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gas or liquid fuel stoves for camping

see also:

  • I don't sell any of these nor do I receive any remuneration if you buy them, and I have not personally reviewed all of them, they are listed here to give you perspective
  • do NOT use fuel burning devices (including gas) inside your tent unless it is appropriately flued as there is a major risk of lethal carbon monoxide poisoning, let alone the tent rapidly catching of fire!


  • stoves create an endless debate amongst hikers and campers as to what is best
  • how light and portable is it for hiking?
  • how heavy is the fuel?
  • how easily available is the fuel?
  • will it work in cold alpine temperatures?
  • will it work in the wind?
  • how noisy are they?


  • butane or propane gas is the most popular
    • cartridge / canister - popular for hikers
    • gas cylinder - popular for car campers
  • liquid fuels
    • very popular with experienced hikers as less weight and more versatility than gas
  • wood
    • in some areas, you may need to BYO wood in which case only good for car campers
    • obviously if conditions permit a wood fire can be very useful for hikers without a stove
    • you may not be allowed to use them:
      • on High Fire Danger regions (in Australia, this is generally summer when winds exceed 10kph)
      • on Total Fire Ban days
      • in certain camp grounds including many commercial and National Parks
    • you should not just chop down local dead trees etc if these are needed by the local wildlife
    • you should avoid starting fires on the ground as it leaves fire scars

Hiking stoves

gas cartridge management tools

Ultraportable hiking stoves

  • there are a multitude of these on the market
  • hiking gas canister stoves
    • my personal favorite is the Soto OD-1Rx (similar to the MSR Pocket Rocket):
      • packs up nicely inside the pot set including a gas canister
      • light
      • easy to use
      • piezo starter
      • works much better in the wind and is easier and safer to use than a much larger and heavier gas 2 ring gas burner
      • mates very well with a hiking pot set such as:
        • 360 deg Furno pot set - note the basic stove that you can buy in this kit does NOT have a piezo starter!
    • pill bottle stoves
      • these are the lightest, most compact and versatile option for hikers as they can use almost any liquid fuel
      • just soak two tablets in liquid fuel overnight then place them on top of each other and on top of fiberglass patches that block fuel from seeping into the ground then light them
      • requires windscreen and your pot just sits on top of them (use two pairs of tablets side by side for larger pots)
      • have a risk of falling over and some fuels produce soot and can't be used on days of Total Fire Ban
    • tiny very compact wood burning stoves
      • these burn twigs but create a lot of soot, take longer to get burning and boil water, and can't be used on days of Total Fire Ban

Larger hiking gas stoves

Portable ethanol/alcohol stoves

  • Trangia methylated spirits stove
    • great for teenagers as relatively safe but most hikers would be better off with a butane or shellite stove which are lighter, boil water faster and use less weight of fuel for multiday hikes
    • hard anodised aluminium appears to be the best version
    • 825g for 27-8UL/HA model ($A190) with two 1-litre saucepans (1 graded, 1 ungraded), an 18 cm frying pan, 600mL aluminium kettle, windshields (upper and lower), a burner, a pan grip and a strap
    • 865g w/o kettle for the larger 25-1-HA model ($A240) two saucepans (1.75 and 1.5 liters), a 22cm frying pan, upper and lower windshields, a burner, a pot grip and a strap.
    • Two pots, a frying pan, and kettle all come in a package with the stove, windscreen and base
    • fill fuel pot to 2/3rds with methylated spirits (diluted by 1% for better burn) - overfill will cause flare ups
    • will burn for about 30min and it takes about 7-10min to boil a pot of water with lid on
    • simmer ring to reduce the flame
    • ensure windscreen air vents face the breeze, if on wood picnic table, place over the slits in the wood for more ventilation
    • if meth spills in tent, just let it evaporate - you need about 120mL/day per person - consider using a platypus bottle
    • don't leave the pot handles sitting on the pot when you’re cooking else you will burn your hand
    • don't refill fuel pot nor put the fuel cap on while it is hot (you melt the rubber seal)

Portable liquid multi-fuel hiking stoves

  • these are extremely popular for hikers on longer trips or with larger groups as they work well in cold temperatures and in windy conditions and you can use liquid fuels which are lighter and more easily carried than gas canisters and you don't end up having to carry an empty gas canister home
  • However, they have more mechanical failures, are more difficult to use and can be more dangerous in inexperienced hands
  • examples:
    • SOTO MUKA STOVE 333g with pump $A200 + $30 bottle
    • Optimus Nova Plus $A250 + bottle; 430g uses Optimus Arctic Fuel, white gas/shellite, kerosene, diesel and jet fuel; 450mL gves 2.5hrs at max. burn
    • MSR Whisperlite Universal - as for International but can also use a gas canister with simmer control
    • MSR Whisperlite Internationale $A190 + $40 bottle 460g, uses White Gas/Shellite or kerosene only
    • MSR Dragonfly 510g, can use petrol, white gas, kerosene or diesel and do this with simmer but very noisy

Portable wood stoves with thermoelectric generators for USB charging

  • these are probably a waste of time - just take power banks
    • PowerPot Thermoelectric Generator
      • charge USB whilst boiling water (10W max)
      • $US149
      • portable high tech, fanned wood stove which charges USB at 2-4W (perhaps 8-25% of smartphone charge per hour) and takes 4-5min and only 46g wood to boil 1L water
      • does not need water for USB charging (unlike the above 2 options)
      • about the size of a water bottle and weighs 935g!!
      • $US129 or $US229 bundled with
        • optional 10“x5” 1.5L kettle pot also designed to contain the CampStove in your backpack but adds 465g weight
        • optional 55 sq. inch grill adds a further 850g and folds to 9.5 x 12 x 3.5 inches

Car camping stoves

compact gas cartridge stoves

  • relatively compact stoves usually with a long butane cartridge
  • examples:
    • Gasmate Portable BBQ Butane Stove - Single Burner $AU20 2.7kg excl. cartridge
    • Gasmate Butane Twin Stove with Hotplate & Pot Set - $AU129 7.5kg excl. cartridges

gas cylinder stoves

  • single stove sits on top of Companion bottles
    • cheap, relatively light (0.8kg excl gas cylinder) but wind can be problematic
    • eg. Gasmate Single Burner Portable Camping Stove $AU24 0.8kg excl. cylinder
  • 2 or 3 ring cast iron stoves
    • relatively inexpensive but tend to be bulky and heavy (~4kg without the gas cylinder)
    • requires wind protection
  • BBQ fold-up gas stoves with wind shields
    • these are the traditional gas stoves for BBQs
    • eg. Gasmate 2 Burner Portable Camping Stove $AU50 5kg excl. cylinder
  • BBQ gas stoves with hooded cooking lids
    • examples:
        • $AU369; 1 stainless steel loop 9MJ burner; 39cm H x 69cm W x 42cm D with lid closed; 11.25kg;
        • cooking area: 43cm X 32cm x 15cm high
        • need to buy opt. accessories Roasting Pack, 26cm Pizza stone, frypan, hlf, hotplate, tool set, cover
      • Gasmate Odyssey 1 Burner Portable BBQ $AU320 11kg
      • Jumbuck Single Burner Portable BBQ $AU149 12.5kg
  • steak searers
    • these are oven like grillers designed to generate temperatures up to 800degC to sear steaks
    • examples:
      • Matador 'Rapid Sear' Gas Searer $AU299 12.7kg
  • portable gas pizza ovens
    • these are designed to heat to 500°C (932°F) and cook pizzas within 1-4 minutes
    • in general, they can also bake flat breads and pastries; can char steaks; create crackling; roast or grill meats/veges;
    • examples:
        • $AU799; 20kg (29kg with burners and accessories); 413mm W x 531mm L x 473mm ; thermometer;
        • burners (gas or wood) twist off for transport; retractable short legs;
        • flames flow across ceiling towards opening giving more even cooking;
        • reaches pizza cook temperature in around 20-30 minutes on gas and about 40 mins on wood
        • $AU589; 9.25kg; 400 x 295 x 630mm; powder coated carbon steel shell;
        • reaches pizza cook temperature in 15 minutes; max. output 4kWh; rear burners - need to rotate pizza!
      • Ooni Koda 16
        • $AU949;
        • L shaped burners; need to rotate pizza!
australia/stoves.txt · Last modified: 2023/02/01 15:03 by gary1

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