There is, unfortunately, no best method for choosing the right camp stove. How to choose a camp stove depends on a whole host of factors—it’s a complicated process, and it’s different for everyone.
That said, I do have some suggestions. As the survival/EDC gear consultant for Shoulders of Giants, I’ve personally tested dozens of camp stoves in a whole host of different circumstances. These are my favorites:
For ultralighters: The Vargo Triad
In my opinion, Vargo’s Triad is the best stove for ultralight backpacking. It weighs just one ounce (an iPhone 7 weighs 6.63 ounces), and packs down no bigger than a tin of Copenhagen.
The titanium stove’s preferred fuel is alcohol, but it can also burn special fuel gels or tabs. It boils 16 ounces of water in just six minutes (with alcohol—other fuels take a few minutes longer). And because it comes with almost no moving parts, it’s almost impossible to break.
We sell the Triad for $34.95 in our shop.
For the campground: The Solo Stove
I’ll be honest. When the Solo Stove first came across my social media feed, I thought it seemed like a gimmick. A camp stove that runs on wood? Sounded like a campfire to me.
But the Solo Stove is an engineering marvel. Its airflow system ensures an extremely efficient burn and creates a smokeless flame. Thus, it’s easier to cook on than a campfire and has a much lighter impact on the area you use it in.
We sell three Solo Stoves at Shoulders of Giants. The $70 Solo Stove Lite is great for long-distance backpackers who don’t want to carry fuel, while the $90 Titan and $110 Campfire are better-suited for car camping.
For Chefs: The Tembotusk Skottle
It boggles my mind that more people don’t own Skottle stoves. For overlanders and #vanlife enthusiasts in particular, it’s an obvious alternative the bulk, weight, and mess of a traditional grill.
Built around a fixture of South African hunting camps, the Skottle is basically a propane-fueled wok mounted on an adjustable tripod. It’s a simple machine, but it has the potential to permanently change your camp food game.
We sell the Tembotusk Skottle in our shop for $275. It’s worth it.
Still don’t know how to choose a camp stove? Email your questions to [email protected].