Hiking in Maine: Tips for choosing a backpacking stove

Hiking in Maine: Tips for choosing a backpacking stove

A group of backpackers cook dinner dinner at a campsite on the Good Circle Path

A group of backpackers cook dinner dinner at a campsite on the Good Circle Path in Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness. Carey Kish photograph

Right after a wholesome working day on the path, there’s nothing at all like settling into a comfortable campsite and then chowing down on a good, hot meal. Cooking in excess of a wood fire is a thing of the earlier, so you are heading to need a backpacking stove to get ready the soup and stew in the night, and the all-significant cup of coffee and oatmeal arrive morning.

There are a dizzying array of good quality backpacking stoves readily available, from canister and built-in canister stoves to liquid gas stoves to alternative gasoline stoves. Within just each individual of these categories are a array of specifications to take into consideration, these types of as how extensive the fuel source will previous, how speedy can it boil h2o, what is the general excess weight, advantage of use, and relieve of industry routine maintenance.

Other aspects will influence your stove selection. Are you likely on a long length hike or undertaking overnight and weekend trips? Will you be just boiling water for your foods or are you into a lot more elaborate cooking? Do you strategy to hike in the cold shoulder seasons or in wintertime? Is your spending budget a determining difficulty? Are you hiking solo or with a team?


Isobutane-propane blend canister stoves individual most of today’s backpacking industry, and it’s quick to understand why. Just screw the canister onto the stove, light and begin cooking. They are compact and lightweight, and the adjustable flame allows great simmer manage. Look for a model with a self-igniter. The self-sealing canister implies no messy gasoline leaks.

Lacking a display, canister stoves are significantly less economical when used in the wind. The pot stand is normally slim so beware the tippy pot. Ounce for ounce, canister gas is a lot more high-priced than liquid fuels. Calculating how substantially gasoline stays in the canister can be challenging, so it’s most effective to have a spare. Most outside suppliers recycle empty canisters, but you can also buy a puncture device to dispose of them your self.


These stoves are super gasoline productive with a warmth exchanger and windscreen designed proper into the base of the pot, which locks securely onto the burner device. One particular canister goes a extended way, creating them well-liked with ultralight and through hikers. These stoves are great for boiling h2o true speedy, but not so significantly for making ready nearly anything other than freeze-dried meals and quick foodstuff like potatoes and ramen. Some newer types have improved simmer control. The mated device has a taller profile than most stoves, so tipping above is a worry.


Most liquid fuel stoves operate on white gasoline, despite the fact that some types are multi-gas and can use kerosene and diesel, very good options when climbing overseas. A refillable gasoline bottle is attached to the burner device by way of the gasoline line. The bottle must then be pumped to create stress to go the fuel by the line. Priming is necessary to transform the liquid fuel into vapor this includes making it possible for a couple drops of gasoline into the burner cup and igniting it to pre-heat the gasoline line. When totally cranking, these stoves roar like a minor jet motor.

Very long the backpacking conventional bearer, liquid gas stoves are still a good selection for more substantial teams, extra involved cooking and especially for cold temperature use. These stoves are very low-profile and for that reason quite stable. Normal maintenance, like cleansing the jet and changing the O-rings, is needed for the best possible overall performance. Liquid fuels are smelly, and any spills or leaks can be terrible, so suitable dealing with is a must. It’s straightforward to determine your gas stage, and there’s no vacant canister to offer with.

Different Fuel STOVES

Denatured liquor stoves are basic, light-weight, peaceful and the gasoline is inexpensive. The massive downside is that it normally takes a long time to boil a liter of water mainly because liquor doesn’t burn off as very hot as white gas. A windscreen is a requirement. Wood-burning stoves function on smaller twigs, so your gas source is conveniently obtainable, except all through moist climate. A battery-operated fan followers the flames. Solid gas tablet stoves are smaller, gentle and low-cost but sluggish to boil.

Seasoned safety tips: Under no circumstances cook inside your tent. Besides the carbon monoxide issue, it is a disaster waiting around to happen in so several means. When you are cooking, give it your full focus. Burns from stoves and spilled pots are all-as well-widespread injuries on the path.

Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island is a veteran hiker and freelance author. His newest reserve, “Beer Climbing New England,” will be out there later this 12 months. Stick to more of Carey’s adventures on Facebook and Instagram @careykish

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