Friday, August 23, 2013

Solo Stove Review Part 2

Part 2 of a recent review on the Solo Stove.

Rain and threats of rain and storms caused us to put off the actual 'test' of the Solo Stove until this afternoon.

The weather forecast was for clear until much later tonight, so we gathered up some small pine cones the squirrels had chewed up and dropped to the ground. We also picked up some dried gumballs from the driveway.

My Hero and I then had the huge decision to make on where to set up the Solo Stove for The Great Experiment.

We decided to use the back steps as home base, and took all the supplies outside, One brand new shiny Solo Stove, one disposable aluminum cake baking pan, one long nosed charcoal lighter, and the old small cooking pot to heat the water in.

We set the Solo Stove in the aluminum cake pan, put in some tender, and some small little dried twigs. Lit it. Nothing happened. We tried again, more tender, more little twigs. Added some other twigs. Again nothing. Emptied the little stove into the aluminum cake pan, and put in some more tender and twigs. Lots of smoke, no flame.

My Hero said we needed some cotton balls to start the fire with. Couldn't find any, so instead we used a quarter of a paper towel with a little vaseline rubbed into it. Twisted the paper towel around a small twig, put it in the Solo Stove and lit it.

There was a flame and the twigs in the little stove caught fire and began to burn. We felt like real Pioneers at this point. My Hero tended the fire, added a few twigs and the flame rose a beautiful bright orange red.

We then put the small cooking pot with two cups of water in it on the Solo Stove and stared intently at the stove. In a few minutes the water began to simmer, we then added four hot dogs that had been cut in half to the pot and sat back to await our gourmet feast.

My Hero had to tend the fire, adding twigs, small pieces of bark and the occasional gum ball to the pot to keep the fire going.

The water began to boil slowly. We watched and he added more twigs. The water then began to boil and bubble. The hot dogs began to bob up in the water and we smiled and waited.

From the first attempt to light the fire to the actual cooking and eating the hot dogs took about thirty minutes. This included fumbling and learning to use the tender and twigs to build the fire. Going in the house to find the fire starter. And making a new one for the Solo Stove.

The little pot used to boil the water was covered with black soot. It is easily washable, no problem with that.

We were originally going to remove the hot dogs and add ramen noodles to the water for our meal. It had started to rain steadily by then, so we decided not to continue cooking outdoors, and moved our feast inside the house.

This little light weight Solo Stove is definitely a champion worth owning.

It could be put inside a fire place to cook, or to make hot dogs on a stick, roast marshmallows, smoores, and to cook a meal.

In an emergency, you could use it on the kitchen stove top to cook with. At first it looked too small, and was so light weight we wondered if it would really cook as advertised and as we had seen in the videos on the different sites.

The Solo Stove is a wonder! It does work as advertised. It boils water quickly.
The tender, twigs, pine cones, gumballs all burned to ash. No pieces of unburned wood remained. The bottom of the pot held the ash, which we emptied into the bar-b-que pit when it was cool. It uses very little fuel that can be found most anywhere.

The pot didn't remain hot very long after the fire went out. It cooled off rather quickly. Enough so that you could pick it up with your bare hands. We liked this about it too.

The Solo Stove is a quality product that we highly recommend. It is a worthwhile addition to your camping gear and your home emergency kit. It is well worth the small price for such quality, and the ability to cook a meal on so little fuel.

Thank you to the makers of Solo Stove and to Ryan for the opportunity to own the wonderful little Solo Stove.



Anonymous said...

A suggestion to keep along with this stove - a hammer and pocket pruners. The hammer can smash wood into smaller pieces, allowing for faster burn. The pruner gains you the small tinder to cut size to get fire started quicker.

Those lessons I've learned with my small 'twig' burner stoves.

Anonymous said...

Not to be too critical here, but lately I've been reading a lot of what I call "Yuppie Back Porch reviews". I'm not interested in hearing about how a product performs under ideal conditions at home. How does it perform in the boonies with wind and rain, and with wet tinder? Do you have to remove the cook pot to refuel - how often? What about durability, etc?

If a product is not tested under conditions it will most likely be used, the review is of little value.

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