Mini stoves are a great resource for camping or survival situations, since they're a whole lot more efficient and portable than an open campfire. We often carry an isobutane rocket stove on backwoods trips — it's incredibly fast and easy to get water boiling with the intense blue flame. However, the downside to gas- or liquid-fueled stoves is obvious: the fuel is limited. You can't exactly whip some up in the field if you run out. Fortunately, there's an intermediate option between a rocket stove and a full-fledged campfire — portable wood-burning stoves such as the Solo Stove.
These small wood-burning stoves are available in various sizes, from the type that's ideal for heating a single cup of water using twigs and pine needles, to family-friendly models that accept larger pots and chunks of split kindling. In the latest RECOILtv Mail Call episode, Billy Birdzell gives a quick review of the Solo Stove Titan and matching 1800 pot. The stove nests into the pot for easy transport, and the whole set weighs less than 2 pounds (16.5 oz for the stove; 12.5 oz for the pot).
Operation of the stove is straightforward — just insert sticks through the top onto the wire grate and light them. The system of vent holes will draw air through to accelerate the combustion process, creating a secondary burn with more heat and less smoke. Ash is caught in the built-in tray, and the pot can be placed directly on the cooking ring, or suspended on a tripod or ridgeline for more precise temperature control.
MSRP for the Solo Stove Titan is $81, or $122 if bundled with the 1800 pot. The company also offers an adjustable pot-holder tripod for $30 extra. For more information, go to SoloStove.com.