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Wood burning camp stoves and stealth camping

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Wood burning camp stoves and stealth camping

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Old 02-28-09, 09:41 PM
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Rich B.
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Wood burning camp stoves and stealth camping

I have just purchased a Littlbug junior wood burning camping stove. So far I'm impressed with its weight, 5 oz., it packability ( it breaks down to a small flat pouch perfect for packing in panniers), and I don't carry any fuel. Heats a quart of water in 5 minutes. It does create a fair amount of smoke until it really gets burning, and I'm concerned that my cover will be blown by this smoke when I camp. I can use a small alcohol stove inside this unit, and that may be the solution in sensitive areas. Anybody have a wood burning stove they use on tours, and has it ever caused you to be discovered?
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Old 02-28-09, 10:25 PM
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I always use a woodburning stove, I have for years. However I don't stealth camp, I do believe it would give you away. One option you could consider is using firestarter sticks in situations like that.

http://www.nitro-pak.com/product_inf...roducts_id=205

I carry them to get my stove going when wood is wet (common where I travel) I found that two of these will boil enough water for my morning coffee and oatmeal. The nice thing is that they burn with very little smoke.
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Old 02-28-09, 10:31 PM
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+1 about firestarter sticks. I have used similar with my ZZip Sierra stove for decades.

The fire hazard with a wood burning stove in a dry stealth camp must be carefully evaluated. Sparks do fly quite a ways at times so I always cook with a wide clear area around the stove and monitor the fire constantly.
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Old 02-28-09, 10:37 PM
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I've experimented with a coffee can with holes through it and seems to be a good wood stove. And while I do stealth camp, I wouldn't use it stealth camping for the reason Mr Jim said.

My preference for heating is using a simple cat can, 3 metal tent stakes and endentured alcohol (HEET in the yellow bottle). Light with long lighter (and be careful). Burns real clean also with minimal smoke. 90% regular rubbing alcohol works also (not the cheap 70% brand)

I'll also add to what arctos just said, be careful with sparks, and be really really careful in a dry area with drought.
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Old 03-01-09, 01:48 AM
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Stove talk

I am prepping for the ACA northern tier route and I had a stove question. I have never heard of a wood burning stove before this post. Can someone send me info, suggestions, opinions etc..

I have a whisper lite stove from MSR - pro - can find fuel anywhere - con - heavy and multiple parts

I was also looking into the Jet Boil, Pocket Rocket and Snow Peak - pro - small and light - con - must find specific fuel canisters and I am concerned about finding stores that will carry this type of canister (especially in the middle of the midwest).

Thanks!
Brook
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Old 03-01-09, 07:10 AM
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I DO NOT cook when stealth camping...period. To me that negates the stealth part of it. I do my cooking before I set up camp for the night at a location away from where I plan to stay, or after I hit the road in the morning. To me the concept of stealth camping is to find a place to sleep unnoticed, any thing that would call attention to my location is no-go.

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Old 03-01-09, 07:37 AM
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Arghhh!

Stealth camping and wood burning - even in stoves - isn't a good idea.
California public land managers could slap you with a big fine if caught. Why?
Because of the risk of wildfires - the majority of which are human caused.
This goes double or triple for private lands - where one would already be trespassing.
One spark could destroy a year's worth of forage in many places in the West.
Given the fact that so many who post here are clueless about Western weather and wildlife -
I suspect that few would understand fire risks and respond appropriately.

http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/iac...repermits.html
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Old 03-01-09, 07:49 AM
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It looks like that stove will work well! I don't stealth camp, so I won't comment on that but i will address the wood fire soot issue. All of these type of wood burners create a lot of soot on the burner and your pots, no problem really just find a way to isolate them from the rest of your pack. I would think outside your panniers or trailer bag in their own bag or box, bungee corded down. May need to be something waterproof / resistant so that a rain will not wash all that soot all over the outside of your stuff. If you can isolate your cooking gear this way, there would be no need to clean the soot off each time.
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Old 03-01-09, 07:57 AM
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The Kelly Kettle uses wood fuel but it only boils water, it isnt a general purpose stove. It is a bit bulky for cycle camping but an interesting thing to know about. A review here.
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Old 03-01-09, 08:04 AM
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Stealth camp, and then stop at the first park you see for cooking at a picnic table.....
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Old 03-01-09, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by brookyates View Post
I am prepping for the ACA northern tier route and I had a stove question. I have never heard of a wood burning stove before this post. Can someone send me info, suggestions, opinions etc..

I have a whisper lite stove from MSR - pro - can find fuel anywhere - con - heavy and multiple parts

I was also looking into the Jet Boil, Pocket Rocket and Snow Peak - pro - small and light - con - must find specific fuel canisters and I am concerned about finding stores that will carry this type of canister (especially in the middle of the midwest).

Thanks!
Brook
I just did the Northern Tier last summer and you will have very big stretches of not being able to find cannister fuel. If weight if a big deal I would suggest the MSR simmer lite stove. It's like 5 oz and you already have the bottles. When I left the West Coast I was able to find cannisters at Walmart..... when I got to North Dakota Walmart didn't carry them any longer...... Having to worry about something like how your going to cook your dinner isn't something I ever want to worry about again.

The weight savings you get from a lighter stove are lost if your having to carry 3 cannisters so you don't run out.

That being said. I plan to ride the West Coast this summer and will be bringing my cannister stove. I will have much better chances of finding retailers that carry them.

My 2 Cents.
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Old 03-01-09, 08:58 AM
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bushbuddy

I don't have an opinion on stealth camping (having never done it), but the bushbuddy is the only wood stove I know that can be used on a wood picnic table: it is set up to not get hot underneath or drop burning sparks. It burns fairly cleanly, so I don't notice smoke if I have dry wood and once it is started, which may be because of its double wall "gassifier" design. You pay a huge price premium for what may be the lightest, best, wood stove on the market.

http://bushbuddy.ca/indexs.html
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Old 03-01-09, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
Arghhh!

Stealth camping and wood burning - even in stoves - isn't a good idea.
California public land managers could slap you with a big fine if caught. Why?
Because of the risk of wildfires - the majority of which are human caused.
This goes double or triple for private lands - where one would already be trespassing.
One spark could destroy a year's worth of forage in many places in the West.
Given the fact that so many who post here are clueless about Western weather and wildlife -
I suspect that few would understand fire risks and respond appropriately.

http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/iac...repermits.html
The same concerns apply to Australia as well.
 
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Old 03-01-09, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by brookyates View Post
I am prepping for the ACA northern tier route and I had a stove question. I have never heard of a wood burning stove before this post. Can someone send me info, suggestions, opinions etc..

I have a whisper lite stove from MSR - pro - can find fuel anywhere - con - heavy and multiple parts

I was also looking into the Jet Boil, Pocket Rocket and Snow Peak - pro - small and light - con - must find specific fuel canisters and I am concerned about finding stores that will carry this type of canister (especially in the middle of the midwest).

Thanks!
Brook
I am unfamiliar with some of the other stoves so can't speak for them. I use this one.

http://www.zzstove.com/

Very efficient, it does use batteries, works something like a blacksmiths forge with forced air. With good dry fuel it will boil a qt of water faster than an MSR whisperlite. This is not their hype, a buddy and I tried it. Yes it does get your pot black, I have never cared about that, some people have an issue with that.
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Old 03-01-09, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by gregw View Post
It looks like that stove will work well! I don't stealth camp, so I won't comment on that but i will address the wood fire soot issue. All of these type of wood burners create a lot of soot on the burner and your pots, no problem really just find a way to isolate them from the rest of your pack. I would think outside your panniers or trailer bag in their own bag or box, bungee corded down. May need to be something waterproof / resistant so that a rain will not wash all that soot all over the outside of your stuff. If you can isolate your cooking gear this way, there would be no need to clean the soot off each time.
Coat the outside of the pot with liquid dish detergent and allow to dry...the soot will wash right off when the time comes (old boy scout trick )

Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
The Kelly Kettle uses wood fuel but it only boils water, it isnt a general purpose stove. It is a bit bulky for cycle camping but an interesting thing to know about. A review here.
I drag a kelly kettle around with me on my rambles on my Raleigh Superbe it works great in my part of the country for a quick brew up of hot tea on a chilly day.

Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
Stealth camp, and then stop at the first park you see for cooking at a picnic table.....
Yep...that is the way I do it, I may not even wait for the first park...just get on the road then find a convenient place. I have gone as far as a few hundred feet to an over pass and set up to take my morning break under it out of the weather

Aaron
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Old 03-01-09, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
Stealth camp, and then stop at the first park you see for cooking at a picnic table.....
+1

I suggest going on a raw diet much easier and lighter.



By the way you never mentioned what are you going to do with the hot ashes and coals when your done????
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Old 03-01-09, 06:37 PM
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I have both a Littlebug Junior and a Sierra Zip stove. In the Sierra Zip stove, the fire is completely contained and doesn't touch the support surface, as the fan is below it. It burns fast and hot, leaving few ashes, but it's heavy and bulky compared to the 5 oz. Littlebug.

I bought a lightweight steel backpacker's dinner plate at REI to put under the Littlebug, this contains the ashes. With either stove, bury the ashes in a little hole when you're done. These are small stoves, you'll be burning twigs and bark chips, so there won't be much to dispose of.

Or use the Littlebug with an open-top can of denatured alcohol if you have reasons not to burn wood. Littlebug recommends a 7-oz Sterno can, which measures 2" high and 3.25" diameter -- like a cat-food can but a bit taller -- remove the entire top of the can.
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Old 03-01-09, 07:12 PM
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I checked carefully and the Littlbug doesn't have a fire pan - so you are burning on the ground. Great! What wonderful wilderness ethics. Fire rings are one of the most ubiquitous impacts in the backcountry.

I repeat, the Littlbug may be great for New England, but it is highly inappropriate for the West - illegal in many places like most wilderness areas and Pacific Crest Trail. In theory they sound quite environmentally responsible, but in popular places, scrounging for wood for an entire season by many people will strip a location of duff and dead wood - essential for many insect species.

People from the East are utterly unaware how quickly a fire can grow in arid areas of the West. To give you an idea of the low humidity levels - in Nevada in the summer, you can take two slices of bread out to make a PB&J sandwich and by the time you have spread both PB and J on the slices the other side has the consistency of toast.

A wood-burning hobo stove in such an environment is irresponsible. It only takes one boo-boo.
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Old 03-02-09, 10:16 AM
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In Connecticut, we don't have the same concerns for arid conditions as you folks out west. Certainly we have periods of high forest fire danger when responsible campers would not use open fires or wood stoves for that matter. In that case, the littlbug stove is designed to house a small alcohol stove within, thereby minimizing fire danger. For the greater good, it's good that the conditions in the West were pointed out here so that those touring there understand the risk of open fires.
I have used this stove on top of a 1 gallon paint can lid supported by on small sticks thereby eliminating any scarring of the ground. We also have abundant dead wood that a few wood burning stoves would never make a dent in. I most likely will use this stove on winter camping trips anyway. I understand your point jamawani.

Last edited by Rich B.; 03-02-09 at 10:27 AM. Reason: responding to previous post
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Old 03-02-09, 03:45 PM
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You try getting an Esbit stove for light meals/coffee. The fuel tabs are small and the stove folds to a small package. You could also use trioxine fuel bars. a sterno stove would also be good for small meals
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