Heading up into the Rocky Mountains for a bit of an outdoor adventure tops many people’s bucket lists. So When my boss said take a few weeks off – in other words you’ve been laid off – I said okay I’m off for the great outdoors.
But first I needed to gear up. One of the most important items on the list was a wood burning backpacking stove (check out the section devoted to backpacking wood stoves in this article). And not one of the old fashioned clunky heavy stoves of the past, I wanted to make some updates and pick one that was light and efficient.
But which one is the best?
One of the many reasons picking the right backpacking stove is so challenging is because there are now so many options. In the past Solo Stove dominated the market but now you’ve got plenty of other options to choose from.
No matter where you look you’ll see reviews touting one brand over another, or one style over another – before you make a hasty decision you need to look at what you need out of your backpacking stove.
Do you need it to be windproof, rainproof, fast boiling, all of these features are important. And depending on where you expect to travel it might effect the brand you ultimately choose.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important features you should be looking for:
Weight: Of course for backpacking you need the lightest gear you can find. Your wood burning stove is no exception. The good news is that there are a lot of options – but still some are going to be lighter than others.
Durability: When you are banging around in the wilderness your gear needs to be able to take a hit. Running from a bear and jumping off a cliff might not be out of the question. The last thing you want after an experience like that is to find out your source for hot meals is broken and busted.
Number hikers sharing your stove: If you are going truly solo you can get by with a smaller stove. But if you are sharing your gear with fellow adventures you will probably have to go with a bigger backpacking stove. No one wants to wait for their morning coffee let me tell you – that bear has nothing on a grumpy hiker without coffee.
Fuel source: Knowing what kind of fuel will be on hand is an important determining factor as well. If you are in a heavily forested area with plenty of deadwood a wood burning backpacking stove is a great choice. However if wood is scarce or completely nonexistent you either want a very efficient wood stove or a stove that uses an alternate fuel source.
These are a few of the features you’ll want to consider. The bottom line though is what stove you enjoy using the most. And the fact that you are spending time out in the great outdoors.