wood fuel sources

When we designed StealthFyre, one of the most important considerations for us was the ability to use various fuel sources. We wanted our stove to be as versatile as possible, and the many different features found within our panels reflect that consideration.

Not only did we want to burn wood in these stoves, but we also wanted them to work with any other kind of fuel you may have on hand.

Some of the many things we considered were:

  • The ability to place your fuel at the proper level for efficient cooking. The many horizontal slots found throughout our various panels are there to give you the right surface for your fuel whether you are using wood or solid fuel tablets.
  • The ability to fit pressurized fuel canisters and use StealthFyre as a windbreak. Our smallest stove is roughly 4 5/8” square by 9” tall, making it the perfect size to place your ultralight jet burner stove, solid fuel tablets, and liquid fuel burners inside of on windy days.
  • The ability to have access to the fuel control knob on your jet burner. Our tunnel openings on both the small and large stoves are also roughly 4/58” square, a size that we determined to be optimal for adjusting the flame on ultralight jet burners.
  • The ability to use large propane burners. Our larger stoves like the Origin have a cooking surface of 81” square, which is large enough to house large ground-based propane burners.

But what exactly are the benefits of each type of fuel, and how do you use them properly with your StealthFyre stove? We’ve compiled a list of the most common types of fuel available and explain the benefits you can expect from each, to help you decide how you’re going to use your StealthFyre Modular Survival Stove.

Wood and Organic Debris

Wood and debris are by far the most commonly found form of fuel in the outdoors and definitely the best choice for anyone that spends a lot of time cooking in the great outdoors. The biggest benefit of using a natural fuel source such as this is that it is most often freely available at or near the place you choose to camp. And for the purpose of cooking, you need very little of it. It can come in the form of twigs and branches, processed chunks of larger wood, leaves, and underbrush, or even cow dung if you’re so inclined.

This fuel can be easily gathered with very little effort, and it will provide more than enough heat to cook most anything you wish. Some tips though if you choose to rely on this type of fuel. Always use dry wood whenever you have the chance. Wet wood will smoke, snap, and throw burning embers across your camp as the water boils out. That is if you can even get it lit. If at all possible, make sure you remove the bark from larger branches and logs that you feed your fire. The bark is much softer than the inner wood and tends to act like a sponge. This makes it a very good natural fire protection for trees and drastically inhibits the wood’s ability to catch a flame, while at the same time increasing your likelihood of dealing with smoke.

Build It Properly

When built properly, natural wood fires can produce a long-lasting, very hot bed of coals. This is desirable for cooking all foods and especially meats and fresh vegetables. Keep your flame low in order to avoid scorching and burning your meal. A proper fire is always begun with a bit of tinder and kindling. Your tinder should be fine and dry, able to catch a spark readily. As your fire begins to burn, slowly add your kindling and let it catch. As your fire grows, it will begin to get hotter and be able to consume larger fuel. The large fuel will be where the bulk of your needed coals come from. Let this burn low until little to no flame remains, and you’re ready to cook!

You can use this fuel at the base of your StealthFyre stove with great efficiency. But if you need more heat, you can also install a few horizontal panels at roughly the middle of your StealthFyre stove in order to raise that coal bed up about 5” from the floor of the stove. Build your fire in the stove, or shovel your coals in when they are ready. This will enable StealthFyre to function much like a barbecue, which we’ll cover next.

Barbecue Briquettes and Charcoal

Barbecue briquettes and charcoal are great solid fuel sources with the high heat output and long burn time. Unfortunately, they are not as easy to come by in the outdoors, so you will most often wish to bring them with, use them on day trips, or camp out of your vehicle. In order to use them with StealthFyre, you would follow the instructions laid out previously for installing horizontal panels to raise the coal bed, and then follow the instructions for igniting your brand. We like to use natural lump charcoal briquettes, and our method utilizes a charcoal chimney. Once your briquettes are glowing, simply dump them into your stove and cook over them as you would a normal barbecue.

If you like using charcoal and briquettes, StealthFyre can easily aid you in making your own. By constructing a Dakota Fire Hole with your modular stove and placing it in a trench, you can make a nearly airtight fire pit that can be filled with chunks of wood, set ablaze, and then sealed overnight to let the fuel smolder. This low oxygen environment that you create will produce a good amount of useful charcoal for things like grilling meats or for feeding a potbelly tent stove to increase its heat output.

Solid Fuel Tablets

Solid fuel tablets are by far the lightest weight fuel sources you can find on the market. These fuel sources can burn anywhere from 10 minutes to nearly an hour depending on the brand and size you choose. They come in several sizes, and all of them can be broken up into smaller bits for smaller chores. They can be used as fire starters to build larger fires, or you can cook directly over them to save time and effort. This makes them great for ultralight camping or camping in areas with no available organic fuel, but especially great for emergencies and survival situations.

Not Ideal

They have a few drawbacks though. You are severely limited on what you can cook over these little miracles of survival technology, as they produce toxic smoke and vapors that make them unsuitable for grilling fresh foods. And while they may burn for a very long time, they will never burn with enough heat to be a viable source of cooking large meals of any kind. This means the best fit for these fuel sources is in an ultralight situation where you really only need to boil water for dehydrated foods or to make it potable. But it’s always a good policy to keep a few in your bag if you don’t know what to expect from your chosen campsite before you get there.

In order to use solid fuel tablets with your StealthFyre stove, start by installing a few panels horizontally in your fire tower in the second row of slots from the top, or roughly 2” below the top surface of the stove. This will be your fire pan. If you are using our small rocket stove configuration, one tablet should be sufficient for preparing any canned or dehydrated foodstuff you may wish to eat. When using our larger rocket stove configurations, 3 or more tablets are suggested for even heating with larger cookware.

Pressurized Fuel Canisters

Pressurized fuel canisters, also known as Isopro, are a great source of consistent, controllable heat. There’s a lot of different types of jet burners made to attach to these canisters. We kept them all in mind when designing StealthFyre. These fuel sources create intense heat much as you find on home-based propane and natural gas burning stove-tops, with the ability to adjust the size of the flame.

They work exceptionally well in outdoor situations. They generally provide one to three days worth of cooking heat before they’re empty. There are two big frustrations you’ll face when using these burners. The first is the top-heavy nature of the little towers they create. And second is the loss of heat from under your pot on windy days. In each of these cases, StealthFyre comes to the rescue. It creates a sturdy cooking surface for large pots to rest on and a great windbreak as well.

BE CAREFUL!

This pairing of stove and fuel does not come without warning, though. You should know that jet burners quickly create intense heat. You must take some precautions when using your StealthFyre stove in this manner. Firstly, this configuration DOES NOT work with burners that have piezoelectric ignition switches or other plastic features attached. Do not try it. You WILL ruin your jet burner in short fashion.

Use ONLY ultralight jet burners with ALL METAL construction. And when doing so, never turn the flame higher than you need. The heat produced can and will make it’s way down towards the bottom of the stove. This can be hazardous to the pressurized fuel canister at the base. Lastly, if you wish to adjust the flame control knob or turn it off after it has been burning for a time, do so with a multi-tool or make sure you have sufficient hand protection.

Liquid Fuels

Tiny liquid burners such as the Trangia Spirit Alcohol Stove, or the homemade versions from soda cans are great. And they can be refilled and used over and over again. These fuel sources produce much the same intensity of heat as solid fuel tablets. They’re generally 3-4” in diameter and most do not stand much higher than 3”. These burners are not really much good for large meals and grilling fresh foods. They aren’t too bad for heating canned food and boiling water, though.

They can still be a great addition to your cook kit when using our small stoves like the Bush Runner or Deuce. The ability to pack a small, lightweight burner is a perfect match for your StealthFyre. You can use these fuel sources with StealthFyre quite easily. Simply  install a square panel in the same slots you would if you were using briquettes. This will bring the flame up close to your pot in order to minimize the heat loss. The surrounding stove acts as a windbreak to keep your heat where you need it.

Are You Ready To Join The Revolution?

All of our stoves are made in the United States on a small scale, and that means the utmost quality. Each kit is made of durable 304 Stainless Steel sheet. Cut, not punched. StealthFyre is not a mass produced product by a massive corporation. It’s the innovative ambitions of an American family wanting to make this wonderful new idea available to the world.

When you purchase your new StealthFyre Modular Survival Stove, you’ll be doing more than getting a great deal on one of the coolest new outdoor products this side of the 21st century. You’ll be doing even more than supporting a small American business. You’ll be helping to bring a revolutionary new era in outdoors adventures to the entire world.

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