[leadin]It burns wood and pine needles to create an efficient, ‘smokeless’ camp stove alternative to traditional burners that operate on gas.[/leadin]
Called the Wild, these biomass-burning camp stoves are manufactured in Italy by Enki Stove, an upstart that touts ease of use, environmental friendliness, and efficiency with its fan-powered towers.
The stoves burn any dry organic material like pine needles, twigs, paper, or even potato chips. All you need is a match; light the fuel and the flames burgeon inside the cylinder, stoked with a battery-operated fan that builds the fire to a roaring blaze.
‘Wild’ Rocket Stove
The Wild functions like other rocket and fan-powered stoves – insert fuel, light, and cook. What sets it apart, according to the company, is its heat efficiency and flame control.
Propane and gas stoves are the typical go-to for flame control when camping, but they require purchasing or refilling new cans of fuel. The fuel for rocket stoves is free for basic cooking in rugged conditions, but less ideal for cooking bigger meals.
Enter the Enki Stove – ideal for bigger and fancier meals – think “glamping,” not camping. The company claims the stove’s fan, which draws all gas emissions back into the flame cylinder and a “special geometric shape” result in 98 percent combustion efficiency – i.e., less energy lost as smoke – and temperatures that reach up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.
This also results in the breakdown of burned biomass into biochar, rather than ash. Biochar fixes carbon into the solid byproducts of pyrolysis – fire – preventing the release of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide) into the atmosphere, great if you want to create high quality compost or just save the Earth every time you make dinner.
The Wild has two main drawbacks: weight and price. Available in two models, 8- and 14-inch-tall (the smaller version is suitable for up to four people), these stainless steel and aluminum stoves tip the scales at three to six pounds – fine for car camping, but a significant burden for backpacking use.
Even more impressive is the burden on your pocket – the Wild begins at about $250 for the small stove and north of $300 for the larger option.
We like rocket stove concepts for camping – they’re simple, effective, and typically cleaner than a campfire alone, but do require dry material to burn and aren’t universally useable. For those willing to forage for fuel, this is an interesting but pricy option.
We haven’t tested this one, but it has a cool form and may be worth investigating for those in the market.
All Enki stoves come with a rechargeable battery that will power the fan for up to 50 hours, the brand cites. Enki Stove also offers solar chargers as an add-on to recharge in the wilds.