How to Decide on a Backpacking Wood Stove


Backpacking woods stoves are a wonderful weight saving selection for boiling water on backpacking trips due to the fact they remove the have to have to carry fuel and a fuel container, such as an isobutane canister or alcohol bottle. As lengthy as you can come across dry wood to burn, and it does not take considerably, and you are someplace that does not have a fire ban, you are great to go. They can also add some cheer to your camping knowledge in spring or autumn when the days are quick and the evenings are cool, although obtaining considerably significantly less effect than a campfire and leaving considerably significantly less trace of your go to.

Backpacking Wood Stove Forms

There are generally two varieties of wood stoves: Can-primarily based stoves, such as wood gasifier stoves, and Folding stoves that collapse flat for effortless packing. Stoves also differ in the ease in which you can re-fuel them for the duration of a burn. For instance, most can-primarily based stoves should be fed from the major or restarted when they run out of fuel. Rather, quite a few folding wood stoves have a side access port that you can feed extra wood into although they’re nonetheless burning, with no obtaining to take away what ever you are cooking.

Can-Style Backpacking Wood Stoves

Some can-primarily based stoves, like the Solo Stove Lite and the Bushbuddy are referred to as wood gasifier stoves due to the fact they have a two-stage burn, that generates heat by burning wood and a by-item referred to as wood gas, producing them quite hot and effective, although lowering all the wood you place in them to a fine ash. They’re generally double-walled cans that pipe wood gas from the inner can to the major of the outer can exactly where it can be burned as fuel, thereby generating extra power from a single wood load.

Fuel is added to can-primarily based wood stoves from the major and burns down

You do not have to use a wood gasifier stove for backpacking considering the fact that a basic can with holes punched into it will also perform. I when made use of Ikea Cutlery Holders as wood stoves and they worked quite nicely as lengthy as you made use of a windscreen with them. Having said that, the issue with can-primarily based wood stoves is that they’re not quite packable and can take up valuable space in your backpack. They also get quite sooty, in a way that is tougher to include than a stove that can collapse flat.

Folding-Style Backpacking Wood Stoves

Most folding-style wood stoves can be packed flat, which tends to make them considerably a lot easier to backpack with considering the fact that they take up so tiny space. It is also a lot easier to include the soot on their exterior considering the fact that you can just slip them inside a ziploc baggy for transport. You nonetheless have to assemble them ahead of use, but this is a trivial course of action that entails fitting with each other the sidewalls and a burn pan on the bottom to avert scorching the ground that they sit on. Most of the time, the sidewalls act as pot supports and a windscreen, so they’re definitely really self-contained.

The Emberlit FireAnt Wood Stove is collapsible and can be stored flat in your backpack.

For instance, the Emberlit FireAnt Titanium Wood Stove is collapsible and can be stored flat in your backpack. Numerous folding style stoves also have a refueling port reduce into a single of the sidewalls so you can add fuel to a pre-current fire with no obtaining to quit cooking to add extra fuel. You can even insert a longer piece of wood into the refueling port and just push extra in, as the other finish is consumed. This is quite handy and can remove obtaining to saw or chop bigger pieces of wood into smaller sized ones.

The QiWiz Firefly UL has a refueling port in that you can feed wood into although the stove is alight

When folding wood stoves are not as effective as gasifier stoves, it definitely does not take extra than eight-10 minutes to boil two or extra cups of water on a single. When that is five minutes extra than a canister gas stove, it is nonetheless a quite great tradeoff thinking about how considerably pack weight you will save by not obtaining to carry fuel. Backpacking woods stoves also have a considerably lighter environmental effect considering the fact that they do not use petroleum-primarily based fuels and generate empty fuel containers, like made use of canisters, plastic ethanol alcohol bottles, white gas cans, that have to be recycled or buried in a landfill.

Wood Collection

If you are in a forest location, the wood required to fuel a wood stove is generally really plentiful. I generally choose up a couple of handfuls of tiny sticks lying on the ground and perhaps some pine cones to support commence the fire due to the fact they make great tinder. There’s seldom any have to have to carry a saw, course of action wood, or go quite far to collect it. I commence my wood stove fires with vaseline covered cotton ball and a magnesium striker, but you could just as very easily commence it with dry tinder and a butane lighter.

If it is rained and all the wood obtainable is wet, it can support to carry some ESBIT fuel cubes so you can boil water or cook meals for a day or two till the climate clears up. Just stick an ESBIT cube inside the wood stove and use it as a mixture pot stand and windscreen, like you would with wood. It can also support to prop the fuel cube up greater in the stove so that it is closer to the bottom of your cookpot. Considering that fuel cubes weigh a half-ounce each and every, and a single will boil two cups of water or extra, the added safety of carrying a handful of extras amounts to quite further weight.


Backpacking woods stoves can be a wonderful way to cut down or remove the further weight of carrying stove fuel and fuel containers. They’re not for every person considering the fact that they are slower and dirtier than alcohol, canister, or liquid fuel stoves, but they’re a lot of exciting to use and significantly less impactful than most other backpacking stove options.

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