storage container for all of the stove components (including the lid which you can use to sip your soup or coffee and the base cover which also doubles as a measuring cup). A simple push-button is all that is necessary to ignite the system, and the neoprene cozy surrounding the cup has a heat indicator and allows you to handle the cup when hot. The stabilizing tripod for the fuel canister and the locking clip-in design to connect the cup and burner make this stove one of the most stable options available.

Solo Compact Backpacking Stove

Although the science behind this wood-burning stove is fascinating in all its convective and combustive glory, here's the short and sweet gist of it: it burns wood in order to boil your water and cook your food - without all the smoke and scorch circles. An obvious benefit of this stove is the fact that you don't have to pay for or carry fuel. It is also extremely durable, and many users are appreciative of the lack of moving parts.

Esbit Ultralight Folding Titanium Stove

The Esbit Titanium Folding Stove is ideal for minimalist backpackers, and those who are simply trying to lighten their pack load. Made from ultralight titanium, this stove weighs a minuscule 0.4 ounce and folds into a more flattened and compact state for enhanced portability. It runs on Esbit solid fuel, which consists of lightweight tablets that can be ignited with a match. Solid fuel also offers the added benefits of working at freezing temperatures and high altitude climates.

MSR Reactor Stove System

The MSR Reactor is serious beast of a stove when it comes to backpacking in harsh conditions. This stove’s windproof technology allows for speedy, efficient, and reliable boiling of water for yourself or a group of backpackers. Although it is one of the heavier stove options on this list, the extra weight and stormproof reliability are worth serious consideration if your adventures tend to involve inclement weather and heavy winds. That level of beast-mode, however, doesn’t really allow for additional options such as simmering or getting creative with your backpacking meals. It also doesn’t come cheap. So, if you are in the market for a tough, reliable stove that can boil lots of water in the worst of weather, this may very well be your stove. Check out other options on this list such as the Jetboil Flash for a stove that is less expensive and offers a larger variety of cooking options (but isn’t as stormproof).

Camp Chef Pro 60 2 Burner Propane Stove

The Chef Pro 60 is an all-around high performing camping stove. Due to its large size and powerful burners, it is best suited for camping trips with lots of mouths to feed. Don't be shy when packing food because each burner has 30,000 BTU of cooking power, giving you plenty of heat to cook even the finickiest of menu choices. This beast also has attached legs and comes with handy side tables, both of which make it a virtually self sufficient cooking station regardless of where you are camping. The adjustable heat dial allows you to smoothly transition between simmering and boiling, and the windscreens shield the burners and help minimize heat loss.

Stansport Outfitter Series Propane Stove

The Stansport Outfitter Series propane camping stove is powerful, easy to use, and cooks well in varied weather conditions. It offers 25,000 BTU per burner and boils water exceptionally fast. The rounded edges help avoid accidental scrapes and also make cleaning easier. This stove is a standout favorite due to its exceptional temperature control valves, allowing you the flexibility to easily shift between boiling, simmering, and everything in between. The burners are huge and protected by windscreens for increased efficiency and minimal heat loss.

Jetboil Flash Cooking System

Jetboil is notorious for creating all-in-one systems that simplify the cooking process and anticipate the numerous needs of backpackers. The Flash Cooking System is a bit heavier than some other comparable backpacking stoves on the market, but makes up for it in terms of convenience, functionality, and performance. The cooking cup boils your water, and handily doubles as a storage container for all of the stove components (including the lid which you can use to sip your soup or coffee and the base cover which also doubles as a measuring cup). A simple push-button is all that is necessary to ignite the system, and the neoprene cozy surrounding the cup has a heat indicator and allows you to handle the cup when hot. The stabilizing tripod for the fuel canister and the locking clip-in design to connect the cup and burner make this stove one of the most stable options available.

Sterno Single Burner Folding Stove

The Sterno Single Burner Folding Stove earns top marks for simplicity, portability, and versatility. It is inexpensive, durable, and can be used with multiple forms of fuel (canister fuel, fuel tablets, charcoal, or even wood). The wide metal grate offers a large and stable cooking platform, and can even double as a grill if you want to forgo pots and pans altogether. Aluminum paneling helps direct heat to your cooking area and handily doubles as an integrated windscreen to minimize heat loss. If properly cared for, this stove can last for many years to come due to the low-tech components and lack of moving parts.

Camp Chef Outdoor Camp Oven

If you and your camping crew love the idea of camping but also love more elaborate homemade meals, the Camp Chef Deluxe Outdoor Oven may be your new best friend. It offers virtually all the amenities of your home stove and oven in a portable package. The oven can heat up to 400° F, the two oven racks are removable, and the interior space easily fits a 9-by-13-inch pan (did someone say cookies?!). The two burners can meet any stove top cooking needs and adjustable heat-control dials give you plenty of flexibility to simmer, boil, and get creative with your meal preparation. Pop up the windscreen for added protection if the weather starts acting up.

Cindy J.
Eat. Sleep. Backpack. This creed may as well hang over every window and doorway in our home. The coffee table is laden with the latest editions of Backpacker magazine. My email is overflowing with daily updates on the latest and greatest gear. Having a room or space large enough to fit all of our backpacking equipment is a requirement when deciding on a place to live. If you're ready to talk backpacking, let's talk backpacking.

My husband and I have backpacked through diverse terrains ranging from the rugged wilderness areas of Yosemite and King's Canyon to the more beginner friendly paths of Lake Tahoe. Next year we are even planning to undertake the glorious 200+ miles of the John Muir Trail. We have hiked 12,000 foot passes, traversed rushing rivers, set up impromptu camps on everything from solid snow to granite outcroppings, and seen the wonders of hidden pristine lakes and patches of snow that remain year-round. Our experiences with wildlife including bears, deer, rattlesnakes, and bugs that we didn't even know existed have helped us refine our gear list to be as prepared as possible in the most light-weight, compact way. We have near perfected the art of campsite setup and teardown and can literally create a home away from home in mere minutes and pack it back up in the same amount of time. My husband's insatiable need to be in possession of the latest technological backpacking advancements has allowed us to experiment with many different types of equipment and even varying editions of the same piece of equipment. Even our honeymoon was a 55-mile backpacking adventure. Let's just say it's an obsession.

I look forward to helping you sift through the many options in the backpacking world to find the gear that will help make your trip (and many more to come!) unforgettable. Happy trails!
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