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October 2023 Issue
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2023’s guide to backcountry stoves

These stoves provide versatile cooking options whether you’re going solo or with a group.

Stove types

There are four types of stove:

Multi-fuel: Liquid and multi- fuel stoves burn almost any flammable fuel – including white gas, kerosene and even regular canister gas. They are environmentally friendly, as fuel bottles can be re-used.

Canister stoves: Simple, convenient and inexpensive to run and maintain.

High-performance models have a regulator which provides consistent output for the life of the canister and improved efficiency in alpine or cold environments. Gas canisters must be punctured before recycling at a waste management centre.

Personal cooking systems: These stoves use a specially designed pot that attaches directly to the burner. All components nest inside the pot for easy packing. They have built-in wind resistance and quick boil times.

Alternative fuel stoves: These can burn twigs, fire-starters, alcohol and more – basically anything flammable. They are environmentally friendly only in that the fuel source is not stored in canisters that are difficult to recycle. They require patience and practise to use and are not as quick to boil water as other stove types.

Boil times

Unless stated, boil times in this feature are for one litre of water. It is not easy to replicate the advertised boil times because there are many variables to take into account, including air temperature, wind, altitude, burner size and the quality and quantity of fuel. Advertised boil times may also be the average over the life of the fuel source.

Flame control

Flame adjustment should be glove-friendly and allow fine-tuning from simmer to boil.


Some models have built-in wind protection which improves their performance in windy conditions. A separate windshield that wraps around pot and stove will also reduce fuel consumption.


This is a measure of the stove’s power, in British Thermal Units (BTU). The higher the BTU, the more powerful the stove and the quicker it will bring water to the boil.

Burner size

A large burner head will spread heat more evenly over the base of the cookware. Smaller burners, although possibly more powerful, concentrate heat in one location and require more attention while cooking.


Canister-mounted stoves have a high centre of gravity and may require support struts that clip onto the gas canister. Liquid fuel and some gas stoves have a fuel line running from the canister to the burner, providing a lower centre of gravity. Large pot struts will support bigger pots and pans – better for larger groups.

Stove maintenance

A good shake is pretty much all that a gas stove requires. Liquid-fuel models should be cleaned and home-serviced regularly to ensure optimum performance and to avoid fuel blockages and leaks.

MSR WindBurner Personal Stove System $449.99 

MSR’s windproof cooking system has a pressure regulator to provide quick boil times in all weathers. The one-litre pot nests all system components. There’s a strainer lid and built-in heat exchanger that transfers heat to the pot. Output 7000 BTU Boil time 4min30sec Water boiled 18l (227g canister) Burn time 95min Weight 433g.

Jetboil Minimo $389.95 

This economical system uses Jetboil’s FluxRing technology to achieve quick boil times. It has push-button ignition, incremental heat adjustment, pot support and fuel stabiliser, one-litre cook pot and a measuring cup/bowl. Output 6000BTU Boil time 2min15sec (500ml) Water boiled 12l (100g canister) Burn time 30min (100g canister) Weight 415g.

Jetboil Flash 2.0 $289.95 

This is Jetboil’s fastest-boiling stove using a one-litre FluxRing cooking cup to increase the surface area of the pot. There’s a drink-through lid with pour spout and strainer, fuel canister stabiliser, and the bottom cover doubles as a measuring cup and bowl. Output 9000BTU Boil time 1min40sec (500ml) Water boiled 10l (100g canister) Burn time 33min (100g canister) Weight 371g.

MSR PocketRocket Deluxe $219.99 

The PocketRocket has premium features: a pressure regulator for consistently faster boil times than non-regulated stoves, push-start Piezo ignition, and a broad burner head with wind-resistant lip for heat distribution and simmering capability. Output 10,400 BTU Boil time 3min30sec Water boiled 17l (227g canister) Burn time 60min Weight 83g.

Toaks Titanium Wood-Burning Stove $139.99 

Small twigs fuel this efficient and clean-burning stove. It’s made from three pieces of titanium, which lock into place. It will burn both wood and the wood gas in the stove. 151g.

Uberleben Stoker Flatpack Camp Stove $79.99 

This stove can be fuelled by twigs, bark and pine needles. It has a simple five-panel, anti-corrosive construction in stainless steel or titanium. The waxed canvas storage sleeve doubles as a tinder bag. 425g (steel), 255g (titanium).

Kovea Backpacker $69.99 

This compact, low-cost stove has been a mainstay of Kovea for 25 years and offers simplicity, light weight and durability. Features include manual ignition, rustproof components, adjustable flame control, folding pan supports and carry case. Output 6875 BTU Boil time 3min20sec Water boiled 14l per 110g canister Burn time 45min (110g canister) Weight 190g.

Cooking accessories

MSR Ceramic Skillet $159.99 

Hard-anodised aluminium skillet with ceramic nonstick surface. Removable Talon pot handle clicks into place. 190g.

Jetboil Ceramic Fluxring Cookpot 1.5 $159.95 

A pot for solo or group cooking with an easy-clean ceramic coating. It has folding wire handles and an insulating cosy for safe handling. Works as is with the MightyMo and Stash systems; add a pot support for other Jetboil systems. 345g.

Stanley Cook Set for Four $119.99 

An 11-piece nesting set including a 2.5l stainless steel pot, serving utensil, plus bowls and sporks for four. Locking fry-pan handle keeps everything in place. Easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and space inside for a fuel canister. 848g.

Opinel Picnic Plus Set $49.99

The classic French country knife with stainless steel blade, plus fork and spoon that attach to the knife for meals on the go. Microfibre towel case for cleaning and storage included.

Fozzils Snapfold Bowlz $32.50 

These versatile bowls are convenient to use, clean and carry. They fold and store flat, saving pack space. 40g.