Lightweight Wood-Burning Camp Stoves – State of the Market Report 2011

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Lightweight Wood-Burning Camp Stoves – State of the Market Report 2011

Viewing 13 posts - 26 through 38 (of 38 total)
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    Addie Bedford
    BPL Member


    Locale: Montana

    Please see the editor's note at the beginning of this article, as well as one corrected photo. Thanks for bearing with us!

    Brendan Murphy
    BPL Member


    Anyone have any experience/recs for wood stoves for large groups (eg a church backpacking group of 10-20)?

    We've been using Whisperlites, which may still end up being the best option as we boil lots of water for dinners (gallons) and drink tons of coffee. It also rains a lot (we're in South Carolina) so finding enough dry wood could be a challenge in certain circumstances.

    Thomas Choat


    Locale: Wet, Windy, cold, "Westland"

    I agree that there is great potential for a wiki development project here, sorting out the goodbad elements of each stove or type of stove, combining the best in a usable, hopefully myog,"best of all possible worlds" stove.

    The LNT debate tends to arouse a religious fervor in some souls, but it is certainly a good goal to have. I thought to suggest buying a fire blanket (standard 4'x4' here ), which can be cut up into fourths; use one of the pieces under your cook place to reduce trace and fire dangers. Around here, one can nearly always find a bare rock or sand to set up on.

    The ash from a wood fire is largely potassium oxide, which goes back into the cycle pretty fast. What is lost is nitrogen and phosphorus (as pentoxide)but they return partly in the rain.

    Elizabeth Tracy
    BPL Member


    Locale: Outside

    I'm surprised there's been no discussion so far about the stoves (three in this study) that can burn alcohol, where there is no wood available.

    I'd like a stove that can burn wood when I'm below treeline; but that can also burn something else (alcohol and/or Esbit cubes) when above treeline.

    The Ti-Tri burns all three (wood, alcohol, Esbit) and seems to get great reviews here. But now the Littlbug Jr. has my attention. Has anyone used the alcohol component of this Littlbug stove? How has it been working for you? Does it easily accommodate Esbit cubes as well?

    The wood-only stoves are non-starters in the Sierras above treeline, and for much of the PCT in general.

    – Elizabeth

    Craig “Pisco” Gulley
    BPL Member


    Locale: Midwest

    I have used the tri tri inferno with the base for 2 years now and never had any issue with leaving any trace burning wood on any surface the stove has been set on.

    Keith Selbo


    Locale: Northern Virginia

    "How does cooking on a woodfire and leaving a small pile of ash (which is likely buried), or small fire scar if you will, compare to landfills full of empty steel canisters, Japanese titanium factories, chemical factories, propane production…"

    I certainly have no problem with subjecting all stoves to the same criteria. That alone should put canister stoves out of business or at least force mfr's to charge a deposit large enough to guarantee return for re-cycling. However, I doubt that a fully enclosed wood stove would lose to an open campfire if only owing to risk reduction.

    I think human impact is an inevitable product of our existence, and the best we can do in the near term at least, is manage it. The minuscule increase in titanium or steel production and concomitant environmental impact is more than balanced by the reduction in damage — elimination of fire scars and virtual elimination of campfire-caused forest fires — a fully enclosed stove affords to the lands we've set aside for protection an preservation.

    Justin Baker
    BPL Member


    Locale: Santa Rosa, CA

    "Fire scars" sounds like a joke to me. Or yuppy propaganda. I can tell you from experience of coming back to the same place, 4 days a week, for a whole summer that if you build your fire, stomp the coals into a fine powder, and kick some dirt over it, nobody will ever see it again.
    The biggest mistake is leaving massive coals that stay there for years. If you stomp the coals into a powder, the rains disperse it. Designated fire pits and camp sites suck a location dry of wood, while leaving the rest of the forest cluttered with dead wood. Building a fire in the same place over and over again is what leaves a trace. Dispersed, responsible fire making and covering the coals is the most LNT method of making a fire.
    And I have seen oak saplings grow out of a massive pile of coals. Don't buy in to all the LNT propaganda. Go out and see the effects of things yourself and operate by your own terms.
    Then again, I hike mostly in well forested, backwoods areas in national forests, so different places may vary. I definitley wouldn't condone blasting a huge fire in the thin treeline of the high sierras.

    Curtis Linville


    I have been using the 180 Stove for a couple of years. It uses such a small amount of fuel (twigs) that if I scrape a little soil aside, cook, douse, and then cover, it leaves no scar at all. No ash. No coals. It is much more environmentally friendly than fuels stoves that leak or fill the landfills with canisters.

    What I really like about this stove is that it is rock solid, seems that it will last for many years, and is priced under $50. It is stainless steel so is not quite as light as the titanium stoves, but is still lighter than stoves with fuel. And it folds flat with smoky parts inside. Works for me, and I can even grill on it if I want.

    BPL Member


    Locale: Stamford, CT

    Pics and Review

    In case anyone wanted more info on the stove. Great review BPL, spot on!

    Eric Blumensaadt
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mojave Desert

    Soooo… according to this test it looks like I wasted money buying the Inferno option for my Sidewinder. I wonder, what does Trail Designs think of these results?

    Well, I'll have to run my own tests. I find it very hard to believe the Inferno actually REDUCES boil times.

    I have a lot of narrow oak moulding strips so I can just cut a bunch of 3 inch pieces and see what happens under very controlled conditions.

    P.S. I'll post test results here.

    Kevin Manley
    BPL Member


    Locale: Denver-ish

    Jay, do you have a link to the burn-off?

    Adam O


    Any plans to update this or do a new one?  It’s been 8 years since this came out and a lot of new wood stoves have hit the market since then.  I haven’t been able to find any wood stove reviews on this site since this one.

    Ryan Jordan


    Locale: Central Rockies

    Yes! It’s on our 2019 editorial calendar!

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