Emergency stove bake-off! Our Primus Omnifuel stove has served us well for many years, but we wanted a backup stove and a gas-free, less noisy alternative. We picked 2 to try: the fancy new BioLite2 and the super old-school Esbit.
Phil went high-tech with the BioLite 2 biofuel thermogenerating stove that burns nearly smoke-free thanks to a 4-speed fan that runs off a battery charged by burning. Wood scraps or pellets burn cleanly, quietly and throw a little heat while boiling water in just a few minutes. The battery charges quickly and stores enough power to recharge gadgets even when the stove is off. I topped up my IPhone about 40% in 30 min. Downside: weight (2lbs!!), price ($173CDN!!), bulky, wet wood causes tons of smoke. Bring some dry pellets. Not permitted during some fire bans.
Upside: no gas to deal with, quiet, efficient, energy backup, very cool.
I went the opposite direction with a cheap and cheerful Esbit solid fuel stove designed nearly a century ago. It is super compact, light and easy to use. Enough solid fuel pellets to boil several litres of water can be stored inside the stove and burns cleanly with no ash or smoke. Fuel can double as fire-starters. Not permitted during some fire bans. Downside: fuel smells weird, really affected by wind (we’ll get a windscreen). Upside: cheap ($15 including fuel!), compact, light (180g!), quick to start.
Verdict: both have their uses. There’s no reason not to bring an Esbit stove as a backup, it’s smaller than a deck of cards and weighs even less. The BioLite2 was fun to use and easy to bring on a canoe trip. Great emergency backup stoves for different reasons. .
#esbit #biolite #camping #canoecamping