Wood-Burning Camp Stove

By STEPHEN REGENOLD

An inexpensive clay stove invented by a nonprofit in Oregon may hold a key to easing pollution in developing nations. This stove may help poor women and children by minimizing the tremendous workload associated with cooking and washing each day. Or, it could help fight deforestation near third-world villages around the planet.

Those are promises Aprovecho Research Center, a non-profit organization in Cottage Grove, Ore., is touting with its StoveTec “rocket” stove, which is an alternative to the cook fires used by millions each day from rural Asia to slums in South Africa.

Aprovecho has created a simple wood-burning stove with a clay elbow that focuses the heat and fire in the combustion chamber directly toward a cooking pot. According to the organization, this setup dramatically reduces fuel consumption compared to open fires used for cooking by millions around the planet.

Aprovecho GreenFire Factory.jpg

Worker in Chinese stove factory, where the clay StoveTec units are built

The stove’s primary market is the 50 percent of the world that still cooks by open flame — people who use fire pits or stoves that burn biomass and cannot afford a modern fuel stove. Aprovecho’s refugee stoves are sold for as little as $5 to the world’s poor.

For their efforts, Aprovecho beat out hundreds of humanitarian organizations and was awarded first place in the International Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy earlier this summer. It is a U.K.-based competition that recognizes innovation in sustainable energy solutions that “address climate change, alleviate poverty and improve quality of life.”

Aprovechio.jpg

Aprovecho stove in a traditional setting in the Marshall Islands

With its success in the humanitarian realm, StoveTec (www.stovetec.net) has made an unlikely expansion into the consumer camping market. The organization is now selling commercial versions of its stove to outdoors enthusiasts. They are made for camping and general outdoors cooking applications, like a BBQ in the backyard.

I tested the StoveTec GreenFire One Door stove, which costs $34.95. It has the same type of efficient combustion chamber as on the humanitarian stoves though with a handle, metal case walls, and a painted exterior finish. It comes with a pot skirt to focus flame heat and a stick support shelf where the wood sits.

At a camp site last month, I cut a few small pieces of wood and dropped some shredded newspaper in the stove door. A match whooshed the tinder to life, and the little sticks started to burn from the tip on back.

Wood Burning Stove.jpg

Aprovecho Research’s commercial StoveTec GreenFire camp stoves

As the fire burned, I pushed the sticks into the stove where they slowly charred to bright coals. The combustion chamber routed the flame and hot air toward a cooking pot, boiling a couple liters of water in about 10 minutes.

Overall, the StoveTec GreenFire was an interesting alternative to a gas camp stove. It is heavy and not very portable. It does not have the jet-like flame output of a canister stove.

But in my test, the GreenFire proved to be easy to use and efficient, requiring just a few small pieces of wood to boil water or cook a meal in a pot.

—Stephen Regenold writes a blog on outdoors gear at www.gearjunkie.com.

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Posted by Trey Jackson - 08/06/2009 07:34 PM

It looks as though the picture of the Chinese factory is showing them build charcoal. That shape (a cylinder with cones) is a form factor often used by the masses to cook food on the street – on a stove very different from the one you describe.

Here’s a link to an example: example charcoal

I’d double check the source of your picture. What they’re producing looks nothing like a component of the stove.

Posted by editor - 08/07/2009 12:03 AM

Appears to be coal, correct. Made in same factory as the stove bodies.

Posted by Kid Riemer - 08/07/2009 10:18 AM

In Korea those coal cylinders are called Yon Tan. When I was a kid that is what was used to heat the water in the radiators in our western style house there. A truck would come and deliver huge loads of them. Dirty and messy but that photo brings back a lot of memories.

While this stove may not have huge application for the American market, it is important to realize the profound impact it could have on others throughout the world.

Posted by Doug Johnson - 08/07/2009 01:18 PM

Here is a similar stove that has an ultralight backpacking weight- only 5.1 ounces! Bushbuddy Stoves

Posted by Trey Jackson - 08/08/2009 08:19 AM

Re: coal produced in same factory as the stove.

Seriously? Look, I like the gearjunkie, good reviews and all. But it’s pretty hard to swallow the idea that the same factory is producing slick, shiny, metal stove bodies in the same place as working with all that coal dust. And certainly, the heat fired ceramic bodies won’t be made anywhere near the coal dust.

Not to mention, the coal cylinders have nothing to do with the stove (stove is designed to use sticks you push into the stove).

Even assuming there is some factory that does this. Why are you showing them producing coal cylinders?

The cover-up is disappointing.

Posted by Macho - 08/08/2009 10:35 PM

Where do you purchase one? The website only allows for bulk purchasing.

Posted by Ben West - 08/09/2009 08:31 AM

We are still working on the website, but feel free to email me at ben@stovetec.net and I can help you order.

Posted by Graham Crawford - 09/02/2009 03:52 PM

I thank Stephen for his willingness to test our stove and provide a review for GearJunkie readers.

I’m not sure where the picture of the stove factory in China comes from but I want to clarify that it is not the one that produces our stoves. We have a video that shows the factory where our stove is produced. You can view it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtwVO0g36_8.

Posted by Shannon Perry - 10/23/2009 02:33 PM

Camping with the rocket stove from Stovetec- I baked apples and biscuits in a dutch oven over it, and also cooked brunswick stew, marshmallows, and hot mulled apple cider- and also heated water to do my dishes – loved it!

Posted by Michael - 01/15/2010 06:07 PM

As a survivalist for more than 25 years and a wood burning camp stove enthusiast and experimenter, I recently purchased the two-door stove. For ease of use and minimal fuel usage, it is unrivaled. At $37 to $40, this is an incredible value. Get one.

Posted by Michaelc - 02/01/2010 07:13 PM

I believe that the photo is of a machine for making a type of charcoal fuel briquette for an entirely different rocket stove.

Posted by Jim - 02/22/2010 10:54 PM

Can purchase at:

www.stovetec.net

Website has video of actual manufacturing. Also some good videos on use at youtube. Good little rocket stove. And I also lived in Korea and remember the yontan’s used to heat water that circulated under the floor. And yes, people also cooked on them, but they were a real pain in the butt to get lit, even with the special starters. We would stack them so the holes in the compressed coal cylinder lined up. As the section that was burning moved up the stack, we would have to remove the lower, spent cylinders. A real pain, as stated!

Posted by Pete - 08/08/2010 11:35 PM

They lost my interest when they raised the price from $34.95 to $65.

Initially this project’s intentions were purely humanitarian, but in less than 6 months they’ve turned completely into money grubbing capitalists…

Posted by James - 08/11/2010 08:52 PM

Yea, too bad about the price raise. But they do have free shipping now. I have had my stove for a while now and love it.

I think their sales in the US fund their humanitarian projects…

Posted by A Knesal - 12/26/2010 02:12 PM

The stoves are now $82.95 with free shipping. Add $12.00 more dollars to your order and send one to a third world home.

Can be used inside under a directly vented(To exterior)stove exhaust fan. Make sure it is a ‘Direct vent’ kitchen stove vent. Do provide a fireproof containment sheet under stove when using under vent or on the patio/porch or even on the ground in dry, rich fuel environments(Forested areas in Summer).

Posted by Ajayan - 07/12/2011 12:43 AM

I am an INDIAN from Kerala.
I would like to parches stoves like this, where have the the distributor? With respect Ajayan

Posted by Ajayan - 07/13/2011 11:19 PM

I need a distribution ship

Posted by Diane - 12/20/2011 11:49 AM

WOW….price jump from $34 to $82???? No thanks.

Posted by abbi10 - 03/26/2012 06:01 AM

The Wood Burning Campstove is the smallest and lightest Wood Burning Stove camping stove. Measuring just 5” in diameter and 6.5” tall, it provides a hot fire from twigs and chips in the smallest possible package. The stove, pot holder and carry bag (included) weigh 23 oz. One load twigs burns for about 10 minutes, providing 10,000 btu/hr of cooking heat. An excellent solution for individuals to boil water or cook a small meal.
www.campstovepro.com

Posted by Jimmy - 04/23/2013 02:53 PM

I like the design, and heard about it on NPR. I just checked StoveTec,
2 door deluxe is $125
1 door deluxe is $115, now that is a price increase! such a shame

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