I was tired of buying and lugging fuel canisters every time I went on an overnight trip. Canisters aren’t great in the cold, and even though they can now be recycled I never got past the fact that they need to be recycled.
Generally, I used a liquid fuel which required the priming and extra weight of fuel and fuel canister.
This winter in the Wyoming Medicine Bow Mountains, I tried a dry fuel stove – the Solo Stove. The Solo Stove is manufactured and sold thru Amazon as well as on the website: SoloStove.com
The company website is clean and easy to read and contains everything you need to know. I checked reviews and did a little research before buying this product.
This stove is not to be confused with the Primus ETA solo stove which uses gas for fuel. It is however similar to another dry fuel stove. A comparison to that stove is on the Solo Stove website. It looks like the Solo manufacturer wanted a sturdier version of the other stove and found a way to sell it at a lower price.
The Solo Stove is definitely a well made and sturdy little unit. That results in a couple of extra ounces of weight as compared to the other dry fuel stove, but I like sturdy and knowing that it will last. Solo Stove weighs in at 9 oz.
There is absolutely no maintenance except disposing of the ash and wiping it down with a cloth to keep it clean. It comes with a light bag, so any soot on the stove stays away from other gear when you are on the trail.
I took the stove out on a two day winter trip. Using just the dry dead twigs from the underside of fir trees I was able to heat up water for oatmeal and cocoa. It is quiet (which I love) and does not expel much heat from the bottom, so could be used easily in our snow hut.
The twigs burn down to almost nothing so there were no problems with unburned charcoal or excessive ash. It was stable and held my water cup steady. No priming, no pouring gas, no pumping, cleaning out burners or need to buy/store fuel. Did I mention it was quiet?
I remember years ago being taught that my campfire should be small enough to be able to be contained within a blanket wrapped around my head and body. The Solo Stove makes that a reality and when the fire is out there is no trace on the ground that it ever existed. From my winter camping experience this wood burning backpacking stove is the way to go.
I just bought another one for my sister. I am looking forward to seeing how this little stove fares this summer. Check it out!