Excellent camp stoves for feeding yourself (and your friends) in the woods

From boiling water to three-course meals, these stoves have you covered.

outdoor stove and cookpot on a rock.
Chef anywhere.Sage Friedman via Unsplash

For some, time in the outdoors is about speed, suffering, and traveling light. For others, it’s about luxury, taking many of the perks of home into the woods. Fortunately, a wide range of stoves cover any of those needs, from the through-hikers who just need to boil water for a meal to the car campers who plan to spend two weeks eating as well as they would in a city. The trick is choosing which one is right for you. We’re here to help.

Camp Chef Explorer Double Burner Stove
Two burners for a main and a side. Camp Chef

Planning on setting up and elk camp for a few weeks in the fall? Taking that two weeks of vacation you get each year to tuck away in the woods? If you’re thinking of an extended stay in the outdoors, or if you just want the ability to simmer your risotto at the same time as you sauté your green beans, this is a perfect fit for you. You’re not going to take it backpacking, but the two, 30,000-BTU burners with accompanying propane tank will cool whatever you want for however long you need.

BioLite Campstove 2 Wood Burning Electricity Generating & USB Charging Camp Stove
Can also charge your phone!BioLite

This stove offers the perfect blend of low-tech heat and high-tech output. All you need are sticks or other natural fuel to make fire. The internal fans circulate the heat to boil 1 liter of water in 4.5 minutes. But its most impressive feature is the stove’s ability to harness energy from the fire to produce added electricity to charge our gadgets in the woods. The stove comes with a lithium battery and, because it uses sticks, doesn’t require you carry a fuel canister.

MSR PocketRocket 2 Ultralight Backpacking, Camping, and Travel Stove.
Super lightweight. MSR

Anyone interested in packing light, trekking for weeks, or in need of a backup stove should consider this 2.6 ounce burner from MSR. The stove itself is only 2 by 2 by 3 inches and could, as its name suggests, fit in your pocket. Attach a fuel canister, and it will boil a liter of water for your dehydrated dinner in 3.5 minutes. It’s basic, effective, and nearly weightless for the backpacker who wants more time exploring and less time cooking.

Coleman Gas Camping Stove
Portable two-burner. Coleman

Sometimes certain products stick around for decades for a reason. The Coleman Gas 2-burner stove is one of those. Its basic design makes for easy cooking on a tailgate, picnic table, or rock. It runs off of propane bottles available nearly anywhere and has two adjustable burners. If you’re car camping or horse packing and want to boil water for coffee while you fry bacon for breakfast, this is your stove.