How the SOLEADER Wood Burning Camp Stove Opened my Eyes!
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Usually, when we think of advancements in technology, ` we are looking at something that has more and smaller pieces. It’s often something that is very complicated and hard to understand and most of the time it solves a problem or creates a convenience.
Well, the technology that leverages the mechanisms of fire doesn’t require a lot of complicated pieces. The backpacking woodstove by Soleader has proven that. This compact gasifier stove is something that any prepper, survivalist, outdoorsman or adventurer should have on hand.
It was the first time I played with a gasifier style stove that works on very little wood fuel and airflow to create an impressive flame. I had my reservations about these types of stoves because of how effective and easy using gas camping stoves can be. To be honest, it also felt a little too good to be true.
I can boil water with a handful of sticks and a lighter?
There were many things that came to mind when considering the stove.
• I thought it would be hard to get the fuel to light
• I thought there would be a lot of fire coaxing before I got an effective blaze
• I thought the flame would have trouble pinpointing its heat
• I thought boiling water would take an hour
Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised to find that none of those concerns were an issue.
The first time I used the Soleader was very casual. I set the stove up out front of my home and just casually walked the yard grabbing a few small sticks and breaking them down into small pieces that would fit into the stove. This took me under a minute to create a pile of sticks that would work for this.
Now, we were suffering from some very damp conditions and were just a cold day or two from the last rain. I was concerned that the fuel might still be damp and that it would affect the use of the stove.
I built the stove using the four main parts for its gasifier function. It also comes with a solidified alcohol plate if you decide to use that type of fuel with the stove. Each piece simply nests into the other and the stove can be assembled in seconds. I also took advantage of the windscreen that can be purchased separately. This windscreen covers all sides of the stove and has two metal rods that sink into the ground to hold it in place. I have battled fire in wind before and I know the value of the windscreen. It was well worth the few extra dollars and it made a big difference on how the heat of the flame was focused.
I grabbed a few tears of construction paper, as we always have that around our house and dropped it in with the sticks. I lit that with a lighter and we were off to the races. The method I use when away from the construction paper comforts of home is to pack dryer lint and a ferro rod. This worked, as well, to start the fire.
After about a minute I had a serious and targeted flame that was burning bright. It blew me away. I couldn’t believe something like that was possible with just a handful of sticks. This was a preliminary play around and I wasn’t even going to boil water with it. I was certain I hadn’t enough fuel to do something like that. But after seeing the flame, I gathered another small pile of sticks. Then I raced to the kitchen to grab some camping cookware and water.
The mouth of the Soleader is very wide and makes adding fuel, while cooking, very simple. After bolstering the fuel burning in the stove. I decided to just go for the boil and placed the pan of water atop the stove.
I should also add that the stove ate up that next round of fuel and only took a moment to get back to full heat.
In no more than 5 minutes I had water boiling in front of me. I had spent about 1 minute and a half on gathering fuel and it was all that I needed to boil water. Now, I look at boiling water different than most people because it does a lot of things.
1. It means rehydrating meals and eating!
2. It means warm tea or coffee on a cold morning in the woods!
3. It means sanitized water that won’t kill you when you drink it!
4. It means you can craft decoctions or other wild medicines if you’re not feeling well!
I dumped the water back into the stove to “turn it off” but you could obviously use that fire to start a bigger fire or just let it burn out and keep warm by it.
From there I allowed the stove to cool down before packing it up in its mesh bag. The windscreen comes with a bag as well and folds up to be about as wide as a dollar bill and about 10 inches long. The Stove itself packs down to the size of two large cans of tuna stacked on one another. The whole stove weighs just over 1lb and is well worth the weight.
After using the Soleader a few more times it got slid right down in my Get Home Bag which often is paired up or down for outdoor adventures. To be honest, I never thought I would depend on a gasifier stove to cook my food in the wild but the efficiency of the Soleader is a no brainer and you will see it on my Instagram and in my adventures in the future!