When hiking in the backcountry, there is hardly any worse thing that spending a lot of time searching for firewood to made your meals. Do not get me wrong, I love campfires during my trips, but they are not the best way for cooking my meals everyday. This is one of the main reasons why carrying a good backpacking stove is a must for anyone traveling in the wild. However, before deciding to buy one, you must consider what kind of stove is the best for you? Basically, we can divide backpacking stoves in three types: alcohol, pressurized canister, and liquid fuel. In this article, I will state three reasons for using a backpacking liquid fuel stove in your trips.
1. You can use liquid fuel stoves in the widest range of situations. So, if you only can buy one stove, then buy a liquid fuel. You can use them effectively in any kind of weather, so they are perfect for using in winter. High altitudes do not represent a problem for them either. Whereas canister or alcohol stoves can fail if the weather is too cold or you are traveling at very high altitude.
2. The heat output of the liquid fuel stoves is the most powerful. So they will cook your meals in the least amount of time. This difference is not against alcohol stoves. Cooking with alcohol stoves can take an unnecessary amount of your time. With canister stoves, in optimal conditions, this difference in cooking power is least noticeable, however you only need a little wind and it appears again.
3. One of the most important objections against liquid fuel stoves is the price. Buying a liquid fuel stove is most expensive than buying any of the other two types of stove. Especially, if we consider that alcohol stoves can be homemade. But that is not true if we compare liquid fuel stoves with canister stoves. In the long run a liquid fuel stove is cheaper than a canister stove. That's because the disposable canisters are more expensive than white gas. So to the initial cost of a canister stove we must add the cost of canisters along the time.
Of course, liquid fuel backpacking stoves have downsides. They are heavier than the other types of stoves, and require more maintenance in the field. After all, no type of stove is perfect for everything. The ideal would be to have various stoves and to use the appropriate stove for each occasion. However, if this ideal were not possible, then a liquid fuel stove could be more than enough.