BWCA Has anyone done a trip with only twig fired stoves? Boundary Waters Gear Forum
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ockycamper
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06/23/2022 04:43PM  
Looking to lighten up. One of the things I have been looking at is that we bring up a couple of jet boils and spyder stoves. But with them comes a lot of those mid sized fuel cannisters.

Has anyone done a trip with just twig stoves like Kelly Kettle, Solo Stove, Toaks, or bushbuddy stove?

Doesn't make sense to bring one of those, and still bring up the propane stoves as well. Just not sure on pulling the plug and tried to go the entire trip with four men on a twig stove.
 
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EddyTurn
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06/23/2022 04:59PM  
I'd say for 4 people a twig stove is not optimal. Say, Toaks will boil half a liter in 10 mins - one run would be enough for a solo tripper dinner, but not for her coffee. I carry both Jetboil and Toaks on solo trips. Toaks wood stove with a 750ml titanium pot weighs only slightly more than a 100mg can of gas, meaning that if I use it 50% of the time on a 2-weeks trip it's a wash as far as weight savings go.
 
ockycamper
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06/23/2022 06:09PM  
I don't drink coffee. We have a Kelly Kettle for dedicated water boiling. It boiled water as fast as the Jetboil.

I as looking at a stove for cooking for a group of 3-4 guys. Looking at Solo Stove Titan or Campfire.
 
ockycamper
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06/23/2022 06:11PM  
Side note: last year I had a two burner camping stove and a jet boil with me. We were using the green Coleman gas cannisters for the camping stove, and the mid sized canisters for the jet boil. At the end of the second day I realized we had gone through 2 1/2 green Coleman canisters of fuel. When I checked into it, I found out one guy had brought a full sized camping coffee perculator with him. He would "brew" his coffee each morning for 30 minutes, then turn it to low for the next couple of hours so he would always have hot coffee.

That stopped in day 3
 
Northwoodsman
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06/23/2022 07:49PM  
ockycamper: "Side note: last year I had a two burner camping stove and a jet boil with me. We were using the green Coleman gas cannisters for the camping stove, and the mid sized canisters for the jet boil. At the end of the second day I realized we had gone through 2 1/2 green Coleman canisters of fuel. When I checked into it, I found out one guy had brought a full sized camping coffee perculator with him. He would "brew" his coffee each morning for 30 minutes, then turn it to low for the next couple of hours so he would always have hot coffee.

That stopped in day 3"

Ouch!
 
gravelroad
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06/23/2022 08:44PM  
ockycamper: "Side note: last year I had a two burner camping stove and a jet boil with me. We were using the green Coleman gas cannisters for the camping stove, and the mid sized canisters for the jet boil. At the end of the second day I realized we had gone through 2 1/2 green Coleman canisters of fuel. When I checked into it, I found out one guy had brought a full sized camping coffee perculator with him. He would "brew" his coffee each morning for 30 minutes, then turn it to low for the next couple of hours so he would always have hot coffee.


That stopped in day 3"


There is no rule saying your party size can't decrease mid-trip.
"Why no, we have no idea what happened to him, Officer. Woke up on Day 3 and he was just gone."

Or not.
 
TechnoScout
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06/23/2022 09:06PM  
Our May trip was 10 days (9 breakfast, 9 dinners), two people. Mostly Mountainhouse for meals but did cook pancakes twice and popcorn snack a couple of times. Coffee every morning...several cups of instant each (at least). One fish dinner.
We used 66 oz of fuel with my whisperlite.
 
06/23/2022 09:41PM  
gravelroad: "ockycamper: "Side note: last year I had a two burner camping stove and a jet boil with me. We were using the green Coleman gas cannisters for the camping stove, and the mid sized canisters for the jet boil. At the end of the second day I realized we had gone through 2 1/2 green Coleman canisters of fuel. When I checked into it, I found out one guy had brought a full sized camping coffee perculator with him. He would "brew" his coffee each morning for 30 minutes, then turn it to low for the next couple of hours so he would always have hot coffee.



That stopped in day 3"



There is no rule saying your party size can't decrease mid-trip.
"Why no, we have no idea what happened to him, Officer. Woke up on Day 3 and he was just gone."


Or not. "


Funny!
 
Lawnchair107
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06/24/2022 07:54AM  
ockycamper: "Looking to lighten up. One of the things I have been looking at is that we bring up a couple of jet boils and spyder stoves. But with them comes a lot of those mid sized fuel cannisters.

Has anyone done a trip with just twig stoves like Kelly Kettle, Solo Stove, Toaks, or bushbuddy stove?

Doesn't make sense to bring one of those, and still bring up the propane stoves as well. Just not sure on pulling the plug and tried to go the entire trip with four men on a twig stove."


I've brought up just the kelly kettle (hobo stove) portion on numerous trips as our only stove. It works great. You just have to experiment with what pots/ pans work best. I've been using an alpine deep pot from Bank's Fry- Pan. We typically cook over the fire grate but on those rainy days under the tarp or early morning coffee- it works like a charm.
 
ockycamper
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06/24/2022 08:30AM  
Thanks! I was wondering wether the Kelly Kettle hobo stove would work well to cook on. Was looking at a Solo Stove camp fire as well
 
06/24/2022 09:39AM  
"There is no rule saying your party size can't decrease mid-trip.
"Why no, we have no idea what happened to him, Officer. Woke up on Day 3 and he was just gone."

It has happened . . .

Remember those guys, Joel . . . ? :)
 
06/24/2022 10:00AM  
I've never bothered with a twig stove. If there isn't a fire ban and I want to save weight I'll usually just bring a titanium pot with a bail handle and do cooking over the fire. I'll bring a little tri-wing hexamine stove as a backup or if I want a freeze-dried meal for lunch or brew a cup of coffee mid-day but that's pretty rare.

Granted on a weight-saving trip I don't cook anything elaborate, if you want to do real cooking you'd want a different system. If I'm planning to cook fish, pizza, etc I'll throw in the banks frybake.

and obviously if there's a fire ban the gas stove comes along. Twig stoves and (I believe, not 100% sure) esbit stoves are not allowed during a fire ban...
 
06/24/2022 12:40PM  
I tried a twig stove before, but it seems more trouble than it's worth. If you want quick and easy, go with gas, or if you want sustainable, cooking over the grill grate works just fine.

My guess is that these are designed with either hikers or regions with little firewood available in mind. Maybe these would work better in Quetico where there are no fire grates, but even then, making a fire and putting a little grate on rocks is not that hard.

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of being able to pop out of the tent in the morning and grab some sticks to heat up some water quickly for coffee and oatmeal, but in practice there just doesn't seem to be a need for it. Gas is just so much more convenient.
 
06/24/2022 01:53PM  
keth0601: "and obviously if there's a fire ban the gas stove comes along. Twig stoves and (I believe, not 100% sure) esbit stoves are not allowed during a fire ban..."

You're correct and that also includes alcohol stoves. Only stoves with a shut-off valve are permissible.

I just take a canister stove - it's simple, quick, permissible if a fire ban is instituted, and a canister lasts me a long time. A small one over a week and a medium one over 2 1/2 weeks. That's the result of making certain choices that not everyone wants to make. And the canisters are recyclable (that's what the JetBoil Crunchit Tool is for), although the details vary by location.
 
06/24/2022 02:47PM  
I have, as a solo, and really liked it but there are drawbacks. The stove is limited by the size of the wood fuel, about 4" long and no bigger than finger thick seemed to work best. Boiling water great- actually cooking something (fish, pancakes) not so great. Temperature is almost impossible to control. It needs a lot of attention (flame too high or too low) and burns out at the most inopportune time.
For one person just boiling water it's great but I don't think it would be practical for a group.
Mine is an off brand called Ohuhu 174 from Amazon and was $27 5 or 6 years ago, it weighs .83# . I use mine, paired with an alcohol stove, on short trips mostly.
 
06/24/2022 04:56PM  
Used a Solo twig exclusively one time on a solo trip. Was novel-for the first day or so. I would not do it again, and I would not even remotely consider using it for a group of four. Get rid of the two burner Coleman and you have jettisoned a lot of weight and opened up a considerable amount of room in a pack. And with 4 people, carrying the fuel for something like an MSR Dragonfly is really no big deal. I have used a Dragonfly for groups of four many times.

Note: I have two twig burners, and you can have them for free if you want them and can pick them up from me.
 
ThePeregrine
 
06/24/2022 09:17PM  
TechnoScout: "Our May trip was 10 days (9 breakfast, 9 dinners), two people. Mostly Mountainhouse for meals but did cook pancakes twice and popcorn snack a couple of times. Coffee every morning...several cups of instant each (at least). One fish dinner.
We used 66 oz of fuel with my whisperlite."


What type of fuel were you using? In my 5 day and 6 day trips with 2-3 people using the Whisperlight Universal we have never used more than 1x8oz tank of isobutane. That is a mix of rehydrating, simmering, and making percolator coffee. I do admit however this year I brought a single 16oz tank and our 3 man group drank a lot of coffee on cold mornings. I don't think that thing had another burn in it when we exited, but we didn't run out.
 
TechnoScout
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06/24/2022 09:41PM  
ThePeregrine: "TechnoScout: "Our May trip was 10 days (9 breakfast, 9 dinners), two people. Mostly Mountainhouse for meals but did cook pancakes twice and popcorn snack a couple of times. Coffee every morning...several cups of instant each (at least). One fish dinner.
We used 66 oz of fuel with my whisperlite."



What type of fuel were you using? In my 5 day and 6 day trips with 2-3 people using the Whisperlight Universal we have never used more than 1x8oz tank of isobutane. That is a mix of rehydrating, simmering, and making percolator coffee. I do admit however this year I brought a single 16oz tank and our 3 man group drank a lot of coffee on cold mornings. I don't think that thing had another burn in it when we exited, but we didn't run out. "


Coleman fuel. It was 10 days that were wet cold and quite windy. Wind reduces efficiency even when using the Al shroud.
 
Hammertime
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06/24/2022 11:57PM  
If you want to lighten your cooking gear I would highly recommend a couple of primus classic trail stoves.

2 of them weigh less than the smaller solo stove option, pack much smaller, and are much cheaper. Adding the costs/weight of canisters gets you close to the break even point and you don’t have to hassle with gathering sticks and tending that fire while you cook. Also they are bombproof. I have had a pair of them for 10 years and after being crunched in the pack several times and coated in rust from being left out in rainstorms they are still as good as new.
 
kenpark23
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06/26/2022 09:15AM  
If you are looking to save weight join one of the ultralight hiking forums on Reddit. Those people are serious about shaving grams. A lot of what they do is extreme in my view, especially for a canoe trip. However they do have a lot of good ideas and reference material including spreadsheet after spreadsheet of stove burn time.
 
tonecoughlin
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06/27/2022 08:25AM  
Works great as long as you can find dry wood/ sticks but sometimes that's impossible if we are getting lots of rain. It becomes a waste of time and energy when everything is soaking wet. Always bring a small canister stove for backup.
 
06/28/2022 10:46AM  
I guess, after thinking about it for a few days, there are really only 2 situations where I could see a twig stove being useful. Either on solo trips where you don't need to cook much and don't want to bring a gas stove, or with group on trips longer than a week where you plan on using it for afternoon coffee/tea, as in luxury uses to save on gas. Both situations are when the time and attention the stove requires are not as much of a burden and there are likely to be backup options, like a fire in the grate for example.

Are twig stoves a good primary stove option? No. Not in my opinion unless you only need it for heating up water in smaller quantities. But to replace an extra can of gas for occasional use, I could see it being a valid option if only for the novelty of it.
 
martian
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06/28/2022 11:04AM  
On our early June trip my son and I used my bushbuddy 90% of the time. I did bring my Primus varied fuel stove with small fuel tank too just in case. No issues for seven days cooking for two. As dry as it was up there dry twigs were in abundance. No issues with that and it shouldn't be if you plan ahead with your collecting. With no fire ban in place twig stove or fire grate works great.
 
blackdawg9
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06/29/2022 07:48AM  
we did a trip with i think 15 people. had to use 2 sites and cook together in the morning and eavening. i think we brought in 2 whisperlights and a zip stove. i think we had maybe 6 20 ounce fuel bottles . we used that zip in the morning and eavening and we barely had a half bottle of fuel left after 8 days on the water. we used that zip heavy for boiling water and some cooking. i just never thought much of the whisperlites. those things suck fuel so fast, compared to something like a svea. you might use a whole bottle of fuel compared to a 1/2 to 1 cup over the same period of time.

i dont know what the deal is with the whisper lites. on fuel consumption, but they are horrindous.
 
GeneH
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06/29/2022 08:13AM  
I've tried various methods to save weight backpacking including twig stove and alcohol variations. 3 days with a twig stove in good weather taught me it's kinda PITA. Also a 3 day trip with 30-ish temps with an efficient alcohol setup was inadequate for freezing cold water.

BWCA has fire grates, so I use them if I want fire, and for a quick boil I use Isobutane canisters. When in 20 deg weather and weight is not a consideration I'll take a propane tank with adapter to use on my canister stoves.

Can't beat the large are of a fire grate to fry fish, especially for any size group. I wouldn't like to try to regulate a twig stove or any small fire stove.
 
ockycamper
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06/29/2022 08:53AM  
based on everyone's input I think we will stick with the two Kovea Spider stoves for primary cooking, with a jetboil for heating water. Will probably bring the Kelly Kettle just for heating up a large amount of water quickly in the morning for coffee.
 
gravelroad
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06/29/2022 09:41AM  
blackdawg9: "we did a trip with i think 15 people. had to use 2 sites and cook together in the morning and eavening. "

You might want to reconsider admitting to a violation of the Forest Service regulation on party size in the BWCAW.

"GROUP SIZE
Nine (9) people and four (4) watercraft are the maximum amount allowed gathered together in the wilderness.
You may not exceed this limit at any time or anywhere (on water, portages, or campsites) in the BWCAW."

BWCAW Rules and Regulations
 
blackdawg9
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06/29/2022 10:18AM  
Wasn't in the bwca.

But if your going to keep youth interested in paddling. You have to get as many out there at anyone time. That you can.
 
gravelroad
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06/29/2022 10:34AM  
blackdawg9: "Wasn't in the bwca.


But if your going to keep youth interested in paddling. You have to get as many out there at anyone time. That you can. "


I apologize for misreading your post.
 
blackdawg9
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06/29/2022 10:49AM  
Your fine. But with kids with 1 parent and gas being $5 a gallon. People are going to get priced out of ever being in remote places, unless with larger groups. The last 2 years of abuse and lockdowns. The kids aren't alright, they need to be able to get as many out as you can. Let them heal.

P eople don't explore or get farther in that the first spot to squat. We need to be encouraging of distance paddling . If your not burning everything to the ground for camp cooking, using stoves . And splitting camps and not fishing. Your not doing any damage. What difference does it make? We have to have common sense and discernment, what is appropriate. F.S. may need reducation

One of these days soon. You will have the feds come in and say not enough people are using these grounds and the forest fire tender loads are so high. We're just going to sell it to private companies. To strip everything from the land. It's probably going to be the Chinese.
 
ockycamper
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06/29/2022 11:38AM  
blackdawg9: "Your fine. But with kids with 1 parent and gas being $5 a gallon. People are going to get priced out of ever being in remote places, unless with larger groups. The last 2 years of abuse and lockdowns. The kids aren't alright, they need to be able to get as many out as you can. Let them heal.


P eople don't explore or get farther in that the first spot to squat. We need to be encouraging of distance paddling . If your not burning everything to the ground for camp cooking, using stoves . And splitting camps and not fishing. Your not doing any damage. What difference does it make? We have to have common sense and discernment, what is appropriate. F.S. may need reducation


One of these days soon. You will have the feds come in and say not enough people are using these grounds and the forest fire tender loads are so high. We're just going to sell it to private companies. To strip everything from the land. It's probably going to be the Chinese.
"


If I promoted a trip based on distance paddling, multiple portages and setting up and taking down camps every day there would be no one signing up.

The beauty of the BWCA is it is whatever you want to make it. Our groups are base campers. They like to fish, explore (with no gear) and hang out by the fire. The kids just like to run and fish.
 
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