When it comes to backpacking stoves for cooking and boiling water, you have a lot of different options. We can break them down into a couple of different categories. We've got liquid fuel stoves which run off a remote bottle, for which you control the pressure. You've got canister fuel stoves which sit on top or are connected to a pre-pressurized canister and then you've got other fuel-burning options, whether it be an alcohol stove or a stove that burns a compressed fuel product. Liquid fuel stoves are some of your most versatile options when it comes to cooking, mainly because they run on a variety of fuels and they are not affected by temperature or altitude. As you can see, it can pack down into a pretty small bundle. A lot of them come with a stuff sack or storage case to put them in. They are a little bit heavier than your canister fuel stoves, but for that size, you gain that versatility. A lot of them employ a collapsible design like this one. You then have your flexible fuel line here off the side and your fuel bottle attaches right onto that and snaps on. So liquid fuel stoves come in a variety of different options. You're going to get everything from basically a blow torch on its side for just melting snow and expedition-style pieces down to a fully controllable flame that you can use for backcountry gourmet cooking. A lot of your models are going to settle somewhere in the middle. They're going to give you a bit of flame control and they're going to give you a high output for boiling water and melting snow. So there's a range there where you can suit just about any need. Canister fuel stoves, on the other hand, are really popular options because they fold down nice and tiny, they give you all the functions that you need from a stove for quick and fast, lightweight backpacking trips. You've got a small case that they often times come in. You've got a couple of wires that fold out so you get that sort of shape from what was that compact little bundle and then it's as simple as attaching it to the threaded top of a pre-pressurized canister. This is an isobutane canister. They are pre-pressurized. Once you're done using them, they need to be recycled. You get various amounts of burn time out of them depending on the stove and how efficient they are. Something like this pre-packaged piece here, where you get an integrated burner head and a cup that nestles right on top of it, is going to have very fast boil times for water. So if you're doing things like dehydrated meals and coffee, not only are you going to get your meals and coffee faster, you're going to have a decent kick up in fuel savings and get more boiled cups of water out of a single canister. The down side to canister fuel stoves is that they are susceptible to pressure loss from temperature and from altitude. So this canister here if I was going backpacking with this and it was cold out and I was using a canister fuel stove, I would probably be storing my stove like I normally would and I would then take my canister and while I'm hiking, I'd be tucking that into a jacket pocket, keeping it somewhere warm. Maybe tucking it into the bottom of my sleeping bag at night to try to keep that pressure up. Once that pressure is down, it becomes very difficult to cook because you don't have the pressure that you need to drive the fuel out of that and through the stove to make a flame. Another option is an alcohol or a solid tablet or solid fuel stove. These are fun because first off, they can weigh next to nothing. This little piece can fold up here. You've got fold-able legs and fold-able pot supports. So if you are counting every ounce, this may be a way that you'll look at going. A lot of folks also make their own alcohol stoves as well. There are guides online and in books to guide you through that. They do run on a denatured alcohol. You do suffer with a little bit of slower boiling time in some cases. Just because you do lose a little bit of thermal efficiency. You can sure that up by using a heat reflector to go around the stove itself. This is a tablet-style stove where you can use a fuel tablet that you would place down here and you would light. This one does have a nice integrated cup that you would use to make a hot beverage or boil water for a meal. Again, very lightweight, fold-able packable design and just a nice all-around piece. So these are less used if you're going in a group setting or if everybody's willing to carry their own stove, possibly used in that manner. These are usually devoted more to the ultra lightweight end of the spectrum, folks that are really trying to keep their pack weight down to a minimum and enjoy the outdoors that way.
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