If you want to carry a cookstove and fuel with you instead of making a fire (especially if there are fire restrictions), consider which kind best suits you. Understand the essentials when buying your stove.
Value: how long it takes for the food to heat over any period of time
Efficiency: tells you how much fuel you're using during that period of time
Weight and Compactness, as a unit
A camp stove like what's pictured above is better for car-camping. It's bulky, not compact although it does fold back on itself, but the weight and the fuel requirements are not great for hiking and backpacking. Well, unless you have a mule!
The next picture is smaller. It's a single-burner that uses propane, and is actually pretty stable. You can set a big pot on it (if the weight is properly distributed), and it carries well.
The third picture is an alcohol stove. Fill it with rubbing alcohol, light it, and pop the bowl on. Looks pretty sturdy, doesn't it?
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There are other kinds of stoves that I haven't mentioned here. We recently got a "fold-flat" orange stove thingy (last picture, below) from http://www.beprepared.com/ but haven't have a chance to use it yet.