Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Camp Stove

Another piece of kit that I got to try on this past weekend's camping trip was the Emberlit stove that I bought last Winter, but has since languished in my camping gear box.

(Picture borrowed from Amazon.)

The Emberlit stove is well made from stainless steel sheet metal that takes down into a flat package, and comes with a nice little carrying case. Emberlit also sells a titanium model, and a smaller version as well.

It can burn pretty much any solid fuel and is also usable as a windscreen/pot holder for alcohol burners like a Trangia stove.

I used it Sunday morning to heat my percolator for coffee. It burns twigs very efficiently down to almost no ash, but it requires constant attention. I.e., you need to keep feeding it fuel, so you should have a good stack prepped beforehand. It also gives your pot a good, thick coat of soot.

I want to try the Emberlit out with charcoal briquets. I think it would burn them very efficiently and would probably require less constant attention.

In my opinion, it would be good as a backpacking stove if you're going into an area where there will be a lot of fuel that you can scrounge, or as a backup. For truck camping, a butane/propane canister stove like my Kovea Spider is a lot more convenient. For example, on Monday, I set my percolator on the Kovea and was free to do other breakfast prep while it was bringing the coffee to a boil. Likewise, when we needed hot water for washing dishes I was able to get it ready with the Kovea while I worked on other task. I really like the Kovea Spider.

Another stove we got to use was a butane powered, single burner unit like this one. He bought it from a local restaurant supply store for use during power outages, because it's so simple to use and the butane cartridges are inexpensive. (Many local Asian restaurants use them for on-table fondue-type meals.) The low, flat, wide design is very stable, important with a bunch of kids around.

It worked well for sautéing vegetables and frying bacon, but requires you to provide a windscreen, since it's really designed for inside use. The downside with these butane cartridges is that they'd be useless in cold weather.

There is a huge variety of camp stoves available. Evaluate your needs as to fuel and convenience, and choose accordingly.

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