This guest post is by Glenn S and entry in our non-fiction writing contest.
There are options here: Stainless Steel (my choice – cost), Titanium Mini (I went with the standard size) (http://www.emberlit.com/)
This stove packs down to next to nothing – seriously. 5” x 6” x 1/8” … and under twelve ounces pack weight for the stainless (under six ounces for the titanium).
Assembly is quick, once you practice a couple of times… thirty seconds tops (that’s with arthritis). You have to tweak the last side of the front panel to get everything to come together, but it requires little effort. Set it down on the backside on something somewhat firm (your thigh works) to make it a lot easier.
I would recommend that you not assemble it until you knock off any burrs and sharp edges. I didn’t get cut, but mine needed to be handled a bit gently as I assembled it. So take the time to ensure you don’t get cut, now or in the future – any cut out in the woods can become a problem. Every piece had a burr on the cut outs, including the crossbar adapters. I spoke (via email) with Mikhail, the owner, and he said it is unfortunately normal, though he is working on getting them better. Mine is an early model, and the laser cutting always produced the burrs on those versions; he said the newer versions are better, but still have some burrs. He even offered to ship mine to him, clean it up, and ship it back free of charge. Now that’s customer service – as I had already taken care of this, I thanked him and said it was not necessary.
Solid. I mean SOLID. With level ground or rock or stump to rest upon, this thing can hold up any cook pot you decide to use – within reason. That being said, the 5.5” wide base and 4.5” wide top (6” tall) may make things a little tricky when using larger cook pots. Balance is everything. It does hold my Dutch oven nicely, as well as my cast iron skillets. The included cross pieces will support smaller pots/cups, though the larger items will use the heat a lot better than something small enough to fall through without the supports.
The design is such that, once the fire is going, you feed pieces of wood through the feed port at the bottom of that last piece (front) you tweak into place. Long sticks are best, fed in and allowed to burn. The more “full” that opening is, the better the burn. As the wood is consumed, you just keep pushing the sticks in (you might need to wiggle the pieces to knock off the burning coals). Filling in with new wood is needed as you go. So much easier than removing your pot to drop wood down into the fire.
The burning plate meshes nicely to the walls, meaning that there is very little (none so far in my experience) ash or embers falling under the stove. The part of the walls below the burning plate have not become so hot that I needed to worry about the surface I set it on – a wood picnic table, for example, would not become hot enough to worry about catching it on fire.
The ventilation is great, getting the startup wood burning nicely and keeping the fire going. Stoking the fire by blowing through the ventilation holes works as well, accompanied by the ash plume that can create.
You can also use the EmberLit as a windscreen (I have not done so), use an alcohol stove resting inside on the burning plate (I have done this, though I elevated it to get the alcohol stove closer to the pot), etc. rather than burning wood Very versatile.
My test boils with two cups of water using dry branches as fuel – on a moderately windy day in November here in the PNW, somewhat cold and fairly high humidity – resulted in pretty much the same times as the various other user tests I have viewed: six to eight minutes after getting the stove going, water at ambient temperature to start.
So, if you want to pack heat (as in the cooking kind) without packing fuel, this stove is a great choice. Solid. Quality. Period.
This contest will end on February 16 2013 – prizes include:
- First Place winner will receive Two cases of MRE’s courtesy of Camping Survival, A Wonder Junior Deluxe hand-mill courtesy of Kitchen Kneads, $150 gift certificate for Fiocchi Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner Ammo, A Big Berkey Water Filter System courtesy of TruPrep Emergency Preparedness and a one year subscription to Personal VPN service courtesy of unspyable.
- Second Place: A $200 gift certificate for any order from their store courtesy of Shepherd Survival and A Doom and Bloom Mini Trauma Bag courtesy of LPC Survival.
- Third Place: A Bar-ricade door bar courtesy of My Locksmith, Inc.