Did you know that the modern portable stove emerged because of war?
During the Crimean War, Alexis Soyer, a French-born chef joined the troops to advise the army on how they can cook. He pioneered the design of a field stove called the Soyer Stove. This invention was made with the intention to ensure that all the soldiers on the field get sufficient nutrition and not die from food poisoning.
Backpacking stoves have now come a long way. Now, we have ultralight backpacking stove which are on sale for dirt cheap prices. Let’s take a look at my top 3 picks from the market.
Best Inexpensive Backpacking Stove Comparison table
|Etekcity Camping |
|Check Best Price||4.48 oz.||210 seconds||Liquid Gas Stove||4.7/5.0||A much cheaper
that still burns well
plus its compact
|Trangia Spirit Burner||Check Best Price||3.84 oz.||4210 seconds||Alcohol Stove||4.8/5.0||A great option if
you're looking for
a simple, reliable,
with fuel that's
relatively easy to
|Tomshoo Camping |
|Check Best Price||16 oz.||150 seconds||Wood Stove||4.6/5.0||A greener
alternative for a
which helps you
save money and
Best Budget Backpacking Stove
The Etekcity Ultralight camping stove is a durable stove which is made from aluminum alloy and stainless steel.
Since the stove is really compact with only a dimension of 1.81 inches x 2.36 inches x 3.15 inches, the Etekcity is extremely suitable for ultralight backpacking. This stove only weighs 4.4 ounces.
The Etekcity Backpacking stove comes with an adjustable flame control valve which allows the user to easily tweak the flame from maximum heat output to a mere simmer.
You’ll be able to easily ignite the stove especially with its built-in electric-spark ignition system too.
Furthermore, the Etekcity Backpacking Stove has a high combustion efficiency because of how it’s made. The tip of the burner has a honeycomb shape and it’s built with high-temperature alloy, which helps it function as an efficient burner.
This backpacking stove has the capabilities of heating up things quickly like any other high-end stove out in the market. You will be able to get your water boiled in 3.5 minutes.
There’s even a windproof screen which works extremely well in condensing the flame, which helps increase oxygen circulation and improve combustion.
Liquid fuel backpacking stoves are known to be highly versatile because they are really versatile and can burn efficiently in varying altitudes. The Etekcity Backpacking stove is no exception. For the money, you can’t go wrong buying this backpacking stove.
Although the price backpacking stove itself is cheap, the liquid fuel is notoriously known to be expensive. Therefore, I have also suggested wood burning stoves and alcohol stoves because they are much cheaper to use in the long run.
This stove would be suitable for short backpacking trips because the stove itself is lightweight and compact. The Triangia Spirit Burner only weighs 3.84 ounces and it’s really compact too having a dimension of 2.85 inches x 1.75 inches.
If you are going on a short trip, you only need so much alcohol to fuel the stove. However, if you are going for a longer trip, it doesn’t make much sense to carry that much alcohol because it will take a toll on your body. I would highly recommend that you get a liquid fuel stove if you’re going on a long-term backpacking trip and you have to cook frequently too.
For short trips, you’ll just need 100ml of yellow heet stored in the stove. You’ll get to boil more than 3 Liters of water which is enough for most backpacking meals.
For most alcohol stoves, they typically have a much longer boil time as compared to liquid fuel stoves. If you use the Trangia Spirit Burner with an output of 1000w, you will need to wait 8 minutes before you can get the water boiled.
This stove is much more versatile than other alcohol stoves because it comes with Triangia’s O-ring lined screwcap. This feature allows you to keep excess fuel inside the stove with minimal leakage.
The Triangia Spirit Burner is a simple, reliable and versatile stove. It’s extremely simple to operate. Just fill it up with alcohol fuel and light it with a lighter. The stove only takes around 30 to 60 seconds to warm up sufficiently and vaporize the fuel to burn efficiently.
If you utilize the simmer cap, the Triangia Spirit burner becomes much more flexible. You can increase the burn time and manipulate the intensity of the flame.
I would definitely recommend the Triangia Spirit Burner if you want an inexpensive portable backpacking stove for shorter trips.
The Tomshoo camping stove is made from solid stainless steel which has the capacity to withstand heavyweight pots and strong heat.
Plus, the Tomshoo camping stove is pretty compact where it has a dimension of 5.4 inches (D) x 2.8 inches (H) when packed.
Compared to the 2 stoves I suggested above, the Tomshoo Camping stove is much heavier weighing 16 ounces.
However, if you’re backpacking in the woods long-term, I would highly recommend bringing a wood burning stove. You don’t have to carry any fuel with you on your trips. You’ll just need to make sure that you can get dry wood and leaves to fuel the stove.
The Tomshoo wood burning stove is jam-packed with amazing features.
It has a windproof serrated cross stand which is a really stable platform where you can safely put your cookware.
Moreover, the Tomshoo camping stove has a double wall inside which helps to ensure that the cold air contained inside the stove can heat up really fast.
If you’re camping in the woods, you’ll have unlimited amount of fuel.
Using a wood burning stove can help you save huge amount of money. You don’t have to burn cash buying fuel canisters which are really costly. Plus, the stove is really easy to set-up too.
The only drawback is that the wood burning stove isn’t as versatile as the liquid fuel stove. I wouldn’t recommend using a wood burning stove in extreme climate or cold weather camping.
You’ll even get a 12-month warranty by Tomshoo when you purchase this stove. It’s really rare to get warranties for backpacking stoves so this warranty makes it a no brainer for us to consider purchasing this wood burning stove.
Best Inexpensive Portable Backpacking Stove Buying Guide
There are several factors you have to consider before picking the top backpacking stoves. Even if you’re looking for the best backpacking stove for high altitude or the best winter backpacking stove, there are several conditions you must consider before making a purchase. Things get even more complicated especially when you have to select the most suitable type of stove first before even consider purchasing the best backpacking stove. You have to decide whether you want to use canister stove, alcohol stove, wood burning stove or solid fuel stove. Here are some factors which I take into account.
1. Availability of Fuel
This factor is a big one. If you’re planning to use the backpacking stove internationally, you have to make sure that the fuel is available in the various places which you’re going.
If you’re going for a backpacking trip at a tropical island filled with trees, the wood burning stove may be your best bet. Also, liquid fuel is pretty difficult to get outside the United States. You have to do your due diligence and know what kinds of fuel are available in the area you are going to.
2. Weight of the stove
This criterion isn’t a game changer. Most stoves nowadays are relatively lightweight anyway. However, you don’t want to get a backpacking stove that has excessive weight. Also, I would recommend that you take into account the amount of fuel you have to bring along too. This will help you to eliminate the amount of choices you have and help you narrow down to backpacking stoves which are practicable for you to bring along in your backpacking trips.
3. Ease of use
How easy it is to use the stove in various situations is an important factor.
Canister backpacking stoves like the Etekcity Backacking stoves are the easiest to use. You won’t need to do anything for maintenance. You’ll just have to screw the backpacking stove onto the canister and ensure there’s no leakage.
For wood burning stove, you have to spend more time getting dry wood to act as fuel for the stove. Also, you will have to clean up the mess after using the stove. As a responsible backpacker, you have to clean up the ashes before leaving the camping ground.
As for alcohol stoves, they aren’t easy to use in windy conditions. You’ll have to use a windscreen to ensure the stove works well. Unlike canister stoves like the MSR Windburner that is unperturbed by wind.
I hope that this write-up on the best inexpensive portable backpacking stove gave you a good idea on which backpacking stove to get even when you’re on a tight budget. I’ve highlighted some important features which I think you should consider before making the purchase. If you have any thoughts you want to share on this topic, feel free to share them in the comments!
I am Jeremy, the outdoor enthusiast behind Survive the Outdoor. I love all things about backpacking, travel, hiking and just spending my time in nature. After years of experience testing out various gears, I’ve decided to write this blog to help out as many people as possible.