Please read this article in context of the previous three articles. Article 1 is about my dream of an ultra-lightweight heat source when skiing and snow camping and my lessons from failures. It also tells how I was teased and spurred on by the amazing protracted and intense heat energy that is released by the efficient combustion of a hand full of bush sticks. The second article is about my best stove so far, the Micro Snow Stove Mk15, that largely met all my defined requirements. The third article is about the very important basics of safely and effectively using the stove under field conditions that are invariably difficult and when heat from a stove matters most. Now this fourth article is about supplementary DIY tools to take and make in the bush when using the stove and also safety, care and maintenance issues.
Tools, What I Take and What I Make In The Bush
DIY Bow Saw
I made this simple little saw from part of the leg of a discarded aluminium beach chair, and a small bush saw blade. It weighs only 5.29 oz. (150 g) and is a serious wood cutting instrument that is easy to make.
My favorite secateurs are the anvil type (rather than bypass cutters) from Aldi, and they weigh 8.47 oz. (240 g). I replace the plastic anvil with a stronger one made from a 1.65 in. (42 mm) long piece of aluminium "L" section. I hold the replacement anvil in place by a steel rivet salvaged from a beach chair. Lastly, the anvil is shaped to match the shape of the original plastic one.
I use those cheap TV steak knives “…..yes, but wait; there’s more type that are found in every op-shop…” and grind off the teeth to leave a smooth, sharp blade that I use as my regular camping knife. I make a blade guard out of a flattened piece of ½” (12.7 mm) poly pipe. I make sure the metal of the knife is good quality, not too hard to be brittle, not too soft as to bend, and capable of holding a good sharp edge (it should be able to cut out a bean can lid and still be sharp enough to pair wood easily). Lastly, give it a good workout splitting wood at home to test its quality before taking it on a trip. My splitting knife doubles as my general purpose knife for fishing etc., and cooking knife, so it adds no extra weight. I find a quality knife with a riveted handle (as shown above) is much more long lasting than those with molded plastic handles that crack easily with the impact of splitting.
The rest of the article explores wilderness skills you can use to help you operate this stove and explains how this stove is useful for warmth and comfort in the winter.
- Tools, What I Take and What I Make In The Bush
- Alternative Stove Mounting With Snow Pit
- Off snow stove mounting
- Refractory Coating for Stoves
- General Maintenance
- Temperature Monitoring
- Insulated stove mount and temperature monitoring
- Risk Management- The Final Word
# of Photos: 22; Word Count: 5600