I have been meaning to
play with scientifically test the Solo Stove for awhile now. Sorry to folks with slow connections as this post is 56k death.
For whatever reason today was the day. So I got to fiddling with it.
The Solo Stove as packaged.
As you can see this is a really nice well made piece of gear. Yes you can make a hobo style rocket stove with a couple of tin cans and some wire but I seriously doubt it will be as efficient or durable as the Solo Stove. By all means have fun making some home made stoves to experiment with but if you want a piece of gear that is going to last the Solo Stove is probably the way to go.
The top piece/ pot holder in place.
Pathfinder cup and Trade Knife which are being evaluated and are used to support the Solo Stove effort.
The goal today is to boil water in my cup. While hot chocolate does not require boiling water I wanted it to boil because that is a pretty ambiguous cooking need for emergency food or a variety of other things. I gathered a variety of small twigs, a decent sized stick as well as some newspaper and cardboard to get it all going. Pretty representative of the way I start most fires.
The water in the cup was simmering after about 4 minutes. It took awhile longer till it really boiled after about 12 minutes. Part of that was the learning curve that to keep the stove really going I have to almost continually be putting little pieces of wood in it.
I added the hot chocolate and as you can see it is solidly boiling.
Letting the hot chocolate cool down while the stove continues burning.
My Pathfinder cup a but burned up on the outside. The Pathfinder symbol cooks kind of cool here. I think Dave Canterbury would approve except that I did this on concrete (due to fire concerns).
Now is a good time for some discussion on my concept of use for the solo stove. I think it would be great for simple cooking if you have primitive inclinations or are in a long term scenario. Cooking simple, quick meals for 1 or 2 people is where this stove would shine. Also in relatively barren environments (I am in the desert and feed this stove with stuff readily found around here) this stoves very high efficiency will let you maximize the small twigs and such that are available and easy to gather. You can definitely feed this stove with a knife which is really handy for traveling light.The solo stove is going into my bug out bag for sure.
At reader request we have some gratuitous dog pics.
Dog coming out to investigate what I am up to. He things it is stupid to be outside when it is cold (well for Arizona anyway) and raining. He promptly went back inside.
Anyway if you are looking for a good cooking method that does not require gas/ propane/ kerosene I would give the Solo Stove a hard look.