I'd like to believe that after Earth for more than 61 years, that I'm getting a little bit smarter in my old age. Well, maybe not smarter, but a bit wiser, might be a better description. There was a time, not too many years ago, when I could hump 50-pounds around the boonies, with a full-set of A.L.I.C.E. gear and a full combat load of ammo and some manner of AR-15. Those days are long gone! However, I'm actually in better shape physically these days, than I was 10 years ago, but that doesn't mean that I want to pack more gear than needed in my BOB. To this end, is why I believe I'm getting a little bit wiser. I still want to be able to survive - as best I can - with the smallest amount of gear that I can carry. If you believe you can haul all the gear and equipment on your back that you'll need for long-term survival in the wilderness, you are only kidding yourself. However, we can pack smarter, and make wilderness survival a bit easier.
Like many folks, I enjoy a good camp fire, however that isn't always needed, especially when cooking a meal. If you've ever had to gather wood out on a camping trip, or a survival training weekend, you know it can be a lot of work to gather enough wood to keep you going for several days. Consider the Emberlit Camp Stove that can making camping and wilderness survival a lot easier in many respects. With the Emberlit Camp Stove, you don't need to build a big camp fire to cook your meals, all your cooking can be done with this small camp stove, and a very small amount of wood, or other products that you can burn in this neat little stove.
The full specs on the Emberlit Camp Stove are available at their web site, so we'll only touch on a couple of them: First off all, the stove is only 1/8th of a inch thick when folded flat. And, the stainless steel model only weighs in at 11.3-ounces and is 100% Made In America. There is also an Emberlit Camp Stove made out of Titanium, and it weighs a mere 5.45-ounces. I tested both stoves, and for my money, I'd pay a little bit more and get the Titanium model - remember, I talked about saving weight in a BOB - this saves a few more ounces.
I've tried quite a few small camp or cook stoves over the years, and while they all worked to one degree or another, they all required that I carry fuel with me - some required small tablets that when lit produced a heat source. Others required Butane gas, and some required white gas or propane, or even a gel - all a pain to have to carry in the boonies, and you are adding a lot of weight by having to carry these sources of fuel - plus some of the stoves were just too big to carry in a pack. I want to accomplish the same tasks with less weight and less bulk these days - again, I'm getting wiser and thinking smarter these days.
The Emberlit Camp Stove assembles in a minute or less, and your don't even need to read the directions that come with it - I like simple, and simple usually equates to stronger and better in my book - less things to go wrong. You can also get an optional carrying case for the Emberlit Camp Stove - although I believe in my humble opinion that, the carry case should be included with the stove, instead of being sold at $6.95 - but the carrying case does fit nicely on a belt, if you don't want to carry it in your pack. Still, I believe the carrying case should be included with each stove - just my take on it.
We were still in the burn ban part of Fall when I tested the Emberlit Camp Stove, so I had to do my testing in my covered carport, instead of out in the woods. Still, I believe I gave the Emberlit a good work-out several times - cooking several meals without any problems. And, believe it or not, this little stove would really get good and hot with just some small twigs. I did have to add some twigs during the cooking process because the stove is so small, you can only fit so many twigs in the stove at any given time. Still, I had no problem cooking over the stove, with my camp cook gear - read: military pan/tray. I even tried doing some cooking with wadded-up newspaper (without colored ink, of course), and I could cook with that - although I did have to constantly feed the fuel into the stove - still, it worked just fine.
I spoke of "simple" and this is about as simple as it comes for a camp stove - again, simple means stronger and with less things to break. Emberlit does offer extra cross bar members for their stoves, and it's probably a good idea to have a spare set on-hand, just in case. When the power grids go down, and you've run out of propane or natural gas doesn't flow to your kitchen stove any longer, the Emberlit Camp Stove can be a real life saver. And, with the small amount of wood it takes to cook a meal, a person can easy scavenge enough wood to keep the stove cooking for a good long time - just about anything that can burn can be used as a fuel. You could even burn some old tax code books if you had to. A face cord of wood, split into small pieces and cut-to-fit the Emberlit Camp Stove would probably last you a couple years of daily use. I've also written about having a source of safe water to drink, and one way to have safe water is to bring it to near a boil - and you can easily do this with the Emberlit Camp Stove, too.
The Emberlit Camp Stove is the brain-child of Mikhail Merkurieff, and he categorically states on his web site that he wants all his customers be happy with their purchase, period! How many times have you read that you have a one-year warranty, or a limited lifetime warranty on a product, and there are always "ifs ands and buts" when it comes to placing a claim. Merkurieff doesn't put limits on his promise: If you aren't happy with his products, for any reason, he wants to make it right. That is very refreshing in this day and age.
The basic stainless steel stove cost $39.95, and the Titanium model is on-sale right now for $64.95 and a mini Ti model is on sale for $59.95 - for my money, the Titanium version is worth the added cost. Remember what I said about packing smarter? Well, if you can shave off a couple ounces here and there, it adds-up in short order, and any more, I don't want to pack one more ounce of gear than I need to carry. I really believe I'm getting wiser in my old age.- SurvivalBlog Field Gear Editor Pat Cascio