Stoves can take up a lot of space in your pack as well as add a lot of weight carried on your back. Selection of the proper cooking system, if even needed, can really change your whole trekking experience. Your cooking setup can change the size of pack needed, what type of meals you eat, what your food will taste like, how long you have to wait to eat, what route you might have to take to refuel and even where and for how long you can travel.
Depending on how you are backpacking, whether it is an ultralight thru-hike, weekend backpack trip, car/van camping or airplane hopping, there is likely a reasonable cooking option for you.
In brief, the best cooking setups as related to your backpacking approach are as follows:
Travel Type Stove Type Ultralight hiking minimalist alcohol stove Weekend backpack trip small butane stove High altitude ice trekker liquid camp fuel stove Car/Van camping propane stove International backpacking small hotplate
A much more comprehensive look at backpack cooking systems can be found on our sister site at: zenstoves.net/StoveSystems.htm
If you plan to use a backpacking stove in your travels, one should be aware of the real dangers a stove brings with it. Beyond the risk of setting oneself on fire, especially if trying to cook in a tent or vehicle, there are the hazards or Carbon Monoxide. This is a particular concern if you are thinking about cooking in an enclosed area such as a tent or van, and particularly if at high altitudes. A comprehensive look at the hazards of carbon monoxide poisoning can be found on our Carbon Monoxide Hazards Page.
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