In an emergency situation where hypothermia is a risk, my plan–using our BOB–is to quickly make a small fire, heat water, and get warm beverages into people. In our BOBs we have a good fire starting kit, containing: multiple ignition sources, multiple forms of fire starters, and dry kindling. We have a small cook kit, and carry instant coffee and hot chocolate. Having an efficient way to make a fire on a cold night can mean the difference between life and death – hypothermia can set in within a few hours at 40 degrees in a damp climate (i.e. most nights here in Western Washington). I didn’t have a camp stove in our kit, mostly to avoid the extra weight and bulk, and not wanting to carry extra fuel; I felt that our fire starting kit would be good enough to do the job. When I saw the Emberlit Stove it made me reconsider my feeling of ‘good enough’. I realized if being able to quickly and easily make a fire was one of my top survival priorities (and it is) that I needed a stove.
I looked at the Emberlit Stove some more and watched their video. I liked the apparent quality and strength, while balancing a relatively lightweight (11.3 oz) and very compact size. I ordered two from TSP Gear Shop, one for each of our primary BOBs.
When the stove arrived I was immediately impressed by how small and simplistic it is. Unassembled it measures about four inches by five inches and stacks up less than a quarter-inch tall. It felt heavier than I had expected, but I think that’s because it’s so densely packed. It’s made of stamped, stainless steel sheet metal. It consists of three identical sides, a bottom, and a front piece; a total of five separate tabbed and slotted pieces.
The directions to assemble it are simple. The pieces are precisely cut and have very little tolerance. This is very good in quality and stability, but it’s also the cause of my one complaint: it’s a hassle to easily put together. With cold, wet hands and/or in the dark assembly would be very difficult. On the positive side, because of the way it’s designed it would be impossible to put together incorrectly.
I assembled it and, using a fire starter and small twigs, we easily got a fire going. The front feeder port made it simple to maintain the fire, and the water boiled quickly. The wood burned with almost no smoke and only ash was left behind.
Because I wanted everyone in the family to get familiar with assembling it, and knowing that everything gets easier with practice, we had a Emberlit assembly night. While playing a card game, between hands, we took turns passing it around and each person practiced with it until we all felt proficient at assembling the stove. Sarah, Ryan, and I even tried assembling it blindfolded – that was hard and took a long time, but we were all successful.
Then, to add some stress to the learning process, we had a contest to see who could put it together the fastest. Each person had to sit on the floor, could not set the stove down until it was completed, and was timed. To put times into perspective, when we first got it in the mail Sarah and I, following the directions, each took about three to four minutes to assemble it. When we began timing ourselves it wasn’t long before everyone was able to complete it in less than one minute. Final results at the end of the night: Alison 3rd place with 34.9 seconds, I was 2nd with 27.4 seconds, and Ryan was the hands down winner at 18.5 seconds.
Aside from being a hassle to assemble, which can be mitigated with practice, I love this product. At $37, it’s well made, functions efficiently, is simplistic and would be almost impossible to break. Lastly, I want to mention the stove is made by a member of the TSP community, “By TSP For TSP”. I highly recommend adding the Emberlit Stove to your BOB.
five basic needs: 1) food, 2) water, 3) shelter, 4) security, and 5) energy
(Disclaimer: I have no association with this product or any other dealer or manufacturer. I researched and bought the product to add to my preps and I just wanted to pass along the experience I have had with it.)