wood burning backpacking stove

2:03 p.m. on April 2, 2017 (EDT)
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Does anyone have experience with these?  I am looking at the Chinese knock offs of the Solo Stove. They weight about a pound in stainless steel and cost around $20 or less.  Some people make them from soup cans.  No fuel buy and no canisters to dispose of.  You never run out of fuel. Carry some esbit fuel days for soaking rain or dry desert.

2:49 p.m. on April 2, 2017 (EDT)
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I do. They are great.

5:46 p.m. on April 2, 2017 (EDT)
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I once built a knock off Bushbuddy from a one quart paint can ($1 at the hardware store) and a progresso soup can. Saw it on a site called Indestructibles I think. It was a blow torch, did exactly what it was supposed to, gasified and turned it into a jet engine. But any stove that is round like a can is bulky and that kind is not my cup of tea, once it gets going it turns into a down burner. I found it harder to tend. I have made regular tin can stoves too. They work okay, bulky and some are heavy. 

Now I use the Emberlit titanium stove. I got it when it was about 50 bucks and the stainless steel version was 20 or 30. Look it up. It lays flat in your pack, is easy and quick to set up and you can easily control the heat. filling it first with pencil sized sticks through the top and then thumb sized sticks through the gate and you can leave the gate feed sticks at least 15" long, maybe even more but I don't need them longer. I like to simmer meals and it does that very well. Feeding and tending is easy, you just push the long thumb sizes sticks in a bit more when the flames get too low. The stove combusts them well when it is going and heated up. It takes very little wood to cook for 15 minuets or even more if you need. It burns the fuel down to white ash. The heat is focused on your pot so it is quick to the boil. 

There are a bunch of different makes of wood packing stoves now but I have the ones I started with and don't need anything else. The Emberlit has more than 5 years of use on it now. Looks like it will last as long as I want to use it. 

7:01 a.m. on April 3, 2017 (EDT)
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Nowhere near the same price tag, but my Caldera Ti Tri wood burner is probably my favorite piece of gear for the last several years. A quick cup on a rest stop boiled with alcohol or Esbit, and dinner simmered on a wood fire....I definitely don't miss the roar of my gas stove! Hope you enjoy the wood stove and it works well!

10:36 a.m. on April 3, 2017 (EDT)
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thanks. 

The round stoves are beautiful but take up room. The square ones fold flat, but are not so cool to look at.  Do your stoves have a stable surface for placing a pot?

11:54 a.m. on April 3, 2017 (EDT)
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Yes.

12:02 p.m. on April 3, 2017 (EDT)
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I have knocked a pot or two over when using my older wood stoves (Sierra Zip and Bush Buddy - primarily due to my clumsiness), and that is one of the main reasons I doled out the bucks for the Trail Designs sidewinder...form fitted to your pot for maximum efficiency and stability.  It also weighs under 5 ounces and fits inside my pot with room to spare.  Way too high on the cost front, but I have not regretted it since!

If the square ones fold flat and are stable that would be a great option.

3:13 p.m. on April 3, 2017 (EDT)
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The Emberlit stove, the original UL titanium version, has a nice stable surface to hold a pot if your pot is a real pot and not one of those tiny cups. I use several pots on it, one is the Snow Peak 1400, about 5" in diameter. Overall the whole stove is perfectly stable, never had a problem. 

I also have a Caldera Ti Tri stove like Phil and it has a very stable pot base as it is indeed made for an individual pot, in my case the Snow Peak 1400 again. It is very light but packs in a roll and carried in a plastic container. It is bulky. Phil has a different version so his is probably less bulky. It is an interesting stove, used wood in a very efficient manner, alcohol and a special Esbit feature too. It is more geared towards a solo though and when I heat a liter of water for the two of us in cold weather I have to refill the alcohol stove that comes with it to get it to boil. It is very expensive but I see that Emberlit has raised prices too. 

If you want to make your own gasifier wood stove here is where I got my plans and they worked.   http://www.instructables.com/id/Woodgas-Can-Stove/

I prefer the Emberlit over all though, it supports any pot, even the little cups if you get the extra cross bars though I don't use them. I can carry the stove in my cargo pocket if desired. Does it look as cool? I guess I never thought about that. Cool is as cool does. It is a great piece of kit if you are into wood stove cooking. 

6:59 p.m. on April 3, 2017 (EDT)
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You are right....Caldera really is a solo stove.  Pushes the limit with two, but I use a different alcohol stove so don't have issues with refilling for two. It is probably the most expensive option of the ones being discussed. I use the alcohol option several times a day for coffee and tea breaks and haven't found a better wood-alcohol combo, but if you want a pure wood burner there are definitely cheaper options.

7:35 p.m. on April 3, 2017 (EDT)
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FlipNC said:

You are right....Caldera really is a solo stove.  Pushes the limit with two, but I use a different alcohol stove so don't have issues with refilling for two. It is probably the most expensive option of the ones being discussed. I use the alcohol option several times a day for coffee and tea breaks and haven't found a better wood-alcohol combo, but if you want a pure wood burner there are definitely cheaper options.

 

I am intrigued. Which stove do you use with the Cone? My go to alcohol stove is the Whitebox but it is a standalone and will not work with my caldera cone because the pot has to sit right on it and can't be levitated above it as only the side jets are supposed to work or the fuel burns off way to quickly. 

8:33 p.m. on April 3, 2017 (EDT)
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Tried a couple after the 12 10 Pepsi can stove started to show some wear and I almost crushed it with my foot one trip. The Vargo Triad stove seems to work well with the Caldera stove...about the right height.  I have a couple more tests trips to go then will review.

6:30 a.m. on April 5, 2017 (EDT)
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I made a sort of wood burning stove from a large soup can once. 

Items needed:

Soup can

Old fashioned church key can opener

Self lighting briquettes

#1. Take the soup can after eating contents and using the can opener, make four openings around both the top of the cans lip at 3,6,9 and 12 o'clock spaces and around the bottom lip of the can. These will be the air flow holes.

#2. Place can on flat surface. Drop 1-2 briquettes into the can, light and allow to ignite. 

#3. Set cook pot with desired food or water to be heated on top. Heat from briquettes will do the job. 

You can also use small twigs but may have to experiment with proper fire making to keep it going, removing pot to add more fuel as needed. The briquette method works best!

12:40 a.m. on May 19, 2017 (EDT)
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I'm looking at the square ones fold flat. Seems like its easier to use and more stable than the others

7:38 a.m. on May 19, 2017 (EDT)
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Ppine did you get one or create one?

8:54 p.m. on May 22, 2017 (EDT)
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I recently bought a Vargo Hexagon wood stove.  Although I have only used it a few times, tests on day hikes, it seems to work well.  Does anyone have any long term use of this stove?

It boiled water in ten minutes with wet and smokey wood.

3:22 p.m. on May 23, 2017 (EDT)
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In fact, I've been using a Hexagon on ocassion for a few years now. I reviewed it for the TRC, here: 

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/vargo/hexagon/#review23573

I've used it a few dozen times by now. Whatcha wanna know?

2:13 a.m. on June 2, 2017 (EDT)
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I have a Trail Designs "Sidewinder" titanium sheet stove known as a Caldera Cone type stove. Its outer, pot-supporting cone/windscreen utilizes an inner inverted and ventilated cone resting on 1/4" mesh screening (for air supply).

It is called a "gassifier stove" because, like the Canadian Bush Buddy and a few others, it recirculates unburned gasses given off in the initial combustion of wood. This burning of recirculating gasses makes a gassifier stove VERY hot. Ashes are typically white.

 These Caldera Cone titanium wood burning stoves are (IMHO) the most efficient of all the gassifier stoves, partially by the way the pot sits down into the outer cone, resting on to titanium tent stakes held horizontally in 4 holes in the cone. This conserves a lot of heat.

For those who don't know about Caldera Cone stoves the Sidewinder and the larger Tri-Ti stove can also be used with alcohol burners and ESBIT burners, making them more efficient than any other stove design. In fact 90% of the time I use my stove with ESBIT.

Other advantages of this stove are its light weight and compact size when the titanium sheet parts are rolled up for storage.

Eric B.

5:53 a.m. on July 28, 2017 (EDT)
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I've been using Vargo Hexagon wood stove for a year or so and haven't noticed any issue. 

Great review, pillowthread! 

11:38 a.m. on July 28, 2017 (EDT)
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I have given up on the idea for now. I do little cooking now when backpacking, bringing simple real food that doesn't need much prep. 

12:47 p.m. on August 5, 2017 (EDT)
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5:22 p.m. on October 19, 2017 (EDT)
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Jeffery,

I think you will find the T.D. Sidewinder stove and 3 cup pot the most efficient one available.

But if you decide to stay with your Vargo stove I suggest you make the Brian Green tablet holder (or buy one from him). You'l find its tray holds the liquid fuel residue so it can burn, giving you at least 30% more burn time. This means less ESBIT fuel tablet s to carry. 

OR... you can make a fuel tab tray with 1/4" sides from an old disposable pie tin. 

Eric B.

10:14 p.m. on October 19, 2017 (EDT)
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ghostdog said:

Which stove do you use with the Cone?

 The Starlyte works really well with caldera cones. It is shorter than the 12-10 the CCs are designed around, and some of the CCs use stakes inserted through it horizontally for the pot to sit at the right height but with the shorter Starlyte the pot can fit all the way down onto the cone and be the right height, so you don't need the extra stakes.

But the real benefit of the Starlyte is how little fuel it uses and the ability to store unused fuel in the stove, spill-free.

7:29 a.m. on October 23, 2017 (EDT)
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I have used a variety of wood stoves, I think my favorite at present is the qiwiz firefly xl. The next behind that is probably the vargo titanium hexagon or whatever its called.

I found that the gassifier type stoves work fine, and I was happy with them, but they are harder to store. That led me to a stove that is stored flat. These two stoves work perfect for me. I reserve the firefly xl for winter use and when I know I am going to an area that has minimal wood for an actual camp fire. I will use it as a mini fire pit.

I also use an alcohol stove by Zelph, but I use the venom stove. Very similar to the starlyte but it is larger and doesn't have a pot stand. Oh, I see Zelph  changed his website and product lineup around since the last time I visited his site. The stove I am referring to is now called the Mega starlyte.

I like the mega because it holds a large amount of fuel. I have used it to melt snow, as well as simmer a special dish, I also use it for my breakfast from the hammock everyday. I typically reserve wood for evening use. Its also a bit taller so it works better in most wood stoves that I have tried it in.

November 21, 2017
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