Backpacking wood stoves are literally a great use. But you have to know how to choose a backpacking wood stove. These stoves are great weight-saving options for boiling water on backpacking trips as they eliminate the need to carry fuel and a fuel container, such as an isobutane canister or alcohol bottle. As long as we can find dry wood to burn in a campsite and it doesn’t take much, and we’re someplace that doesn’t have a fire ban, we’re good to go. They can also add some cheer to our camping experience in spring or autumn when the days are short and the evenings are cool. 

They treat us while having much less impact than a campfire and leaving much less trace of our visit. For decades backpackers have overlooked the wood stoves, which is one of the most efficient backpacking stoves on the market. But now the day’s situation is different. Most of the time, when picking a stove, nobody seems to consider wood-burning camp stoves. Basically, wood-burning stoves are lightweight, affordable, efficient, and easy to use. Unfortunately, though wood-burning stoves seem basic, hardly anybody knows what to look for when buying one.

Why Should You Buy/Choose a Backpacking Wood Stove?

Most backpackers choose a wood stove to save weight. Because wood backpacking stoves are seriously lightweight since one doesn’t have to carry fuel(isobutane canisters or alcohol bottles) with them, they surely can save a few pounds to their pack weight. One of the best parts of wood-burning stoves is that they are the perfect size for solo backpackers. 

One can easily boil water and heat up basic camp food. As long as we can find wood to burn, we’re good to go.

Most importantly, everybody loves to have a fire burning. When spring/fall rolls around, there’s nothing like having a live flame to feel comfort. The backpacking wood stove also have less of an impact than traditional campfires, and it’s much easier to control.

Watch Out For Fire Bans:

One thing that is better to remember is that every state seems to have its own rules when it comes to fire bans. When there’s a fire ban, we’re not allowed to have an uncontrolled flame. Sadly wood-burning stoves are illegal in most areas. 

Even though wood-burning stoves are relatively contained, fire has a mind of its own, but still, they are not allowed. In these areas, you have to use a traditional fuel-based stove rather than wood-burning stoves.

Consider Before To Choose a Backpacking Wood Stove:

Very few backpackers actually consider a wood-burning stove when they are about to buy one, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider one. Wood stoves basically fall into the survivalist category. Yes, they will work for sure, but they will require a little TLC to use.

Requires Prep Work:

With any wood-burning stove, you need to gather up wood must, cut bark, or carry firestarters because there is no easy way to get a wood fire roaring.

Sooty Mess: 

After burning some wood, you’ll end up with a soot-filled canister that needs cleaning. You have to clean your pots/pans every single time after you use them.

Smoke: 

It doesn’t matter how well you clean all your gear. Everything in your pack anyway will smell like smoke.

Time-Consuming: 

If you completely ignore the prep work and how long it takes to light a fire, then boiling water will take at least 7-10 minutes for 2 cups.

Unreliable in Bad Weather: 

It’s too unfriendly for the rainy season. It’s definitely not going to be easy to find dry wood after a rainstorm. Unless you pack in dry timber or bring firestarter stoves (as these suckers are awesome), you won’t get a fire started.

Advantages To Choose Backpacking Wood Stove:

Though wood backpacking stoves have certain failings yet still, it has great advantages. Here are the advantages to choose a backpacking wood stove.

No Carrying Fuel:

If you take a wood backpacking stove with you, you don’t have to carry around those big 16/10oz bottles of fuel in your pack. But yes, In the rainy season, you might need some firestarters and a lighter.

Unlimited Fuel:

Another advantage to choose backpacking wood stove is that there’s always going to be fuel around you in the forest. You can easily survive for a month without running out of fuel.

Lightweight:

Even the heaviest wood-burning stove will be less lightweight than a traditional gas stove.

Easy to Fly-In:

When flying to remote locations, you definitely can’t bring along liquid/gas fuel. There you can either bring a wood stove or desperately search for an outdoor store after landing.

Don’t Need CampFire:

After you are done with using the backpacking wood stove for cooking, it can double your duty as a small campfire. But as it’s a controlled fire, it’s going to be safer and easier to maintain. Moreover, you’ll use less wood than with a traditional ground fire.

(I really wouldn’t recommend a wood-burning stove for a short weekend backpacking trip. They’re designed for fixed camping in remote locations. Unless you’re camping in the desert/mountains, there’s going to be an abundance of wood to burn. You don’t have to rely on hauling fuel to camp.)

Backpacking Wood Stove Types:

If you need to choose a backpacking wood stove, you need to know how many types are there .Basically, there are two types of wood stoves: one is Can-based stoves, including wood gasifier stoves, and the other is Folding stoves that collapse flat for easy packing. Stoves also may differ in the ease with which you can refuel them during a burn. 

For example, most can-based stoves must be fed from the top or restarted when they run out of fuel. Instead, many folding wood stoves have a side access port that you can feed more wood into while they’re still burning without having to remove whatever you’re cooking on it.

Can-Style Backpacking Wood Stove:

There are simple can stoves like our grandfathers used in their era, and then there are gasifier can stoves. Simple can stoves are actually metal coffee cans with holes punched in the bottom. Some can-based stoves, like the Solo Stove Lite and the Bushbuddy, are called wood gasifier stoves as they have a two-stage burn that generates heat by burning wood and a by-product called wood gas, making them very hot and efficient(which is quite normal) while reducing all the wood you put in them to a fine ash. They’re basically double-walled cans that pipe wood gas from the inner can to the top of the outer can, where it can be burned as fuel. Hence they produce more energy from a single wood load.

Fuel is added to can-based wood stoves from the top and burns down, and you don’t have to use a wood gasifier stove for backpacking since a simple can with holes punched into it will also work. However, the main problem with can-based wood stoves is that they’re not very packable and can take up precious space in your backpack. They also get pretty sooty. So in a way, it can say that it’s harder to contain than a stove that can collapse flat. So when talking about can-style stoves, most people refer to gasifier stoves(which don’t use gas). Gasifier stoves (like this Toaks Stove) use a two-stage burn cycle that generates heat by burning wood and using the gas by-product to make them more efficient(sorry if there is anything wrong as I’m not a scientist).

Gasifier stoves burn hotter than folding stoves. While it also reduces the amount of wood you need. They are very much more efficient than an open flame stove. Gasifiers easily pump gas from the inner can up to the top of the outer can. 

Can Stoves Have Problems:

Though I personally love can stove, it definitely has a few downsides. The biggest problem with can-style stoves is that you can’t really break them down. Instead, it would be best if you found a large area in your pack, and anyway, they can’t easily fit into bags.

It’s also harder to deal with soot when you can’t collapse your stove. So you’re definitely going to deal with a bunch of soot inside your bag.

  • To deal with it, you can make a Coffee Can Stoves. For this, you don’t need to spend a bunch of cash to buy it. All you really need is a coffee can that contains a bunch of holes punched into it. The only problem with these simple stoves is that you might need to use a windscreen with them.

Folding-Style Backpacking Wood Stoves:

Most folding-style wood stoves can be packed flat, which makes them much easier to backpack as they take up so little space. It’s also easier to contain the soot on their exterior since you can just slip them easily inside a Ziploc bag for transport. But yes, you still have to assemble them before use, but this is a trivial process that involves fitting together the sidewalls and burning pan on the bottom to prevent scorching the ground that they sit on. Most of the time, the sidewalls act as pot supports and a windscreen, so we can say they’re really quite self-contained.

The Emberlit FireAnt Wood Stove is collapsible and can easily be stored flat in your backpack. I really love how the majority of folding-style stoves can be packed completely flat and require a little space. This makes them so much easier to pack as they don’t take too much space.

Folding stoves are so much easier to store with us. One can easily take them apart and store them in a gallon-sized ziplock bag. For example, the Emberlit FireAnt Titanium Wood Stove is collapsible and can be stored flat in your backpack. All the soot gets trapped in the bag, and all the gear won’t get nasty. The only problem is you have to assemble and disassemble everything before you use it. It really isn’t that difficult at all to assemble and take down your stove. Since folding stoves typically have an access panel in the bottom, so they’re easy to add fuel. It’s quite easy to add wood to the fire without having to take off your pot/pan. The QiWiz Firefly UL has a refueling port that you can feed wood into while the stove is on.

Almost every folding stove I’ve used includes a burning pan on the bottom, which prevents scorching the ground, and this is actually a plus point because it makes the burning in fire-ban areas so much safer.

Folding Wood Stoves is Less Efficient:

The problem is folding stoves will always be less efficient than their gas brethren. It takes about 8-10 minutes to boil water, whereas canister stoves only take 3-4 minutes to boil it (for 2 cups of water). Considering how much weight you drop from the pack, a few extra minutes isn’t that big of a deal. Backpacking wood stoves also have a much lighter environmental impact since they don’t use petroleum-based fuels and create empty fuel containers, like used canisters, plastic ethanol alcohol bottles, white gas cans that have to be recycled.

What Is The Best Wood Burning Backpacking Stove? 

After a hard day of hiking and setting up the campsite, anyone will enjoy a fresh, hot meal as much as possible. But, making a campfire can take a lot of time and effort.

That’s where the trusty stove comes in. Camping stoves are lightweight, easy to pack, and you can easily cook your dinner in mere minutes. They are truly a must-have item for any serious backpacker. Today we’ll discuss how to choose the best backpacking wood stove for our specific situation.

Solo Stove Titan:

This magnificent little stove is recommended by all kinds of experienced outdoors people, from Backpacker magazine to Matt Graham from the Discovery channel. And yes, there are plenty of reasons for that. To start off, it’s really well made with stainless steel and nichrome wire. One can be sure that this product will last for years and years.

Its unique design features air intake holes that allow for the complete burning of wood. So it is quiet, obvious that you’ll get longer fires with less smoke. It also ensures a really fast boil time. It takes only a couple of minutes to boil even 32 ounces of water. Alas, there is one certain thing that all good things come at a price. That’s why this model is slightly pricier than others mentioned here, but in my humble opinion, those few bucks are genuinely well worth it.

Pros:

  • Really fast boil time. It takes only 4-6 minutes to boil 32 fl oz. of water.
  • Its Intelligent design allows for far less smoke than other stoves.
  • Simple & convenient setup.
  • Compact size allows for more room in the backpack.
  • At only 16.5 oz.,so it’s remarkably lightweight.

Cons:

  • It’s a bit pricey.
  • Best for: campers looking for overall the best wood burning backpacking stove on the market.

Überleben Stoker Flatpack Stove:

If you’re an ultra-ultra light backpacker and the Solo Titan is too bulky for you, then this is the best one for you. They are weighing a measly 14.5 oz. This stove is a joy for anyone who struggles to fit all of their gear into their backpack. But the good news doesn’t stop there; this one is also foldable. 

Pros:

  • Weighs only 14.5 oz, which makes it ideal for ultra-light backpackers.
  • Folds into a package measuring 6″ x 6″ x 0.25″, so it’ll fit almost anywhere within a short time.
  • Comes with a canvas sleeve for easy storage.
  • Since it can be disassembled, cleaning it is like a breeze.

Cons:

  • It needs extra cooling time before packing it. 
  • Edges are really sharp, so be careful. Hence you will end up cutting yourself when putting it together.
  • Best for: ultra-light backpackers who are really mindful of their weight. 

Ohuhu Camping Stove:

If you’re camping with a big family and you’re likely using big pots and pans, then this one is surely for you. After all, you need to feed all those hungry mouths pretty fast. That’s where exactly Ohuhu’s Camping Stove shines. Its 3-arm support system offers excellent stability so that you can use your large pots without worry. It also helps redistribute heat more evenly, so your meals will be better cooked on it.

Like other stoves mentioned here, it is made out of stainless steel, so it’s pretty lightweight and portable to carry easily. It can also fold into a package measuring 5.3″ x 5.3″ x 3″ and weighing 14.2 oz, so you’ll be able to easily carry it around with you. On the downside, this stove isn’t as heat efficient as the other stoves I’ve reviewed, so the boiling time will be slightly longer.

Pros:

  • It is pretty affordable for a wood-burning stove of this quality.
  • The 3-arm support system offers great stability, and it distributes heat evenly.
  • Easy to pack with a folded size of 5.3″ x 5.3″ x 3″ and weight of 14.2 oz
  • It comes with its own little net for easy collection and transportation.
  • This one is too lightweight.

Cons:

  • The 3-arm system is fragile and could break easily if you’re not careful.
  • The boiling time is not as fast as with other stoves mentioned here.
  • Thicker than the other lightweight stoves, but it is still small.
  • Best for: campers who use large pots and need extra stability.

Lixada Camping Stove:

Suppose you’re not a frequent camper and thinking, “why would I spend this much money on a stove I’ll only use twice a year?”.So, here is the solution for you.

 Not only is it super affordable, but it is also a really small ideal for backpackers. Not only that but it can also be folded up so small that you can even fit it in your back pants pocket. Unlike most stoves, it comes in two flavors. They are titanium and stainless steel. The titanium version is slightly more expensive, but it’s also a bit bigger and more durable.

Pros:

  • Too affordable.It’s a dream come true for hikers and campers on a budget.
  • You can choose between titanium and stainless steel options. 
  • Super portable – 3.1’’ x 3.3 ‘’ x 4.2 ‘’ dimensions.So this makes it easy to pack.
  • It can also fold into an even smaller package, so it’s easy to carry.

Cons:

  • Not as reliable as other options mentioned in this article. 
  • The small size might not be sufficient for many people 
  • Best for: price-conscious hikers and campers who still want a quality stove.

BioLite Campstove:

This one is a throwback to a less complicated time, and that is pretty low-tech and straightforward. But, on the other hand, there’s nothing low tech about BioLite Campstove.

This stove could not only warm you up and cook your food but also charge your phone at the same time.

Using the heat from the wood, this stove converts energy into electricity via a thermoelectric generator. Keep in mind that the conversion is not great, so don’t expect to charge your laptop from 0 – 100% in 5 minutes. But it can work fine for any smaller devices, like LED lights or even your phone. Unfortunately, as with most hi-tech gadgets, this one is definitely pricey.

Pros:

  • A hi-tech stove that can charge the devices as you burn wood. 
  • Ingenious fan design allows for a more efficient burn to cook.
  • 4-speed fan settings allow for greater heat efficiency. 
  • It can boil 1 L of water in 4.5 minutes.

Cons:

  • It’s definitely at the high end of the price range, so better you think about it carefully before going to buy it.
  • The stove is not terribly energy efficient.
  • Best for: campers who want a hi-tech stove that can charge the devices as you cook food.

What is the smallest wood-burning stove? 

There are two main reasons to choose a small backpacking wood stove. The first reason is that because the room is small. So it is quite evident that you will want the smallest wood-burning stove possible in order to ensure that the heat generated does not become overpowering.

The second reason is that, again, because the room is small, you want to minimize the floor space taken up by your wood burner.

As you may have realized, that creates two separate types of ‘smallest wood-burning stove’: the one that is smallest by heat output and the one that is smallest by physical size.

A selection of the smallest wood burners by output include:

Mazona Ripley 4kW multi-fuel stove:

The Mazona Ripley 4kW is not only one of the smallest wood-burning stoves. It is also one of our most efficient and popular appliances. Constructed from high-quality steel, it has been manipulated into an eye-catching contemporary design. The Ripley is also Ecodesign ready, which means it is designed in accordance with new legislation on efficiency and low emissions. 

Aarrow Ecoburn Plus 4 kW Flexifuel Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove:

Not particularly small in stature in comparison to other appliances in this article, but another that comes in within that entry-level heat output bracket of 4kW. Its clean lines and chic design make it ideal for a modern time. 

Smallest wood-burning stove by size Height:

So, we established that the dimensions of a stove might be a factor in choosing which one is the right one. Within that framework, you might select the smallest wood burner by height.

Among the shortest wood-burning stoves are:

Arada Hamlet Hardy 4 kW Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove:

A lovely, contemporary wood burner made from steel. The Arada Hamlet Hardy is also among the shortest. Standing at just 458mm, it is the shortest freestanding Woodburner we currently stock.

Mazona Ripley 4 kW Ecodesign Ready Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove:

The next shortest wood burners are the Mazona Ripley 4 kW Ecodesign Ready Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove and the slightly more powerful Mazona Ripley 5 kW Ecodesign Ready Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove (both are 487mm tall).

Width:

Of course, one might be judging the smallest wood-burning stove by width. In that case, here are some great options:

Arada Villager Puffin 4 kW Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove:

The Arada Villager Puffin offers a timeless stove design delivered in a very skinny profile. This one is perfect if you’ve got a narrow space in which to install your stove. This appliance is just 330m wide. 

The Arada Hamlet Hardy 4 kW Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove:

This one is also 330mm wide, while the Arada Aarrow Ecoburn Plus 4 kW Flexifuel Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove is 355mm.

Depth:

If neither of those dimensions is of your interest, then you must be looking for the smallest wood-burning stove by depth.

In that case, the clear winner at a depth of just 292mm is the Mazona Ripley 4 kW Ecodesign Ready Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove.

An honorable mention goes to the Arada Hamlet Hardy 4 kW Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove (323mm).

How Do You Make A Wood Burning Camp Stove?

Making a DIY wood-burning stove likely won’t be one of those projects where you have all the materials necessary just laying around the house. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying. If you’re a novice DIYer, this is a great opportunity to jump to that next skill level to try.No matter the scale or purpose; a wood-burning stove will provide us with warmth and, if nothing else, a spot to cook a really good marshmallow.

Wood Collection:

If we’re in a forest area, the wood needed to fuel a wood stove is usually quite plentiful. As a result, there’s rarely any need to carry a saw, process wood, or need to go very far to gather it. I usually start my woodstove fires with a vaseline-covered cotton ball and a magnesium striker, but you could just as easily start it with dry tinder and a butane lighter.

If it’s raining and all the wood available is wet, it can carry some ESBIT fuel cubes so we can boil water or cook food for a day or two until the weather clears up. All you need to stick an ESBIT cube inside the wood stove and use it as a combination pot stand and windscreen like you would with wood. It can also help to prop the fuel cube up higher in the stove so that it’s closer to the bottom of the cookpot. Since fuel cubes weigh a half-ounce each, and one will boil two cups of water or more.

So, to choose a backpacking wood stove can be a great way to reduce or eliminate the extra weight of carrying stove fuel and fuel containers. Of course, they’re not for everyone since they are slower and dirtier than alcohol, canister, or liquid fuel stoves, but they’re a lot of fun to use, and they are less impactful than most of the other backpacking stoves available.

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