Solo Stove compact wood burning stoves are a lightweight, eco-friendly alternative to “canister” style camp stoves. Not only does the Solo Stove use wood for fuel instead of gas, the wood is also “double burned”.
The Solo Stove doesn’t just burn wood. It actually cooks the smoke out of the wood and then burns the smoke not once, but twice!
When shopping for the perfect backpacking stove, we decided that it must be:
- Able to be fuelled by items found on the trail (twigs, sticks, etc), rather than using gas canisters
- Allow an alternative fuel source when no dry fuel is available
We discovered the Solo Stove after looking at the usual gas and liquid fuel powered stoves. While we usually have the opportunity to fill up on fuel here and there, we would much prefer not to take the risk of running out of fuel on the trail. Of course you can say “bring more fuel then”, but that doesn’t really fit in well with the fundamentals of lightweight backpacking.
According to the manufacturer, the Solo Stove “incorporates a secondary combustion for a more complete, efficient and cleaner burn. The bottom vents draw air in to feed the primary combustion at the bottom of the stove while hot air rises up the double walls and out the top vents resulting in a secondary combustion.” This is a win-win for me, as the fuel burned is done so more efficiently, while the heat produced by the stove is much greater.
While performing a water boiling test, we boiled 800ml of water in 9 minutes. For those of you used to canister style stoves, you may think that is a long time, but consider that this includes the time it takes to completely set the Solo Stove up and get the fire started. We used some dry paper that we had on hand, but if you enjoy playing with fire like me, you will know that anything flammable will get it going. Paper, leaves, twigs, sticks and small pieces of wood. Anything will get going and burning in it. When you are done just let the stove cool (depends on the weather that day, but usually doesn’t take more than 5-10 minutes), tip out the ash (of which there is very little) and then pack it up.
We also purchased the Solo Pot 900 and Solo Alcohol Burner. The Solo Pot 900 is quite simply a well made, no frills 900ml pot (although you could squeeze in a little over a litre if you wanted) with a lid. It just works. The Solo Alcohol Burner gives us the option of using a liquid fuel such as methylated spirits to power our Solo Stove while out on the trail. It is liquid tight once you close the lid – nothing is going to leak out in your pack. What I love about these accessories is that they store with in each other, minimizing the space they take up in your pack – the alcohol burner fits in the stove, which fits in the pot. The whole system fits in a supplied bag with dimensions of 12cm (4.7in) high by 11.5cm (4.5in) in diameter. Total weight is approx 575gr – a little over 20oz.
All in all, we are really impressed by our Solo Stove. It does it’s job well and satisfies all of our requirements. On top of that, it’s very affordable – only $69.99 with some very affordable accessories. If a compact wood burning stove makes sense to you, I strongly suggest you check out the Solo Stove.
Take a look at the official website at http://www.solostove.com.