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Video Review: Using Alcohol Stoves as an Alternative Fuel Source in the Solo Stove

Video Transcription 

I just want to do a quick review of the new stove that I got. This is the solo stove. It is similar to a Bush Buddy. If you are familiar with those, it is a wood gas stove. I've been a big fan of these types of stoves for a while, I've made a couple of my own kinda "knock-offs" that I've been using for a year or two, something like that. A big fan of this stove, I really like it.

I did some work with it the other day, I did actually a wood burn on it, but I didn't like the video I took so I'm doing it this way. Basically, it is a stove that's meant for wood. It gasifies the wood, goes through that whole process, it's great. I'm going to show it right now with an alcohol stove, because it works really great with that too. Here's the stove, right here. I've got it with the regular, you know, Snow Peak pot that it fits in. It fits great, and works really well. You've got the pot stand and everything integrated into it.

I'm going to do an alcohol stove today, just because I think that's another really good option and a lot of time I will use the stove that way. It acts as kind of a windscreen kind of wind tunnel, I guess you could say. It channels the wind in the way that you want it so that you can get a good flame going on your alcohol stoves as well. So I just kind of whipped up a quick little priming dish for this; probably going to get fuel everywhere. I've got about an ounce of fuel, I'm just going to do some cocoa real quick. This is just a stove that I've made, you can buy stoves like this, a few different places. I know Medieval Design has their atomic, and I kind of patterned it after that. It's a little different, it's not a pressure stove necessarily. I've just got the holes in the middle so that it drains in there. But the impressive thing is that this solo stove actually works really well to channel the air, that this stove needs, and it kind of extends the flame and gets it to really burn well. It works great.

One thing I really love about this that I really didn't like about the stove that I made was the pot stand. It wasn't really an integrated pot stand, and there were several different things that you could do. I mean, some people use chicken cans or whatever different-sized cans to make a pot stand, whereas this one comes with the integrated pot stand, which I think is great. It fits in there really well, of course. And it is just an excellent way to do this. So I just wanted to show some alternate stuff. I'm sure there's going to be a million videos with people burning wood and using, you know, the Snow Peak pot. I just decided to do something a little different, I just picked up this catalyst the other day from GSI, and thought I would give it a quick try.

As you can see in there, that's a soda can stove that I made by myself. It took me not very long, I just used one of these, you know, little, small, bar-style Coke cans., two of those, and made the stove out of, and then just poked some holes in it. I think I put a little bit of fibreglass insulation in this one, just so the fuel doesn't spill out of it. That's just under an ounce of fuel in there, because I primed it and spilled it all over the place, so not quite that much. As you can see, though, the flame coming off of that thing is crazy-high. It's usually a great little stove, but not like that. So this solo stove, I think, this kind of really just the air flow that's in this. It's really, really good. I'm really impressed. As I say, I'm really impressed with wood gas stoves in general, I've made some of my own, but when I saw this one, I decided to make the jump to something that was more professionally made than I could have managed in my garage. So I decided to go with this one. I'm really impressed with it, and the quality on it is excellent. It really is made well. I feel like it's going to stand up.

I'm a Scout Master, and I'm sure the boys in my troop are going to be coveting this. We made some, just on our own, and we've had some good use out of those. But I'm sure that this will be something that...the price is a little cheaper than the Bush Buddy, which is very similar to it. I don't see a problem...I'm not timing this, and I don't know if you can hear that on the video, but this is already starting to "talk", so it's making some noise. Move my camera a little bit here...good, that didn't help much, but OK. So it's already making noise. Like I said, this really, it's boiling. Right there, bam, got a boil right there in just whatever amount of time that was. Not very long at all. It's only a cup of water; I'm just going to do some quick cocoa here. But yeah, like I said, the flame on that thing is usually pretty decent, but it's burning all the way to the edges of that kettle. It's not licking up over the sides, which is perfect. So really, that's pretty amazing. Look at the flame on that, I made that in my garage. That's an amazing flame, and that, I think is a tribute to the air flow in this stove. It's very, very impressive. When I did use it with wood, the ash...the sticks that I put in it burned down to next to nothing, really really white, completely burned ash. Beautifully done, and it was really easy to clean out. One thing that I was concerned about was the ash pan. It's cool, because it catches the ash and keeps it out from everywhere underneath you, whereas the stoves that I've made myself don't have the bottoms in them. So the ash can get out, it kind of makes a mess, and can get in your pot and stuff like that when you're storing it. This one didn't really have that problem, the ash pan was really cool. The holes in the bottom here are big enough, and there's enough of them, that even if a little bit of ash got down in there, it's going to come out really easy. The ash pan cleared out fine. I didn't even have any ash come out the bottom. It's beautiful.

Just from the burn that I did the other day, the pot stand is already kind of starting to tint and discolor a little bit. From what I hear, that's pretty standard, pretty normal for the stainless steel. I think it's got a cool look, it looks kind of brassy, and I'm going to have this awesome steam pump pot over time. I can't say enough good about it. Like I said, this is maybe a non-standard usage, although I'm sure a lot of people are like "Why in the heck would I carry that just to use an alcohol stove with it?" To me, it's just a good option. I'm a hammock camper, so I have been converted to the "breakfast from the hammock", care of the mighty Shug, and love it. This is great. You drop your alcohol stove into it, roll over into the morning out of your hammock and there you have it. You know, you can fire it up real quick, it burns like crazy, and it burns really fast. With the alcohol stove, it heats stuff up in just an amazing way. Again, just a tribute to the air flow through it, which is key in these wood gas stoves. And yeah, that's it I'm rambling on, but all I've got to say is that the flame's still going. So I will say thanks for the stove, good job, love it, and that's that. Thanks!

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