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Comparing Wood Burning Backpacking Camp Stoves | What's Important and Why It Matters


littlbug stoves


Choosing Your Wood Burning Backpacking Camp Stove

What to Consider and Why It Matters


Thanks for coming to this page and taking a look at What to Consider and Why It Matters - a practical guide for choosing your wood burning backpacking camp stove. This guide is a compilation of what I've learned about small, wood burning camping stoves over the years - years spent in the wilderness on walkabouts in summer, winter and the seasons in between. We have all four here in northern Minnesota, although one in particular seems a lot longer than the rest! I hope you find the information that I present here useful in helping you find the stove that's right for you.


Disclaimer: With this guide you can take a look at several stoves from different companies to help you identify which features are important to you. I do not pretend that this is an objective comparison. I'd love for you to become the proud owner of a Littlbug Stove! My primary goal is to help you find the stove that's right for you. Yes, it might be a Littlbug Stove or no, it might not. I'm willing to take that chance and I encourage you to verify the information presented here. Please bring any mistakes you find to my attention ( ).


Introduction: No stove is the best at everything because every stove design is a compromise of competing factors. Can the lightest stove be the most rugged? Is the stove with the fastest boil time going to be the smallest? Is the stove that costs the least actually the best value? All these factors and more combine to become the stove that you will depend on. It matters that you know what to consider.


Considerations: In this section I will give you a quick look at what's important to consider and why it matters, starting with a preview of the stoves that are presented in this guide. You can choose which considerations to view by clicking on the ones that interest you. This will take you directly to photographs, tables, graphs and additional content dealing with that consideration.


Important Factors and Why They Matter:

  1. Consider: The stoves presented in this guide ...more

  2. Consider: Firebox Size and Shape

    Why it matters: The size of the firebox determines how much wood your stove can hold, how much heat the stove is capable of delivering, how often you have to add wood to keep the fire going, how long you can keep the fire going before ash buildup cuts off the air flow, the amount of time and effort needed to process wood to fit the stove, whether the stove distributes the heat evenly across the bottom of the pot or conversely – causes hot spots…more

  3. Consider: Assembled Size

    Why it matters: The size of your stove influences how it performs, how often you have to refuel it, how convenient it is to cook with, how easy it is to transport, how much it weighs, the size pots that you can use…more

  4. Consider: Packed Size and Shape

    Why it matters: Size and shape when stowed for transport influences how much of that valuable space your stove will consume in your pack or if you can carry it some other way – like rolled in your sleeping pad ...more

  5. Consider: Weight

    Why it matters: Because you're the one carrying it and it all adds up ...more

  6. Consider: Stability

    Why it matters: Think about safety (yours and the forest), disappointment and possibly anger that accompanies your meal being dumped on the ground and you going to bed hungry more

  7. Consider: Boil Time

    Why it matters: How long do you want to wait for supper ...more

  8. Consider: Fuel Port Size and Accessibility

    Why it matters: Think safety and convenience. How does the size of your favorite pot affect access to the fire box ...more

  9. Consider: Ease of Assembly

    Why it matters: Because you don't want to spend a lot of time putting your stove together every time you use it. If you're winter camping, you shouldn't have to take your gloves off to put it together ...more

  10. Consider: Multi-fuel Options

    Why it matters: You may encounter fire bans and if your stove has multi-fuel capability you can still use it ...more

  11. Consider: Pot Supports

    Why it matters: What size pots will fit on the pot support? If your stove has a multi-fuel option, can you adjust the space between the top of the burner and the bottom of your pot? Think faster boil times and less fuel (for you to carry) ...more

  12. Consider: Wind and Cold Weather Performance

    Why it matters: Wind and air temperature affect boil times. Does your stove have wind protection incorporated in the design or do you need to carry an additional windscreen for it ...more

  13. Consider: Durability and Craftsmanship

    Why it matters: If it doesn't break, you don't have to fix it or worse – not have to go without ...more

  14. Consider: Complexity vs Simplicity

    Why it matters: Complexity is expensive – simplicity invaluable ...more

  15. Consider: Leave No Trace Camping Principles

    Why it matters: Wood fires leave a scar but with a properly designed stove, you can burn wood without leaving a trace ...more

  16. Consider: Available Accessories

    Why it matters: Accessories allow you to customize your stove to meet your particular needs without having to buy (and carry) features that you don't need on your trip ...more

  17. Consider: Company Values

    Why it matters: What are you supporting with your purchase? ...more

  18. Consider: Where Your Stove is Made

    Why it matters: If you want to know, it should be easy to find out from the company's website. If the company doesn't tell you, maybe there's a reason they don't want you to know....more

  19. Consider: What a Patent Tells You

    Why it matters: This really tells you more about the company than the stove. Not all patents are created equal ...more

  20. Consider: Price vs Value

    Why it matters: Price doesn't matter if you have an unlimited budget but it does for the rest of us! Seldom does best value come at the lowest price ...more



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.