There is something about sitting in front of a campfire during a nice evening out in the woods. Add a few sticks and twigs into the Solo Stove and prepare for an alternative way to cook your dinner over an open fire. The Solo Stove provides the ability to plug into that outdoor campfire feeling while allowing you to cook your meals over an efficient and clean burning flame. Use it for when trying to save weight while backpacking or when you want to have a fire in areas where fire pits aren’t allowed.
Setup and Design Features
The technical definition listed in the specs describes the Solo as a convection inverted downgas gasifer stove that incorporates secondary combustion to burn cleaner. This basically means that the stove allows more airflow from the bottom and up through the walls of the stove to create combustion at the top. This makes for a much more efficient and clean burning fire than many of the other wood burning stoves out there. The Biolite stove also has this double chamber feature for efficiency but also charges your phone. Take a look at this stove here.
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The dimensions are 3.8′ x 3.8” x 4.2” and it weighs 8.8 ounces. The size and weight is comparable to other stoves in this class. The Solo efficiently burns sticks, needles and other small organic material you may find in the woods. This wood burning stove will remove the concern you may have of running out of fuel which can be an issue with some gas canister and liquid fuel stoves. You wont have the same problem during those extended trips because you will be burning what is around you rather than what is in your pack.
Also great as a survival or emergency preparedness stove when fuel other fuel sources may be questionable. For other safety and emergency preparedness information see Part 1 here and read Part 2 here.
The Solo Stove burns a liter of water in less than 10 minutes under a fairly clean flame. This is a little longer than some of the other stoves in the class and backpacking stoves in general. Depending on how intense your fire you may be able to get the boil time closer to 8 minutes. Some of the other backpacking stove can boil a liter in under 5 minutes. If heading into potentially windy conditions check out the Solo Aluminum Windscreen (sold separately). Click here if you would like to get additional information for accessories that fit with the Solo.
Because there are no moving parts and the stove is constructed out of solid stainless steal, there is very little maintenance and upkeep. Be aware that in wet conditions with wet wood getting a fire going and cooking your food will likely take a little more effort and time. The stove is small enough to pack inside many of the average sized pots including the Solo Pot 900 (sold separately) for better storage in your pack. The Solo Stove will cost between $60 and $90.
- Does not produce a lot of smoke
- Durability due to minimal moving parts
- Leave No Trace capability from ground head shield
- Lightweight and efficient
- Wet wood requires additional fire maintenance
- Temperature control offers challenges
- Simmer ability takes time to learn
You can also purchase the Solo Stove windscreen separately if you are headed for windy conditions. Try a cotton ball soaked in Vaseline for a cheap and effective fire starter. Use larger sticks after the bed of coals is going to decrease the amount of work you will need to keep the fire going strong.
Solo Stove Summary
If you want to lighten your load with a durable, efficient and clean burning stove then you may have found one of the best in the Solo Stove. It costs a little more than some of the other wood burning stoves out there, but makes up for it with all of the features we have listed. It comes with a bag and offers the additional ability to house other backup alcohol stoves inside the stove. Take a look at the Trangia Alcohol Stove for one model that fits inside the Solo.
The secondary burning feature allows the stove to burn more efficiently with less smoke. It boils water with the best of them and does have a simmering ability if you develop your fire building skills. The simplicity of use and lack of maintenance required are two of the best features of the stove. You should be able to throw this stove in your pack or emergency gear for years of maintenance free use.
Solid construction and durability help to put this stove up with the big players in the portable stove arena. Save a little money on fuel and minimize the amount of trash you throw in the landfill by avoiding gas canisters. I highly recommend the Solo Stove for most general outdoor camping needs.
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