The best camping stoves 2023: for tasty and convenient campsite meals

Collage of eight of the best camping stoves
(Image credit: Future)

The moment you fire up one the best camping stoves, after a long day in the winter backcountry, is a beautiful one. The anticipation of a warm meal or a hot brew is only enhanced by the cold conditions and additional challenge of the winter season.

At this time of year more than any other, having one of the best camping stoves makes a huge difference. This is because the conditions we find difficult are also difficult for our stoves. When freezing temperatures and strong winds are on the cards, you need a stove that will hold its own.

The dozen stoves we feature here have a reputation for quality and performance, no matter what the elements through at you and your expedition or campsite. For us, the best camping stove is the SOTO Windmaster – a tiny, lightweight stove that's ideal for backpacking, and holds the pot very close to the flame for wind resistance. The Optimus Vega also comes highly recommended thanks a special mode for winter use, and turbo boost that cuts boil time dramatically. 

The best camping stoves

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Best camping stoves overall

SOTO Windmaster camping stove on white background

(Image credit: SOTO)
An ultralight backpacking stove that boasts excellent wind resistance


Fuel: Propane / butane
Packed weight: 100g/3.5oz
Packed size: 8.8 x 9 x 4.7cm/3.5 x 3.5 x 1.85in
Boil time (500ml): 2min 14secs

Reasons to buy

Very lightweight
Tiny packed sized
Good wind resistance
Integrated ignition

Reasons to avoid

No hard case for storage
Fiddly four-prong pot support

As a classic screw-in type stove, the SOTO Windmaster has all the traditional advantages of a conventional canister-top design, namely, quick and easy set-up plus minimal weight and pack size. This makes it a good choice for extended backpacking trips or fast and light missions. However, as its name suggests, the Windmaster also offers superior performance in breezy and gusty conditions compared to most of its screw-in rivals. 

The secret is its effective engineering. The concave burner head has a small but well-designed protective lip, while the low-profile pot support places the pot very close to the flame. Together, these features combine to offer excellent wind-resistance. 

Where a sudden gust often blows other canister-top stoves out, this one just keeps on burning. It also offers fairly precise simmer control, which makes cooking easier. The four-pronged pot support is stable in use, while the wide burner head distributes heat evenly. 

Unlike cheaper stoves, the Windmaster also has some clever hidden tech. This includes a micro regulator for more consistent power output, even when temperatures drop or when your gas is running on empty. There’s also an integrated ignition, which is always a useful extra. This one is neatly enclosed within the burner stem too, while the sparker at the burner head is a strip of metal rather than a flimsy piece of wire, which makes it less liable to get brittle and snap.

Read our full SOTO Windmaster review

Optimus Vega camping stove on white background

(Image credit: Optimus)

2. Optimus Vega

An award-winning lightweight stove designed for four-season use


Fuel: Butane/propane
Weight: 178g/6.3oz
Packed size: 130mm x 70mm x 65mm/5.12in x 2.76in x 2.56in
Boil time (1000ml): 4 mins 30 secs

Reasons to buy

Year-round use
Capable of cooking in -20°C/-4°F
‘Turbo Boost’ cuts cooking time by 20%

Reasons to avoid

Not the lightest or smallest stove

A serial winner of outdoor magazine gear tests, the Optimus Vega is one of the few stoves designed to take winter temperatures in its stride. Flip the gas canister upside down (there are support legs to hold it in place) and the heat gets a ‘Turbo Boost’ – ideal for cold temperatures or if you need to cook in a hurry. Boiling or cooking in sub-zero temperatures may sound extreme, but early mornings at altitude in summer can see the mercury tumble. This winter mode does burn more fuel, so for summer it’s wiser to save gas and have the canister the right way up. The stove itself sits low to the ground, which makes it more stable, and a foil windshield shelters the flame from a breeze.

Primus Firestick camping stove on white background

(Image credit: Primus)

3. Primus FireStick

A neat, clever, backpacking stove with a minimalist design


Fuel: Propane / butane
Packed weight: 105g/3.7oz
Packed size: 36mm x 103mm/1.4in x 4.1in)
Boil time (1000ml): 3 mins 30 secs

Reasons to buy

Neat fold-up cylinder shape
Wind protection from pan supports

Reasons to avoid

Less stable than a stove with a hose

As all experienced backpackers know, the pointy edges of a stove can stick out in a backpack and burners are vulnerable to knocks. Primus has solved both of these issues with the innovative FireStick, which folds into a cylinder similar in size to a fat tube of sweets, with the arms that support a pan during cooking clicking together, protecting the burner.

The stove screws on to a gas canister, creating a tall, reasonably wide platform, and a regulated valve lets campers adjust the flow of gas and thereby control the temperature. The wide arms also provide a degree of wind protection. If saving weight is a priority, a titanium version of the same stove shaves off 16g (0.6 oz) and costs $30 (£30) more.

Campingaz Twister Plus PZ camping stove on white background

(Image credit: Campingaz)
A compact stove with a built-in piezo lighter to make life easier


Fuel: Propane/butane
Packed weight: 274g/9.6 oz
Packed size: 110mm x 110mm/4.3in x 4.3in
Boil time (1000ml): 3 mins 45 secs

Reasons to buy

Easy connection to canister
Compact size
Built-in piezo ignition
Competitive price

Reasons to avoid

Less choice of Campingaz canisters

With its ‘Easy Clic’ connection to the gas bottle and in-built ignition system (the piezo or P) the Campingaz Twister Plus PZ is a quick and simple stove to set up, and there’s no fumbling around for matches or cursing as the wind blows out a match before you’ve had a chance to light the burner. A neat heatshield protects your fingers from the flame as you turn the knob that adjusts the supply of gas and heat.

When not in use, the hard, plastic case provides more protection than many carry solutions for stoves. Just be aware that it will only work with canisters that have the Campingaz Easy Clic valve.

Read our full Campingaz Twister Plus PZ review

The best all-in-one camping stoves

Coleman FyreStorm PCS camping stove on white background

(Image credit: Coleman)
A complete backpacking cook system, with stove, pot, sleeve and lid


Fuel: Propane / butane
Packed weight: 486g/1lb 1oz
Packed size: 204mm x 136mm/8in x 5.4in
Boil time (1000ml): 4 mins 30 secs

Reasons to buy

Stove and gas canister fit in the pot
Piezo for lighting burner
Complete, compact cook system

Reasons to avoid

Works best with its own pot
Heavier than other hose-mounted stoves

It’s deeply satisfying to be able to pack up a cook system into a compact bundle, rather than have a separate stove, pot and gas canister. With the FyreStorm PCS, the stove and a small gas canister fit inside the pot for great portability. In use, the long hose keeps the gas canister away from the stove, the piezo ignition delivers a match-free spark to the gas, and the wind shield shelters the flame from the breeze.

The heat is adjustable, allowing for a vigorous boil or a simmer, while the lid and neoprene sleeve provide extra precaution against accidental scalding. So that’s all bases covered for campsite chefs.

Read our full Coleman FyreStorm PCS review

Vango Atom and Ultralight Heat Exchanger camping stove on white background

(Image credit: Vango)
A great beginner-friendly camping stove for new backpackers


Fuel: Butane / propane
Packed weight: 507g/17.9oz
Packed size: 17 x 12 x 11cm/6.7 x 4.7 x 4.3in
Boil time (500ml): 2min 38 secs

Reasons to buy

Great value set
Includes sturdy cooking pot
Nests neatly as an all-in-one system

Reasons to avoid

Not as sophisticated as its rivals
Packed size is slightly bulky
Not particularly wind-resistant

If you’re attracted to the convenience of personal cooking systems like the popular Jetboil MiniMo or the MSR Windburner but can’t afford the sizeable price tag, this kit is well worth a closer look. It bundles Vango’s ultralight Atom stove with a sturdy cooking pot and various accessories, giving you pretty much all you need to knock up a basic meal for two hungry hikers. As such, it’s a far more affordable alternative to those pricier all-in-one stove systems. 

The no frills Atom stove is basic but extremely light and compact, with a competitive power output of 3,000w. The Vango pot, which simply sits on top of the stove’s spindly folding arms, has a practical real-world capacity of 1 litre. This is larger than most, making it easier to cater for two, whether you’re heating water for backpacking rations or just brewing up two steaming mugs of tea or coffee. 

The pot has a similar heat exchanger base to the Jetboil design, resulting in improved fuel efficiency and faster boil times. It also has a chunky clear plastic lid with an easy-grab silicon tab and a sturdy folding handle – simple and straightforward features, but ones which plenty of other brands seem to get wrong.

The Vango cook kit also includes two small plastic bowls and folding sporks, plus a gas canister stand. It all packs away neatly into the pot, with room to spare for a 230g gas canister (which is the bigger size that you’ll find stocked in most camping shops). It’s a tidy system that is comparable in overall weight to most Jetboil systems, though it is admittedly a bit bulkier due to the larger capacity cooking pot.

Read our full Vango Atom and Ultralight Heat Exchanger review

The best fast boiling camping stoves

Jetboil Flash camping stove on white background

(Image credit: Jetboil)

7. Jetboil Flash

One of the fastest boiling backpacking stoves you can buy


Fuel: Propane/butane
Packed weight: 371g/13oz
Packed size: 104mm x 180mm/4in x 7in
Boil time (500 ml): 1 min 40 secs

Reasons to buy

Lightning-fast boil time
Gas and stove store inside the pot
Push-button ignition

Reasons to avoid

Only works with Jetboil FluxRing pot
Better for boiling water than cooking

For any backpacker in urgent need of a cuppa, there’s only one place to turn. The Jetboil Flash is astonishingly fast to boil water, its FluxRing roaring away like a… well, jet. This makes it ideal for rehydrating dried meals, as well as brewing a tea or coffee (an optional £15/$20 coffee press turns the pot into a cafetiere). Fold-out legs attach to the base of the gas canister, improving stability; push button ignition starts the fire without messing around with matches; and a color-change heat indicator shows when water is boiling (if plumes of steam haven’t given you a clue). For portability, the stove and a small gas canister slide into the pot, while a small bowl protects the FluxRing.

We’ve been using a first generation Jetboil Zip for almost a decade, the stove sounding the death knell for our flask, and it’s still a pack essential for any long day in the hills.

The best two-burner stoves

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Pro camping stove on white background

(Image credit: GSI Outdoors)
A sleek stove for cooking at camp and ultra-compact when stored


Fuel type: Gas
Heat output: 11,000 BTU per burner
Ignition: Dual piezo
Dimensions (stored): 51 x 31.5 x 3.5cm / 20 x 12.4 x 1.4in
Weight: 5kg/11lb
Extras: None

Reasons to buy

Just 1.4 inches high when stored
Space and power for efficient cooking
Flexible regulator hose for manoeuvrability

Reasons to avoid

Stainless steel is hard to keep clean
Minimal wind resistance in the design
No carry handle on the stove

Car camping means you can live a little larger when it comes to the size and weight of your gear, but space is still limited. While the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Pro 2 Burner Stove is nothing near the compact and light nature of a backpacking stove, it’s one of the more space efficient camp stoves on the market. This duel-burner stove folds out with two flip-out legs into a full-size tabletop camp-cooking stove. It then folds into itself to become a thin 1.4 inches high to slide into most tight storage situations to pack in a car or camping van.

This stove features two flame adjusters so different heat can be used on each burner at the same time, with 11,000 BTU available output on each burner for plenty of heat and cooking power. The side windscreens are a more minimalist style and not full rectangles, so the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Pro 2 Burner Stove is not as ideal for cooking out in the wind. The stove also does not have a handle once it’s closed, so the carrying case (not included) is recommended for storage and transport.

Primus Tupike Portable camping stove

(Image credit: Primus)

9. Primus Tupike Portable Stove

A camping stove that transforms a piece of utilitarian equipment into a piece of art


Fuel: Gas
Packed weight: 9.5lb / 4.3kg
Packed size: 18.5 x 12.8 x 4in / 46.9 x 32.5 x 10.1cm
Boil time (1000lm): 4min 20sec

Reasons to buy

Excellent simmer control
Stainless steel and brass construction
Easy to clean

Reasons to avoid

Expensive compared to some models
Limited wind protection

The Tupike comes with a non-stick griddle, which enables you to add more variety to the camp menu. After dinner, a stainless steel drip tray and removable pot supports make clean-up quick and easy. When not in use, the wooden handle locks the stove cover in place. Inside, a spring-action lock holds the regulator safe and secure.

The Tupike’s stainless steel, oak, and brass construction turns a utilitarian piece of outdoor equipment into a work of art. And when it’s time to cook, don’t worry if you left the matches at home – with the piezo ignition, the burners fire up without matches or a lighter. Individually controlled twin 10,000 BTU burners allow the camp chef to boil water quickly for pasta, while simultaneously simmering the sauce. Folding steel legs lift the stove higher off the camp table for more comfortable cooking ergonomics. The cover and adjustable side panels shield the burners on windy days. 

Jetboil Genesis Base camping stove on white background

(Image credit: JetBoil)

10. Jetboil Genesis Base Camp Stove

A compact, high performance camping stove if your budget will stretch


Fuel: Propane canister
Packed weight: 6.2lb / 2.8kg
Packed size: 9.8 x 4.6in / 24.9 x 11.7cm
Boil time (1000ml): 3min

Reasons to buy

Compact design
Burner control
Auto-ignition levers
Storage bag

Reasons to avoid

Average boil time
Expensive compared to rivals
Missing wind screens

Traditional two-burner camp stoves start with a rectangular box of stainless steel or aluminium, but Jetboil’s Genesis stove brings a completely different approach to camp cooking. This neat circular stove design stacks two burners for transport and storage. At camp, the unit unfolds, ignites easily and twin burners deliver 10,000 BTUs of heat. Three minutes is all it takes to have boiling water ready for coffee or pasta. The stove can be linked with other stoves to create a series of burners to feed a hungry crew and works efficiently paired with Jetboil’s cookware system options. 

Attaching the windscreen when the winds kick up keeps the cooking process in high performance mode. Compatible with a standard propane bottle, the kit includes a stuff sack with a separate pocket to protect the regulator. 

Small, compact and light, the Genesis two-burner stove is a very worthy addition to a short camping trip.

Coleman Triton Propane two-burner camping stove on white background

(Image credit: Coleman)

11. Coleman Triton Propane 2-burner

A super powerful, double-punching twin top stove


Fuel: Propane
Size: 16.93 x 9.45 x 2.76in / 43 x 24 x 7cm
Weight: 4 lb 13oz / 2kg
Boil time (1000ml): 4min

Reasons to buy

Proven design
Value pricing
Burner control

Reasons to avoid

No auto ignition
Small wind panels

The two basic components needed for a memorable camping trip are food and shelter. Feeding a gang of hungry campers requires a tasty menu, fresh ingredients and a way to bring it all to life, and Coleman’s Triton camping stove tackles that job with ease. Propane powers 22,000 BTUs through two independently controlled burners. With a 12in and 10in pans cooking side by side, there’s plenty of room for variety when it comes to answering the inevitable “what’s for dinner?” question. 

Coleman stoves use pressure-control technology to deliver consistent heat even in cold, windy temperatures, and when you have a half-empty fuel bottle. Adjustable wind panels help too. With enough heat to cook a feast for a hungry family, the Triton stove should be at the top of your gear shopping list.

The best wood-burning camping stove

Solo Stove Lite camping stove on white background

(Image credit: Solo)
A lightweight wood-burning campsite stove with an intelligent design


Fuel: Twigs, pine cones
Packed weight: 255g/9oz
Packed size: 97mm x 108mm/5.7in x 4.25in
Boil time (1000ml): 8-10min

Reasons to buy

Fun to use
No worries about gas running out

Reasons to avoid

Heavier and bulkier than most stoves
Slower boil time
You need to find your fuel

Solo Stoves bring out the hunter-gatherer in campers, due to their fuel source – twigs. Children will love foraging around for dry tinder to burn, and there’s something deeply satisfying about being self-sufficient, rather than relying on gas. However, there’s always the risk that heavy rain will have soaked available twigs or that there’s no combustible material around (an alcohol burner is available as an accessory for £22.50/$20).

The Solo Stove has a double combustion process – oxygen drawn in through the bottom vents feeds the main combustion, while heated air rising through the double wall is fed through the top vents for an extra oxygen boost, enhancing the stove’s efficiency. Cooking pots and kettles then perch on top. This stove is slightly heavier than others, but you save weight by not having to carry fuel.

Read our full Solo Stove Lite review

Camping stove comparison table

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Camping stoves comparison table
Camping stoveRRPPacked weightBoil time
SOTO Windmaster$65 (US) / £55 (UK)100g / 3.5oz2min 14secs (500 ml)
Optimus Vega$95 (US)/£105 (UK)178g / 6.3oz4 mins 30 secs (1000 ml)
Primus FireStick$90 (US)/£90 (UK)105g / 3.7oz3 mins 30 secs (1000 ml)
Campingaz Twister Plus PZ£30 (UK)274g / 9.6 oz3 mins 45 secs (1000 ml)
Coleman FyreStorm PCS£75 (UK)486g / 1lb 1oz4 mins 30 secs (1000 ml)
Vango Atom and Ultralight Heat ExchangerFull set: £65 (UK)507g / 17.9oz2min 38 secs (500 ml)
Jetboil Flash$110 (US)/£120 (UK)371g / 13oz1 min 40 secs (500 ml)
Robens Fire Tick and Cookery KingFull set: £127 (UK) / €88 (EU)1095g / 38.6oz3min 31secs (500 ml)
GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Pro 2 Burner Stove$249.95 (US)5kg / 11lbN/A
Primus Tupike Portable Stove$250 (US) / £250 (UK)9.5lb / 4.3kgN/A
Jetboil Genesis Base Camp Stove$260 (US) / £250 (UK)6.2lb / 2.8kgN/A
Coleman Triton Propane 2-burner$75 (US) / £75 (UK)4 lb 13oz / 2kgN/A
Solo Stove Lite$90 (US)/£90 (UK)255g/9ozN/A

How we test camping stoves

At Advnture we endeavor to test every product we feature extensively in the field. That means one of our team of reviewers and writers – all experienced outdoor specialists active across the US, UK, Europe and Australasia – taking it out into the terrain and climatic conditions that it’s designed for. If, for any reason, this isn’t possible, we’ll say so in our buying guides and reviews.

Our reviewers test camping stoves in a range of outdoor scenarios – car camping, backpacking, base camping – assessing their value and performance against the claims of the brand in terms of heat output, fuel consumption, packability, simmer control, weight, ease of assembly/packdown, transportation, robustness and features.

For more information, see how Advnture test products.

Choosing the best camping stove for you

Whether you're taking the kids on a camping break or going fast and light in the mountains, getting the right camping stove is an important decision. Getting some warm sustenance into your system after a day of hiking is a vital factor in making any backpacking or camping trip a success. That's why a good stove is so high on our camping checklist.

The best camping stove for you is the one that suits your ambitions. In this day and age, the variety of stoves and the myriad features they offer can be a little bit overwhelming too. Many backpacking stoves are designed to be lightweight and stable in a strong wind, while others boast rapid boil times. If you're cooking for the kids from your camping chair, you might want a dual-burner stove that can take a couple of large cooking pots, rather than something designed for one.

These are the most important factors to consider when choosing the best camping stoves:

best camping stoves: GSI Outdoors Painnacle Pro 2 Burner stove action shot

Double-burner stoves are ideal for basecamp cooking or family vacations (Image credit: Kim Fuller)

1. Boil times

The equivalent of a car’s 0-60mph acceleration time, most manufacturers will advertise how long it takes a stove to boil 0.5 litres of water. The time is only a guide, and depends on how much gas is left in the canister, the ambient temperature, the strength of the wind (and the effectiveness of any windshield), the type of gas (typically propane/butane), and even the shape and insulation (lid) of the pan. If you're sometime who likes to fill your camping mug up quick and get back on the go, look for a speedy boil time.

Note: Water boils at 100°C (212°F) at sea level, but for every 150 metres (500ft) you ascend the boiling temperature drops by about 0.5°C (just under 1°F). At 2,400 metres (8,000ft), about halfway up Mont Blanc, water boils at just 92°C (198 °F).

2.  Ignition

A built-in piezo igniter, similar to the spark-creator of a domestic gas hob, is most convenient for lighting gas, but some stoves rely on matches. 

Imagine you've braved the elements for hours, are soaked to the skin and the only thing keeping you going is the thought of that freeze-dried meal and a piping hot cup of coffee. You find shelter in the woods, hastily erect your best one-person tent and reach for your matches. They're sodden. At this point, you're going to wish you had a stove with a built in igniter. 

A stove that requires matches is fine for family holidays, where you can store them in the car or know they'll stay dry in the tent, but for expeditions in the wild you might want to consider an igniter.

best camping stoves: a camping stove being lit

Some stoves require external ignition, while others boast a built-in piezo igniter (Image credit: Getty)

3. Windshield

A decent breeze can seriously impact the performance of the best camping stoves, so a protective windshield around the burner is a useful feature. There's nothing more frustrating then waiting an age for that water to boil when it is blowing a hoolie, which is likely if you're wild camping up high.

Consider what you are willing to compromise on. A windshield is great if you're camping in the mountains, but it does represent a little bit of extra weight, not ideal if your priority is going fast and light. Can you instead check the wind direction and plan to camp in a sheltered spot? Can you use natural barriers like boulders or trees to find that shelter?

best camping stoves: Campers pouring hot water warmed by a camping stove

If you don't have a windshield, you can always employ your partner... (Image credit: Getty)

4. Size and weight

If you're peak bagging and looking to shave off every last gram so that you can merrily skip from summit to summit, you're going to need a lightweight stove. There's no point setting out with the best lightweight camping gear if your stove weighs a ton.

However, a strong, stable stove with a wide diameter burner and a broad pan support is very reassuring when you’re chopping veg up with your camping knife and throwing it into a pan alongside a vat of pasta in boiling water. 

Most of the weight will be in the gas canister anyway, so it’s the stove’s fold-up size that matters more – some will encase the burner and gas canister inside their cooking pot.

best camping stoves: A camper preparing a stove

A lightweight option is best for taking into the hills and mountains (Image credit: Getty)

5. Burn control

Boiling water may be a race to 100 degrees, but there are occasions when it’s very handy when the best camping stoves have the ability to regulate the heat for more sensitive cooking. If you're just making a brew or heating an vacuum-packed backpacking meal, this won't apply.

However, if you're trying to do your best Heston Blumenthal impression with all your camping utensils in an attempt to impress the other campers, you'll want easy access to the flame-control valve. The last thing you want is burnt sausages.

6. Canister compatibility

Most stoves will connect to a screw-thread canister, but some, such as Campingaz, have a non-thread connection, so will only work with a non-threaded, Easy-Clic canister, which could be limiting if you need re-supplies in a far-flung area. If you’re concerned, small adapters are available.

best camping stoves: A pair of campers enjoying a hot meal

Most stoves will connect to a screw-thread canister (Image credit: Getty)

7. Fuel type

Most of the best camping stoves burn a mix of propane and butane. Propane is better for colder temperatures, and butane for warmer weather. If you're going to be heading out for a winter wildcamp, look for a canister with a higher propane content. Whereas, butane is ideal for the perfect summer camp.

Some multi-fuel stoves can also burn paraffin (kerosene) and unleaded petrol, which work better at higher altitude and can be easier to source in remote areas of the world.

best camping stoves: A kettle heating up on a camping stove

A dual burner stove is ideal for campsite cooking (Image credit: Getty)

8. Stove type

Screw-in or integrated upright canister camping stoves: Probably the most popular type of stove for most backpackers and wild campers, these stoves consists of a lightweight burner head that screws on to the top of a propane, butane, or isobutane gas canister. While lightweight, highly packable, and very easy to use, these stoves often aren't the most powerful and don't perform quite as well as others in windy conditions. 

Best for: all-around backpacking, thru-hiking, and wild camping. 

All-in-one/personal cooking system: These consist of a burner head with a screw-in fitting along with an integrated cooking pot. Both components lock together in a compact nesting system, making them the second most packable varietal after screw-in/integrated models. Generally, these systems offer fast boil times and excellent fuel efficiency, even when you're doing your cooking in windy conditions. 

Best for: solo campers or couples who value convenience and efficiency.

Liquid fuel and multi-fuel camping stoves: These run on white gas, kerosene (paraffin) or petrol, and some multi-fuel stoves (like the MSR Whisperlite) can run on all three. Generally speaking, these stoves are robust, reliable, and work well in all conditions. On the downside, they do tend to be heavy, bulky, and require frequent cleaning and maintenance.  

Best for: large groups or for expedition basecamp use.

Wood camping stoves: These stoves run on foraged fuel such as twigs, pinecones, and other small pieces of wood. While this does mean you'll need to find these when you get to your campsite, it also means you won't have to carry fuel from home on your trip.  

Best for: lovers of old-school aesthetics and/or campers who would prefer to forage for fuel rather than schlep it into the wilds in their backpacks.

Hose-fed/spider camping stoves: These stoves have a burner head that sits on tripod legs and a braided metal hose that attaches to a gas canister. Because these stoves sit closer to the ground, they are typically more stable and burn better in strong winds than their screw-in siblings. On the downside, spiders are usually much bulkier and heavier. 

Best for: Backpacking and wild camping in a larger group.

Alcohol camping stoves: These stoves burn non-pressurised denatured alcohol (methylated spirits or ‘meths’). While cheap and ultra-reliable, they offer no control over power output, are slower to cook, and not as fuel efficient as gas canister-type stoves or pressurised liquid fuel stoves. 

Best for: Campers and backpackers on a budget, Scout and DofE groups.

Solid fuel camping stoves: These are simple, compact and lightweight stoves that were originally developed for use by the military. Solid fuel is smokeless, energy-efficient and leaves no ash, but is highly toxic, so can only be used in well-ventilated areas. 

Best for: gram counters and minimalists. 

Single/double burner camping stoves: These stoves have one or two full-size burners and normally use tall ‘twist and click’ butane (or propane-butane) canisters or larger, refillable gas bottles. Cooking with one of these stoves is very similar to cooking on the stove at home - they have auto-ignition, great simmer control, and are are far more powerful than models designed for backpacking. On the downside, they're far too bulky and heavy to be carried any kind of distance. 

Best for: family car-camping trips

Alex Foxfield

Alex is a qualified Mountain Leader, adventure writer and content creator with an insatiable passion for the mountains. A Cumbrian born and bred, his native English Lake District has a special place in his heart, though he is at least equally happy in North Wales, the Scottish Highlands or the European Alps. Through his hiking, mountaineering, climbing and trail running adventures, Alex aims to inspire others to get outdoors. He is currently the President of the London Mountaineering Club, training to become a Winter Mountain Leader, looking to finally finish bagging all the Wainwright fells of the Lake District and hoping to scale more Alpine 4000ers when circumstances allow. Find out more at (opens in new tab)

With contributions from