Wood burning stoves are great for cooking when your out camping. You don’t need to worry about bringing along alcohol or propane fuel for a gas stove. You can find enough sticks and twigs around most campsites to fuel your wood burning camp stove. Modern wood camp stoves are very efficient and can boil water in a few minutes. If this sounds great, then let’s have a look at the best wood burning camp stoves available today.
Below are our top 3 choices for the best wood burning camp stove. Keep reading below for our portable propane fire pit guide and FAQ.
Top 5 Best Wood Burning Camp Stoves
Below are our top 5 picks for the best portable propane fire pits on the market today. We considered features, performance, price, durability, and customer reviews in our recommendations.
- Compact & Lightweight: Lightweight and easily collapsible,package collapsible size is 5.5″x5.5″x 3.38″, compact design makes outdoor stove easy to be packed in a small storage bag leaves more room in your backpack.
- Sturdy Camping Stove: Made of high-quality stainless steel.This backpacking stove with 3 arms pot support base provides safe and stable cooking platform and distributes heat evenly.
- Environmentally Friendly: With no fuel canisters or alcohol needed, we’ll be leaving no chemical emissions behind.
- High Thermal Efficiency: The secondary combustion keeps camping wood stove burning continued for 20mins with dry firewood and wood chips.
The CANWAY Camping Stove is a great value for a wood burning camping stove. For only a little over $20 it has stainless steel double walled construction. It performs as well as other similar design stoves that cost much much more.
This stove is very easy to use. It comes in 4 parts that stack together inside the included carrying bag. To use you stack them together. They only go one way so it’s easy to assemble even without instructions.
The stove burns wood, twigs, leaves or pellets or anything else you can find laying around that will burn. To light it use some thin twigs, a lighting cube or cotton ball with vaseline. Then keep adding fuel to it. Like other stoves of this type, you have to keep adding fuel to it to keep it going. It burns very efficiently and quickly.
It gets hot quick. It can boil water in under 10 minutes from lighting the stove. It is open on one side at the top for adding more sticks as it goes. It is open at the bottom and hot ash can fall out. Keep this in minde when you decide where to place it. The stove itself gets very hot so do not try to touch it after it’s burning.
It is constructed of stainless steel which contributes to it’s weight. It also makes it more durable so it will last a long time.
The biggest downside of this stove is it’s weight. It is compact and easy to put in a backpack. At 1.5 lbs of weight you will know it’s there when hiking with it all day. It’s heavy construction also means that it will take a while for it to cool down after the fire goes out. Be careful touching it until your sure it is safe to touch.
Overall the CANWAY Camping Stove is a great little wood burning camp stove and a very good value. This makes it our top pick for best wood burning camp stove.
- Size – 5.5 x 5.5 x 7.8 inches
- Collapsed size – 5.5 x 5.5 x 3.4 inches
- Weight – 1.5 lbs
- Material – Stainless steel
- Fuel – Sticks, twigs, leaves, wood pellets
- Boil Water – 5 minutes
|What We Liked|
|✔️ Very low cost|
|✔️ Easy setup|
|✔️ Good cooking power|
|What We Didn’t Like|
|❌ It is heavy for its size|
|❌ It takes a while to cool down after the fire stops|
- The #1 wood-burning camp stove recommended by Backpacker Magazine and serious survivalists including Discovery Channel’s Matt Graham.
- Patented design (#D701,721) features a unique double wall that creates ultra-clean gasification and a secondary combustion.
- Uses twigs, leaves, pinecones and wood as fuel. Eliminates the need to carry heavy, polluting and expensive canister fuels.
- Boils water in 2-4 mins (34 fl oz. water). 7″ Diameter, 6.7″/9.25″ tall (packed/assembled). Weighs only 2.2 lbs. Made of premium stainless steel and nichrome wire. Nylon stuff sack included.
The Solo Stove Campfire is the largest size Solo Stove meant for cooking. It can cook for up to 4 people. Solo Stoves use an innovative patented design that has double wall construction. This allows air to flow into the bottom of the stove. Some air goes directly to the fuel and coals and some air goes up the wall and is directed into the flame at the top. This allows for more complete combustion and more heating efficiency.
The Solo Stove is very easy to use. It can be helpful to use a charcoal starting cube or something very easy to burn to start the fire. After the fire is going there is a handy opening at the top for putting in more fuel. You might want to make sure you have a good supply of wood that will fit into the opening before you start cooking.
The stove gets very hot. It can boil water in a few minutes but can get too hot for some items. The available tripod accessory is nice to have controlling temperature. It’s worth it to get if you are going to cook on this stove a lot. The bottom of the stove stays below 100F so you can set it on top of picnic tables without risk of catching them on fire.
The double wall design burns the fuel very efficiently so cleanup is pretty easy. When you are done dump the ash and wipe down the inside.
We did notice a few downsides. It is pricey at over $100 for essentially a couple of stainless steel cans welded together with some venting. Some users saw rust after a few months use. It is covered under a lifetime warranty so you should be able to replace it if yours does rust. It does make some smoke when burning. It’s not as smoke free as some of the advertising suggests. The cleaner the wood you use for fuel, the less smoke you will get.
Overall, the Solo Stove Campfire is a great design and one of the best wood burning camp stoves available. This makes it my top pick for best wood burning camp stove.
- Size – 9.25 x 7 x 7 inches
- Collapsed size – 6.7 x 7 x 7 inches
- Weight – 2.2 lbs
- Material – 304 stainless steel
- Fuel – Wood, leaves, twigs
- Boil Water – 2 to 4 minutes
|What We Liked|
|✔️ Double wall design creates very good heating power|
|✔️ Sturdy stainless steel construction|
|✔️ Compact size for something that can cook for 4 people|
|What We Didn’t Like|
|❌ High price for what you get|
|❌ Some users had rust after a few months|
- Stable and Durable: Made of premium quality stainless steel for rugged backpacking.
- Portable and Ultra Compact: Unigear camping stove made with stainless steel, which can be folded like a book, and come with a carrying bag for your easy carry.
- Multifunction: Camping stove can work with many kinds of pots, which can cook Food, boil water and BBC. Meet your camping needs.
- High Efficiency: Those camping stove not only can use wood, also can use spirit burner, twigs, leaves, coal, gas and solid fuel tablets, which makes it easy for outdoor camping or hiking.
The Unigear Wood Burning Camp Stove is a very simple easy to use little stove. This stove is a foldable design that packs up into a pouch about the size of a book. One standout feature of this design is it’s ability to work as a tiny grill for barbequing brauts or hot dogs.
Using this grill is easy. You take it out of the pouch, unfold the sides. The bottom tray hooks into the sides. The top grilling surface sits on top. The front is completely open for putting wood into the fire. One thing to note. It’s easy for burning wood to fall out the front since it’s open and the tray isn’t very deep.
It is able to boil water in about 5 minutes. This is on par with other small wood burning camp stoves. It produces good heat. The sides have enough well placed holes to feed the fire with oxygen. It does feel a little bit wobbly when it’s assembled. Make sure you place it on a stable surface before loading it up with burning wood and what.
The top grilling surface works very well. It is the perfect size for 2 hot dogs or 2 brauts or 1 to 2 burgers. There is enough clearance between the grill top and the tray to easily add fuel. The tray can be placed at a few different heights to have some control over the temperature. You do need to put it at the height you want before starting the fire.
Taking it apart and cleaning is easy since is just unfolds. Everything is simple and easy to access.
At 1.5 lbs you can easily backpack with it. You will notice it at that weight. It’s not as light as some small gas stoves but you don’t need to carry fuel with you either.
Overall the Unigear Stove is really good for cooking and grilling at a campsite and available at a very low affordable price. This makes it our best value pick for best wood burning camp stove.
- Size – 7.1 x 6.4 x 6.4 inches
- Collapsed size – 7.1 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
- Weight – 1.5 lbs
- Material – 430 Stainless steel; 201 Stainless steel grill
- Fuel – Wood, twigs, leaves, wood pellets, alcohol tablets, charcoal
- Boil Water – 5 minutes for 16 oz
|What We Liked|
|✔️ Compact size and relatively lightweight|
|✔️ Grilling surface for brauts and dogs|
|✔️ Simple, easy to assemble and use design|
|What We Didn’t Like|
|❌ Wood can easily fall out the front side while burning|
|❌ It feels a little wobbly when setup|
Best Collapsible Wood Burning Backpacking Stove
- 100% PURE 304 STAINLESS STEEL — Our camping stove is made of pure 304 stainless steel which makes it last even in the harshest conditions. Weighs only 1.1 lbs and boast a large 7″H x 6″W x 4″L burning chamber.
- UNLIMITED FUEL SOURCE — Unlike other camping stoves that use alcohol or bulky propane canisters, you can simply use wood, twigs, or leaves.
- BUILT TO LAST FOREVER — The design of our Stainless-Steel wood stove gives it unique properties to perform and withstand higher and lower temperature extremes.
- ULTRA PORTABLE DESIGN — Every part of the kampMATE WoodFlame wood stove has been designed for practicality, durability, and portability.
The kampMATE WoodFlame Ultra Lightweight is a great small backpacking wood stove. At 1.1 lbs it is the lightest stove in our review but still offers great performance and versatility.
The biggest downside to this stove is it’s assembly. It is much more complicated and takes much more time than any other we reviewed. it comes in a storage pouch with the 4 sides, the bottom and 2 top grates. The 4 sides go together with slots. They only go one way. The front size has to slide down on one side and up on the other. As the stove ages and warps this becomes more difficult.
The top grate can go on in 2 different ways. For smaller cups or mugs it can hang down inside the top of the stove. This gives it a little more stability. For larger pots and pans it flips over and goes on even with the top of the sides. This gives good support and stability to different sized pots.
You can use small sticks or twigs for fuel. You can also place small burners inside this or fuel pucks. The front side is open so you can keep loading fuel in as you are cooking. It will boil a large cup or mug of water in under 10 minutes.
Cleanup is easy since all the sides come off. No hard to reach or access spots. The metal is thin so it doesn’t stay hot for a long time after the fire has gone out. Once it stops burning you can dump the ashes out and then take it apart and wipe it off.
This stove was intended for backpacking use and works well for that purpose. At 1.1 lbs it is one of the lightest wood stoves available. It packs into a very small puck about the size of a small book. It will fit almost anywhere in your backpack.
Overall the kampMATE Woodflame succeeds at being a great wood stove for backpack camping. If you want a small, very lightweight stove for cooking this could be the one for you.
- Size – 7 x 6 x 4 inches
- Collapsed size – 7 x 6 x 0.5 inches
- Weight – 1.1 lbs
- Material – Stainless steel
- Fuel – Wood, pellets, twigs, small alcohol burners
- Boil Water – 5 to 10 minutes for a coffee cup
|What We Liked|
|✔️ Very lightweight and compact|
|✔️ Top grate can go on at 2 heights|
|✔️ Can use a variety of fuels|
|What We Didn’t Like|
|❌ It is a little tricky to assemble|
|❌ The thin metal shows wear pretty quick.|
Best Electricity Generating Camp Stove
- Turn fire into electricity! CampStove 2 generates 3 watts of usable electricity for USB charging of LED lights, mobile phones, and other devices.
- USB charge output with 50% more power than our previous CampStove 1 Bundle, with updated thermoelectrics creating even more electricity from fire.
- Internal jets have 4 fan speed settings to circulate air for improved combustion and efficiency to boil 1 liter of water in 4.5 minutes
- Portable Grill attachment transforms your BioLite CampStove into a wood-fired grilling surface. Steel Grill Grate fits up to four burgers or six hot dogs.
The Biolite Campstove 2 is a wood burning campstove that can also charge your phone while you cook. This stove has a few unique features that make it very versatile.
It has a stainless steel cylinder construction with some grating on the outside. The electronics include a battery and fan that attach to the stainless steel stove. The fan speed has several settings that can be used to control the temperature of the stove while cooking. The heat from the stove will charge the battery or any device connected to it.
The fan speed control is one of the best features of this stove. With most small wood stoves you keep feeding it and there it burns at one temperature which is hot. With the fan you can speed up or slow down the burn rate. At high setting it can boil water in a few minutes.
In theory, this stove sounds like a great idea. In practical use, it is a little gimmicky. It does charge batteries such as your phone. You need to start out with a fully charged Biolite battery when using the fire to charge. If you start with a fully drained phone and low Biolite battery, you will overheat the Biolite. This will cause it to shut down. It’s best to keep the Biolite charged and not try to charge both the Biolite and your phone at once.
The stove has a few downfalls. The opening at the top is too large for some smaller cooking pots. You will need to use a grate or something else to support them so they don’t block off airflow into the stove. There is no way to add fuel to the stove while cooking with it. There is no opening at the top sides. You will have to remove whatever you are cooking, add fuel, and then go back to cooking.
The size is small enough to easily fit in a backpack. The electronic part of the stove fit inside the stainless steel cylinder. Together they way over 2 lbs. It’s way too heavy for backpacking. There are many much ligher weight wood or gas stove options. You could carry a large charging battery and stove and still have weight to spare.
Overall, if you are not concerned about the weight, this can be a pretty good camp stove. If you are more tech savvy and like the idea of being able to recharge devices in remote areas with fuel that you can find this might be the stove for you.
- Size – 10 x 10 x 9 inches
- Collapsed size – 5 x 5 x 8 inches
- Weight – 2.1 lbs
- Material – Stainless steel and plastic
- Fuel – Wood pellets, twigs, sticks, and other biomass
- Boil Water – 4.5 minutes for 1 liter
|What We Liked|
|✔️ Temperature control using fan|
|✔️ Generate electricity for charging while the stove is burning|
|✔️ Grill and other accessories|
|What We Didn’t Like|
|❌ Very high price|
|❌ You need to use a grate or some other device to support small pots|
Wood Burning Camp Stove Guide
There are many wood burning camp stoves to choose from these days. What is so great about a wood burning camp stoves? Are they really better than gas or alcohol stove? What are the important things to consider when shopping for a wood burning camp stove. Let’s answer all these questions below.
Benefits of a wood burning camp stove
- You can find natural fuel almost anywhere. You don’t need to bring along propane tanks or alcohol to burn.
- You don’t need to use fossil fuels for your camp cooking. You can cook with a renewable resource
- They are simple and reliable. They do not weigh that much or take up that much space.
- They can be very cheap
Features to look for in a wood burning camp stove
Let’s have a look at what is important in choosing the best wood burning camp stove for you. Price, size, weight, portability, ease of use are all important.
You can pick up a wood burning camp stove for as little as $20 or for well over $200. There are many good options available between $25 and $100 that are good for cooking for 2 to 4 people.
Size & Weight
If you are backpacking then the size and weight are very important. If your stove weighs more than an alcohol stove and fuel combined then you aren’t benefiting from no fuel. If you are using it for campsite camping from your car or truck then a bigger stove is fine. The size and weight of the stove will also determine how many people it can cook for. A stove for cooking for a family of 4 will be much larger than a stove meant to cook for 1.
Most good wood burning camp stoves are made of either stainless steel or titanium. Titanium will be lighter weight and much more expensive. Stainless steel will be heavier and retain heat better. All grades of stainless steel are not created equal. A very cheap stainless steel stove may be much more rust prone than an expensive stove. This is not always the case so check the reviews and ratings.
Ease of assembly and cleaning
If you plan to use this stove a lot, you want something that is easy to assemble, take apart, and clean. Some stoves such as those by Solo Stove need almost no assembly. Their double walled cylinder can be difficult to clean. You can’t clean between the walls or under the wood tray at the bottom. A square shaped stove such as the one by Unigear is super easy to clean because everything comes apart.
Ability to support adequate sized cookware
How large of a pot do you plan to cook with? If your using larger cookware you need a larger stove to support it. A stove with a larger base will be more stable when it’s loaded up with firewood and cookware on top. Some stoves such as the one by Unigear are a little wobbly when assembled.
Heat Efficiency and Boiling power
Most wood burning stoves need to be fed constantly while you are cooking to keep the temperature up. Double walled stoves with secondary combustion are very efficient. Once up to temperature they will burn fuel very quickly. The faster you can cook with the stove the less time you will need to sit and feed it.
Small wood burning stoves can burn almost anything you can find outdoors. Wood pellets, sticks, twigs, and leaves are all acceptable. Some stoves such as the Unigear and KampMATE can be used with small alcohol burners as well.
Stove Box – how is wood loaded
How is wood loaded into the stove? Can you add more fuel to the fire while you are cooking? Some stoves have access on the side or top for adding fuel while cookware is on them. Some do not. If there is no access for fuel you need to remove what you are cooking to add fuel.
A few wood burning camp stoves such as those by Biolite can also generate a small amount of electricity. They can make enough for charging a phone or other small device. If the idea of using wood to recharge your phone is a good idea then one of these may be a good choice for you.
Wood Burning Camp Stove FAQ
Q: What is the best wood burning camp stove?
Solo Stove makes really good wood burning camp stoves. They are very efficient and come in a variety of sizes. The smallest is suitable for backpacking. The largest is good for cooking for a family of 4. You really can’t go wrong with a Solo Stove.
Q: How do I get the most heat out of my wood stove?
There are a few things you can do to help get more heat out of your wood burning camp stove. Use wood that is dry and clean. Dry wood will burn quicker generating more heat. Make sure you have good airflow in your stove. Air is needed for combustion. If there is a slight breeze you want to orient your stove so the wind is flowing into the stove. Keep your stove clean and well maintained. Dirt inside the stove inhibits airflow. Good airflow means better heat.
Q: Are wood burning stoves bad for your lungs?
Smoke in general is bad for your lungs. Smoke from a wood burning camp stove is no different. When you are using a wood burning camp stove you do not want to sit and inhale a lot of smoke. Don’t sit downwind of the flame where the smoke is blowing.
Q: How do I choose a camp stove?
You need to consider your needs for your camp stove and find one that fits them the best. How many people do you need to cook for? Do you want to drag around propane with you for fuel? Can you burn wood fires where you will be camping? Are you carrying the stove in a backpack? Find a camp stove that best fits your needs.
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About the author
My name is Doug Ryan. I am an adventure sports fan and an avid skier, sailor, mountain biker who also enjoys paddle boarding, kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and travel. I take any chance I can get to get out in the snow or water. I actively run an adventure sports meetup where I get asked many questions. I decided to start Endless Rush Outdoors as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for adventure sports their gear.