Best Camping Stoves

Camping stoves allow you to prepare hot food while out in the woods. It’s a lot safer than building a campfire and holding pots and pans over it, and it allows you to control the temperature in which you cook the food. While not absolutely necessary while camping, camping stoves make it a lot easier. Here are some of the best camping stoves.

How to Pick the Best Camping Stove

Type

Not all camping stoves look the same. They’re divided into the following categories.

Canister stove: They don’t require much maintenance and are easy to use. You can screw them onto the threaded tops of propane or isobutane canisters and get to cooking.

They’re small and lightweight, quick to light, and some models provide an adjustable flame. However, the arms might not be large enough to accommodate a pot, and the fuel canister may be hard to dispose of responsibly.

Liquid fuel stoves: A type of stove that connects to a refillable fuel bottle. Most run on white gas, though you can use a variety of different fuels depending on where you’re traveling to.

There’s no canister to discard, and you can often easily tell how much fuel you have left, though you have to prime and maintain the stove, and they can cost a bit more than canister stoves.

Alternative fuel stoves: These stoves move away from liquid gas and use other alternatives like wood or fuel pellets. They’re simple and lightweight, though finding wood to burn in wet weather can be difficult. You also might not be able to use them in certain locations, depending on burn regulations.

Intended Use

As you can tell from the types of camping stoves there are, different stoves are suited for different types of campers. If you plan on hiking long distances in a woody area, an alternative fuel stove allows you to use the fallen timber near your campsite and saves you from lugging fuel around.

If you’re camping for a few days, a canister stove will suit your needs. If you want to hike for longer periods, a liquid fuel stove will be for you. You should understand what circumstances you plan on being in while camping and use potential scenarios to guide your camping stove decision.

Best Camping Stoves Under $50

Ohuhu Camping Stove Stainless Steel Backpacking Stove

Made from stainless steel, this first stove is compact and doesn’t require additional fuel other than a lighter to get the flame going. The stainless steel can support heavily weighted pots and withstand high temperatures, making it suitable for camping.

The 3-arm base support system keeps the flame stable and safe, so you don’t have to worry about knocking it over and starting a fire. Easily collapsible, this camping stove breaks down and fits into its mesh carrying bag so you can store it in a backpack or other gear bag.

This stove uses kindling from nature, so you don’t have to rely on fuel or alcohol to prepare your meal. Use any available pine cones, twigs, leaves, small branches, and other dry organic matter. You don’t have to worry about disposing of a canister, either.

Pros:

  • Sturdy and durable stainless steel
  • Breaks down and stores into a mesh bag
  • Doesn’t require liquid fuel or alcohol to light
  • Strong enough to support heavy pots
  • Withstands high heat

Cons:

  • Noisy to carry around in mesh bag
  • Cookware bottoms accrue soot

OSAGE RIVER Portable Dual Fuel Camping Stove

This camp stove from Osage River uses either propane or butane to light, though the fuel tanks are sold separately. The camp stove is built with safety in mind. It protects against overheating and has a locking mechanism to keep it secure when not in use.

There’s no need for lighters or matches to get it started. The Piezoelectric ignition lights the flame for you, and the flame is adjustable once it gets going. This stove has a convenient carrying case for easy transportation. The stove weighs about 5 pounds in total.

For a heavier-duty stove that doesn’t rely on natural tinder or disposable canisters, the Osage River Portable Camping stove is an affordable option.

Pros:

  • Weighs 5 pounds 
  • Overheating protection
  • Includes convenient carrying case
  • Adjustable flame
  • No need for matches or lighter to start a flame

Cons:

  • Somewhat finicky to store

Best Camping Stoves Under $100

Fire-Maple "Fixed-Star 2" Personal Cooking System Stove

If you prefer canister cooking, this Fire-Maple cooking stove is a solid choice. Its compact portable design encapsulates the stove, canister stand, fuel canister (even though it’s not included) inside the cooking pot, reducing the amount of space this stove takes up.

The wind-resistant heat exchanger allows this stove to reach a boil 30% faster than a traditional camping stove, and the foldable locking handle lets you handle the system safely while cooking. This stove is suitable for cooking a variety of meals or preparing different liquids, including pasta, dehydrated meals, coffee, tea, and more.

Pros:

  • Compact canister stove system
  • Components fit into one pot
  • Brings water to boil 30% faster than other stoves
  • Folding lock system allows safe handling while cooking
  • Suitable for a variety of meal preparations

Cons:

  • Hard to find the right canister that fits
  • Flame hard to light when breezy

Coleman Fold-N-Go Propane Stove

This 2-burner propane stove allows you to get a flame going quickly, so there’s no delay in preparing meals. The burners fit two pans up to ten inches in diameter each, and the burners create 20,000 BTUs of power for cooking.

The pressure-control gives you consistent heat even in non-ideal outdoor conditions. You can set the flame to burn for over an hour on high using a 16.4-ounce propane cylinder. The propane is sold separately. You don’t need a match or lighter to ignite the stove thanks to the InstaStart ignition — you only need to push a button.

Pros:

  • 2-burner stove efficiently runs on propane
  • High power burners
  • InstaStart button starts flame easily
  • Pressure control keeps flame even in non-ideal conditions
  • Flame burns for over an hour

Cons:

  • Somewhat heavy at 9.2 pounds
  • Takes up more space unfolded than expected

Best Camping Stoves Overall

REDCAMP Wood Burning Camp Stove

This wood-burning camp stove folds up in a small, compact for but offers a large flame to cook with. The stove is made from high-quality stainless steel and can withstand heavy weights and high heat.

Once unfolded, the stainless steel camp stove stays upright, so it’s sturdy enough to use on slightly uneven terrain. It’s also lightweight at only 1.9 pounds. It even comes with its own carrying bag for easy storage once you’re done with your meal. This wood stove uses twigs and leaves to light in addition to wood so that you can use various fuels near your campsite.

If for some reason, you don’t like this Redcamp Camp Stove, there’s a 100% money-back guarantee if you return your product within the first 360 days after purchase.

Pros:

  • High-quality stainless steel construction
  • Folds up to be small and compact
  • Sturdy once standing
  • Weighs only 1.9 pounds
  • Durable and withstands high heat

Cons:

  • Blue wrapping protective film may be difficult to remove
  • May be too heavy for hiking for some

Primal Ridge Portable Gas Backpacking Stove

This impressive backpacking cooking system has everything you need to prepare a hot meal while outdoors. It has a 900 ml pot with folding silicone handles and a lid with sipping holes so that you can have a morning coffee in the same pot you’ll then make breakfast in. The pot attaches to the zinc alloy valve burner for direct heat exposure, saving you time while cooking.

The components fit into a tripod stand with neoprene sleeve, reducing the setup and packing time. The lightweight camping stove is only about 8 inches tall and 4.5 inches wide in diameter. The travel bag is water-resistant, weather-resistant, and comes with a shoulder strap for easier portability.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Fits into a compact carrying case with shoulder strap
  • Pot includes a lid with sipping holes
  • Pot attaches directly to zinc alloy valve burner for direct heat exposure
  • Travel bag is weather-resistant

Cons:

  • Temperature control handle rotates counterclockwise, so it takes some getting used to
  • Pot uses isobutane canisters, which could be harder to get than regular butane gas

In Total

All of the best camping stoves on this list will serve your camping needs. However, we’d like to choose the Primal Ridge Portable Gas Backpacking Stove as our top choice. Not only is it lightweight and provides a powerful flame, but it compacts into an easy carrying case — which is perfect for casual campers in addition to backpackers.

Primal Ridge thought of everything to make preparing hot meals a breeze while away from civilization. We get that it’s a bit pricey, though, so we recommend the Ohuhu Camping Stove Stainless Steel Backpacking Stove for those who prefer more affordable compact stoves that use alternative fuels.

Maintaining nutrition is important while camping. Picking one of the best camping stoves on this list will help you prepare hot meals easily and conveniently while enjoying the great outdoors.