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Backpacking Wood Stove

Many people ask about a good backpacking wood stove. The problem with most wood heating systems is that they are really lacking on the portability department. Ask anyone who's needed to move a big cast iron pot belly monster! Even camp wood stoves can be too much for the standard backpacker.

Portable wood stoves have grown in popularity and there are a variety of stoves available. You can even make your own. For most backpackers though, an alcohol stove is a decent alternative. But backpacking wood stoves have some inherent advantages. Obviously, you won't need to carry fuel, and it will be cheap or free when you need it. Wood is also generally available. If you run out of alcohol in the wilderness, you will be in trouble! It also will give your meals and campfires that nice wood flavor.

Some of the cons include the fact that a sturdy cooker will usually be heavy. Some people also like the control of a liquid heater, and don't really care for the wood "aroma". They also have a tendency to blacken your cooking utensils, but who brings the good china anyways?

Commercially produced backpacking wood stoves are few and far between unfortunately. Most consist of little more than a metal pot, although some have a fan unit. The same issues with home heating efficiencies are issues with camp cooking; you need to circulate cooler air to the fire.

A wood gas stove is also an option. They are a little more complex but tend to heat better than regular steel stoves. They use wood gasification to improve the heating and cooking process. Definitely worth looking into.





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