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User Review: The Solo Stove Biomass Backpacking Stove
This is the Solo Stove. It is a natural convection inverted down gas gasifier stove. This comes packed in this box. Something I like immediately is that it comes in this mesh container. Something else I really like about this stove is that it fits exactly inside my 42-ounce enamelware cup. According to the website, these vents cause the airflow in here, which in turn, makes it flow out there. This should make this a really hot area there. This part right here is your grid or your whatever you put on top, whatever you want to call that. It's got three legs on it. Something I've noticed, it fits really well with something like this.
The idea is to use biofuel in this backpacking stove, so I'm going to go out here in this pine forest floor, and there's some various forest debris around here. I'm going to pick up a couple handfuls of this. Here's what I ended up with. It's just a standard handful of twigs, sticks and other stuff like that. It's not very good wood. Typically, it wouldn't burn that long.
Here's our setup. I've got a cotton ball with Vaseline in here for a fire starter, and that's the wood I'm going to use. Let me see if I can get this to go. That much of it's working fine. I come in now and let's see how this thing works as far as getting it to burn. These type twigs would be a challenge anywhere, just because they're probably mostly damp. I picked them up off the floor of the forest. We're about 30 seconds into the burn. If you've noticed, this flame is burning really clean and it shouldn't, because these are pine and they're wet or damp. I think it's about time to put the top on this thing, so I'm going to shove those little sticks down a little bit and I'm going to put this on top. I'm going to leave this open so I can feed it from this side.
Now, to make the test even better, I'm going to take that blue cup you saw before. It's got about 20 ounces of water in there. Let's stick that on top, and let's see what it takes to make this thing boil. We've got a rolling boil now, just about. The amount of fuel it took to get here is incredibly small. You saw that handful I had before. That's what's left. I don't think I used a third of it. There are also some deliberate disadvantages I put in here. One is that I didn't put a top on that cup, which would have made the boiling time shorter. Also, we're in the wind here, if you see the flames moving around. So it's not an ideal situation, and that's kind of what I had in mind.
I took the water off the stove. This is what's left. You saw the fire and the flames. This is a serious batch of coals right in here. I'm just going to let it go and we're going to check back a little later to see how clean it burns. It's been between about five and ten minutes since I took the water off this stove. If you look down there closely, you can see that the coals are dying out very rapidly. If you were in a hurry, you could knock this out on the ground, cover the coals with dirt, and the stove would cool very rapidly. Then you'd be ready to take off and enjoy the rest of your trip.
I think there's a lot to be said about this stove. To start with, you're not using fossil fuels. You're picking up the litter from the forest and using it to cook with. Second, if you're out backpacking, about all you need, realistically speaking, is boiling water so you can rehydrate your meals. You're not looking for something that's going to be a long-term simmering thing, though I think you probably could use it for this. I believe this Solo Stove is a keeper.