Solo Stove review by a MSB reader:
I came across a backpacking stove on the internet that burns twigs and sticks.
The stove is made and sold by Solo Stove.
I have several backpacking stoves, but they all need some kind of packed in fuel such as white gas, IsoButane, alcohol, etc. I have run out of fuel many times, and ended up carrying a dead weight stove for miles, and trying to cook over a fire.
I liked the concept of the Solo Stove so I ordered one. And today I tried it out.
Small sticks and twigs for fuel
I gathered up a handful of small sticks and twigs. I split them up into pieces about 3″ long and set them next to the Solo Stove.
I used a piece of folded paper towel and lit it with my firestarter. It took the spark on the first try and I scooped it into the fire chamber of the Solo Stove. I immediately added a few small pieces of the twigs on top of the burning paper towel. They caught fire right away and all was well.
How long does it take to boil?
So I placed a pot of cold tap water on top and started the timer.
After 3 minutes the water started to show the small bubbles that come before a boil.
Two minutes later (5 minutes, total) the bubbles were bigger and the water was hot enough for stuff like coffee, cocoa or tea.
Just before minute 6 rolled in, I had a rolling boil.
How much fuel does it use?
The thing that amazed me most, was that even after maintaining the boil for a few more minutes (playing around) I still had half of my original fuel left! The stove is very efficient, and very hot.
This thing is a fuel miser!!! Literally, the amount of twigs you could gather from just sitting on the ground would be enough to boil water in anything short of winter weather. I’d guess 10 minutes on the long side for icy stream water and 25 degree weather.
Windscreen for stove
I use a windscreen with all of my stoves and will as well with this one. For the few ounces it weighs it makes the stove far more efficient. They can be made from any kind of foldable or rollable sheet metal, or bought online.
Solo Stove is stainless steel
Now for the construction. The stove has no seams. Very strong extruded stainless steel. It has two moving parts. The stove, and the pot holder-upper. And the pot holder-upper turns over and nests into the stove body when it is not in use.
This stove is a must have for any backpacker who wants to save weight. It weights 9 ounces and is a “gear of the year” winner by Backpacker Magazine. It would also be great in your bug out gear, cars, and disaster stash. While not as quick and convenient as something like a Jetboil (I have one and have used it for years in all kinds of environments with 100% satisfaction), it is not far behind.