The baseplate of the Emberlit is 1" +/- off the ground, so keep that in mind for clearance. I've never burned mine over grass, leaves or other combustables, but set it on a rock, sand or gravel. I haven't noticed any scorching or sooting of the rocks, but I would bet it still gets hot under there. Might give some thought to a base (or cleared ground) if you try to use it in the snow. I could see it sinking. As to 20 degrees or less... no different that the burn of any established wood fire I would guess. It certainly concentrates the heat better than any open fire I ever built. Oh, and my high heat recorded was using hickory wood which has about the highest BTU output of any wood. But it was still just a couple of handfulls.
Can you tell I like this stove?
What method of "turning off" the Trangia burner are you guys using in conjunction with either stove?
Just drop the lid on & hope it hits right?
Well, the Coghlans/Coleman fire starter sticks I've used are smoky/soot causing. I suppose they are wax/parafin and sawdust. Yeah, I don't know what would work best as a base on snow. The stove would likely sit well enough on a single log if it were large diameter. Assembled, the four corners that form "legs" are 4 1/2" square if that helps. We seldom have enough snow here to matter. But I would be careful about setting it on a wood picnic table for instance. It may scorch it. We do have plenty of flat sedimentary rocks and they are my preferred base. Many times the firewood sticks and twigs project outside the "door" opening and one may burn off and drop outside if left unattended. I've never had one burn outside the opening though. I just jiggle them in as they burn down to coal inside the stove. And small embers can fall out through the 1/2" vent holes on the sides during a full fill burn. Or the 1/2"x 1" vent holes used on my first generation stove. It hasn't been a problem for me so far. And the burn is complete enough (with the choice of fuel I use) that after the stove cools, I dump out ash dust.
The wood seen in this picture (hickory twigs) is enough to cook three meals or more. No batooning required!
I am newer a user of the Emberlit, I have the 1st Gen stainless version, and I gotta say it ROCKs! Cooking a meal with less wood than I normally use to start a fire is amazing! Mikhail has the best customer service you can ask for as well, with an excellent guarantee.
The efficiency of this little stove is amazing! I'm still not used to leaving the hatchet alone and just grabbing a few twigs for the meal. I always end up with about 3 times the amount of fuel I need. . . : )B
Welcome to the forrum Hercanstein! Yes, I am amazed every time I use it how little fuel it takes. As you said, what I would consider to be half enough kindling to start a small campfire is plenty to boil a pot of water. And it doesn't take a whole lot more for extended cooking or baking.
I just spent two weeks camping with the full sized Vargo.
That stove sucks for wood fires. Too small, too little draft, too little heat. About the only thing I'll say about it in praise is the titanium keeps its shape well. Other than that it's a gimmick, pure and simple.
I used every conceivable combination of available wood (pine, fir, alder, willow, serviceberry) and tried fuel sizes from shavings to thumb thickness and always came to the same conclusion: it just doesn't work that well. It took 43 minutes to boil a liter of water. Yes, the water was near freezing when it went in the kettle, but it was still a poor experiment. After two days I just cooked on the campfire and left the vargo in my pack.
I'm going to try and return it. If I can't return it I'll take a drill to it and see if I can make it work.
That is disheartening news. 43 minutes? I had wondered about the draft from the bottom holes. As to the titanium, my Emberlit has withstood some very high heat (as mentioned previously) with minimal warping which surprised me considering how thin it is (newest ones have embossed panels to further reduce warping). What area were your camping in?
Ive actually been looking at getting one of these style stoves.
Ive only seen the emberlit until now when I see the Vargo.
I really dont like the idea of the hinges on the vargo, I like the way the emberlit snaps together. Seems like the vargo is a solid stove though.
I spent the last two weeks in the Frank Church. I wanted the vargo because I didn't want to cary that much liquid fuel, and there was a serious cold front coming through and I figured my warming fire would be too large to cook on easily. Also, I just wanted to try a new toy.
The hinges on the vargo actually held up really well...no issue with them at all. The problem with the stove is it doesn't draft properly. It lacks both sufficient air intake on the bottom, and sufficient air escape at the top. Once you put your kettle on it, there is so little area for the updraft to escape that the fire basically smothers. Take the kettle off and it will flame up again, but what good is that?
The clearance between the bottom of the stove and the ground is minimal. If you put it on soft dirt, it won't work at all because the "legs" sink in and you loose all of the already insufficient draft. If you put it on hard dirt the heat quickly powders the soil and it sinks in. It works better on a rock, if you can find one, but it still doesn't draft well at all. In this picture it looks like it's working well, but notice the only flame is coming out the feeder door and no flame is coming up around the sides (the fire in the back is a warming fire).
I ended up using the warming fire to cook on and never looked back. I'd happily try an emberlit...even tried to buy one before I left but they were sold out. The concept is good...ask any hobo. But the vargo is a poor interpretation of the concept.
Leaving the door open would mostly negate the updraft, I would imagine. The smallish "feed door" on the Emberlit, while not closable, is usually mostly blocked by the fuel feed once it is going. But it still worked with the fire starter sticks which did not block the opening as they were fully inside.
In a way, the hinges of the Vargo are neat because they keep all of the panels together preventing loss, but I can't see how I could lose one of the Emberlit's five panels anyway. And assembly time seems to be the same for both once they are out of their cases. With the Emberlit, two of the five panels are distinct, so there is no confusion over how to assemble them. The sides and back are the same so it doesn't matter if they are swapped from one use to the next. Mikhail has added embossed "bumps" to the interlocking assembly tabs on the newest generation stoves, but my first generation stove assembles tight enough that I don't miss having them. I've never felt like it was going to fall apart when I pick up the assembled stove to place it before use or to shake out the ash after use.
I also do not have the Emberlit's small pot adapter (not offered when I bought my stove) because all of my current pots fit on top without it. But I haven't used the new Coleman anodized set on this stove yet either. I may this weekend and if it is a problem because of the new pots' size, I'll drop a shepherd crook tent stake across it. Mikhail does offer a UL-mini version if pot size and/or weight is an issue and you do not want to get the adapter, a simple pair of cross bars that form an "X" across the top.
I am sure that every twig stove out there has it's drawbacks... Emberlit, Vargo, Bush Buddy, whatever... but I am yet to find a deal killer with the Emberlit.
Got my emberlit today. It's pretty nifty.
Fits right inside my canteen/general purpose pouch along with the canteen cup.
I have a titanium vargo. It serves my purpose reasonably well, being light & tough & easy to pack. My cooking needs are modest, basically just boiling some water.
It does have airflow problems, & works better on a rock than dirt. It needs constant attention. Works best with finger sized sticks, not packed in tight. This means it burns through it fast. I try to keep the door shut, & lift the pot for 5 secs while I load 3 or 4 more sticks, every couple of minutes. The sticks have to be the right length; long enough to lean against the sides. short sticks lie across the bottom & don't burn cleanly.
The three leg configuration means it is easy to get stable.
After reading this thread, I am thinking of drilling 3 half inch holes in the sides.
I bought it to replace an alcohol stove. I am happy, the vargo is definately an improvment. With more practice, I feel I will overcome the stoves minor foibles, perhaps with the aid of a drill.
I find it far better than a small open fire for a quick water boil.
I went to the river today and used my Emberlit to boil a pot of water. Nothing fancy this time, just rehydrating some Mountain House beef stew. It has been raining here for days so all the wood along the river was wet. I dropped in two Coleman's firestarter sticks, then packed the stove with pencil size sticks and smaller twigs (pieces of small dead branches, damp but not soaked). After the burn was going well and bubbles started to rise, I fed two thumb-sized sticks in through the door opening. I had a rolling boil in no time. I pulled out the sticks from the door, which extinguished because they were still damp, and dumped out a small handfull of fine ash before packing up the stove. All of the wood used had been rained on yesterday and last night (2" of rain) and was still damp. So I think I have found a sweet combo without fussing with dryer lint, looking for shredded bark and fine dry twigs, then splitting bigger wood to get to a dry inner wood. The wood used was of undetermined origin. It was not any type of willow or evergreen though. And the total wood used would have fit in my fishing shirt's two pockets.
Last edited by Codger_64; 10-13-2012 at 09:09 PM.
The Emberlit looks exactly like what I've wanted for camping with my Scouts.
It's going on my Christmas list along with a knife I'd like too Thanks for the reviews/info guys!
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)