This is the Vargo with my 22oz Heiny pot on top, my first burn with the stove. It ~just~ fits. Workable, but on the whole if you smack the stove, your pot may just fall over. Prob best not to use your Heiny with this, or use tent stakes across the gap for a pot stand:
Here I switched over to the 4oz, .9L Ti Vargo pot. Much more stable. Here you can see me using longer twigs and trying to feed them in there like the Emberlit to cut down on the chore of feed it little chunks of twigs every so often. It works, I probably had the "door" on the stove open 85% of the time. This is also most likely because it was 18F at this time and the fire was "hungry." I suspect in the summer I'd be able to feed the fire a bit, then close the door for awhile, either way, no biggy. The problem I had at this point was the cold (duh) and the fact that I had been feeding the stove just pencil sized twigs and always had trouble keeping it going:
The reason for this problem was the fuel source. The twigs were dry (not sure how to tell, but they snapped when you broke them in your fingers well enough), but the BARK was the problem. See at 18F the moisture from the day settled on the ground for a bit of frost. Well all the twigs were cold as heck at this point (as any branch would be big or small), and had this layer of frost somewhat. The BARK was doing way too good a job in these conditions of protecting the nice dry wood underneath it in the fire. You see in all the Youtube videos, these wood stoves just chowing down on twigs in warmer weather for the most part, but at these temps, the bark is a beotch. So I took out my Mora and started to shave the bark off....whamo, the fire worked better, not perfect, but better.
The next day (25F) I went into the woods to try splitting wood and try out my new Mora Classic. Once I noticed the bark being slightly damp underneath and a hindrance to the fire at those temps, I thought processed wood would be the answer...and it was.
In this pic you see the tools of the trade. Vasoline (I found the cotton pads wrapped around a glob of vaso to work really well as in it burned a long time and my fingers got less messy than massaging the vaso into a cottonball. BTW, in a previous thread I thought alcohol pads would be lighter and might work...don't bother. Yes lighter, but in these cold conditions they didn't last long enough to get the fire going. In 3-season I'll try them again, they prob will work then. You'll also see my cheap folding blade Browning knife that I put a different bevel on it. People always say never baton with a folder... well if I were doing logs, I would agree, but with these small/medium sized sticks, the folder works just fine. You not really hammering it anyway. The Mora of course worked awesomely as well. I really enjoyed batoning wood and splitting it up to get to the really dry stuff....amazing what the positive reenforcement of the fire growing will do. :p
Here you'll see the Hexagon chugging away. Notice how I've switched to mostly split/processed wood. The downside to getting a roaring fire here is that you lose some flame out the front, though mostly my fault for orientating the "door" away from the wind, when to turned the door to face into the wind, the stove became a blast furnace! This certainly could have contributed to the inability to boil a full pot in cold temps. Also notice how the sticks are laid in there in an overlapping "X" fashion. This worked well to utilize all of the space inside the little Vargo with the longer sticks as I fed them in. And notice how the stove is up on a two good sized sticks as a platform. During 3-season use this won't be a problem as you can boil a cup or two very quickly, but when you're going to use the stove for as long as I did (hours) at a time, you get ash buildup. The Vargo has cutouts on the bottom for air intake (the sides of the stove have no holes for air intake as the sides are a VERY good wind screen) and over time when burning so much wood for so long, ash buildup becomes an issue with choking the fire. The stove produced very little coals and seemed to produce a lot of ash with all that wood.
So this is why this stove won't work for me at <32F for winter camping while trying to melt snow. If I were winter camping and just boiling a cup or two and had a stream for a water source, no sweat. But in the conditions I expect, I wanted a bigger stove. I also didn't like the side feed of the stove (or the Emberlit, though the Emberlit may require less feeding with bigger sticks) as I had to sit on the ground. In the snow, this sucks as your butt gets wet and the ground is cold. NOTICE HOW ALL YOUTUBE VIDEOS OF THE EMBERLIT ARE OF THE STOVE PROPPED UP ON SOMETHING.....HRMMMMM. :P
(I will say the Emberlit certainly is low maintenance feeding fuel if you can prop it up on something, is pretty stout, and it has a relatively complete burn.)
I want something with a top feed as I sit on a stump (perhaps). I hope this helped anyone considering the Vargo...I think I'll still keep mine for 3-season as it's still the lightest stove I know of and it will work well in the 3-season conditions me thinks.