Backpackinglight.co.uk Honey Stove the Hive Expansion Kit
An ingenious way of increasing the size of the Honeystove to extend the cooking coverage to incorporate larger pots, bigger groups, and a more social chill around a contained fire.
- No moving parts—slots together
- Larger capacity
- Can be fiddly to assemble
- Extra weight
- Titanium version is expensive
I've been a big fan of the Honeystove for years. It was the first wood-burning stove I owned and it is the one I keep coming back to. I have both the stainless steel and titanium versions. These are great for solo trips but I found that I needed more grill space when cooking for two or more people.
Luckily, Bob at Backpacking Light (UK) had similar experiences so he designed an "expansion kit" which increases the number of panels from six for the original hexagonal configuration to eight to create an octagon. The grill is 7 by 7 inches (as opposed to 6 by 6 inches for the Honeystove). The extra space means I can fit larger pots comfortably and there's enough room on the grill for four burgers. I have been using mine regularly for several years and it looks as good as the day I first used it.
The kit consists of two extra panels, an octagonal base, and the 7-by-7-inch grill already mentioned. My MSR Titan pans fit on it well, as do my MSR Alpine Stowaway pots. I have successfully cooked bread, stews, and curries as well as grilled burgers thanks to the increased capacity.
The only drawbacks are that it is more fiddly to put together than the Honeystove, so patience is required! Then there's the extra weight. To use a Trangia burner you would need to convert back to the Honeystove configuration as the attachment will not fit. That being said, it isn't really designed to be used in this way. Finally, the bottom panel is susceptible to more warping due to the increased size.
The design and configuration means the stove runs really hot compared to some, so cooking and boiling water is easy. It also means that flames can be controlled a little better in this configuration as larger and longer pieces of wood can be added. I actually found it worked better without the door panel (which I forgot on one trip!) as it was easier to feed the stove with larger sticks. As with any wood burner, make sure it is dry. Green wood just produces lots of smoke.
My next step is to get another one and run them side by side for even greater range (very large trout waiting in my freezer caught earlier in the year).
Over all, this is a clever design which gives the Honeystove even greater flexibility. There are many other stoves out there, but in my opinion this is the best one on the market in terms of value for money and efficiency. With no moving parts it will not fail. Whilst heavier than the titanium version, it is not so much heavier that the extra price tag for the titanium version is worth it.
One final observation—the bottom plate fit inside my Trangia stand perfectly and made an excellent base for my espresso coffee pot!
Backpacking, camping, and back garden BBQ. Cooked food, boiled water, made bread.
Bought from backpackinglight.co.uk
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £23.99
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Compatible with: Backpackinglight.co.uk Honey Stove,
|Weight Side Panels||2 x 42 g||2 x 18 g|
|Weight Base Plate||112 g||48 g|
|Weight Top Grill||43 g||43 g|
2 side panels / large 8-sided base plate / 180 x 180 mm top mesh food grade stainless steel grill in a tough bag large enough to store flint and steel and tinder