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M BushBuddy Stove Tweaks

by Robert Birch

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Article Summary:

The BushBuddy is a wood burning stove, most used by lightweight hikers. It is small (108 mm D x 96 mm H / 4.25 in D x 3.8 in H with the pot stand stowed in the firebox) and light (140 g / 4.9 oz in the BushBuddy Ultra, or BBU, version). It stows neatly in a typical 1-litre pot (Snow Peak 900, or a small aluminium billy from your local camping / disposals store). In practice it suits fairly basic water-boiling and cooking needs for one to three hikers, though larger groups might carry several to use with more imaginative cooking.

The BushBuddy has become iconic because it is beautifully crafted by Fritz Handel in Iskut Canada and highly effective. For a lightweight hiker, function is everything - every gram has a role! The efficiency of the BBU owes much to its clever design, which aims to burn all of the combustible solids in wood and all of the gasses released from burning wood. More on this below. For one to three days you can travel lighter with a simple frustum shield and hexamine fuel, but on longer walks nothing beats the BBU - provided you are permitted to gather a few sticks to use in an enclosed stove. There is also the satisfaction of being able to create a cooking fire under (sometimes adverse) natural conditions - a skill that has to be learned!


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