Chimney Stove: Boil Water with Sticks and Grass

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.

Evolution of the boiler: Prototypes from 2007 (left) to 2010

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

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.