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Best Small Camping Stoves


Are you struggling to make warm dishes while camping? Let’s try to use the small camping stove which is light enough to carry for your trekking trip.

Nowadays you do not have to balance your old pot on the hot campfire. Everything is much simpler and easier by upgrading the camping stoves. These types of stoves can help to take your home style dishes to outdoors. So, you can stow the food quickly in your cooler, then set up comfortably on the picnic table at ease. There are a plenty of portable stoves you can choose from, from packable and lightweight to burly and big. In most of the cases, pick up and cook with the best small camping stove to make many delicious dishes in your trip.

Why should you select the small camp stove?

The primary question to think of when you decide the size of your camping stove is how many people you need to cook meals for. As a matter of fact, you can select one of the two major sizes: a small camping stove with free-standing feature and compact models with two burners to be placed on the tabletop. Statistics shows that people usually go camping with a group of fewer than 8 people as the larger group may create the distraction. Even though there are more than 8 people hanging out together, they tend to divide into two subgroups.

That is the reason why you should choose the small camping stove. Furthermore, this stove type is light enough to fit in the car easily as well as provide plenty of cooking powers which are dedicated for a group of up to 7 people.

4 Factors to Choose the Best Small Camp Stove

When deciding the way to select your best small camping stoves, there are several points you should consider:

Stove Type

Small camping stoves are categorized by their fuel type they use as well as how they store the fuel. There are 3 primary stove categories, including alternative-fuel stoves, Liquid-fuel, and Canister stoves.

  • Liquid-fuel stoves

This type of small camp store is versatile to connect to the refillable bottles of fuel. While liquid-fuel stoves can run on the white gas, take other available options, especially traveling oversea. The reason for this suggestion is that the white gas has no or few impurities. So, it burns clean and hot, performs pretty well in temperature below freezing point. Furthermore, this stove type is less expensive in comparison to the canister stove.

Apart from that, the multi-fuel type can run on the following: diesel, unleaded gasoline, jet fuel or kerosene. Also, these stove are low-profile as well as offer the incredible stability on rough ground. You can control the fuel left in a stove by peering. It has the better performance than other kinds in cold weather and at the high elevation. However, you need to pay attention to the priming and periodic maintenance like changing O-rings or cleaning its fuel hose. One of its primary downsides may be the heavier weight compared to canister stoves.

  • Canister stoves

This type of store is easy and simple to use with two pre-pressurized kinds of gasses: propane and isobutane. Some of them are slight and lightweight so that you can fold up them compactly. It is quick and straightforward to light without priming. Only turn its valve before lighting it with a piezo igniter, match or lighter. Now, you can adjust and simmer the flame with ease.

Furthermore, the self-seal let you remove the worry about leaks and spills when unscrewing this stove. Some types of them have a pressure regulator built in to offer heat output consistently throughout the canister life. However, the stove arms are long enough for you to keep large pots stably and securely. You may find difficulties in assessing the remaining gas inside canister which is closed. Bring a backup canister of 4 ounces is ideal to avoid the running out of materials

Also, it is indeed not suitable to use in cold weather as canisters may depressurize before producing the weak flame. To overcome this circumstance, you need to buy the pressure regulator.

  • Alternative-fuel stoves

Alternative-fuel stoves consist of all stoves ran on wood or fuel pellets. They can be excellent choices for emergency kits at home and short-distance backpacking as well. Some of the ultralight samples belonged to this type may include Wood-burning, Denatured Alcohol, and Solid-fuel Tablet Stoves.

Among them, backpackers who prefer to use a small camping stove indeed want to buy a Wood-burning one. Because it does not require fuel, becoming a fantastic option for lighter and longer trips. You can even fold it flat for an easier setup. Some models are outfitted well with the optional grill. However, it is rather hard to find dry wood during the wet weather.

The Denatured Alcohol Stoves can be considered the smallest camping store because their weight is only about two ounce or less. To facilitate it, you just need to bring a denatured alcohol bottle which is inexpensive to meet the outing needs. Although the fuel from this stove burns silently, alcohol seems not to be as hot as white gas or canister fuel. So, you spend more time and more fuel to boil the water

One last sample is a Solid-fuel Stove which is considered the favorite choice for ultralight backpackers. It can be small enough to fold up in order to fit in the pocket. This stove may cover all you need – Inexpensive, low weight, and compact size. However, it also takes a longer time to boil the water and tablets leave the greasy residue.

Boiling time

To choose the most suitable small camping stove for you, let’s look at their water boiling time. All stoves boil water in the same period in the moderate temperature without wind. But once there are the wind and cold temperatures, the time to boil water becomes indeed crucial, especially to serve the big group. In general, the amount of BTUs may tell you how fast the water boils. If you are searching for a small yet fast-boiling one, consider picking the one with the maximum of two BTUs.

This spec may help you pick up between models if you think that fuel-efficiency is the priority. The fastest system to boil water is the integrated canister. Also, it uses the least fuel. The next is the Liquid-fuel stove which can operate well in the cold weather. At last, the alternate-fuel stoves take the most time to boil.

Wind Resistance and Simmering

Wind resistance can be more straightforward as models with large windscreens show more effective performance. In some cases, you can create your wind block quickly by setting up in your campsite. If you camp or live in several windy areas, you should invest in one stove with the entire windscreen.

Some products boil water quickly, yet they do not keep the small flame most of the time. When checking whether a stove simmers well, you should use a burner which provides heat at the low setting. A good small camping stove should not turn off when you are trying to reduce the burner. In fact, a good camping stove needs to perform like your cooker at home.

You also should consider the dimension of each compact model before deciding. Since a small camp stove has limited space, you need to ensure of sufficient usable area to fit the preferred pan set up. As a matter of fact, typical small camp stoves may accommodate one skillet of 12″ by removing the wind flaps. Placement and burner size may make your cooking space to be smaller or bigger.

Cooking demands

If you want to cook for a group of 3 to 7 people, it is somehow difficult to choose the best small stoves. The food needs to fit the trip length in average. Have you ever thought of bringing one compact stove with two burners then add one more burner, if necessary? This way increases the flexibility as well as allows two persons to cook at the same time.

Regarding the small camp stove, it is usually suitable for up to 4 people. Otherwise, you have to bring one or two to sever the left. But choosing between 2-person stove and 4-person stove may be worth for you to pick up the most suitable one.

Using Your Small Camping Stove At Ease with 3 tips

  • Always keep the cleaning rag supplies for cooking, such as the washcloth and bleach. You can use them conveniently to clean your stove as well as propane adapters, keeping windscreen, and hoses from rattling in camping days.
  • Try not to cook inside enclosed spaces or tents as it may create carbon monoxide poisoning with the fire risk.
  • When using the propane tank, remember to turn off it before let its flame die. So, there is no gas left in its system and accurately shoot out.
  • Check fuel lines, connections, and valves for damage or leaks before lighting the stove.
  • Bring one multi-tool included pliers for any urgent repairs on the stove.


Selecting your small camping stove can be easy if you determine the choices as well as decide the camping trip type of your family. A conventional cooker may have one or two burners and use white gas, propane, butane, wood, and unleaded gasoline. We hope the above info will be useful for you to choose the most suitable stove for the trips.