best survival stove

A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Best Survival Stove

When it comes to choosing the best survival stove, there are a lot of factors to consider. You need to find a stove that is durable, efficient, and easy to use.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss all of the different types of stoves available on the market today, as well as the pros and cons of each one.

We will also provide you with some tips for choosing the best emergency stove for your needs. So whether you are looking for a small portable emergency stove or a large-scale cooking option for bugging out, we have you covered!


What Is A Survival Stove?

pine cones hobo stove

A survival stove is a small, portable stove that can be used in an emergency situation. Survival stoves are usually made of metal, and they have a small fuel tank that can be filled with any type of combustible fuel.

The stove is placed on the ground, and the fuel is lit, allowing the user to cook food or boil water. Survival stoves are an essential piece of survival gear, and they can be used in a variety of situations.

For example, if you are lost in the wilderness, a survival stove can be used to cook food or boil water. If you are stranded in your car during a winter storm, a survival stove can be used to keep you warm.

And if you are caught in a flood or other natural disaster, a survival stove can be used to cook food or boil water. Survival stoves are an essential piece of survival gear, and they can help you stay alive in an emergency situation.

Different Kinds Of Survival Stoves

mini oven homemade bread

Rocket Stove

These stoves have a low mass and are made to burn small pieces of wood very well. On top of a short, insulated chimney is where the cooking takes place. Putting a skirt around the pot will help keep the heat inside, making it work better. Rocket Stoves can be fueled by branches, twigs, small pieces of wood, or almost any other small flammable material.

Not only do a rocket stove have these other benefits, but they also: Cheap to make because it can be made from used bricks, cinder blocks, etc. Use less wood than traditional stoves and fires that burn wood. Can be made out of something as small as a tin food can, if that’s what you want.

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GEERTOP Wood Burning Camping Rocket Stove, Portable Backpacking Stainless Steel Wood Stove Camping Gear Accessories for Emergency Survival Outdoor Hiking Travel Picnic BBQ
  • ➤【More Efficient Combustion】This rocket stove is designed and upgraded by using the chimney effect concept.It burns more efficiently and saves fuel. By starting combustion, hot air rises...
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A rocket stove is a small, portable stove, which is light-weight and can be used to cook when you’re out in the wilderness, at the beach, or at a campsite.

You can burn biomass, small-diameter wood, or solidified fuels in these small systems. They are a great (and cheaper!) alternative to stoves that burn liquid fuel.

Rocket stoves work by making a combustion chamber from the air vents at the bottom to a narrower opening at the top where you can put your grill or saucepan.

There are different shapes and sizes, and most of them are made to fit in your backpack. Useful in case you need heat or hot water quickly.

Wood Stove

hobo stove hot water

A wood stove is a heating device that burns wood fuel to produce heat. The heat is then transferred to the surrounding environment, typically through convection and radiation. Wood stoves are commonly used in rural areas, where they are often the primary source of heat.

However, they can also be found in urban areas, where they are used for supplemental heating or as a backup during power outages. There are two types of wood stoves: free-standing and insert.

Free-standing stoves are placed on the floor, while inserts are placed inside an existing fireplace. Inserts are typically more efficient than free-standing stoves, as they make better use of the existing chimney.

Wood stoves can be used to heat homes, cabins, RVs, and even tents. They are a versatile and reliable source of heat, making them a popular choice for those who enjoy spending time outdoors in cold weather.


Most of the time, wood fuel is free, easy to find, and won’t run out quickly. These stoves can be some of the smallest and lightest ones available.

Wood burning can create a portable fire pit atmosphere, and these stoves can cook a good marshmallow. Wood-burning stoves that are fed from the side are better because you don’t have to move your pot every time you need to add fuel.


Wood burning makes ashes and some smoke which can be bad for your health. These stoves should be used outside, even if it’s just on a cookie sheet on the patio. If you want to try to make your own survival stove, don’t use metal that has been coated with zinc. Zinc fume poisoning is a pretty horrible way to die.

Wood Gas Stove

freeze dried meal

When it comes to survival stoves, there are many different types on the market. However, one of the most unique types is the wood gas stove. As the name suggests, this type of cooking material used wood gas.

Wood gas forms when wood is burned in a low-oxygen environment. This process produces a combustible gas that fuels a stove. While they are not as common as other types of survival stoves, they offer a number of advantages especially in cooking.

For instance, they are extremely efficient and can provide a steady source of heat and power. In addition, they are relatively easy to create and use. With a little practice, anyone can learn how to operate one of these unique stoves.


Wood burning stove is often free and easy to find, and as long as there are sticks and twigs around, it will never run out. Wood burning stove is a great way to save money on fuel.

With wood fuel, these stoves can create a small version of the “campfire atmosphere,” and they can also roast a good marshmallow. Smaller wood burning stove, like the Solo Stove, can often be packed away inside the pot you set on top of them.


Burning wood makes ashes and some smoke, so these stoves are best used outside, even if it’s just on top of a cookie sheet on your patio. They are usually one of the more expensive kinds of portable wood stoves.

rocket stove pot stand

Liquid Fuel Stove

A liquid fuel stove is a type of portable stove that uses liquid fuels such as gasoline, kerosene, or white gas to generate heat. Liquid fuel stoves are often used by campers, hikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts because they are relatively lightweight and easy to use.

There are three types of liquid fuel stoves: canister, integrated canister, and remote canister. Butane Canisters are the most popular type of survival stove because they are easy to light and require no priming.

Integrated canister stoves has a fuel source and a burner unit combined into one unit. This makes them slightly heavier but also more compact.

Remote canister stoves have the fuel tank located away from the burner unit, which makes them more stable but also more difficult to use.

Liquid fuel stoves are a popular choice for many outdoor activities, but it is important to choose the right type of stove for your needs.

Fire-Maple Fixed Star X2 Backpacking and Camping Stove System Outdoor Propane Camp Cooking Gear Portable Pot Jet Burner Set Ideal for Hiking, Trekking, Fishing, Hunting Trips and Emergency Use
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Fire-Maple Fixed Star X2 Backpacking and Camping Stove System Outdoor Propane Camp Cooking Gear Portable Pot Jet Burner Set Ideal for Hiking, Trekking, Fishing, Hunting Trips and Emergency Use
  • HIGHLY EFFICIENT - Our industry leading heat exchange technology minimizes wind impact and reduces boiling times by up to 30% compared to traditional backpacking stoves.
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This survival stove runs on liquid fuels. Also it is available all over the place. It’s pretty easy to put together, and for newer models, you can buy a cheap kit with extra O-rings and other parts.

There are a lot of these stoves to choose from, both new and in good shape. An unopen can of white gas can last up to seven years.

You can buy it by the gallon at Wal-Mart, hardware stores, and sporting goods stores all over the country. White gas stoves also work well in cold weather, which is not always the case with other designs.


Bad This and most other white gas stoves are tricky to light, and if you aren’t careful, you could burn your arm hair and eyebrow hair.

It may be pretty loud when it’s cooking because it works the same way as a small jet engine. Most white gas stoves don’t have push-button piezoelectric ignition, so you’ll need to bring matches or a lighter.

heating water boiling point

Alcohol Stove

An alcohol stove is a type of survival stove that is designed to be used in emergency situations. Alcohol stoves are typically made from aluminum or stainless steel and use denatured alcohol, which can be found in most hardware stores, as fuel.

There are two types of alcohol stoves: the open-flame stove and the closed-flame stove. The open-flame stove is the most common type of alcohol stove. It is easy to use to cook food or boil water.

The closed-flame stove is more efficient and burns hotter than the open-flame stove, but it can be more difficult to use. Alcohol stoves are a popular choice for backpackers and hikers because they are lightweight and easy to use.


Alcohol stoves like the brass Svea are quiet and have no moving parts that can break. The well-known Red Camp Alcohol Stove is made well and doesn’t cost much. Also, a pocket knife and some soda cans can be used to make a simple burner in a pinch.

By far, alcohol is one of the safest liquids to use in a stove. Also, a can of alcohol from the hardware store that hasn’t been opened can be kept for as long as you want.


Bad alcohol stoves take longer than some other stoves to boil water. It is also hard to light in cold weather without preheating the stove with body heat, a candle, lighter, etc. This fuel holds little energy compare to others. So it needs to be often, which add up over time.

Any other kind of fuel is not safe to use in an alcohol stove. For these little burners to work well, they usually need a windscreen of some kind, which can be as simple as a piece of aluminum foil.

little stove survival situation

Canister Fuel Stoves

A canister fuel stove is the type of emergency stove that uses pressurized fuel from a canister to generate heat. There are two types of canister stoves: active and passive. Active canister stoves have a built-in pump that pressurizes the fuel, while passive stoves rely on the pressure of the surrounding air to push the fuel into the burner.

Canister stoves are from aluminum or stainless steel. Apart from that they have a simple design that makes them easy to use. Most models have a piezoelectric ignition system, which uses a spark to ignite the fuel. Canister stoves are lightweight and efficient, but they require regular maintenance and may not be suitable for all types of terrain.


These stoves starts  with full power without priming. On models with piezoelectric ignition, you can turn them on by pressing a button. Units like the Jetboil have a burner and a fuel cartridge built right into the stove.

When I only cooked for myself, one fuel cartridge lasted a whole week. As a survival stove, they are also easy to store because everything fits into a small space.


Fuel canisters can power these stoves. Most brands work fine, unless they are a proprietary cartridge. Lindal valve leak or stuck as it ages. Hence, fuel cartridges have a minimum shelf life of three years only.

But this doesn’t seem to happen very often when fuel is stored properly. Jetboil stoves are great at boiling water, but they don’t do a good job of simmering. This is not true of all canister stoves, though.

pocket rocket dry fuel

Butane Burner or Propane Stoves

When you think of a butane burner or a propane stove, you might think of the little blue canisters that fuel your camp stove. But did you know that there are actually different types of butane burners?

In fact, there are three main types of survival stoves that use butane: canister stoves, liquid-fueled stoves, and ultralight stoves.

Canister stoves are the most common type of butane burner, and they’re perfect for backpacking and camping. Propane canister stoves are a bit more versatile, as they can run on different types of fuel, including butane.

Ultralight stoves are an example of a small stove and most compact option, making them ideal for backpacking and ultralight camping. So, whether you’re looking for a versatile stove or a compact and lightweight option, a butane burner might be just what you need.


The best thing about this kind of burner is that it cooks about the same as a gas stovetop. It has a durable heat source which produces clean burning ,where you can cook almost everything.

You can cook your favorite meat using a frying pan. They can keep food to stay warm or boil hot water using a kelly kettle without difficulty.


As a canned fuel stove, these use butane cartridges, which can be hard to find outside of specialty stores, so make sure you have plenty. This survival stove is so big and yet still considered as “portable.”

rocket stove rolling boil

Solid Fuel Tablets Stove

Fuel tablets are a type of portable stoves that are use to cook food or boil water. There are two types of solid fuel stoves: gas and liquid.

Gas solo stove is use canisters of propane stove or butane, while the fuel source of liquid fuel stove includes alcohol, kerosene, or diesel.

Both type of stoves require a source of ignition, such as a match or lighter. Solid fuel stoves are often small and lightweight, making them ideal for backpacking and camping.

They are also less expensive than other types of stoves, making them a good choice for budget-minded campers. However, solid fuel stoves can be difficult to light in cold weather.

Also they produce harmful emissions when burned. For these reasons, it is important to use a solid fuel stove only in well-ventilated areas.

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Esbit CS585HA 3-Piece Lightweight Camping Cook Set for Use with Solid Fuel Tablets, Grey, 585ml
  • Kit includes 585-milliliter pot, lid, and wind deflector/pot stand, and stores in included mesh bag.
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This pocket stove is one of the easiest to use. If you don’t count the cost of fuel, they are cheap and tend to use stable fuel that lasts a long time. Many of the solid fuel stoves would be good for a one-time use or as a disposable stove.


Most of the time, these fuel tabs works with one type of fuel. Most of the time, the cost of fuel tablets or a fuel bottle ranges from a little bit to a lot. Burning tablets can release chemicals that smell bad.

Since these fuel tablets produce less heat than liquid fuel stoves, a tall windscreen around the cooking pot is a good idea. Solid fuel stoves can be harder to control than other types of stoves when it comes to how much heat they put out.

This kind of stove is still usable during a survival situation. However, if you don’t need a “disposable stove,” it’s usually best to look in the other categories.

How to choose the best survival stove

enough fuel survival situations

Choose A type Of Stove

The first thing you need to do is decide what kind of stove you want. There are two main types: stoves that are self reliant and portable stoves. Portable stoves can be move around easily.

Freestanding camping stove is bigger, heavier, has two or three gas powered burners, and usually has more BTUs than table top stoves. It is a great stove for large groups of people.

You can set up a freestanding camp stove anywhere. You don’t have to look for a flat surface at camp or take up valuable space where you prepare food.

Tabletop models, on the other hand, do exactly what their name says: you put them on a picnic table or bench and start cooking. They are much smaller and easier to move than freestanding stoves because they don’t have legs.

Number Of Stoves

fuel quickly pot gripper

The next step is to decide how many burners you want. Both freestanding and tabletop camping stoves usually have two burners, and for good reason. When you cook at home, how often do you need to use more than two burners at once?

Cooking Space

is the last and often forgotten thing to think about when talking about burners. With a large cooking surface, you can put two large items next to each other, like a 12-inch cast iron skillet and a cookpot for spaghetti.

Check the Stove’s BTU

BTUs are the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. Because of this, you need to know this number to know how much power a stove can make.

There are other things that can affect how well a stove works, such as its overall design, burner size, wind resistance, etc., but BTUs are a good measure of power and a good way to compare models.

Types Of Fuel

stainless steel gas one

propane is used to power most camping stoves. Most weekend trips should only need one 16-ounce bottle, but you should definitely bring a backup or two in case you run out.

The classic 5-gallon tank (also called a 20-pound tank) is a tried-and-true choice that gives you even more convenience and means you don’t have to restock as often.

They are easy to find fuel sources. Apart from that they last longer than small bottles and is available in almost every town, and don’t cost as much in the long run. Definitely a good stove for survival situations. To connect these to your stove, you’ll probably need to buy an adapter and hose.

Wind Resistance

Cover your stove specially during windy days, it will be hard to get consistent power to cook your food evenly and well (and strong gusts can put the flame out completely).

Look for stoves that have windshields on at least three sides to protect the burner. Still, if your ideal stove doesn’t have protection built in, it’s easy to make a makeshift barrier or buy one separately.

Windscreens aren’t a cure-all, because strong gusts can sometimes blow in every direction at once, but if you have a good camp set up in a protected area, you should be able to keep the flame pretty steady.

Simmer Control

The ability to simmer is another important thing to think about. It’s important to boil water quickly over high heat. However, meals aren’t cooked this way. For sauces and soups, which need a little more finesse, make sure your stove has a good simmer control.

Also the ability to provide even heat and precise flame control at a low setting. Good simmer performance isn’t something you can find on a specs sheet, but high-end models usually do better in these conditions.

Portable Stove vs. Bigger Stove For Hiking

If you already have a backpacking stove or thinking about getting one for camping and backcountry trips, there are some important things to think about. Backpacking stoves are less stable, smaller, and has one burner. Also don’t simmer well, and are for boiling water only

As we talked about above, camping stoves are heavier, bigger, more durable, and often hard to carry. However, they are similar to your home stove and let you make more complicated meals.

best survival stove


So there you have it – a comprehensive guide to choosing the best survival stove. We hope this article has helped you narrow down your choices and make an informed decision about which stove is right for you.

Remember, always practice safety when using any type of stove, and be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before use. Now get out there and start cooking up some amazing meals in the great outdoors!