Woodburning camp stove

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Woodburning camp stove

Postby WestcoastPete » Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:28 pm

I just bought one of these. It'll be waiting for me when I get to Tucson and will be used for the next couple of months in Washington State, USA, and Japan.

I reckon I'll get one of these to stick in it when I can't find/be bothered with wood.

Maybe it's a mistake making a decision like this at this stage in my trip planning - I've never used something like this before and am used to the convenience of a gas burner - but I'm excited to give it a go. Because this is quite a long trip, I'd like to focus on "cooking" rather than just putting something together quickly, hiking style. "Cooking" requires time, and hence, fuel. I like the idea of just feeding in sticks until dinner is done. That alcohol burner will burn for 35mins when it's full too, so it should work out well.

What do you reckon of the idea?
Last edited by WestcoastPete on Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:36 pm

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Re: Woodburning camp stove

Postby silentbutdeadly » Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:36 pm

That'll work just fine. I've got a camping billy that works according to a similar principle...could easily be adapted to a stove top too. Just way to big for cycling.
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Re: Woodburning camp stove

Postby Aushiker » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:42 pm

Looks like it will be fun to play with. Enjoy the silence of cooking :)

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Re: Woodburning camp stove

Postby Meditator » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:23 pm

I 've got to say if there's fire wood available, i'd rather just put my billy straight on the fire than spend that much money. Of course it seems to use very little wood but with more wood available, cooking is much much faster than this demonstration.

A little gas burner for those times when wood is not available is also much cheaper.

I'm sure you can practice making tiny fires using a metal sheet that a pot could sit on top of and with some holes around the base to keep the air drawing in if you wanted to use less wood. But it would be worth experimenting with.
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Re: Woodburning camp stove

Postby WestcoastPete » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:20 pm

Meditator wrote:I 've got to say if there's fire wood available, i'd rather just put my billy straight on the fire than spend that much money. Of course it seems to use very little wood but with more wood available, cooking is much much faster than this demonstration.

A little gas burner for those times when wood is not available is also much cheaper.

I'm sure you can practice making tiny fires using a metal sheet that a pot could sit on top of and with some holes around the base to keep the air drawing in if you wanted to use less wood. But it would be worth experimenting with.


I was thinking along these lines too, especially since your write up on what you cook and how you cook it. It's so easy to forget about using wood as a fuel source when you're biking/hiking, but it's such a good one - you don't have to carry it, you can use it without worrying about using too much and it's just nice having a fire at camp.

I guess I went for an actual wood stove rather than just setting fires for a few reasons. One is the efficiency of the burn - this stove uses a wood gasification system that effectively re-burns the smoke. It creates more heat that way, and it's much cleaner. Using a sheet metal stove doesn't do this. Another reason is that it doesn't mark the ground at all; you can just light it anywhere (within reason), including on a table or bench. Having the alcohol burner to drop in it on wet/lazy days sounded good too. It weighs 155g and fits inside my cooking pot.

I'm used to cooking with gas canisters, and I really like it, especially the control you can have. But for longer trips, you need more gas, and I'm more inclined to spend more time cooking so I thought this might be a good idea.
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Re: Woodburning camp stove

Postby Aushiker » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:48 pm

WestcoastPete wrote:I guess I went for an actual wood stove rather than just setting fires for a few reasons. One is the efficiency of the burn - this stove uses a wood gasification system that effectively re-burns the smoke. It creates more heat that way, and it's much cleaner. Using a sheet metal stove doesn't do this. Another reason is that it doesn't mark the ground at all; you can just light it anywhere (within reason), including on a table or bench. Having the alcohol burner to drop in it on wet/lazy days sounded good too. It weighs 155g and fits inside my cooking pot.


You can add to that there may be in places a ban on open fires. For example in the south-west of WA that is becoming more common, e.g., lower half of the Bibblumun Track and on the Munda Biddi. Also gathering of wood for fires may be illegal in national parks for very good environmental reasons.

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Re: Woodburning camp stove

Postby J Quinton » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:44 pm

I'd say these would be banned in some areas too.

Sometimes you can not find dry wood.

Would like this in some cases, yes.

In my opinion people underestimate the loss of habitat and inevitable encroaching caused by going further and further to find fire wood.

Of course, gas is non-renewable though.
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Re: Woodburning camp stove

Postby il padrone » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:38 pm

J Quinton wrote:Sometimes you can not find dry wood.

In such circumstances you probably need more than a stick stove. We had this problem one summer's day out the back of Mt Buller by the Jamieson River when the temperature was about 8 degrees at 2pm. Wet wood :cry:

Our answer was:

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Use it as a burner pot with some metho and build a stick teepee over it, gradually adding bigger and bigger sticks. Wet wood will burn.... eventually.
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Re: Woodburning camp stove

Postby Aushiker » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:52 pm

On this occaision gas stoves (read plural) came in very handy :)

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Re: Woodburning camp stove

Postby il padrone » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:00 pm

That day on the Jamieson River we didn't need the fire for cooking. It was for body-warming and 'wear-while-you-dry' clothes drying. Things were awfully grim, but the chance to get warm and dry had us happy and cracking jokes around the fire all afternoon :D
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Re: Woodburning camp stove

Postby Meditator » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:58 am

If I want a fire at breakfast times and the nights are damp, i stash some bits and some grasses etc under my tent fly of an evening so it doesn't get wet with dew overnight. You don't really need a lot of wood to cook with but i reckon that stove would be slow. However, i haven't used it and those testimonials may be accurate. But for me the big thing is its cost. I don't see marking the earth as a big deal. Its easy enough to rub out most of the evidence of a small fire place.

I have to admit it is really very lovely to go into an area where there are lots of old logs and dead woods lying about as part of the landscape. And you often only see this in national parks where there's a ban on collecting wood.

Certainly the main thing with habitat is to avoid burning larger logs which may be hollow cause that's where lots of things like to sleep. I think little solid sticks are safe but they are bound to have other environmental value of course.
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Woodburning camp stove

Postby TedDancin » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:24 am

I use a home made version of the Bushbuddy when hiking, and I carry a Trangia burner filled with metho as backup, so a very similar setup to what you've got.

It's worked well for me so far, have used it with wet wood in light rain and been OK. I'd recommend breaking up a pile of sticks before you start cooking ready to feed in, makes life a bit easier. Also practice a few different lighting methods and tinders, as these might vary depending on the geography. I use cotton wool balls swiped in Vaseline and tiny twigs.
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Re: Woodburning camp stove

Postby Aushiker » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:48 pm

TedDancin wrote:I use cotton wool balls swiped in Vaseline and tiny twigs.


Thanks for the reminder about this idea. Another option is pieces of bike tube. They burn nicely :)

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Re: Woodburning camp stove

Postby WestcoastPete » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:05 pm

Meditator wrote:If I want a fire at breakfast times and the nights are damp, i stash some bits and some grasses etc under my tent fly of an evening so it doesn't get wet with dew overnight. You don't really need a lot of wood to cook with but i reckon that stove would be slow. However, i haven't used it and those testimonials may be accurate. But for me the big thing is its cost. I don't see marking the earth as a big deal. Its easy enough to rub out most of the evidence of a small fire place.

I have to admit it is really very lovely to go into an area where there are lots of old logs and dead woods lying about as part of the landscape. And you often only see this in national parks where there's a ban on collecting wood.

Certainly the main thing with habitat is to avoid burning larger logs which may be hollow cause that's where lots of things like to sleep. I think little solid sticks are safe but they are bound to have other environmental value of course.


Nice idea about storing the tinder. As far as timing goes, I watched a few video reviews of these stoves and from lighting to boiling 500-600mL of water took about 8-10mins, which I'm happy with. And as far as the price goes, there are plenty of plans out there for making your own equivalent stoves out of tins, such as pineapple tins. These are really cheap to make and if made well they are pretty effective. But hey, I'm a young professional married to another young professional without any dependents and I can afford these things. Being able to afford things is dangerous, but I know that I'm lucky and try not to be blase about it. I'm buying something handmade in stainless steel by a craftsman who has perfected this concept, and I'm happy to do so.

Whether it will be worth it; we'll have to wait and see.
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