By Dan Kidder
When you are packing gear into the backcountry, every ounce counts. Even the lightest of backpacking stoves requires several ounces of fuel to keep them going for a few days.
Whether it is butane canisters or camping gas, each source of fuel adds weight and takes up precious space.
The EmberLit stove stores flat, so the space it occupies is minimal, 6” by 3.5” by 1/8”, about the size of a pouch of tuna fish, and weighs about the same. The stainless steel model weighs less than 12 ounces and the lighter titanium model weighs around 5.45 ounces. Add in either the rubberized nylon or cloth storage bag and the pot adapter cross bars and the stainless stove tops out at around 12.8 ounces and the titanium at about 6.7 ounces.
If you are worried that you will be sacrificing efficiency for weight, you shouldn’t be. Once assembled, which takes just a few moments, the EmberLit stoves are easy to light and burn very hot with just readily available fuel. You can use twigs, leaves, or even larger branches in the stove, thanks to the unique feed port on the front of the stove. For longer wood, just leave the unburned portion sticking out the front and feed it in as needed. This is how the stove is designed to operate and is more efficient and consistent.
Assembly of the stove is so easy, that in just a few seconds, you can connect the flat pieces into a three-dimensional stove, by simply sliding the tabs on each corner into one another. The burn plate at the bottom holds the entire stove together and also acts to collect embers, reflecting their heat upwards. Strategically placed air holes in the sides provide a convection current sucking in oxygen rich air and lifting it up toward your cooking vessel, much like a blacksmith’s forge.
While each piece of the stove is just millimeters thick, once assembled it is sturdy enough to support the weight of a Dutch oven filled with food.
If you are concerned about being without fuel, EmberLit is the exclusive distributor of Igknight Fire Gear fuel products. Their offerings include fat wood shavings that make getting your stove started a breeze, as well as bricks, which are fat wood shavings mixed with a special wax to make them waterproof and burn longer. These can be used as fuel if needed. Igknight also offers fat wood lances that can be used as fuel. The stove also works well with trioxane bars and other readily available solid fuel products.
While cooking times will vary depending upon the fuel used and the ambient temperature, on average it will take about 7 to 10 minutes to bring a liter of water to a boil in a titanium cup, and about 3 minutes for two cups of water, which is the average amount needed for a freeze dried camping meal. This is done with just a handful of dry twigs picked up on the trail.
The EmberLit stove isn’t just a great concept for the camper or hiker, but has uses for emergency preparedness and survival, as it takes so little space and offers an easy to transport redundancy to your existing stove in case of a failure or you run out of fuel. Two is one and one is none.
Each EmberLit stove is proudly made in the USA, right in our home state of Utah. Check them out in the camping department at your Sportsman’s Warehouse store.