Camp Stove Types

There are alot of camping stoves out there. Our Gear Guide below focuses on what are commonly referred to as "Backpack" Stoves...

Liquid Fuel Stoves

Liquid Fuel stoves use white gas, which burns hot and clean due to lack of impurities.  Its cost per ounce is cheaper than gas canister, and it performs well in cold temperatures. Many of these systems can use other types of fuels such as diesel, kerosene, car gas or even jet fuel. This versatility makes liquid fuel systems a great choice where the fuel source is unclear.


  • These stoves are often more stable in terms of their low positioning

  • Reusable fuel bottle (as opposed to having to discard fuel canister)

  • Better cold temperature and high-elevation performance

  • Fuel level is easy to determine, as fuel is stored in a bottle with an operable top.


  • They tend to be heavier than canister systems

  • These systems usually require maintenance and priming

  • It is possible to spill fuel

  • If you use fuel other than white gas, impurities can cause system to require more maintenance/cleaning

  • Cost is higher than other systems

The weight of a full fuel bottle, stove and fuel hose/pump is 574g.

Canister Stoves

Canister stoves are used by make campers because of their size and ease of use. Many models fold up tiny and weigh only a few ounces. Canister stoves mount onto threaded gas canisters that contain a mixture of propane and isobutane.  


  • Size and weight

  • Self-sealing canister when not is use

  • Good flame adjustment

  • They require no priming, and light very easily

  • Pressure regulators on some models keep output consistent over life of canister and in varying temperatures


  • Fuel cost is greater as compared to other systems

  • Some models have smaller arms that can limit the size of cooking vessel.

  • It can be hard to know how much is "left in the tank"...sometimes this requires a second canister to be brought along

  • Canisters output can weaken in cold weather,

  • Canister needs to be disposed of properly

  • You generally cant fly with these canisters, making international travel a potential challenge

The weight of a full (3.5 oz/small) fuel canister and (titanium) stove 236g.

Integrated Canister

Integrated systems feature the stove screwed on top of the gas cannister in a stacked fashion. This configuration can get water boiled quickly, however this tall configuration can lead to tip over.

Remote Canister

Remote canister stoves sit on its own base, and used a hose to connect to a fuel canister.

This type of stove sits on its own base and has a fuel hose that connects it to the canister. Although lightweight, the hose will add a few ounces to your pack. Some of these models can have larger arms to accommodate larger cooking vessels.

Alternative Fuel Stoves

Solid Fuel Tabs

Solid Fuel stoves are extremely light and small


  • These systems are inexpensive

  • LIghtweight and small

  • Fuel tabs are easy to light and are reusable


  • It takes a bit longer to bring water to a boil

  • Fuel tabs can have a distinct odor and may leave residue on cooking vessels

The weight of a solid fuels stove and i fuel tab is 100g.

Wood Burning Stoves

Gathering wood and sticks at campsite allows for no fuel to be transported


  • Simple and lightweight

  • There are some versions that ca actually be used to charge devices


  • Need to find dry fuel

  • These may be prohibited in areas that have fire risk

Denatured Alcohol Stoves

These stoves can be extremely light and easy to transport.


  • Few parts, simple stoves

  • Silent burning

  • Denatured alcohol is cheap and easy to find in the US.


  • Windscreens usually required

  • Alcohol does not burn as hot as canister fuel

  • Denatured alcohol may be hard to find internationally

The weight of a denatured alcohol stove (no fuel) is 96g.