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Your Outdoor Skills: The Best Experience with the Best Fuel

Posted by Esther Drebelbis of Littlbug Enterprises on

Wood burning backpacking stoves make for an ultralight backpacking experience. Their compact size will not only save you ounces, but also space in your pack. If your adventure plans take you to areas with plenty of natural fuel sources, you can leave some of the refined fuel at home and rely on nature to help fuel your cooking needs.

We want to make sure you get the best experience out of your wood burning stove, so we have a list of the best fuel sources for your backpacking stove.

Ignite the Fire

Dry leaves, grass, birch bark and/or pine needles work the best to get your fire going in your wood burning stove. This dry foliage lights up easily and gets your fire burning quickly.

Stuff the bottom of your stove with a handful of this dry kindling while holding the stove with the bottom facing up. Use a lighter or a match to start your fire. Once it’s lit, place your wood burning stove on its base. Large, flat rocks work well as a durable, safe surface for your wood burning stove to rest on or leave less of a footprint with Littlbug’s Fire Bowl. Littlbug Stoves can also be lit from the top down.  Put your small sticks or twigs in first and lay your tinder on top. The excellent air flow provided by the Littlbug's firebox design is essential to its quick ignition and clean burn. 

Feed the Flame

To keep your fire burning strong and hot, feed your wood burning stove with just that - wood. Small sticks and twigs work great for this. Twigs and small sticks burn slower and give off more heat than the quick burning dry leaves, grass, and pine needles you used to start your wood burning stove.

Fill the upper part of the stove with twigs and sticks and leave enough room in the bottom for the dry kindling. This way, when you start your kindling on fire, the twigs and small sticks will catch as well. A good rule of thumb is not to have the twigs higher than the pot supports. Continue feeding the fire with twigs and sticks as you need.


Sometimes you may come across areas that lack an abundance of natural fuels or you may be concerned wet conditions will make it hard to light your wood burning camp stove. In these scenarios, alcohol burners are an excellent option. Both the Littlbug Senior and Littlbug Junior stoves provide a precise fit around an alcohol burner.

To get the best experience with an alcohol burner, we suggest using the Littlbug Pot Sling. The Pot Sling allows your pot to sit lower inside the stove, closer to the heat source. This is more energy efficient and ensures you’re using the least amount of alcohol fuel to boil water and cook your meals. This way, your alcohol lasts longer, meaning you won’t have to pack as much.

It may be a good idea to carry a small alcohol burner as backup when you’re going into the backcountry. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Be sure to check fire restrictions in the area you plan on exploring so you can make sure you abide by them. Some areas may appear lush and green when in reality, they could be suffering from a drought and restrictions are in place about what kind of stove you can use. Check out our Wildfire blog post to learn more about how you can help prevent wildfires. 

When it comes to outdoor skills the more you bring along, the less you have to carry. Skills don't break and they're never left behind. They don’t leak, tear, and they don’t get wet!

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While we add value to your outdoor experience, you are adding value to our planet and all that live here. Littlbug Enterprises donates at least 10% of its profits to help care for the Earth and its inhabitants.