Best Alcohol Stove for Backpacking: Your Ultimate Guide
While there are many camping gears that can prove to be essential, one that you might want to have is an alcohol stove system. This will make it effortless for you to enjoy a hot meal even while you are outdoors and devoid of the luxuries of your home.
If you are searching for the best alcohol stove for backpacking, keep on reading the rest of this post and we’ll let you know some of the most important considerations, as well as the top picks that you might want to take into account.
Benefits of Alcohol Stove System
There are several choices for a backpacking stove, each with their respective set of pros and cons. Among others, alcohol stove is one of the favorites for many outdoor enthusiasts. Here are some of the reasons that can possibly compel you to have one as well:
- Cheap Price: This is more affordable compared to most of the other stoves that you can find in the market. It is also a good thing that it uses denatured alcohol, which is cheaper compared to other fuel types.
- Safe: Cooking in the campsite can be risky, especially if you are not attentive. One good thing about alcohol stove is that the fuel used is non-explosive. Also, in case of an emergency, having it extinguished will be a piece of cake.
- Lightweight: Another good reason to choose an alcohol stove is the fact that it is lightweight. Most of the models that you can see in the market do not go above two ounces. This will not add a significant weight in your camping gear.
- Maintenance-Free: Once you own an alcohol stove, you will love how it does not require you to exert too much effort for maintenance. Since there are no hoses or any moving part, no maintenance is required. Cleaning it will also be effortless.
- User-Friendly: The simplicity of an alcohol stove is another good reason to consider investing in one. It can be operated by almost anyone, even by a person who has not seen it before.
Choosing an Alcohol Stove System
In this section, we will briefly go through some of the most important factors that will have an impact on your decision about what to choose:
- Size: One of the first things that you should do is to decide on how small or big you want it to be. This will depend on the intended use. Are you going to camp on your own? If yes, a small one will be more than enough. On the other hand, if you will be a big group, you will need a bigger one.
- Weight: One of the main benefits of alcohol stove is the fact that they are lightweight, but still, one model can be more portable than the other. Choose one that will not be too much of a burden to carry.
- Assembly: Generally speaking, alcohol stoves are simple to use. However, the assembly right out of the box can be tricky. See to it that the manufacturer provides comprehensive instructions so that you will know how the installation can be completed in a breeze. The wrong assembly can lead into not being able to maximize the functionality of the stove.
- Alcohol Used: The best choice is a stove that uses denatured alcohol, which is easy to find and safe. Try to avoid stoves that use grain alcohol and methyl alcohol. They have the reputation of being poisonous because they contain harmful chemicals.
- Reviews: Before you decide on which one to buy, be sure to consult with the opinions of other people first, specifically in the form of online reviews. Their insights and experiences will be helpful in narrowing down the possibilities.
Debunking Myths about Alcohol Stoves
A lot of people may instantly reject the idea of buying an alcohol stove because they have heard the wrong things. Here are some of the examples of these myths:
- Alcohol stoves will not work in the cold. Even if you are camping in a cold environment, you can make the most out of your stove by putting a foil or foam as a base. This will help in the prevention of heat loss.
- Alcohol stoves will not work in high wind. Yes, this can be true, but this does not mean that you can no longer use it in windy conditions. It is important to have some sort of blockage around the stove and choose the right location so that you can use it efficiently.
- You can make your own alcohol stove. You can, especially if you are a DIY expert. For most people, on the other hand, they will end up being frustrated. Spare yourself from the hassle and instead, buy the ones that are commercially-available.
Reviews of Best Alcohol Stove for Backpacking
Clueless on which one to pick? In this section, we will tackle five of the products that can provide the best bang for the buck. We will have a look at their most notable features, as well as their pros and cons, making it easy for you to weigh the possibilities.
Esbit CS985HA 5-piece Lightweight Trekking Cook Set with Brass Alcohol Burner Stove and 2 Anodized Cooking Pots
Value for money – this is possibly one of the reasons that will make you love this product. At its affordable price, it is a good thing that it is inclusive of not only a stove, but even the pots that you will use. They are made from anodized aluminum, which is why they are lightweight.
If you do not have the patience to deal with complicated installation, you might also like this alcohol stove system. There is also a mesh bag that is included, allowing you to easily organize all of the pieces in this set.
The quality of the alcohol burner is also worth giving emphasis. It is made from high-quality brass to make it long-lasting. The variable flame regulator is also a good thing, providing you with a better ability to control the heat that is produced by the stove. The top can also be screwed to secure the alcohol inside.
Lastly, it comes with two cups that have an ergonomic handle, making it easy to hold. The smaller top is also versatile since it can double as a lid when not used for cooking.
- Comes as a complete set
- Durable construction
- Easy to assemble
- Simmer ring can be tricky to adjust
- A bit bulky
If durability is an important consideration for you, this is one option that you might want to look at. The stainless steel construction is the reason for this. However, this material also has a drawback, especially when it comes to weight.
Aside from weight, another problem with stainless steel is that it remains hot for quite some time after heating. Aluminum steel could have been a better material of choice, especially because it is also lighter.
It is also a good thing that this alcohol stove has a capacity of 100ml. This is more than enough for basic cooking tasks that you need to do outdoors.
The collapsible stand is one more thing that you might love. This makes it space-efficient. When not used, you can fold them so that the unit becomes more compact.
The reasonable price of this model is one more thing that you might like. You do not need to spend a premium price just to enjoy a product with excellent quality.
- Innovative design
- Generous alcohol capacity
- A bit heavy
- Easily prone to scratches
The portability of this model is one of the reasons why you might want to consider this model. Its small size makes it compact, allowing you to have it easily stashed inside the bag, unlike others that are bulky and heavy.
This backup fuel source is simple to use. It comes with a screw top cap that will protect the alcohol and will prevent it from spilling. This is perfect for people who are always on the move.
The flame regulator in this product is another reason why it is impressive. This will provide you with the freedom to control the heat that is produced by the stove.
The container can hold up to three ounces of denatured gas. This is small compared to many others, but the good thing is that this makes it compact and portable.
- Affordable price
- Compact size
- Can easily crack
- Prone to leaking
This is another top option that can be taken into account in your search for the best alcohol stove for backpacking. It is lightweight, but the problem is that it comes as a set. With this, expect that it is going to take up a lot of space in your backpack.
Aside from the alcohol stove, it also comes with two sauce pans and a non-stick frying pan. The set also comes with a windscreen. This is going to help block the wind from the surroundings, making sure that the heat remains constant. Consequently, this will speed up the cooking process.
The pan grip is an added feature that you might appreciate as well. This can be easily clipped in any of the included pans and will instantly turn into a handle. It is ergonomically-designed, which will make sure of your comfort.
Lastly, you might also love it because of ease of cleaning. You do not have to exert too much effort in having it cleaned. This will make it easy for you to maintain its best quality even after several years of use.
- Comes in a complete set
- Has measurements on the side
- Expensive price
This is another affordable option that you might want to consider when looking for an alcohol stove system. More than its price, you might also like that it is lightweight. With its sleek design, it is easy to bring it in your camping trips without having to consume a lot of space in your gear.
The smart design of this model is one more thing that I personally loved. This is also a reason why it is space-efficient. The stand and the pot holders can be folded and unfolded easily. This minimizes its size when kept inside the bag.
It is also a good thing that there are no external parts. Right out of the box, just unfold the legs and the pot holder. Once done, you can now start using the alcohol stove. There is no need to deal with complicated assembly.
- Lightweight and compact
- Effortless of clean
- Low burn time
- Hard to monitor fuel content
Your search for the best alcohol stove for backpacking will not be an easy feat. You will most likely end up being confused because of having too many options. From the discussions above, however, if there is one that I can personally recommend, it would be Esbit CS985HA 5-piece Lightweight Trekking Cook Set with Brass Alcohol Burner Stove and 2 Anodized Cooking Pots. Since it comes as a set, you will already have everything that you need to cook outdoors. Its quality and functionality will be hard to rival.
Did you enjoy reading this guide? Is there any alcohol stove that you would like to recommend? Do not hesitate to leave a comment below.