Wood Burning above 3k
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Douglas McCoy
(dmccoy) - F

Locale: Spokane Wa
Wood Burning above 3k on 10/22/2007 19:35:39 MDT Print View

I have been intrigued with the idea of a wood burning stove, mainly for the mere fact that there is no fuel to carry, which can add up on an extended trip. Thus saving an enormous amount of weight in the long run. But before I go out a spring for one or make my own I have a few questions.
A: In some of the places I Bp it states no fire above 3K. Are these rules somewhat "bent" in this application?
B: Is it primarly for summer useage or dry areas? Right now in my neck of the woods PNW you would be hard pressed to make a wood stove fire.
C: I carry a small mug for my cookpot/cup (550-600ml) Are these wood stoves mainly designed for "bigger" pots of 1000ml or above? Or can smaller stoves be made.
D: Alot of my hiking is done in or above alpine, where fuel (sticks/tinder) can be a limited source. I don't really like the idea of carrying a backup alcy or esbit stove (hence why I took a wood stove in the first place)so what of fuel sources? I guess I could just eat cold stuff and eat the warm later when I get "back down" but what does one do about fuel availability?
E:What is your guys experiance with wood stoves and in what application and context ahve you used them? Any information would greatly be welcomed.

I plan on making one this weekend to see how it goes.

Edited by dmccoy on 10/22/2007 19:54:10 MDT.

jim bailey
(florigen) - F - M

Locale: South East
Wood stove for cooking on 10/24/2007 14:56:20 MDT Print View

Hi Douglas,
Just recently back from a 4 day trip in snow covered alpine conditions using a wood burning stove as a primary cooking source, this worked out great.
As far as your concerns go :
A. Would adhere to any rule park/forest service would have in effect, these stoves are self contained but would choose cooking area carefully to be on the safe side.
B. Carried Tinder Quick firestarters and a few Esbit tabs in case of wet conditions, never used Esbit
Tinder Quick ignited small twigs just fine.
C. Carrying a small mug could be an issue for this type of set up, would have to modify a commercial model such as TriTi cone, possibly by building your own you can construct something to work with a small pot.
D. We were up 9,000-11,000’ and usually would start to gather wood as our group trekked toward the later part of the day if we were not sure of any source where we would be camping.
E. Experience was on a 4 day outing, initial response from the group was these stoves are fantastic, provided a great overall cooking experience, highly recommend.
Good luck
Jim

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Wood Burning above 3k on 10/25/2007 06:51:30 MDT Print View

While in Olympic National Park (the only place I've encountered the elevation-based wood burning restrictions) I still used my wood stove. On the days I knew I was going to be camping at elevation I simply collected wood fuel while below 3,000 ft. To be on the safe side I always carry a couple esbit tablets (along with a lighter and fireproof matches) in a vacuum sealed pouch.

The restrictions are put in place by the National Park Service to limit the consumption of ground wood above 3000 ft. In alpine areas wood is limited and very, very old and from an ecological stand point the wood that is there needs to stay there and deteriorate and the rate it is supposed to.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Re: Fireproof Matches, eh? on 10/25/2007 08:21:25 MDT Print View

"I always carry a couple esbit tablets (along with a lighter and fireproof matches) in a vacuum sealed pouch."

I bet those are useful... ;)

Interesting point about rules being more about CONSUMING wood than about fire dangers.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Wood Burning above 3k on 10/25/2007 19:08:00 MDT Print View

Sam,
A word of warning in case you ever pack in the Sierra: Elevation based wood burning restrictions are in effect in many places and, if they catch you burning wood above the specified elevation, a story about collecting wood below said elevation ain't gonna reduce the fine they'll lay on you. The good news: The elevation restriction usually begins at ~10,000' and varies with the locale up to ~11,200'. Their rationale is the same, though.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Wood Burning above 3k on 10/26/2007 08:41:31 MDT Print View

Tom -

Thanks for the words of warning. Fortunately I've not used wood burning stoves in alpine areas too frequently (just the two nights in Olympic N.P.). I should mention that previous to my use of the stove I had picked the brains of a number of other hikers as to the definition of the rule. However, as you say, Tom in certain areas no amount of complaining about the legitimacy of the source of the fuel will keep them from giving a fine. I am of the opinion that this is good practice as I'm sure there are many a redneck or careless backpacker without a clue as to the ecological risk of burning up what precious little wood there is above 10K.

- Sam

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Wood Burning above 3k on 10/26/2007 08:43:44 MDT Print View

> ...fireproof matches
> I bet those are useful... ;)

Josh -

I didn't even notice my mistake and at first I thought you were poking fun at me for carrying vacuum sealed esbit and matches! Ha! For the fundamentalists in the crowd - NO I don't carry FIREproof matches - but rather WATERproof matches.

- Sam

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Re: Wood Burning above 3k on 10/26/2007 10:49:53 MDT Print View

"I didn't even notice my mistake and at first I thought you were poking fun at me for carrying vacuum sealed esbit and matches! Ha!"

Actually, what you're doing isn't a half bad idea. That could be a use for the Reynolds Handy Vac (Reveiew at FBC)

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Wood Burning above 3k on 10/26/2007 12:01:48 MDT Print View

I have a FoodSaver vacuum sealer that I use to pack dehydrated meals. I always carry this small package that included two esbit tabs, a dozen (or so) waterproof matches, lighting surface and a mini-bic. It has never been opened (as I've never had an emergency). If I was to open it I would return from that trip and re-stock and re-seal the package for my next journey.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Wood Burning above 3k on 10/26/2007 14:29:17 MDT Print View

"I am of the opinion that this is good practice as I'm sure there are many a redneck or careless backpacker without a clue as to the ecological risk of burning up what precious little wood there is above 10K"
Sam,
Unfortunately, you are spot on with your observation. Horsepackers, in particular, pay very little attention to any regulation that inconveniences them; And the rangers can't touch 'em due to political connections. Bummer. A few backpackers, too, but the rangers can and do touch them, probably out of frustration with their impotence vis a vis the big offenders. Sort of my version of "An Inconvenient Truth", I guess.
Tom