Stoves Part II
Wood stoves are great because you don’t have to pack fuel, which like water will become the heaviest thing you carry. They are light weight and pretty simple to use. The downside is if you are out in the rain you might not be able to get a fire going, this will be when you’ll have to employ some good wilderness survival techniques at finding dry wood to burn AND get your fire going in a damp environment. In addition you should collect any fuel you will need before heading above the tree line. It would be a great idea to have experience with your stove before heading into an area such as that so you’ll know how much you’ll need for dinner that night AND breakfast the next morning… will you have to purify water using a boil technique? This should factor into your fuel collection as well.
I love this stove, it packs down to nothing and is flat in your pack, there’s a little door you can open to feed the fire when the pot is on the top and it’s design not only focuses the heat upward but when the flame is larger it flows through the cut out V’s to surround your pot, heating up the water faster.
The Solo stove is an excellent little stove which seems a little more efficient than the Vargo because it has a double wall and creates a vent to feed the fire with oxygen. there is a small opening in the collar at the top which acts as the pot stand allowing you to continually feed the fire. This stove comes with a little stuff sack and weighs very little. It’s built pretty solid and if you can get a fire going, it’s pretty fool proof.
The Kelly Kettle is a stove a buddy of mine has and while it is not the lightest weight cookset in the world its unique design makes it probably one of the fastest to boil times. The set comes complete with a lower portion where the fire goes and the upper portion which is the kettle. In addition, you can get an attachment which sits on top of the kettle and allows you to cook foods for longer periods of times. This kettle has a hollow section in the middle of the kettle which allows the fire below to flow up through the kettle, using the kettle as a chimney. By doing this the water in the kettle is heated from the entire inside out, not just the bottom like when heating a kettle on a regular stove. The only drawback from this cookset is the size and weight. It stands very tall so you have to make sure you are on a stable platform before beginning to cook. It’s also very large and may not really pack in a 72 Hour Bag. It is worth mentioning here though because it is probably a perfect choice for your home earthquake kit or for when you take the family camping.
Below is a picture of the Kellykettle and a close up of the pot stand attachment.
Rocket Stove or Hobo Stove
There are two types of stoves you can build from found items like tin cans. They work best when you build them out of number 10 cans but they can be improvised out of any size can if need be. The principal is simple, there’s an area for combustion, a way to get good air flow to feed the fire and a way of feeding the fire with fuel. They all should have a way of setting a pot on the top of the stove and be stable enough to support a pot or a cup with at least two cups of water. The Rocket stove is far more efficient but takes a bit more work to make, above the link will take you to a YouTube video on how to make the stove. There are also ways to make the stove using just 16 bricks and nothing else. Another advantage to the Rocket stove is it burns the fuel at a hotter temperature and there isn’t as much smoke.
Below is the simpler Hobo stove. This stove can be made with nothing more than a knife and a can. It helps to have two tent stakes to run through holes at the top of the can which become the stand to set your pot. Anyone who has built a campfire and then wrestled with the riddle of how to get your pot over the fire and not spill the contents of the pot know having a pot stand built into your stove is invaluable. This stove is only slightly more efficient than an ordinary campfire because it uses vents in the wall of the can to feed the fire with oxygen. It also helps keep your fire contained and by having the one large door allows you to orient it into the wind which helps to keep the smoke down. Here’s a sample image from practicalsurvivor.com.