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Twig burning stoves?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More' started by program_57, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. program_57


    Apr 10, 2010
    I was wondering if anybody here had any experience they'd want to share, or any recommendations they'd want to make, regarding small wood burning and twig burning stoves.

    I've used an MSR pocket rocket for a while now, but lately I've been thinking it might be nice not to be tied to fuel canisters, as convenient and clean burning as they may be.

    So, any stories/advice/recommendations? I'm really intrigued by the idea. Thanks :)
  2. kgd


    Feb 28, 2007
    I love my twig stove. Demo'd in my video below - skip to the 6.00 min mark.

  3. Les Snyder

    Les Snyder

    Jul 6, 2010
    not a wood gas stove, but picked a couple of new surplus Swiss volcano stoves, opened the fuel feed hole to take a can of Sterno and Trangia alcohol stove, but still works with twigs... the cup is tapered so most of the surface of the cup is heated... the aluminum in the stove is very soft, but so far haven't had any problems.... I don't camp with it, use it for a 72hour kit and back up for my propane grill for hurricane season .... bottle has a cork rather than a screw top
  4. simplepeddler


    Mar 2, 2011
    I some of the homemade rocket stoves.

    Check out rocket stoves . org
    Also, check out bplite. com
  5. Mtell1


    Sep 12, 2009
    Wow, the rocket stove one looks great - thanks for the links, Im going to try to make one.
  6. kgd


    Feb 28, 2007
    Twig stoves:

    -Harvest fuel on the go (can't tell you how useless a trangia is when you have no alcohol to burn....Oh, wait I can because I forgot the fuel once and I was pissed).
    -Allows self contained, small fire suitable for cooking with pots or grilling using the coals (can't grill on other stoves)
    -Burns efficiently and quick, easy to control both burn time and duration by selecting twig sizes
    -Its a fire, and fire is pretty. Blue stove flames serve no entertainment purpose. Also serves as a great hand warmer.

    -Even though enclosed, may not be legal in some areas with strict fire bans.
    -Tends to be more bulky, although there are folding models available (see little bug at Ben's back woods). I put up with my cylinder stove because I found a pot set it nests in.
    -Not as hot as a jet stove, but pretty equivalent to an alcohol stove in boil times
    -Needs more careful attention than backpacking stove
    -Some areas are really deficient in foragable fuel. Gotta know your local.
    -Will leave a small burn scar unless you clear litter to the earth or use a burn plate.
    -Need to save a bit of water to ensure the ashes are completely out when done.
    -Lacking simmer control, although with practice you can find you can adjust flame based on type of fuel you use and frequency that you load it into the stove.
  7. program_57


    Apr 10, 2010
    Wow, thanks for the replies, guys. Lots of food for thought. I like that Jim Falk stove. I've been thinking that it might be nice to have something like that, that could take an alcohol stove as well as twigs, depending on fire regulations.

    Looks like a good DIY project too. Maybe when I have some free time :p
  8. simplepeddler


    Mar 2, 2011

    I'm in the process now.
    I ordered one from the guy and although it took a while to get here, it was worth it just to see how he did it.

    Here in South Louisiana it is still very traditional to cook on open flame.
    We actually have cooking clubs in the elementary schools where we teach the kids to cook mini one quart jambalayas on open flame.
    I am trying to add that stove to our class substance.

    It reduces smoke a wood consumption considerably.

    We cooked two hours on less that a two gallon bag of twigs and sticks out the yard.

    Also, check out Stove tec .com
  9. program_57


    Apr 10, 2010
    Now that I think about it, I've heard of those Aprovecho rocket stove guys. Pretty funky bunch, but they come up with some really cool designs. :thumbup:
  10. averageiowaguy


    Mar 22, 2011
    A small tin coffee can works great as a twig stove. One of these times I'll post a video. If you want something manufactured, what KGD has in his video would be awesome.
  11. Gadgetaholic


    Nov 5, 2009
    If you search for 'wood gas stove' you should find plenty of useful instructions for building a good wood burning stove. Not only do they burn twigs but they make the most of a small amount of fuel and are more efficient than most wood stove types.

    I've made one and once you grasp the idea they are really simple.
    I took a 1 litre paint can (about the same size as a 1 qt can) and I drilled 8 holes around the bottom of the side - about 1/2" or a bit bigger each. I didn't remove the bottom of the can - I just made the holes and that is all I did with that part.
    For the inner can you make some holes around the bottom and a row near the top and that is about all you need to do for that.
    Put the inner can into the outer can and you have a stove - add a pot stand and you are good to go.

    The wood gas stove is cleaner burning than most wood stoves, but not as clean as alcohol or propane/butane - so the pot will get blackened. I have a propane/butane canister stove and several alcohol stoves and my wood gas stove - I like to have options. I guess I should buy a multi-fuel stove like the MSR Whisperlite international as well just so I cover every type of fuel that you can use.
  12. dogstar


    Jan 23, 2011
    I made a hobo stove out of a progresso soup can. I'm able to boil water and heat up soup with it, but it sure leaves lots of creosote on the bottom of my pots.

    Make one and try it out. They cost almost nothing to make and it's always fun to try out something you made.
  13. kgd


    Feb 28, 2007
    Mine was made out of a $4 IKEA stainless steel cannister. All the holes were predrilled in it. I just cut out the feeding slot on the bottom and found a couple of slats for the making the cross/pot holder. The only nice thing about the SS one is that it doesn't rust and degrade on you after many fires. I agree with others, best thing to do is make one out of a can. Look for cans that might nest with other pots you have and get a feel for it. I used to use one that I made out of stove pipe. That worked pretty good to and I could undo the cylinder at the seem and wrap it around round objects like a thermarest. Anyhow, I fully recommend doing a build your own to get a feel for using the twig stoves and whether they work for you in the outdoors, e.g. finding and processing fuel ect. Best do that before committing money to the store bought ones. I know there is another thread going on right now comparing the efficiencies of different commercial twig stoves. I find that kind of detailed testing a bit outside the point. Whether it takes me 5 min or 4 min or 3.5 min with a simple stove, gassification stove or stove outfitted with an electronic fan isn't going to make that much difference to my life. Some of the commercial units do have enviable features like being made from titanium to be light way and developed to nest inside certain other types of lightweight pot sets.
  14. Alan2442


    Jan 12, 2011
    the hobo stove s a great project. i have made several of them. For my birthday last year my faience got me a bush buddy stove. basically the same concept as a hobo stove. It fits perfectly in a snow peak trek 900 pot. probably the best gift i have gotten in a long time. you can check it out at the link below. they have videos and everything.

  15. Nordic Viking

    Nordic Viking

    Sep 18, 2000
    I used to be a fire (winter) and gas (summer) guy until I saw kgd's video with his IKEA stove. They really use fuel effeciently - the only drawback being they require constant attention. This is OK if you're boiling a pot or just sitting by yourself and enjoying nature. If you have other camp chores to do, then a fire / gas is better IMO.

    Attached Files:

  16. Salamander42


    Mar 21, 2007
    I've been using one of the Little Bug Jr. ones that I got from Ben's Backwoods. I love it. I used to scorn the idea of carrying any kind of stove when I could easily build a fire for all of my cooking needs, but then I thought about how much time and energy I spent gathering wood and feeding the fire and everything, and how even though I could keep a fire going in the rain it was a PITA, and I got to thinking about how nice it would be to heat water for coffee in the morning without having to fiddle with getting the fire stoked up again. So I tried my girlfriend's MSR Whisperlight a couple of times. It got that water boiling fast but it sounded like I had a jet engine in camp, and pumping it up and priming it and messing with the fuel and everything was a bit of a pain. So I tried a couple of home made alcohol stoves. I loved 'em. They weren't quite as fast to boil water, but they were fast enough, and simple enough for me. But now after several fireless backpacking trips I was missing the nice cosiness and warmth of a fire. So I got the Little bug to try, and it's worked out wonderfully. I went ahead and bought a Brasslight alcohol stove because I wanted something a little sturdier than my soda can stoves. The Little Bug serves double duty as a wind shield for the Brasslight. So now I have the best of both worlds: The alcohol stove for bad weather and to get my coffee in the morning, and the Little Bug for cooking dinner and for a little easy to feed camp fire cheer at night. On my last trip out it snowed a bit over night, and after I got my coffee made in the morning I got a fire going in the Little Bug for a little warmth and to heat up my breakfast and water for more coffee. I heated a 24 oz pot of water plus my leftovers from dinner the night before and warmed myself up just using the fuel that was within arm's reach of where I was sitting. Gathering fuel for a fire has never been so easy. :)
  17. program_57


    Apr 10, 2010
    What I think I'm going to do is get ahold of a coffee can or other canister in the next week, and then try building a twig stove over the weekend. I'm not a speed freak when it comes to boiling water, and fire building is something I've spent a lot of time doing, so I predict that it'll go well. I picked up a trangia this week, too, so if the twig stove works out, I'll probably try to modify it (maybe with parallel sets of holes and hacked off tent stakes midway up the can?) so that it can hold the burner inside. Anyway, once I get a can in hand, I'll start thinking about designs. Pictures if the whole deal works out, of course!
  18. Switchblade61


    Nov 11, 2009
    Here's my version of a coffee can stove.

  19. thebrain


    Dec 12, 2007
    Nice video Switchblade61 I have been wanting to see how one made so simply would work.

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