The Esbit stove is something any backpacker should at least consider as an option, and the only real way to consider it is to get one and try it out at least on a brief trip. Esbit cubes are small, restaurant-butter sized packets that are easily lit with a match or other flame source for directed heat for a quick hot meal or for boiling water. The great thing about these is you can take just exactly the number you need for x number of meals you are planning. There's no excess fuel to carry around, and no metal canister weight as there can be with the admittedly more popular isopro gas stoves we rent
There are downsides of course, including little way to regulate the level of flame - it's mainly either off or on - and there is a bit of an odor to the fuel. But the simplicity is hard to beat. The metal stove part provided in this package is less than 3 ounces, and for the really weight-frugal, can be left at home - just put the cube between 2 small rocks and set your pot on the rocks as the stand.
Esbit stoves became popular in the US after World War II as GIs coming back from Europe had seen them in popular use by other armies there. This package includes the stove and 6 cubes, each of which is good for about 2 typical water boils. Separate 12-cube packages of fuel-only are available as an add-on; select your preference with the dropdown.
We have a lot of backpacking and camping advice pages
, including one on backcountry dining.
We also usually have used camping stoves available for purchase.