Top 4 best wood burning camp stoves

When camping I have always used a stove powered by propane, however as we look to spend more time backpacking, I decided to investigate other portable camping stove options. Key factors for me are that the stove be small and lightweight and that it be easy to use. My research led me to consider a wood burning camping stove, which would save me the cost of fuel canisters as well as take up less space in my backpack. This article will include reviews of four top wood burning camping stoves, as well as how to go about building one yourself while embarking on your own adventure.

Reviews of best wood burning camp stoves

Solo Stove Lite

Recommended by Backpacker Magazine as the number one wood-burning backpacking stove is the Solo Stove, and I first take a look at the Solo Stove Lite. This portable, lightweight stove,  has a lot to offer and is a great option for those looking for a small wood burning stove for camping. There are reviews on Amazon for this stove for an average of 4.8 stars. Those who have used the Solo Stove Lite have expressed that it is easy to light, is well made and durable and is easily able to be nested or packed. It is also confirmed that the stove boils water quickly.

Features:

  •  The Solo Stove Lite offers a unique design with a double wall that “creates ultra-clean gasification and a secondary combustion”. This means that the Solo Stove will burn more completely while generating less smoke.
  • The increased efficiency of the stove means that you will use less fuel than in an open campfire.
  • The stove weighs a mere nine ounces and with no fuel canisters necessary.
  • The Solo Stove Lite has a diameter of 4.25” and is 3.8” high when packed.
  • The stove is made of 304 stainless steel and nichrome wire.
  • The stove has the ability to boil 34 fl oz. of water in 8-10 minutes and is fueled by twigs, leaves, pinecones and wood.
  • The Solo Stove Lite comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Pros:

  • Size: The Solo Stove Lite is small and weighs only 9 ounces. When backpacking the less weight the better.
  • Increased efficiency requires less fuel
  • The Solo Stove Lite comes with a lifetime guarantee

Cons:

  • The Solo Stove Lite is more expensive than other options
  • It requires a lot of attention to keep the fire going.
  • Depending on what you are burning for heat, you may get a lot of smoke.

Ohuhu Portable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camping Stove

Another option for an ultralight wood burning camp stove to consider is the Ohuhu Portable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camping Stove, a portable stove available on Amazon . With such a significant price difference from the Solo Stove Lite, it will be interesting to look at the Ohuhu Stove and how the stoves differ. There are reviews of this stove on Amazon for an average of 4.6 stars. Reviews point to the stove burning very hot and bringing things to a boil quickly. It is noted that the stove is crafted from quality stainless steel, is light and portable, and very easy to use. Negative reviews pointed out that the stove goes through a lot of fuel quickly and does not do well with wet or damp fuel (wood, twigs, leaves, pinecones) which can be a big issue. It was mentioned that the top part of the stove was flimsy and that cause it to be unstable for pots.

Features:

  • The Ohuhu Portable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camping Stove is made of stainless steel that is able to withstand high temperatures and weight.
  • The Stove is fueled by twigs, leaves, pinecones and wood and can also heat with solid alcohol.
  • The stove features a 3 arms pot support system which makes a stable places for cooking and allows heat to be evenly distributed.
  • The stove weighs 14.2 ounces and its measurements are 5.3” x 5.3” x 3”.
  • The stove will boil cold water in approximately 12 minutes.

Pros:

  • The Ohuhu Portable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camping Stove brings water to a boil quickly
  • The stove is easy to use.
  • Even with imperfections, it is hard to beat the price compared to more expensive wood burning camping stoves.

Cons:

  • The top part of the stove was flimsy and therefore lacked stability for pots.
  • It was hard to use when only wet or damp fuel was available.

BioLite Wood Burning Campstove

Next up is the BioLite Wood Burning Campstove, which is actually a wood burning camp stove with a USB charger. This efficient stove offers more than the ability to boil water and warm food. With a good fire going, this backpacking wood stove can power smartphones and other USB chargeable gadgets. Just 20 minutes of charging can deliver 60 minutes of “talk time” on most phones. There are reviews of this stove on Amazon for an average of 4.5 stars. The BioLite Wood Burning Campstove creates fire fast, boils water quickly and is solidly made. While some reviewers had a great experience with it charging their devices, others expressed that the stove did not generate enough power to charge devices for long or at all.Several expressed trouble with the long term battery life of the stove. Quite a few reviewers expressed that the customer service experience with BioLite was pretty dreadful.

Features:

  • The BioLite Wood Burning Campstove weighs approximately two pounds.
  • The stove is about the size of a 1-liter Nalgene water bottle.
  • Twigs, leaves, pinecones and wood are used as fuel for the stove.
  • The stove includes an internal starter batter that will help to get the fire going before the stove starts to create its own power.
  • The stove includes an internal starter batter that will help to get the fire going before the stove starts to create its own power.
  • Once the stove is fully burning it can boil one liter of water in 4 minutes and 30 seconds as well as convert its heat to electricity. The electricity will allow you to charge your phone or other items.

Pros:

  • The BioLite Wood Burning Campstove boils water very quickly.
  • This stove also has the ability to charge electronic devices.
  • The BioLite Wood Burning Campstove is great for an emergency situation like a power outage.

Cons:

  • At two pounds, The BioLite Wood Burning Campstove is heavy for a backpacking stove.
  • Users have reported issues with the long term battery life of the stove as well as its ability to charge.
  • Should your stove have any issues, there is a good chance you will not have success in getting the problems rectified.
  • The price is high for a wood burning backpacking stove.

WoodFlame Ultra Lightweight Wood Burning Stove

The WoodFlame Ultra Lightweight Wood Burning Stove by KampMate, is another option for those looking for a lightweight wood burning stove for backpacking. Like the three stoves reviewed previously, this stove does not require propane and will run on a variety of things including charcoal, cedar pucks, and esbit tablets. Amazon customers offer  reviews of this stove for an average of 4.8 stars. Those who have used the stove noted its stable design and ease of assembly. It was also stated that the WoodFlame Ultra Lightweight Wood Burning Stove is able to maintain a fire with wet wood. The only negative review expressed that they felt the stove is cheaply made.

Features

  • The WoodFlame Ultra Lightweight Wood Burning Stove is made of 304 stainless steel
  • The stove weighs 1.1 pounds with the following dimensions: 4.25” x 6” by 7.5”.
  • The stove is collapsible and folds flat for easy storage.
  • The WoodFlame Ultra Lightweight Wood Burning Stove offers excellent air ventilation to allow for hot temperatures and a burning chamber that enables the stove to generate a high BTU output.
  • There are embossed side plates that help to keep the metal strong after long term use.
  • Fuel can be put into the stove from either the top or through the side opening.

Pros:

  • The WoodFlame Ultra Lightweight Wood Burning Stove folds flat for easy storage.
  • The cost of this stove is reasonable.
  • The stove is able to maintain a fire with wet wood.

Cons:

  • Size: At 1.1 pounds, there are lighter options available for backpackers.

How to Build your own Wood Burning Camp Stove

Should you not feel that any of these stoves are a fit for you and your family, or you want to avoid the cost of a wood burning camp stove, consider building your own stove. This is not a terribly difficult project, and I will provide detailed instructions on how to build a lightweight, wood burning camping stove that is suitable for backpacking.

What you will need:

  • The “outer” can: one 22oz. can
  • The “inner” can: one 11-12 oz. can
  • Pot stand: one standard tuna can
  • You will also want to have the following tools handy:
  • Tin snips
  • Drill
  • Round file

Getting Started:

First, take the larger of the two cans, which will be the “outer” can. What was considered the top of this large can will be considered the bottom of the stove. You will want to drill two rows of holes into the bottom portion of the can offset with each other as depicted below in figure 1. This holes should be drilled all the way around the can. The holes should be 3/8”.

In the top of the stove (formerly the bottom of the can), you will cut out the circumference of the smaller can. Using you tin snips, you will want to create a hole where the small can is able to nest inside the larger can.

You will then take the smaller can. The flat bottom of the smaller can should have ¼” holes throughout. All around the top of the can you will want to drill quarter inch holes as well in the same manner as shown in figure 1.

Try to nest the smaller can in the hole that was cut out of the large can. Should you not be able to get the smaller can into the larger can, you will want to use your tin snips to increase the size of the hole in the large can. Keep working with your tin snips until you are able to get the small can into the large can. It is recommended that you enlarge the hole a little at a time, so as to not make the hole too large. You are looking for there to be a nice, tight seal between the two cans.

Once the smaller can is nesting (placed inside) in the larger can, you will move on to the tuna can. The tuna can will be the pot stand of your stove. You will drill two rows of holes all around the tuna can as show in figure 2.

Using your tin snips, you will cut the portion between the top hole and the bottom hole creating a space for air flow that looks something like figure 3.

Connect the top and bottom rows around the entire tuna can. Your tuna can should look something like figure 4.

I am excited to learn about the options for a wood burning camp stove for camping and backpacking. For many years I have been using stoves fueled by propane, which is not a problem when car camping, however is less than ideal when backpacking. The propane stoves require that I carry the additional weight of the propane canisters, which also take up some of the limited room in my backpack. With a wood burning camp stove, I am able to use natural items as fuel, and these will be available wherever I am camping. Utilizing a wood burning camp stove will help me shave weight from what I have to put in my backpack as well as leave me with extra space for additional things that I will need.

William
 

My name is William, a family man with two kids and the passion for camping. I started Pandaneo with sharing memorable camping experiences back as a newbie camper, introducing my family to the love for the great outdoors. As time passed, we started traveling across states, trying to hit as many campsites we can!