The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Stop Press: First Look at's New Stove

There have been whispers about this new stove for a while, and quite rightly too as the spec seems to be unique – and very versatile. This isn’t just a stove that Backpackinglight has sourced from an existing supplier; this is one that with a great deal of thought and care they have designed themselves and had manufactured.

Primarily a wood-burner, it is a stove which will also work with any meths stove and with any pot – even strangely shaped ones and small mugs.

There was the hope that we might see a prototype and indeed such a viewing was offered. Then we got lucky, because just then along came the postman, and with him he had the package containing the first production-standard model.

We observed, we played, we ooohed, we aahed and we ooohed some more. I put it together. I took it apart. I put it together, I took it apart. I put it together a different way. Then a different way. I likes it…

The first thing that struck me, before it was even out of its package was the packed size of this thing. You say ‘woodburner’ to me in an outdoorsy sort of a context and I think Bushbuddy. Yet this stove was packed in a small padded envelope – and it was flat.

Investigating the contents of that little envelope what we found were six side panels and three shelves (one is a base for when it is being used as a wood burner; one is for certain types of meths stove; and the other is what I called the ‘barbecue grid’ for cooking your bacon or sausages or bread!). The side panels slot together to form a hexagon and the shelves slot in to slits on the sides (with the configuration depending on how you want to use it).

In the absence of instructions, I imagine you could be baffled by the parts, but once it’s explained it’s all simple and easy to put together.

It looks very interesting indeed. I’m sure that once they’re in production and Darren* gets his hands on one we’ll see some good results on how fast water can be boiled using wood and, perhaps more interestingly, meths. The latter is particularly interesting (to me at least!) given that the design is such that you have not just a windshield provided by the body of the stove, but also a configuration of draw and ventilation which should improve the fuel efficiency of the meths stove). (*for those of you who don’t know Darren, suffice to say that he leads the field in stove ownership and testing!)

The market towards which this stove is primarily targeted is not lightweight backpacking and at first feel it may seem a touch on the heavy side – but I’ll wager that it’s no heavier than a 250 gas canister plus stove (sorry, I didn’t whip out any scales to get a precise weight), which to my mind makes it a viable option for the backpacker – particularly given the very small packed size.

So, a very interesting item indeed. Keep your eye out at where it should soon appear.

In anticipation of the launch, “No photos” said Bob, but as you'll see at the top, we managed to sneak just a little glimpse of it in a hastily taken snappette!


  1. you have no idea, adding another 7 at the moment.

  2. No wonder Bob didn't want any photos taken - that's not really a stove, it's a mega-neutron plasma hyper-field generator deflector plate array that he nicked from the LHC. Any old stove expert could of told you that.