Birch bark and pine twigs did the trick instead. Once stocked with the correct fuel type, flames licked and roared inside the boiler stove, and within a few minutes (about 7 minutes total) I had hot, steaming water to make coffee in the woods.
For ultra-light backpackers, the Backcountry Boiler could be a great tool. Its simple and no-fuss design — add the sticks, light a match, and wait — truly works well. It is small and light. Overall, the Boiler is a worthy product and one of the neatest new things I’ve seen for backcountry camping this year.
Note: The Backcountry Boiler is now featured on Kickstarter, a fundraising website. The company has a goal to raise $20,000 to fund a redesign and to expand distribution. More than $13,000 has been raised at this writing. See here for more details.
—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.