Sunday, 27 March 2011

Wood Cook Stove

I had planned to do a couple video reviews of some equipment I use but the weather refused to cooperate with me (howling wind and blowing snow).  The reviews will come but for this update a simple picture log will have to suffice.

I very much like the idea of cooking on a wood stove, especially in the summer where melting snow isnt as much of a priority.  I was torn between a Vargo Hex or a Bushbuddy but considering I had some Ti sheet stock left over from a damper I built for my wood tent stove I decided to try and build something similar.

I use the GSI minimalist for my cooking and I wanted the stove to fit inside the pot, and still hold all my other cooking gear (spoon, pot supports, fire starter, pot holder).  Here you can see the pot packed with the stove and cooking implements.

I did not take into account the rounded bottom of the pot and as such the stove body prevents the lid from snapping on securely.  I was going to simply shorten the stove slightly but plan on building a stuff sack for it anyways to keep my pack clean so I'll leave it for now.

I always have my firesteel with my pack but I also like to keep a small vial of matches and strikers (orange waterproof case).

Here is the stove assembled and ready for wood.  There is a #8 stainless steel mesh suspended between the bottom vent holes and the upper vent holes...probably not needed but keeps you from marking the ground and lets the fire breath better.  The two upper rods are aluminum and rest in small cut outs, they let the pot sit much more stable and allow for greater airflow.  The large cutout was added after the first burn to help vent smoke faster...without the cutout the fire had a tendency to snuff itself out when a pot was placed ontop.  If you place the opening facing the wind you can easily add wood to the fire without removing the pot and without getting smoke in your face, always a nice feature.

Due to its single wall construction your not going to get the wood gas burning effect like you would with a bush buddy...but this was also free and I cant complain about free.  During the winter this stove will take about 12min to bring a full pot of snow to a boil (which equates to just under a cup of water).  I have yet to test it in the summer with room temperature water but I would expect ~10 - 15min for a rolling boil under moderate wind.

The total weight of this setup (minus the match case) comes in at 266g.  I really enjoy this setup as it seems to work very well and is quite inexpensive to setup ($2 in Ti sheet stock from my local metal dealer and the GSI minimalist was around $20 CAN).

If your looking to make your own wood burning stove, there is a great thread over here about using an ikea cutlery caddy.  Works quite well with an MSR Titian kettle or other similar sized pot.

I am expecting my GoLite quilt sometime this week along with some smartwool socks.  I do plan to do an initial 'unboxing' review just to post my first impressions and should be able to follow up later in the year with a full on field tested review (the quilt will be my spring/summer/fall sleeping system).

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