Martin the Outdoors Fanatic

Hello, I'm Martin, the great outdoors fanatic. I go out in the woods or up in the mountains as often as I can. Due to a foot injury that I obtained during my latest outing I am stuck in my house for a couple of weeks so I decided to make this website to kill some time. Being a well experienced backpacker I have decided to dedicate this website to the topic of camp-stoves. Next time I injure my foot I might make a website about tents, water filters, or sleeping bags, who knows. If you like this website please don't break my kneecaps if you run into me in the woods so that I will be stuck here again making outdoors websites for your enjoyment.

Having many years of outdoors survival experience I tend to favor low-tech stoves that will never ever let you down. If you have a working stove you will be able to survive the absolutely harshest conditions. If you have the latest high-tech-super-BTU-ultra-light gizmo from a trendy outdoors store in a big city you will die when things get rough.

Important things for me in a camp-stove are:

An unreliable stove will leave you both angry and hungry out in the woods. This is especially important if you are bringing kids or women with you. They are much more sensitive to hunger than guys.

LIGHT WEIGHT You're going to be carrying your stove up the mountain so it's gotta be light. Keep in mind that most of the weight is not in the stove but in the fuel. A heavier stove that burns less fuel is often better than a light stove burning much fuel.
FUEL ACQUIRING CONVENIENCE Don't get a stove that screws on to some type of gas container. Cunning manufacturers change thread size standards on gas containers periodically and geographically so that you will be forced to buy a new stove every time they change sizes or you go backpacking somewhere far from home. Stoves that run on liquid or solid fuel do not have this problem, they also tend to be more reliable.

Unimportant things for me in a camp-stove are:

A common attribute that manufacturers like to bragg about in their advertising is thermal output or how long it takes to bring a quart of water to a boil. It makes absolutely no difference if it takes one minute or ten minutes to bring a quart of water to a boil, there is no hurry. Only a complete idiot would choose a camp-stove based on how long it takes to boil a quart of water. 


The size of the stove makes no difference as long as it will fit inside or strapped on outside your backpack. Only the weight matters.

Other issues to keep in mind when selecting a camp-stove:

As a very experienced backpacker who has used every camp-stove imaginable I must say that the price of a camp stove has very little to do with how good a stove it is. Most of my favorite types of stoves cost less than $40, some can even be made at home by a skillful handyman.

TERRAIN  If you are doing a lot of backpacking in forested areas you might want to consider a stove that runs on wood that you can gather on site eliminating the need to bring fuel. These types of stoves weigh a bit more than other stoves but since you're not bringing any fuel, you actually end up carrying less weight. If you are backpacking above the tree line or in the desert you would want to carry a liquid fuel stove.
SEASON If you go backpacking in the snow with cross country skis or snowshoes like I do you should not use a gas stove. Gas stoves are very temperamental in freezing temperatures, the gas gets harder to ignite the colder it gets which can have tragic consequences since it is in the cold that you really need a stove you can rely on. Use a solid or liquid fuel stove in the winter.

Types of stoves that I use and recommend:

I bought this stove from a website called trailstove . Best purchase I ever made, whoever invented this stove should get some kind of award. Just put some sticks in it, light it, and blow some air into it with the blow hose and you can cook on it. It is slower than a gas stove to cook on but who cares, there's no hurry. You have to blow a bit harder if the wood is wet but it's not a major problem. A handful of small sticks cooks dinner easily. This type of stove is the best possible choice if you are going to the woods. The best part is that you don't have to carry any fuel so you are carrying less total weight even though the stove weighs almost a pound. If needed you can stay out forever with this stove.

If you are going where there are no trees such as the desert or above the tree line I recommend you bring an alcohol stove. You can make one of these yourself with a couple of empty beer cans and some super glue. Here is a website with a pretty good description on what to do. It runs on any type of alcohol, I use high concentration 98% rubbing alcohol available in any supermarket. Again, just like a wood powered stove an alcohol stove is slower than a gas stove.

With these two types of stoves you will be completely covered under any circumstances. If you are going on a high risk hike it is a good idea to bring your wood stove along even if you are going to the desert or above the tree line. You can always find something to burn in a wood stove anywhere you go.

Please send me an e-mail if you have any comments or questions:


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