Step 1: Assemble Your Solo Stove
Place your Solo Stove™ (pat. pending) on level ground away from wind. If you have a windscreen, set it up to provide additional wind blockage. A windscreen will greatly increase the efficiency of your stove. For added safety, clear away any flammable ground debris within 5 ft. of the stove (twigs, leaves, grass etc.). Remove the nested cooking ring from inside the stove, invert it with the three pot stands facing up and place it on top of the stove.
Step 2: Prepare Your Fuel
Gather dry twigs and other biofuel of different sizes. Break them into finger length pieces and separate them into piles according to their thickness (small, medium, large).
Step 3: Starting Your Fire
The following two methods can be used to start a fire in your stove.
Method 1: The best and most fuel-efficient way to cook on your stove is with a full load of fuel that is lit on top. To use this method, place large sticks and twigs neatly on top of the nichrome wire grate up until the bottom of the top air vents. Then light a small fire on top using your favorite tinder or fire starter. Feed the fire with small to medium sized sticks and tinder until the fire is self-sustaining. Continue to feed the fire until it has spread across the full width of the stove and the main fuel load begins to burn from the top down. After the air in the wall of the stove heats up, airflow will improve and a secondary combustion will be visible near some or all of the secondary air vents. Start cooking.
If your initial burn consumes your main fuel load and you find yourself still needed a flame to continue cooking, add in additional fuel through the opening in the cooking ring. Add finger sized twigs and other biofuel to maintain a flame.
Method 2: Using your favorite tinder or fire starter, light a small fire inside the stove and pile on small to medium sized twigs to stoke the fire. As the fire grows, add in larger sticks and twigs. Larger sticks and twigs will keep the fire burning longer and will decrease the amount of times you need to feed the fire.
If too much fuel is added too late, especially with thick or damp sticks, there will be a lot of smoke and the fire may be snuffed. Experiment to find a suitable feed rate. With a little practice, the fire can be maintained for an extended period of time. This mode of operation, although often easier for beginners, will produce more smoke than Method 1 because the wood gas rises directly to combustion with the secondary air without the cleaning effect of passage through a hot layer of charcoal.
1. Always use dry wood when possible. Wet wood will take longer to burn and will produce more smoke.
2. Hardwoods (birch, maple, hickory, oak, etc.) will burn longer than softwoods.
3. As with every wood burning stove, some soot will be on the bottom of your pot after each use. Softwoods will create the most soot while hardwoods like maple will create the least. The best way to minimize soot is to let the fire become well-established and hot before putting on a pot. To make cleaning up even easier, you can soap up the bottoms of your pot before use. Use a bar of soap and a little water to get your hands soapy, and then smear them on the bottom of your pot or pan before cooking. As you cook, the bottom will turn black, but will rinse off easily under water when you’re done.
The Solo Stove is NOT A TOY and should only be used by adults or under the supervision of an adult. The stove will be extremely hot when burning; do not touch it when in use. Never leave the stove unattended and be sure to douse all ashes and embers thoroughly with water after use. The Solo Stove should not to be used indoors.