During camping, hiking and other outdoor activities where you don’t have access to your kitchen, a backpacking stove becomes necessary. There are a few types of stove fuels that can be taken on your trip to prepare food. The most commonly used fuel is either gas or liquid. But, there are others as well, such as twigs, solid fuel, and even alcohol.

If you are going to hike or camp for the first time in your young life, you must have proper knowledge about different types of backpacking stove fuels that are available in the market. Continue reading further to know which one is the best stove fuel for your hiking trip.

Gas Fuel

A gas fuel is a mixture of two liquid gases: propane and even isobutene. A canister gas stove is required to cook the food.

The canister is the most convenient cooking tool as a beginner can also use it easily. You can control the level of flame from low to medium to high. The potency of the fuel is stored in the canister for a longer period of time. It does not make your backpack heavy as it is lightweight. This type of stove is available at affordable rates.

Everything in this beautiful life has both up and downsides, and so is the way with gas fuel stoves. You may find it difficult to ignite in the winter season. When the canister is about to finish, the flame lowers down. To avoid shortage of fuel, make sure that you carry an additional canister with you.

Liquid Fuel

Kerosene, petrol, and even diesel are considered liquid fuels. For this, you’ll need a refillable bottle which, when attached to a stove, produces a flame.

The upside of liquid fuel is that they are available everywhere. You can take the required amount of fuel with you on the trip. If you are planning an outdoor trip in colder months, it is suggested to opt for liquid fuel as it performs fully in winter season.

There are a few cons, including the fuel's weight. It is also considerably costlier than gas-stoves. You need to refuel it very frequently and it requires constant maintenance. Before every single use, extensive priming is also necessary.


These days, many famous brands manufacture wood-burning stoves. You have to use the wooden twigs to fuel these. These stoves are lightweight that can be carried easily, even in your backpack.  So if you get this type of stove you are not going to run out of the fuel on your trip, unless twigs cease to exist.

Solid Fuel

The stoves that use the solid fuel tablets are inexpensive in comparison to other types of stoves. But the major con of these stoves is they release a strong odor that is extremely irritating. The fuel tablets tend to leave a greasy residue on the stove.


There are stoves available on the market that use denatured alcohol as a fuel. These stoves are affordable, lightweight and easy-to-use. The thru-hikers prefer them the most.

How to Recycle the Empty Canisters

The recycling of fuel canisters is a matter of utmost concern. Both the gas and liquid canisters are made for one-time use only. Therefore, you must dispose of them. Remember, that you’re not depositing them anywhere. Make sure to consult your local recycling and waste collection authorities for the procedure and rules of disposing.