I think you’ll agree with me when I say that the idea of having a wood burner to roast marshmallows, heat the teapot and gather around on a crisp evening is very romantic.
In the past we had to make do with open campfires however in recent years there has been a surge in the creation and availability of portable wood burning stoves. Stoves vary from small compact alternatives to gas/alcohol stoves to larger encloses with a flume, able to provide heat for hours. We cover a mix in this article, we’ve recently purchased a more substantial stove which we’ll be taking with us on our van life adventure once the conversion is finished!
The key is in the name, portable…. weight is a critical portability factor. Wood stoves not made from light metals will by nature struggle with portability, as will stoves designed for more people which will in turn be bulkier.
The size of a stove will depend on the number of mouths you anticipate feeding, or those looking to use it at a source of heat. Be wary that stoves design for more people will take up substantially more space and may make it less useful for that quick weekend away for two. Consider buying multiple products if you’re going to have varying group sizes.
Be careful with materials that rust, or are not as lightweight as can be. You need a stove that will stand up to the elements, not warp and warp when heated and be a dependable cooking tool for your adventures.
Our picks of the best portable wood burning stoves in 2020
Solo Stove Lite
- Cooks for 1-2 people
- 9oz. in weight making it the lightest in this list
- Stainless steel
- Compact design with self packing fit with solo stove pots and pans
- Really lightweight
- High quality materials
- Rapid cooking ability
- Not suitable for more than two people
- Still rigid in structure and will need cleaning if you’re trying to be as space saving as possible
Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Stove
Camp Chef Alpine Heavy Duty Cylinder Stove
This camping stove is designed to combine the best features of the two previous, we’ve included it here because it’s portable for van lifers but we don’t recommend this for pure campers.
Weighing in at 74 pounds you don’t want to carry this too far, but it’s perfect for setup to the side of the awning. With the option to dry socks and items on the rack and also cook on the large hot plate this is an amazing piece of kit to use when entertaining or in larger groups.
CANWAY Wood Burning Stove
The Canway wood burning stove is the lightweight backpackers dream, weighing in at under a pound and in a size not much more than a water bottle can this can go anywhere with you and heat up water for your rehydrated meal.
Featuring a dual burning ignition a cleverly designed intake means that combustion occurs in two stages to increase the heat the speed of heat generation as often with smaller portable stoves the main issue is needing to wait a long time for dinner to be ready. If lightweight backpacking is your thing then definitely check this one out!
Ohuhu Portable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camping Stove
Just when you thought they couldn’t get any lighter Ohuhu created this ultra portable wood burning stove.
They’ve solved wind related issues by having no feeding slot, you need to remove the top of the stove in order to feed but this means once fuel is in it burn efficiently and well, with all heat directed towards the bottom of the pot. Other advantages of this over competitors is that it has large supports which stops pots from toppling over.