Posts tagged ‘Bush Cooker’

April 8, 2009

The Bush Cooker stove – field report

by backpackingbongos

I got to try out the Bush Cooker in the wilds whilst backpacking last weekend.  I was walking in the North Pennines and stopped for the night just north of Hamsterley Forest at the Meeting of the Grains.  A lovely spot with green pastures and surrounded by trees so there was no problem finding a fuel source for the stove.  After pitching the tent I scouted around for dry pencil sized twigs, of which there were plenty scattered on the ground.  I set the stove up in the shelter of a dry stone wall and got all my cooking kit and twigs ready to go.

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I lit a small piece of Hammaro tinder card and placed it on the grate adding small twigs to the flames.  I soon had a good fire going and put on some water for a cup of coffee which boiled in a few minutes.  As I did not want to relight the stove I immediately put on a pan full of dehydrated chill.  Hungry I found out that this stove needs alot of attention, I was constantly breaking and adding small twigs to keep the fire going.  When wood gasification was taking place the stove burnt really hot with a clean flame but this would soon die down and it was a bit of a faff to choose the correct size twigs to keep maximum heat.  Although I was sheltered there was still a light breeze which I feel affected the heat transfer a little bit and slowed down the boiling time.  I would not want to use this stove in a strong wind.

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This larger pan of liquid was soon rapidly boiling but I found out that this motion was making the whole set up a little unstable as the ground was mossy and springy.  I decided at this point to remove the pan and place in my pot cozy for 20 minutes or so to finish cooking.  When the stove had cooled I lifted it and noticed that the ground below had not been burnt or singed at all which was very positive.

When it came time to eat my homemade veggie chilli some bits were still a bit chewy.  I could not really be bothered to relight the stove and was starving so wolfed it down anyway!

Both my hands and the pan were pretty sooty after eating so I used a wet cloth to clean things down, one of the downsides to using a wood burning stove I guess.

In the morning I wanted to see how the stove would act using a Trangia burner inside it (who would be bothered to light a fire for their morning coffee and noodles?).  I used the simmer ring under the burner to bring the flame closer to the pan.  However it was fairly breezy and it took far longer for water to boil than it does using my Clikstand stove.  The neck of the stove did not provide the right amount of wind protection.  I found this to be rather disappointing as you want your meths to go a long way on a multi day backpack.  Luckily I was only out for one night.

So in summary this stove does do what it is meant to do.  In dry still conditions where there is wood available you can spend most of the evening playing with it.  It is efficient in burning wood and is fun to use.  However I don’t feel this would be a stove to use backpacking in wet and/or windy conditions.  I would not fancy standing outside of my tent in the wind and rain trying to cook dinner.  I had bought it to take on a 6 day Northern highland coast to coast to use in conjunction with a trangia burner when fuel was not available.  However with this combination it is just not as efficient as my dependable Clikstand set up so will be left at home on that trip.  However in the summer months when the weather is good and I know fuel will be available it will definitely come out to play again.

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March 31, 2009

The Bush Cooker stove – first impressions

by backpackingbongos

After a two week wait whilst backpackinglight waited for the next shipment, I finally have my hands on a Bush Cooker stove.  As usual an excellent service from Rose who kept me informed of when they were expected to arrive.  When I opened the package there was a hand written note and a packet of jelly babies along side the kit I had ordered.  Yesterday I had a call on my answering machine to check all was in order.  Nice personal touch.

What made me order the Bush Cooker?  For a long time now I have been using the excellent clickstand system with a trangia burner.  This has given me the benefits of a trangia but without the weight.  A system that I will continue to use for a long time yet and will probably post a review some time.  However on a backpacking trip last year in the Cairngorms I managed to spill half of my meths on the first night.  This meant either returning to Aviemore to buy some more and losing a day of the trip or carrying on and being really frugal.  Luckily I found some meths left in a bothy so all was well.  I would have felt much happier if I had a stove with me that could use another fuel source as well as meths…………………

I hate using stoves that run off gas canisters but may well post a rant on that another time!

The Bush Cooker appeared to offer a solution.

As I has always fancied a titanium pan I also ordered the Tibetan titanium 1100 pot.  The Bush cooker fits into this perfectly as this picture shows.

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I could review the pan but don’t have much more to say than it is a pan and it is made from titanium!

The Bush Cooker appears to be well made with neat edges.  The pan support nestles upside down within the stove to protect it.  I find this quite difficult to remove as it is a very snug fit and its edges get caught inside the pan.  It is also difficult to get back in without bending it.

I had collected a bag of twigs no thicker than my finger from the garden at work during the day.  When asked what I was doing I just said that twigs were my hobby.  I was left alone…………..

Anyway back at home I lit a piece of Hammaro tinder card which was about an inch square and placed it on the grate at the bottom of the cooker.  I then placed small twigs on top that quickly ignited, adding to the fire slowly.  It was soon burning brightly.  Once the stove had got hot I noticed flames coming out of the holes at the top of the inner skin.  This looked like wood gasification taking place where the gas released from burning wood is reingnited.  Think of the flames that come out of the side of the trangia burner but in this instance going inwards into the stove.

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Popped on a pint of water which took 12 minutes to come to a rolling boil.  All the time I was adding small pieces of tinder to keep the fire burning brightly.  Once the flames had died down it took a while for the stove to cool completely as there were glowing embers on the grate.  This could be usefull for that final slow simmer.

After a quick clean I took the stove indoors and tried it with a pop can side burning stove.  This was disasterous and I nearly set myself on fire as the meths got to a super heated state inside the Bush Cooker.  I then tried a trangia burner on top of the simmer ring inside the stove.  This worked very well indoors so will try this out in the field.  All going well I will have a woodburning stove with the option of a meths burner that is well supported and protected from the wind.

I then got all Blue Peter and made a pot cozy.

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Anyway a garden test is all well and good, I will do an update when used on a backpacking trip…………………………….

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