The Ultimate Stove

We have owned couple of different types of stove. Recent addition is The Pocket Stove and another Vargo Titanium Wood Stove is on the way. In our honest opinion after using Wood, Alcohol, Butane, Hexamine (solid fuel tablet) and Multi Liquid Fuel Stove we can narrow down which is our ultimate and maintenance free stove.  

Below the post we have rated each stove and came to a conclusion on the Ultimate Stove.


Multi Liquid Fuel Stove
It burns most flammable liquid, ideal if only for World travelling or vehicle camping. We got this stove because of bike camping trips before. We could drain gasoline from the bike fuel tank and topped it up. Excellent stove but the weight itself weighs too much for any hiking or MTB camp trips. 

Hexamine Stove
These are basically solid fuel tablet stove, the bigger tablets can burn around 20mins but if using inferior tablet, it can leave a black and sticky reside on the pots bottom which we have encountered.

The advantages are the stove cost is low and you can bring the fuel tablets overseas when travelling which we did. We did use it on an overnight India train to cook our meals. The stove itself can be turned to a wood burning stove but it is rather shallow to get a good heat.

Overall this stove does not produce enough heat to cook and it takes time.

Butane Stove
These are mostly cannister stove from Iwatani cannister to mountaineering cannister. The lightest set up can be as light as 280 grams including cannister. There are many types and sizes of Butane stoves and it all depends on your camping group size. Most vehicle camper prefers this set up as it is fast. 

This setup can be suitable with bigger camping group as it cook faster. Most local Porter here uses 3 stoves setup and can wipe out a 9 course meals in an hour. For 3 days hike they probably need 6 x 440 grams cannisters to make the meals.     

Alcohol Stove
There are 2 options, one is either you DIY from Pop soda cans or getting a Trangia, Alocs Alcohol Stove. By the way the Esbit Stove is identical to the Alocs and both are made in China, the Trangia is from Sweden.

If you are planning just boiling water then DIY stove is the pick but if you are into gourmet then Trangia, Esbit or Alocs is the pick.

Alcohol stoves burns efficiently and produces less carbon. Fuel cost is much cheaper compare to the rest except Wood Stoves. Generally most alcohol stoves are maintenance free. The pop soda version would require extra care as they are using softer material.    


Wood Stove
The lightest in the market right now is the Titanium Pocket Stove weighing 58 grams and next is the Vargo Titanium Wood Stove weighing 116 grams. Both these stoves beside using wood as fuel, they can be used with Hexamine fuel (solid fuel tablet), alcohol stove, gasoline or any fuel that burns except Butane fuel. In another words they can be a multi-fuel stove. 

Using wood as fuel cost nothing however when it is wet that can be a problem. I have made a few DIY wood stoves using Soda cans but never use it in real time or for any outdoor trips. Right now we are looking into options how we can combine this stove for our different camping setup from vehicle to hiking. 


Comparison on different types of stove, if you feel our comparison are inaccurate drop us a note and we readjust the figures to see which is the best stove.

                                  Wood    Alcohol    Butane   Hexamine     Multi-Liquid Fuel     
maintenance free             5            4            2                3                      1
easy usage                      2             5            4               3                      1
lightweight include fuel    5             2            4                3                      1                 
stove cost                       2             5            3                4                      1 
fuel cost                         5             4            3                2                      1
oversea usage                 4             3            1                2                      5           
multi usage                     5             1            2                3                      4
fast boil time                  2              3            4                1                      5
cleaning after use            1             4             5                3                      2                    
Top Stove                    31           31            28              24                    21 


The results showed that alcohol and wood stoves are the top stoves for outdoor. If both stoves combine it will be the Ultimate Stove to be used in any condition. DIY Alcohol stove can be as light as 12 grams. This setup can give you options of using both stoves at any one time and double your cooking time. 

We never thought wood and alcohol stove can be combined and make an Ultimate Stove set. We will be testing out soon in our coming trips. We like things that are versatile, alone we had multi liquid fuel stove and butane stove failure before. 

CONCLUSION
Fast and Light - Butane Stove
Maintenance free - Alcohol and Wood Stove
Multi usage - Multi Liquid Fuel and Wood Stove 
Lightweight and can wait - Alcohol Stove
Best setup - Wood and Alcohol stove






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