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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Custom DIY Compact Wood Stove

I love backpacking wood stoves. I have built around ten of the quart paint can wood stoves in the last year but have never been happy with their weight and height. However, since a member discovered that the flashing endcaps fit perfectly into the quart can I have been able to finally create one of these stoves to my own specifications.

The endcap allows you to chop the quart can down to the height you want. I use an IMUSA four cup mug and wanted a stove that fit inside of it. So I spent about an hour and came up with this. It has a 3.75" tall base compared to the standard 5". It is my new 'go-to' stove, it burns amazingly well and is a lot lighter and more functional than the larger versions. I have had a lot of success with it this far and plan to take it on my future trips. One thing to note, is that I discovered that a stoke tube really helps kick this stove into wood-gas mode really quickly. I made it from simple refrigerator water line and a brass coupler.

Compact woodstove nested in IMUSA 4 Cup mug:

Integrated fire grate:

Comparison of full size wood stove to chopped stove:

The Stove in action:

My biggest concern with a wood stove on a backpacking trip is wet wood. I plan on taking a small alcohol stove along with it on days I don't want to light a fire. However, I was testing one day in a downpour and was very surprised with the results. It started downpouring as I was trying to get it lit. So I ended up trying to start the stove with wet dead fall in a pouring icy rain with a 5-10mph gusting wind, needless to say it was less than optimal. The stove smoked a lot and never really went into gas mode much longer than a couple minutes. After about 25minutes I got annoyed and decided to put it away for a better day, and as I lifted the lid on my pot I realized it was boiling. I don't know how long it had been boiling, but it sure didn't look like the stove was doing anything, it was just into charcoal mode. So it was a nice surprise, one that would work in crappy weather if I give it enough time. I am going to try to work on a windscreen, I am thinking about trying a windscreen that anchors into the ground with some light stakes instead of actually attaching to the stove.

Hammock Update - Warbonnet Black Bird

It has been a long time since I actually updated my blog. Mainly because I haven't been able to play outside as much this year as I would like. However, with that said, I was able to build and buy some really cool gear this year. My biggest purchase of the year was my new hammock, a Warbonnet Black Bird.

I had been oogling the Black Bird hammock for quite some time before actually buying one. After researching mutiple hammock brands and building one of my own I decided that the best hammock for me was the WBB. It has an integrated bugnet, a footbox that aids in you laying flat, and a built in shelf/pocket for storing gear. It wasn't cheap but I can say that it is the best night of sleep I have got in the woods. It is nice and roomy on the inside and may be more comfortable than my bed at home. I have been able to use it a few times this year and was even able to get my wife to sleep in it during a trip into Yellowstone. She loved it!! She had been thinking my hammock obession was really weird, yet it only took one night in it and she decided it was the only way to camp.

I got the 1.7 DL (double layer) version with the strap suspension system. If I get another one I will get a single layer 1.7 or maybe the 1.1 DL, since my weight doesn't come close to being an issue for either of those options.

It is a large hammock and does need a pretty decent tarp to adequately cover it, however my OES Spinntex Deluxe tarp works really well. So far I am really happy with it and have officially retired my other hammocks to the loaner pile.