Canister stoves are probably the easiest stove to use in the back country. They are also one of the most compact options out there. Their single piece design with its minimal parts, makes operation and upkeep a snap. There are several different styles of canister stoves, some inverting the canister, some enclosing it, and most just simply screwing down onto the top of the can.
Read my reviews on canister stoves here
The main benefit of liquid stoves is that many of them can burn several different types of fuel; gasoline, jet fuel, and kerosene can be used as well as the preferred standard cleaner burning white fuel. Especially in cold weather, when butane canisters have difficulty maintaining the pressure they need to burn, the ability to use multiple highly combustible fuels allows for greater performance in winter conditions.
There are two basic liquid fuel stove types; pump-to-prime stoves require the physical act of pumping a small piston to achieve enough pressure to ignite. Stoves with a fuel line connection need a small amount of fuel to be poured under the burner and lit to preheat the hose and prime the stove. Both stove types require maintenance, such as replacing O-rings and regular cleaning.
Read my reviews on liquid fuel stoves here
If you are trying to get your kitchen kit weight as light as possible, and still have a hot meal at the end of the day, then you probably want to employ the use of an alternative fuel stove. Allowing you to ditch the bulky liquid gas or isobutane containers, alternative fuels can range from alcohol and antifreeze to wood sticks or fuel tablets.
In the case of wood burning stoves, you don’t have to bring fuel at all, as you will find it in the wild. Esbit fuel blocks, or similar products weigh less than 14 grams each and are smaller than a piece of gum. “Alcohol stoves”, which can burn various other types of liquid fuel, only require you to bring as much as fuel as you need, in tiny see-through bottles. Alternative fuel stoves tend to be much smaller and much lighter than any type of traditional stove and many are easy to design and build yourself.
Read my reviews of alternative fuel stoves here