Free 35 Survival Hacks you'll love!

You will get 35 easy-to-implement survival hacks so that you don't have to stand aimlessly in the forest from tomorrow when things get tough. Take your skills to the next level!

DOWNLOAD HERE FOR FREE

Outdoor stove - Which type of camping stove suits you?

Which Bushcraft stove suits you? Gas, gasoline, spirit or Esbit? Or the one with wood? Get an overview of all bushcraft stoves.

from Martin Gebhardt | Bushcraft | no comment yet | reading time 10 Min
Updated on 13 June 2024 30.127 views 96% found this guide helpful
Outdoor stove - Which type of camping stove suits you?

Martin Gebhardt

From Martin Gebhardt. Check out my “About me” page.


👉 The key facts from this guide

  • There are different kinds of outdoor cookers, including the Hobo stove, the wood gas stove, the spirit stove, the gas stove, the gasoline stove and the Esbit stove.
  • The Hobo stove is a metal container used as a combustion chamber. It is lightweight, compact and can be fueled with wood from the forest.
  • A wood gas stove is an advanced Hobo stove that burns wood gas. It produces very little smoke and generates a lot of heat.
  • Spirit stoves are ideal for cooking for a whole family. They are safe to use, and alcohol fuel is available almost worldwide.
  • Gas stoves are popular because they burn very hot and are quickly ready for use. However, they are slightly larger and heavier due to the gas cartridge.
  • Gasoline stoves are ideal if you are on the move with a motorized vehicle. They become very hot, but are also noisy.
  • Esbit stoves are tiny and lightweight. They are quickly ready for use and generate heat immediately. The fuel is a tablet, which is also known as dry alcohol.

We outdoor enthusiasts love fire.

And what is the highlight of a sweaty hiking or bushcraft day?

Exactly: Cooking and preparing food.

Your meal is the reward for your strenuous day.

In addition, self-prepared food simply tastes great. Seasoned with fresh forest and meadow air, it becomes a delicacy.

Now I want to introduce you to the most popular outdoor and camping stoves.

All outdoor cookers and burners have one thing in common: they are portable campfires, your backpacking fire pit.

What does the community say? How do most people cook outdoors?

I asked the community how they like to cook best.

This came out: Most people like to cook with spirits. The answers are varied, but see for yourself.

This is how the community likes to cook best: with spirits
This is how the community likes to cook best: with spirits

And now we'll take a closer look at each stove.

Let's start with the Hobo Stove.

The Hobo Oven / Bushbox

The Hobo stove or Bushbox, as it is also called, is a metal vessel that serves as a combustion chamber.

You place a pot or cup on top of the Hobo which heats up as a result. The lower part of the vessel has holes through which air is drawn in.

The Hobo Stove: Light and usable with fuel from the forest
The Hobo Stove: Light and usable with fuel from the forest

The fire in the Hobo is concentrated on the metal walls. The heat does not radiate outwards, as with a campfire, but remains largely in the vessel.

The chimney effect is created by the holes in the bottom of the Hobo stove.

Your fire receives particularly good oxygen supply and therefore burns well. As a result, even small amounts of wood burn completely, and it reaches high temperatures.

The advantages to using a Hobo:

  • Gas or other fuels are unnecessary, which saves weight. You can use wood from the forest as fuel.
  • A Hobo is small, compact, and lightweight. It can be assembled easily and packed away wonderfully. Therefore, it is ideal for your trekking, bushcraft, or survival tour.

The disadvantages:

  • You have to keep adding wood. With small Hobos, you may have to constantly collect wood.
  • Due to its size, you cannot use large branches with this type of stove.
  • While your wood burns hotly due to the chimney effect, it also burns faster.
  • You must light your Hobo before there will be enough heat for cooking purposes.

Its performance surpasses that of an alcohol stove but falls short compared to gas or petrol stoves which offer more heat output. Preparing coffee or lunch is no problem, however, providing for a whole family becomes difficult.

The Hobo stove is also called a portable wood burning stove, camping cooker or outdoor cooker.

Two of the most well-known hobos manufacturers are Wikatech and Bushcraft Essentials. Both offer high-quality hobo stoves that can be folded and assembled easily.

Here are my buying recommendations:

Outdoor Stove Bushbox LF
4,8 (246)

Data updated 11 hours ago

Outdoor Stove Bushbox LF

  • Very small, nevertheless foldable and as efficient as the Bushbox XL.
  • Measurements: 14 x 10 x 1.2 cm / 5.5 x 3.9 x 0.5 in (folded), 14 x 10 x 10 / 5.5 x 3.9 x 3.9 in (unfolded); Weight: 470g / 16.58oz; Wall thickness: 1 mm
  • Multi-fuel, can be used with wood, organic matter, Trangia & Esbit.
  • Fits into Heavy Duty Outdoor Bag Bushbox (ASIN B00NEMVQC2)
  • Made in Germany from 100% stainless steel.

$65.85

View Product

Interesting to know: during the Great Depression of 1929/1930, North American migrant workers were called Hobos. The name of the stove comes from them. The Hobo primarily served the workers as a heater, but also as a stove.

Wood gas stove

A wood gas stove is an advanced Hobo, which burns the wood gases. For me, this is a very interesting principle of a Bushcraft stove.

This stove smokes very little and produces a lot of heat. With it, you can prepare your food and tea in your outdoor camp. These advanced Hobos are based on the simple principle of wood gasification.

DIY wood gas stove during assembly
DIY wood gas stove during assembly

The first combustion chamber, the interior of the stove, contains wood as the fuel. In the outer cavity of the double wall, oxygen rises and there is a secondary combustion of the wood gases (and smoke) at the exit of the air holes.

This results in complete combustion through the double wall. This means that a wood gas stove works very efficiently and almost all the wood is burned.

A huge advantage of secondary combustion: there is almost no smoke. Because no smoke is produced, the wood gas stove is almost invisible in your Bushcraft camp.

The disadvantage of the wood gas stove is that it cannot be disassembled.

In my article "How to build a wood gas stove", you will find a detailed guide on building a simple wood gas stove.

Here is a recommended purchase:

Camping Stove, Ohuhu Camp Stove Wood Burning Stove Stainless Steel Stoves Mini Portable Stove for Camping Picnic BBQ Backpacking Hiking Survival Emergency Cooking Outdoor with Grill Grid Carry Bag

Amazon
Offer

-31%

Data updated 3 hours ago

Camping Stove, Ohuhu Camp Stove Wood Burning Stove Stainless Steel Stoves Mini Portable Stove for Camping Picnic BBQ Backpacking Hiking Survival Emergency Cooking Outdoor with Grill Grid Carry Bag

  • Compact, Lightweight & Portable: It can be a pain lugging around one of those heavy gas stoves, but Ohuhu camping stove is super portable and weighs just 0.98lbs! Assembles in seconds, no tools required. This portable stove for camping can fit into your gear bag, the back of your car, or many other places! It’s the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors when you’re camping, backpacking, hiking survival, fishing or in emergency!
  • Stable & Durable: Like any high quality gear, Ohuhu backpacking wood burning stove is made to last through all sorts of adventures thanks to the stainless steel. In the meanwhile, the mini camp stoves, built with top-notch stainless steel, can support pots and pans, hot temperatures of the fire, and the journey there and back without an issue. The camping stove also comes with a detachable stainless steel plate.
  • Mutilple Use: What’s great about this camping stove is its wide compatibility with all sorts of fuel types. Not only can you use a traditional gas tank or solid fuel tablets, but you can also use any type you might bring or find along the way. Ohuhu wood burning stove is a cost-effective and eco-friendly way for cooking, boiling, and enjoying nature.
  • Wide Compatibility: You can fit just about any pot or pan on this camp stove thanks to the sizeable cooking surface. Whatever the situation calls for, boiling water and coffee, cooking food, or just making a nice campfire for heat and enjoyment. Ohuhu wood burning stove can do it all!
  • Adjustable Ash Catcher: Get exactly the heat levels you need thanks to the 2 adjustable heights (2.8”/3.8”) of the portable stoves. Use intense heat for grilling or lighter heat for warming up previously cooked food or boiled coffee. This user-friendly design makes the camping wood stove efficient and easy to use!

$19.99
List Price: $28.99

View Product

Spirit stove / alcohol burner / storm cooker

With the spirit stove, you can cook for your whole family, as these outdoor stoves are also available in large sizes. Even big pots fit on them in your Bushcraft camp.

On the other hand, the alcohol burner is only suitable for a small pot – but it is compact and lightweight (e.g., a Trangia, starting at around €12.50).

Cooking for the whole family with a large spirit stove
Cooking for the whole family with a large spirit stove

Alcohol is denatured alcohol, and this fuel is available almost worldwide. Furthermore, the application is very safe, as alcohol burns cleanly. In addition, alcohol has a good energy density.

Advantages: you can place a small alcohol burner wonderfully in your Hobo stove and prepare your food with it.

The disadvantage: you have to take the alcohol with you on your trip. Unlike wood, alcohol doesn't just lie around in the forest.

Here is a recommended purchase for an outdoor stove with burner:

Trangia TR273HA Storm Cooker, S, UL Hard Anodized, Food Inspected

Data updated 3 hours ago

Trangia TR273HA Storm Cooker, S, UL Hard Anodized, Food Inspected

  • Made in Sweden
  • Weight: 25.1 oz (740
  • Size when stored: Diameter 7.1 x 3.9 inches (18 x
  • Material: Frying Pan/Non-Stick Aluminum, Saucepan/Hard Anodized Aluminum
  • Set Includes: Frying Pan 7.1 inches (18 cm) / Sauce Pan 3.3 fl oz (1 L) x 2,

$104.66

View Product

I took a closer look at the Trangia Storm Cooker Set 25 and you can find my detailed review and test here.

Gas stove

Gas stoves are popular among outdoor enthusiasts because they burn very hot and can be obtained for €20.

The advantages: a gas stove burns constantly. This means that you also have a constant heat under your pot with this Bushcraft stove.

Furthermore, a gas stove is quickly ready for use. Screw it together, turn it on, and your food is immediately heated.

I started cooking with a gas stove and still use it. I infinitely appreciate feeling the power immediately under the pot, and in a few minutes my water is boiling.

Gas stoves deliver heat quickly, but are loud
Gas stoves deliver heat quickly, but are loud

The disadvantages are the packing size and weight. After all, you always have to carry a gas cartridge with you.

If the flame is only tiny and in the middle, you have to stir a lot. Otherwise, your food burns in the middle and remains cold on the edges.

The volume is not to be underestimated, either. A wood fire crackles occasionally, but with a gas stove, you can hear the gas hissing if you turn it up all the way.

A gas stove costs €20 to €60 and the gas cartridge has to be purchased separately.

Here is an affordable and high-quality recommendation for beginners:

Primus | Essential Trail Backpacking Stove, Silver, Trail Stove (P-351110)

Data updated 11 hours ago

Primus | Essential Trail Backpacking Stove, Silver, Trail Stove (P-351110)

  • compact, lightweight, easy to use: the essential trail stove is a european sit-on-top stove that is perfect for novices and experienced outdoor cooks alike.
  • precise flame control: the control valve ensures precise flame control for optimum cooking results.
  • increased stability: laminar flow burner technology offers a lower center of gravity making the stove stable, lighter and more compact.
  • wind-blocking: wind-blocking pot supports keep the flame strong and steady while comfortably holding a variety of pot sizes.
  • specs: weight: 4oz, dimensions: 4.3 x 2.4”, output: 8600 btu, feeds: 1-2. gas not included. invented in sweden, made in europe."

$29.95

View Product

P. S. Gas stoves are also the safest to use indoors.

Petrol Stove

Petrol stoves are particularly popular when you are on the road with a vehicle (ideally with petrol) because then you can use the petrol for your outdoor stove.

Petrol stoves get very hot but are also somewhat noisy
Petrol stoves get very hot but are also somewhat noisy

Petrol stoves get very hot, which makes them ideal for quick cooking. Now you might think: Oh dear, it will surely smell of petrol in my camp. But that's not the case. The petrol stove only emits a petrol smell when lit, but not during further use.

The disadvantage is the noise of some models. The price for most models starts at €40 to €50.

Coleman Feather Single Burner Fuel Stove - Silver
4 (163)

Data updated 11 hours ago

Coleman Feather Single Burner Fuel Stove - Silver

  • Extremely stable burner with 3 fold-out legs/stabilisers
  • Works on Coleman Liquid Fuel or unleaded petrol
  • Flame is protected by a windscreen, keeping it burning and easier to start
  • With a power of 2500 Watt, 1L water cooks within 5 minutes
  • Burning time of at least 7 hours with a fully filled petrol tank

no price can be determined (B000GM2WNU)

View Product

Esbit Stove

Esbit originated as an acronym for "Erich Schumm's solidified alcohol fuel" and is a brand name/trademark for Urotropine fuel tablets.

Esbit stoves: incredibly small and light
Esbit stoves: incredibly small and light

As you may have already read, the fuel for the Esbit Stove (Read more about the topic in my detailed review) is a tablet. The fuel is also called solidified alcohol.

The Esbit stove is therefore a solid fuel stove. The Esbit stove has a big advantage: It is incredibly small. It literally fits in your pocket.

It is also quickly ready to use and generates heat immediately.

The cost is around €10. The disadvantage of the Esbit stove is that it can only heat small amounts of food and water at once. Additionally, Esbit has a scent.

Esbit Ultralight Folding Pocket Stove with Six 14g Solid Fuel Tablets steel, Small - Original

Data updated 9 hours ago

Esbit Ultralight Folding Pocket Stove with Six 14g Solid Fuel Tablets steel, Small - Original

  • Simple and stable stove is constructed from durable, galvanized steel; Folds down to a small, compact size
  • Includes 6 smokeless, Esbit 14 g solid fuel tablets; Each tablet burns approximately 12 minutes; One tablet boils 500 ml of water in about 8 minutes
  • Two cooking positions suitable for cups, pots, and pans (not included)
  • Dimensions-closed: 3.9 inches x 3 inches x 0.9 inches (9.8 x 7.7 x 2.3 cm); Weight, including solid fuel: 6.3 ounces (180 g)
  • Made in Germany; 2-year manufacturer’s warranty

$15.95

View Product

Rocket Stove

Sounds dangerous, doesn't it? But it's not, rather a rocket stove is fun and safe.

Most rocket stoves really go off like a rocket due to the optimal air supply, chimney effect and wood gasification principle. This makes the wood burn extremely efficiently.

The rocket stove goes off like a rocket - it burns hot and efficiently
The rocket stove goes off like a rocket - it burns hot and efficiently

Most rocket stoves are built in an L-shape and the fuel is pushed into the combustion chamber at the bottom. The combustion chamber gets very hot because the heat is limited and also doesn't easily escape through the insulated housing.

Advantages: A rocket stove as an outdoor stove burns wood efficiently and gets extremely hot.

Disadvantages: The weight of the rocket stove is high due to stainless steel and cast iron. Outdoor stoves weigh 4 to 7 kilos.

Here is my recommendation:

EcoZoom Rocket Stove Heavy Duty Portable Camp Stove for Outdoor Cooking, Versa Dual-Fuel (Wood & Charcoal)

Amazon
Offer

-25%

Data updated 3 hours ago

EcoZoom Rocket Stove Heavy Duty Portable Camp Stove for Outdoor Cooking, Versa Dual-Fuel (Wood & Charcoal)

  • Heavy-duty portable rocket stove burns charcoal or twigs, branches, wood and other biomass readily available outdoors, and accommodates heavy cookware such as cast iron pots and pans and Dutch ovens
  • Sturdy cylindrical footprint is stable and safe; stainless-steel handles with heat-resistant silicone grips keep the handles cool even when the stove is hot; top door and combustion chamber insulation are refractory metal lined for lasting durability
  • Three-pronged cast-iron stove top accommodates flat and rounded bottom cookware of all sizes and weights to meet a variety of outdoor cooking needs; fully insulated body retains and transfers maximum heat to pots and pans for superior efficiency
  • Ideal for camping, tailgates, RVing, beach parties, backyards, outdoor group cooking, off-grid living and emergency preparedness; leave fuel canisters at home and use a handful of charcoal, wood, or biomass to cook meals for small and large groups
  • Cook more with less fuel and smoke—vertical combustion chamber reduces emissions and boosts fuel efficiency; weighs 14.25 lbs and measures 11 x 11 x 12.5 inches; includes dual-fuel stove and fuel rack

$119.96
List Price: $159.95

View Product

Multi-Fuel Stove

I didn't know about this for a long time: the multi-fuel stove. This will make you even more independent of the fuel because with a multi-fuel stove you can cook with petrol, diesel, gas, kerosene, or petroleum.

Most multi-fuel stoves operate on petrol, diesel, gas, kerosene or petroleum
Most multi-fuel stoves operate on petrol, diesel, gas, kerosene or petroleum

The nozzles for different types of fuel are usually marked and screwed to the outdoor stove to prevent them from getting lost.

Advantage: Absolutely flexible when it comes to fuel. Collapsible and serviceable on the go.

Disadvantage: Usually pricier than other bushcraft stoves because these outdoor stoves can handle all types of fuel. Prices start at around €100.

Primus Unisex - Adult OmniFuel II Cooker, Grey, 14.2 x 8.8 x 6.6 cm
4,5 (65)

Data updated 11 hours ago

Primus Unisex - Adult OmniFuel II Cooker, Grey, 14.2 x 8.8 x 6.6 cm

  • Robust, reliable, powerful even in the worst weather conditions: at high altitudes or at low temperatures.
  • The Omnifuel II is just as powerful as its predecessor, but more compact.
  • The nozzles for different types of fuel are clearly marked and screwed to the feet so that they do not get lost.
  • Has a power of 3000 watts.

$210.37

View Product

Tent Stove

A tent stove is not only a cooking spot but also a heating system. As the name suggests, it is usable as a tent, tipis, yurts, cabins, or small houses.

The tent stove provides a lot of warmth and serves as a cooking spot
The tent stove provides a lot of warmth and serves as a cooking spot

That is to say, you don't just carry this tent stove into the woods and back in a day. You take a tent stove with you when you spend several days or weeks in the wilderness during winter. Most stoves weigh between 9 and 13 kg.

The fireplace of the tent stove can be completely closed, or you can use it for cooking.

Fantastic is the warmth the tent stove radiates inside the tent. I still remember my first encounter in a tipi during winter. After 5 minutes, I had to take off my jacket and sweater because it was so cozy warm inside the tent.

Be clear: With a tent stove, you're buying a real stove, like the ones from earlier times. The tent stove has a chimney pipe attached that leads out of the tent.

The legs of the tent stove can be folded, and the pipe sections can be stored inside the stove. This makes the stove portable.

Tent stoves start at around €150.

Camp Chef Alpine Heavy Duty Cylinder System - Wood-Burning Stove System for Wall Tent Camping - Camping Gear

Amazon
Offer

-15%

Data updated 3 hours ago

Camp Chef Alpine Heavy Duty Cylinder System - Wood-Burning Stove System for Wall Tent Camping - Camping Gear

  • Convenient Wood Stove System: This cylinder stove system includes damper, internal log grate, spark arrestor, accessory shelves, and five-piece nesting pipe
  • Easy-to-Transport Wood-Burning Stove: The removable legs and components of this wood-burning heater are designed for easy storage and transport
  • Versatile Wood Stove: This wood-burning stove system's roomy cook top and door damper make it easy to control heat for cooking and can accommodate a standard wood system water heater
  • Perfect for Camping: Ideal for wall tent camping, this wood-burning heater is a perfect addition to your camping gear
  • About Us: Camp Chef is a passionate team committed to bringing five-star flavor with versatile gear that can stand up to the demands of the backcountry and back patio

$242.24
List Price: $284.99

View Product

Summary

All outdoor and camping stoves have their advantages and disadvantages. I summarized them for you in the table.

Cooker Type Weight Packed Size Power Price from Advantage Disadvantage
Bushbox/Hobo Low Low Medium €20 - Fuel wood available in the forest - Need to ignite until cooking heat is available
- Constantly need to refill small hobos
Wood Gasifier Low Medium Medium €20 - Burns wood gases: less smoke and more heat - Cooking heat is not immediately available
Spiritus Cooker/Burner Very Low Very Low Very Low €12 - Compact size
- Lightweight
- Risk of strong odor if leaked
Storm Cooker Medium High Medium €50 - Cook for the whole family - Bulky packed size
Gas Cooker Low Medium High €16 - Immediate heat for cooking
- Maintenance-free
- The sound of burning gas can be heard
Petrol Cooker Low Medium High €56 - Immediate heat for cooking - May emit slight odor
- Low noise level
- Requires maintenance
Esbit Cooker Very Low Very Low Very Low €9 - Fits in your pocket - Suitable only for small meals
- Strong odor of Esbit fuel
Rocket Stove High High Very High €75 - Strong heat production - Slightly heavy for daily outings
Multi-Fuel Cooker Low Medium High €50 - Operates on various fuels
(Gasoline, diesel, gas, kerosene, petroleum)
- Requires maintenance
Tent Stove Very High Very High Very High €105 - Cooking Station and heater in one
- Heats an entire tent
- Slightly heavy for daily transport

Now you can hopefully get an overview of the different types of cookers.

And for those who prefer to ignite their oven with wood because it's more rustic, I can understand that very well.

But maybe someone else needs a quick and hot flame? Then it makes sense to use the gas cooker.

Either way, it is important to know your preferences and needs. If you know them, you can quickly make a selection.

Which outdoor cooker do you like best? Write me your preferences in the comments.

And don't forget: If there is a risk of forest fires, keep the fire off.

Take care, Martin
Martin Gebhardt

Author of the guide


Martin Gebhardt

Hey, I'm Martin. On my blog, you will learn the basics and numerous details about living in the wild. I think survival, bushcraft and the good life in nature are the keys to happiness. Find me here on Instagram or on YouTube. You can find more about my mission on the About Me page.

Was this guide helpful?

31 people found this guide helpful.

YesNo

4.88 out of 5 points (32 Ratings)

Comments (0)

This post may contain affiliate links. So if you click on the links and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Click here, to learn more about it.

Free 35 Survival Hacks you'll love!

You will get 35 easy-to-implement survival hacks so that you don't have to stand aimlessly in the forest from tomorrow when things get tough. Take your skills to the next level!

DOWNLOAD HERE FOR FREE