This is the lightweight stove I use for my backpacking, camping and bicycle touring adventures all around the world. It’s called the Vargo Outdoors Decagon Alcohol Stove… and it’s available for purchase at REI stores and at REI.com.
The Vargo Outdoors Decagon Stove runs on liquid alcohol, which can be found just about anywhere in the world. To use the stove, pour a small amount of alcohol into the main center hole of the stove and then using a match or lighter, ignite the fuel you just poured inside. At this stage, it’s difficult to see that the fuel inside the stove is burning, but it is actually burning and heating up the stove. After about 7 minutes, the flames will start to come out of the burner holes around the stove’s exterior, at which point you can place your pot directly on top of the stove – there’s no need for an extra pot stand.
I like this stove because it’s made of titanium and is super lightweight (only 1.2 ounces), incredibly compact (only 4.25 x 1.2 inches), and it has no moving parts (so it’s pretty difficult to break or destroy – unlike many other camp stoves on the market). If size and weight is your main concern, a camp stove and cookware setup like this is certainly worth considering.
The downsides to this stove, however, are that the 7+ minutes of wait time at the beginning of the cooking process really slows you down. With other camp stoves you just turn a knob and you’re instantly cooking! On top of that, there’s real no way to regulate the temperature with this stove. There’s only one burn setting, so you have to cook with caution in order to make sure you don’t burn your meals. Finally, there’s no good way (other than with repeated practice) to determine how much fuel to pour into the stove when you first start cooking. Pour too little alcohol in and your stove will stop functioning before your meal has finished cooking. Or pour too much in and you’ll end up wasting precious fuel you could be using to prepare future meals.
If I were on a backpacking, camping or bicycle touring adventures and was planning to cook my meals every single day, I probably wouldn’t want to use this particular camp stove, but because small and light is important to me (and maybe it’s important to you too?) this is the stove I carry when I want only an occasionally warn meal.
Learn more about the Vargo Outdoors Decagon Stove on this page: http://bicycletouringpro.com/vargo-camp-stove