Thursday, August 4, 2011

Light weight Hiking Stoves

Backpacking Stoves

I want to discuss light weight solo backpacking stoves that I carry on long hikes. When I go backpacking I try to carry the least amount of weight I can. Many hikers don't mind carrying 50+ pounds on a long hike of 7 days or more. Most people can carry a lot of weight 50 + pounds for over night or weekend hikes. I try to lighten my pack weight every time I hike.

Gas Canister Stoves

Gas canister stoves are heavy and require fuel tanks to burn, They are very good for group hiking but not for solo hikers. A liter of water will boil in a little over a few minutes. Depending on the number of hot meals eaten a day, you can boil about 8 liters per canister.

Alcohol Stoves

Alcohol stoves are very light weight but requires alcohol to burn which makes it heavier. They are very inexpensive and you can make them out of soda cans. Boil time maybe around 6 minutes. You have to carry about 2 to 4 ounces of fuel per day, around 14 to 28 ounces for a week. You must keep the fuel from spilling in your pack.

Wood Burning/Esbit Stoves

The lightest of all stoves. Boil time of one liter is around 10 minutes. Most wood burning stoves can burn solid fuel (esbit) or alcohol. I carry the Bushbuddy Ultra Wood Stove or the Four Dog Bushcooker LT Stove. The Bushbuddy is thin steel (144.6 grams - 5.1 ounces ) and the Bushcooker (58.4 grams - 2.58 ounces ) is titanium. You can almost always find wood to burn and you may carry a few solid fuel esbits if the wood is wet, each esbit block is 12 grams. For me these two stoves are my best options because of their light weight. No waste is created and you don't have to carry any empty containers back home.

Bushbuddy Stove

With 600 ml Pot

Four Dog Bushcooker

Bushcooker With 600 ml Pot


Burning wood or solid fuel leaves soot on the bottom of the pot. You will have to wipe or wash it off before packing it. You will have a longer boil time and after a hard day of hiking you may not want to wait that long. These stoves are mainly for solo hikers. You must carry a few solid fuel pellets (esbits) in case you have rain.

Below is a picture of some of the fire starters and fuels I take along with me on a hike.

Waterproof matches, lighter (also comes in a half size), fire stick, waterproof container for matches, hand sanitizer (sometimes used with cotton balls and a solid fuel pellet (esbit).

I often use clothes dryer lint as well as fire starter sticks to start my fires.

Let me know of some of your favorite backpacking stoves and fire starters you use.