When planning for a worst case scenario, many things have to be taken into account. One of your primary considerations is how you will cook your food and heat/boil water. Heating your living space is also a consideration in cold weather, but the first two considerations are an “All year round” proposition.
Recently, I purchased a wood stove made by Firebox. The model I purchased was the G2 Folding Firebox Stove. Along with it, I also bought the Extended Grill Plate. Why did I purchase a small woodburning stove? The answer is pretty simple when you think it through. My primary stove has been an MSR Whisperlite International for about 28 years. It is a multifuel stove, works well in every environment I’ve used it in, and has the ability to use a lot of the liquid fuels available. Problem is, what if liquid fuels aren’t available?
I know, I know….I can just make a fire on the ground, right? But what if you can’t? Some places you might train or use now have a fire ban in effect a lot or most of the time, and although you can use your liquid fuel stove in those areas, you can’t use them for long if it is needed for staying warm. Also, what if you want to reduce or eliminate the “sign” left by a fire because you feel it might lead others to you?
Regardless, I figured I’d try one of these stoves out as an “All of the above” option. Below are my impressions gleaned from using it at a recent MDT Wilderness Survival class, and in this case, they are all favorable.
Because I was in a hurry, I placed the extended grill diagonally across the top of the stove while boiling a cup of water. Fortunately, you can do that with the extended grill due to it’s length.
Above shows the cordura case that’s available. The only attachment point is a D-ring that is attached at the top of the case. The inside of the case has two pockets for storage.
The stove and the extended grill both fit in the case.
The different pieces of the stove. Clockwise from top left. Draft Plate, Fire Sticks, Extended Grill and the Stove Body which is partially unfolded.
A view from the top of the stove. On the right side, you can see the stove floor is partially unfolded. To use, it is pushed down and snaps into place on the bottom.
The Draft Plate slides into the bottom and is held in place with one of the Fire Sticks, and the other Fire Stick is used to adjust the draft by pushing in or pulling out the plate.
A pic of how the Draft Plate works by blocking or allowing air into the bottom of the stove.
To record the times for each part of the stove test, I started with a fire made just as I would in the woods for cold, wet conditions.
The wood used for the “Boil” test was mostly from the pile in the bottom left of the pic and some from the pile on the right side. Small sticks to start, and up to 3/4″ sticks to keep it going. The thicker stuff can be used for heating by taking the cook plate off of the top of the stove and feeding them in. It puts out a lot of heat!
Fill the stove with small sticks “pencil size” or smaller. I leave an area open directly in the center to place the fire starter (in this case a small piece of fatwood) vertically in.
Ferrocium rod starting a lint ball infused with a little vaseline and a pinch of magnesium flakes starts with one strike. I then light a “pencil sized”fatwood stick that has been “feathersticked” by placing it over the burning lint tinder.
The fatwood stick will burn like a match (but much longer), even in heavy wind. I place it directly down in the center of the small stick pile, keeping it upright so it will burn up its length. The fatwood stick will burn for about 3 or 4 minutes, igniting the small sticks.
This is the fire within 4 minutes. Due to the large amount of airflow allowed to get to the fire and fuel, the fire gets hot very quickly.
The extended grill was placed on the stove at 5 minutes, along with a canteen cup of cold water. I bought the extended grill plate because it will hold two canteen cups (or the canteen and cup) at the same time, thus using your fuel more efficiently. How many single burner gas stoves can do that?
The stove can be fed with small sticks through the large hole in the side towards the bottom, shown on the left. Larger sticks can be fed through the hole under the extended grill, shown in the pic on the right.
The canteen cup of cold water was boiling within 7 minutes of placing it on the stove. From the starting of the fire, to boiling water it took 12 minutes.
There was a small amount of ash residue left on the ground when I moved the stove. If there is an issue concerning not building a regular fire (fire ban), or not wanting to leave any sign of your being there, carry a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil to place on the ground under the stove.
Total for what is shown was $86 plus shipping from Fireboxstove.com. Total weight of the stove with accessories and in the case is 2 lbs. 9 ozs.. The outside dimensions of the case with everything inside is 8″ high, 7″ wide, and 1″ thick. As an alternative to a liquid fuel stove in an area you can’t build a regular fire, it is hard to beat.
Defense and Wilderness Survival trainer, consultant and owner of Mason Dixon Tactical. 14 years of Army (Staff Sergeant) Combat Arms (Infantry and Airborne) experience, to included combat service as a Squad Leader and Platoon Sergeant. Military Occupational Specialties include Infantry, NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical warfare), Armorer (Small Arms repair), and Supply (logistics). Retired law enforcement with varied assignments to include the SOG (SWAT) team and the Academy as a defensive tactics instructor. Interest include history, as it relates to the pursuit of liberty, firearms, hunting, and survival related training and activities.