Last Updated on 27/08/2023
In this guide to the best wood burning camp stoves, we look at the smallest and most compact camp stoves designed for wood fuel. Not only do these nifty little wood fire stoves avoid scorching the earth, but they also make cooking and boiling water super fast and easy.
Wood Burning Camp Stoves Guide
When it comes to cooking outdoors, these top 10 best wood-burning camp stoves provide the platform you need to cook food and boil water over a campfire without leaving a trace. No carrying gas or methylated spirits, just the stove. You can always find a few twigs, leaves, pinecones, or debris to burn on a stove and so you never run out of camp fuel.
One of the joys of traveling, for me at least, is hiking and camping in some of the most remote and wild places that each country has to offer. This often means spending days at a time away from civilization, being self-sufficient, and carrying everything you need to survive in your backpack. Non-gas camping stoves are perfect when you never know where or when you can next stock up.
Having the tools to cook and boil water practically can make the difference between thriving and surviving. A wood burning camp stove will pack down into your bag without taking up much space or weighing you down.
Keeping your backpack light is essential for walking long distances but can often mean making some pretty big sacrifices in terms of what you leave at home. A stove is one item that I always take camping because I enjoy making coffee and hot meals but also as a means to purify water. Budget campers will also find a wood burner stove come in handy as cooking your own food will save you a bunch of money!
Keep reading for more details on wood burners or use the links below to skip down the page and find out which is the best wood burning camp stove.
10 Best Wood Burning Camp Stoves
TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove
- MATERIAL: Titanium, Drawstring Bag
- WEIGHT: 151 g / 5.4 oz
- PACK SIZE: 94 x 94 mm
The TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove is our top pick for its minuscule weight and tiny pack size. It should be said that this is the small option to a larger version but even that only weighs 225 grams. Titanium cookware is highly prized among hikers and lightweight backpackers because it weighs a fraction of the weight of other metals, is super durable, and is easy to clean.
The TOAKS Titanium Stove comes in 3 parts that can be stacked inside one another for compact storage. The design is foolproof and takes just a few seconds to put together and the various air holes mean you can get a lot of heat from such a small space. If we had to recommend a wood burning camp stove for beginners, it would have to be this one.
Vargo Hexagon Wood Stove
- MATERIAL: Titanium
- WEIGHT: 112 g / 4 oz
- PACK SIZE: Flatpack 16 x 16 cm
The Vargo Hexagon Wood Stove is our favorite flatpack wood-burning stove because of its ridiculously lightweight and you guessed it… because it is made from Titanium! It is so light that you won’t notice it in your bag and packing flat allows it to slot down the back of your backpack.
This sleek little stove has a half cone shape that focuses heat towards the center of your pan and allows you to feed wood via the top or using the hinged door. You can also get a little alcohol stove from Vargo which slots in the top of the Hexagon which in turn makes a great wind block as well as maintaining a perfect distance between the flame and your pot. If the TOAKS stove above wasn’t light enough for you then surely this one is.
Solo Stove Lite – Compact Wood Burning Backpacking Stove
- MATERIAL: 304 Stainless Steel and Nichrome Wire, Nylon Stuff Sack
- WEIGHT: 255 g / 9 oz
- PACK SIZE: 9.7 x 10.8 cm
The Solo Stove Lite has won multiple awards for its simple but effective design over the years but with so many portable wood burner stoves available, what makes this one so special?
Well, apart from being tough, lightweight, compact, and reliable, it also has a patented double-wall design which means more complete fuel consumption and less smoke. It will boil 1 liter of water in 8-10 minutes and will run on twigs, leaves, pine cones, wood, and any other flammable organic matter you can find on the floor. You can fit a small cooking pot inside (available here but not included) as well as some kindling or rations, which makes it really easy to pack without wasting space.
The size is perfect for pots and pans to sit on without rocking and you only need a handful of wood to fuel it. The Solo Stove Lite really is one of the best wood burning camp stoves that works so well for campfire cooking that we feel like giving it our own award!
Emberlit Fireant Titanium Multi-Fuel Backpacking Stove
- MATERIAL: Titanium, Nylon Carry Case
- WEIGHT: 79 g / 2.8 oz
- PACK SIZE: 10 x 11 x 0.5 cm
The Emberlit Fireant Titanium Multi-Fuel Backpacking Stove is designed to be compatible with Trangia alcohol stoves as well as gels, blocks, and wood fuel. It will adapt to its surroundings like a true survivalist in that you can pretty much burn anything you can find in there.
The slot in design is much like the other wood burning camping stoves on this list and is very fast and easy to feed once you get the hang of it. It will easily hold heavy pans and the open airflow means you get fast combustion of wood giving you a quicker boil time. Emberlit does a slightly larger version of this stove but we think this would be sufficient for most campers and backpackers.
Überleben Stöker Flatpack Wood Burning Camp Stove
- MATERIAL: 304 Stainless Steel, Carry Case
- WEIGHT: 410 g / 14.5 oz
- PACK SIZE: 14 x 16 x 1 cm
The Überleben Stöker Flatpack Wood Burning Camp Stove is another minimal flatpack wood burning stove that takes up no space in your backpack. The wide-mouthed fuel door is perfect for continuously feeding things like twigs, leaves, and pinecones into the chamber to speed up boiling time.
Easy assembly comes from sliding the 7 flat pieces together to create a solid frame. Once they are in place it is very robust, being able to take the weight of heavy pans or full pots of water with ease. Ideally, it could be a bit lighter but there is a nice balance between the durability and the weight which gives you confidence the metal won’t bend easily. The Überleben Stöker gives a good boil time, is easy to use, and great value for money wood burning camp stove.
BioLite CampStove 2 Wood Burning and USB Charging Camping Stove
- MATERIAL: Aluminium, Steel, Battery Pack
- WEIGHT: 935 g / 33 oz
- PACK SIZE: 12.7 x 20 cm
The BioLite CampStove 2 is a top wood burning camp stove like no other because it features an integrated USB charging port and internal jets with 4 fan speeds. With the ability to generate 3 watts of usable energy from the heat created in the combustion chamber, the internal battery is able to recharge while you cook.
The fans are quite genius as they can decrease boil time drastically or allow you to simmer and are the key to giving you a practically smokeless fire (for you stealthy campers). This is the next generation of woodburning stoves that will help keep things like your phone and headlamp charged when you’re out in the wild… it is pretty darn heavy though.
Lixada Portable Wood Stove
- MATERIAL: Hardened Stainless Steel
- WEIGHT: 190g / 6.7oz
- PACK SIZE: 10.5 x 10.5 x 1.5 cm
The Lixada Portable Wood Stove is one of five different designs available from the brand on Amazon but this one is our favorite. The hinge design makes this flatpack wood stove one of the easiest to set up and will pack down into an envelope-sized parcel.
With a wide-open mouth, you can feed the fire continuously without taking your pot off the boil. It is compatible with alcohol stoves and other multi-fuels and is affordable to almost everyone making it a great option for backpackers on a budget. Did I mention that it only weighs 190 grams? You really can’t go wrong with this stove for the money and Lixada is slowly building quite a good reputation in the camping stove world.
Ohuhu Portable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camping Stove
- MATERIAL: High-Quality Stainless Steel, Mesh Carry Bag
- WEIGHT: 403 g / 14.2 oz
- PACK SIZE: 13.5 x 7.5 cm
The Ohuhu Portable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camping Stove is a cheap and cheerful option for backpackers on a budget. It is compact and lightweight enough to fit in most backpacks and means you won’t ever have to buy fuel again.
The base is nice and wide with air vents which can be used to slot a couple of pegs in if you wish. For me, the best feature of this stove is the 3-pronged pot/pan support which provides a very stable surface to rest both small and larger pans. Easy to clean and simple to use, this camping wood stove is a great buy for those trips into the wilderness.
WoodFlame Ultra Lightweight Portable Wood Burning Backpacking Stove
- MATERIAL: 304 Stainless Steel (0.8 mm thick), Carry Case
- WEIGHT: 520 g / 18.3 oz
- SIZE: F15 x 18 cm x 1
The WoodFlame Ultra Lightweight Portable Wood Burning Backpacking Stove by kampMATE packs up completely flat but packs out to make a really decent sized stove.
The benefit of the flat-pack style stove is that they take up no space at all in your bag but this stove, in particular, is much larger than other fold-away wood burning stoves. At full flame, the hob is easily big enough to use a wok if you were daft enough to take one camping. It would be ideal for 2 – 3 people sharing a big pan of noodles or soup on the trail as well cooking up a gourmet meal made from foraged ingredients.
QuickStove Portable Multi-Fuel Stove
- MATERIAL: Aluminized Steel
- WEIGHT: 454 g / 16 oz
- PACK SIZE: 7.5 x 7.5 x 10 cm
The QuickStove Portable Multi-Fuel Stove was designed to be an affordable emergency survival item that can help keep you warm, boil water, and cook food when you need it most. Made from aluminized steel, it is very robust and durable but isn’t the lightest option on the list.
Able to accommodate small and large pots, the stove can be configured in three different ways depending on the fuel type and pot size. I would say that this stove would suit somebody who has a lot of campfires and will get the use from it. It is not ideal for lightweight backpackers and hikers due to the weight but it is a quality piece of kit for the price on Amazon.
Best Wood Burning Camp Stoves: Key Considerations
WEIGHT: Nobody really enjoys carrying a super heavy backpack so it is important to consider the weight of every item you put in it. Some camping wood burning stoves can weigh more than a small child but these are not intended to be carried on your back, they are more for the caravan-style camper.
While the weight should be at the top of your list of stove priorities, you should never compromise on durability and quality as multiple fires can quickly take their toll on cheap metal. Titanium offers the best weight and durability in our opinion but comes with a higher price tag – go figure.
PACK SIZE: Pack size may be more important to some people who use a small backpack or carry specialist gear which makes pack space more valuable than the weight. Most campers can make do with a small stove so there is no reason to go with a large wood burning camp stove which will be undoubtedly harder to pack.
Compact designs often allow you to store things inside your stove (tinder and matches is always a good idea) which helps you reduce wasted space in your bag. A carry bag is essential when using a wood-burning camp stove as the black soot will quickly stain everything and make you look like a coal miner.
Why Choose a Wood Burning Stove for Camping?
A packable wood-burning stove may seem like a luxury item to some people but they are more useful and durable than you might think. Not only do these 10 best wood burning camp stoves allow you to enjoy hot food and drinks, but they also provide a means to stay warm and purify water – which is a necessity.
Firewood can normally be found in all but the most desolate places on earth so unless you are really planning to test yourself then you should always have a sustainable fuel source. Out of respect for other cultures and nature in general, it is good practice to leave as little trace as possible when camping wild. Investing in a lightweight wood burning stove that easily fits inside your backpack will lift your embers off the ground to avoid scorching it.
Wood Burning Camping Stoves Vs. Gas, Liquid, or Multi-Fuel Burning Stoves
There is no denying that gas stoves are very easy to use and efficient in terms of cooking time and flame control but for this privilege, you need to buy and carry enough fuel to last your entire trip. Alcohol and multi-fuel stoves are also nice and easy to use and can have even better efficiency but again, you are forced to go shopping for fuel and then carry as much as you can.
When traveling light and fast, carrying heavy and bulky fuel canisters can be a pain, and even more so when you have to carry the empties for miles until you find a bin. The best wood burning camp stoves, however, are incredibly compact and lightweight and don’t require the need to carry gas tanks or fuel bottles.
If you are in a wet environment or expecting rain then it is wise to carry a small bundle of kindling to get a fire going. But most of the time you can scavenge enough dry wood or material towards the end of the day if not once you have made camp. Getting a fire going is not as easy as igniting a flame but it is more rewarding and sustainable and most if not all are compatible with alcohol burners and of course solid fuel blocks in emergencies.
Things You Should Think About Carrying With Your Stove
Alongside your portable wood burning stove, you should carry a few bare essentials like a lighter and some dry tinder. Make sure your lighter has enough fuel or consider learning to use a fire steel and striker which have longer lifespans than disposable lighters. An alcohol burner like the Trangia is a great backup that will slot inside almost any wood burning stove for camping which will make the perfect wind block.
Solid fuel blocks are another great plan B for when a fire is just not feasible. Cooking pots should fit your stovetop nicely to get the best results and if you can peg down the base you will have a more stable operation. Burning any kind of fuel will create carbon residue in some form but with wood, it can be particularly messy. Storage bags are crucial for packing away your stove as black soot and ash will quickly get everywhere otherwise.
So Why Not Just Build a Rock Circle and Light a Fire?
Tending a campfire is a great way to stay warm, cook food, and pass the hours after dark but having an open one isn’t always practical, safe, or even legal when abroad. Gas and multi-stoves have their place but aren’t the easiest thing to get through airports or restock with fuel in the middle of a jungle. The best wood burning camp stoves allow you to safely control a fire AND cook food/boil water without carrying all the bulky gas canisters or heavy liquid fuel. Thus giving you the freedom to travel fast and light with a normally typically abundant and sustainable fuel source.
Having a fire at night is something we can all appreciate, but sometimes it just isn’t safe or even legal to start a campfire (no matter how much experience you have). Lighting an open fire on private or government land in some countries can land you in jail or with a hefty fine if you’re lucky. To avoid this, it is always recommended to do your research and check with local authorities on the laws around camping and open fires whenever traveling abroad.
If you are determined to light a fire then the best thing you can do to minimize your impact on the ground and keep your fire contained / under control is to use one of these top 10 most lightweight wood burning stoves. A stone fire pit is the next best thing but above everything else, campfire safety is a must. Keep water close by and always dispose of hot coals responsibly.
Thanks for stopping by to read this Best Wood Burning Camp Stoves article and I hope you found what you were looking for.