Forum Index » Gear Deals » Lightest collapsible wood burning stove on the planet - the FireFly Stove


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Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
Combo special now available: Save on FireFly Stove + Trowel; Multifuel Option update on 04/05/2012 12:58:08 MDT Print View

NOTE: I've left this post up for history buffs - this was my 1st gen MultiFuel system, subsequently replaced by my 2nd gen and then 3rd gen systems. Can you dig it?

A MultiFuel Option for the FireFly is in the works. Just need to carve out some time to test the best combination of windscreen position, alcohol stove and/or Esbit stove distance from a typical pot, etc. Also need to get final weights for BPL'ers, but it's gonna be pretty light.

You can expect this to be available as an option for new stoves as well as for stoves already out there as an upgrade. Stay tuned. I'm hoping to have this available in 2-3 weeks. It could be sooner if I get a bit farther ahead of orders. Here's some prototype photos. Final version will be similar, but not identical. There will be both an alcohol stove and an Esbit stove option. These stoves will sit on the crossed support wires you can see in the photos. In the case of Esbit, there will be downgoing tabs to keep it centered on the "X". To my thinking, an Esbit option can be a great alternative to wood for a quick cup of tea or if the available wood is really wet and you don't have the time or inclination to deal with that situation.

ffmultif1

ffmultif2

ffmultif3

ffmultif4

Edited by QiWiz on 02/24/2014 13:11:11 MST.

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
MultiFuel Esbit and/or Alcohol Burner Option Now Available for the FireFly Stove on 04/14/2012 09:53:54 MDT Print View

Well you can stop holding your breath and relax. It's here, and it's light. My own FireFly MultiFuel Kit for my Stanco 5.75" diameter greasepot with a 2.85" windscreen weighs 28 grams (and that's with both burners, you would probably just take one).

You can get a MultiFuel Kit for a newly ordered FireFly at no additional shipping cost, and you can also get one for the FireFly you already have as an upgrade. All the information you need and easy-as-pie ordering as usual can be found on my website. Windscreen and support wires are custom-bent and cut to be a perfect fit for your pot dimensions.

Can you dig it?

J H
(jlhilliker) - F
RE: Stove on 04/14/2012 13:00:17 MDT Print View

Robert, I wonder if it would work if you cut a notch in each side wall about halfway up, bent them inwards, and then rested a square plate on the notches to hold an alcohol stove. Do you think the walls of the stove would be sufficient as a windscreen? Maybe trim to tips of the pot stand a little lower if need be? Just an idea

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
Would it work if . . . on 04/14/2012 14:01:01 MDT Print View

"I wonder if it would work if you cut a notch in each side wall about halfway up, bent them inwards, and then rested a square plate on the notches to hold an alcohol stove. Do you think the walls of the stove would be sufficient as a windscreen? Maybe trim to tips of the pot stand a little lower if need be?"

Yes, the walls of the FireFly would shield the stove itself, but not the space between the top of the stove firebox and the bottom of your pot, which is a 0.75 inch gap, and not the lower part of your pot. Trimming the tips of the pot stand tabs would reduce this gap, but would also reduce airflow through the stove and reduce the room to add twigs in wood burning mode.

So, bottom line, when using Esbit or alcohol in windy conditions your setup will be much more efficient using some kind of windscreen. This could be the kit that I've now made available, or something you cobble together yourself. You will get a faster boil with less fuel. The windscreen generally weighs less than half an ounce (13 grams is the weight for the one I'm using for a 5.75" 1L pot with a 2.85" windscreen that has a 0.5" gap around my pot). You could easily need to use more extra fuel than 13 grams in windy conditions; might as well take the windscreen.

john hansford
(jhansford) - MLife
FireFly Stove on 04/15/2012 06:54:11 MDT Print View

I bought a PocketTi earlier this year, but so far have found it too small. I couldn't get 2 cups to boil even after 5 reloads of bone dry wood, and then the stove blew over. Straight afterwards I lit up my Bushbuddy, and had no problem boiling water with 2 loads of wood. I was using a foil screen with both.

The volume of the Pocket firebox is only about 20 cu ins, whereas the BB is about 40 cu ins. If the firefly is 42 cu ins, then does it perform as well as the Bushbuddy?

A major disadvantage of the BB is having to use a pan large enough to carry it in to prevent it getting squished : I use a Tibetan 1100, but this weighs 5 ozs, and I don't need so much volume. BB ultra plus pan = 10.25 ozs, firefly plus smaller pan AGG 710 ml pan = 5.25 ozs.

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
FireFly vs Bushbuddy on 04/15/2012 07:55:14 MDT Print View

I don't own a Bushbuddy, but it looks like a nice stove. Hikin' Jim and Jacob (Hike It Like It) are both working on reviews of the FireFly, and they may be able to say something about the pros and cons of each, since they are familiar with the Bushbuddy.

The FireFly is about half the weight of the Bushbuddy, and collapses down into a flat package, which to me are both advantages. It also has FuelPort, FlexPort, and MultiFuel (Esbit or alcohol) options, which may be important to some.

I did not realize that the FireFly actually has a slightly bigger firebox than the Bushbuddy (from John's post above). When I really fill my FireFly up with wood, I can get two cups of water to a boil without adding more wood. In actual use, I often don't load it that much before lighting it and just add twigs as I need to based on the type of cooking I'm doing. My usual dinner takes 4 cups of water (2 for tea and 2 for the meal) so I need to add twigs during the burn for this much water anyway.

Edited by QiWiz on 04/15/2012 08:25:01 MDT.

john hansford
(jhansford) - MLife
Firefly stove on 04/15/2012 09:58:18 MDT Print View

One disadvantage I find with the collapsible stove is that you get sooty fingers assembling it and disassembling it, with the Bushbuddy you don't get dirty at all. Also embers fall out the bottom which can then blow onto the duff.

The tin that contains the Pocket stove is really handy for storing your lighter, fire steel, Hammaro paper or cotton wool, and a few ounces of solid fuel. A bit heavy if you are in sul mode of course. Can you source a tin for the firefly ?

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
Keeping soot away; stove storage on 04/15/2012 11:20:38 MDT Print View

Yes, I'll grant you that there is more risk of soot in a stove you assemble and disassemble. Every piece of gear has advantages and disadvantages. I find that the soot is relatively minimal, since the stove burns so hot. What does form is all on the inside, so as you take it apart and put it together you can usually avoid getting much on your fingers.

It is possible for ash and embers to fall down from the bottom of the stove, which is why I would always use a piece of foil under it. All my videos mention and demonstrate this. In windy dry conditions, I would form this foil into a bathtub shape to be even more sure that I was preventing anything blowing off the foil.

As far as storage goes, a tin is a heavy item, and could significantly increase the stove weight. This is certainly true for the tin you get with the Pocket Stove sold in the UK. If you really want something with rigid sides for the FireFly, anything that can hold a sandwich like a Tupperware sandwich container would work. But this is not what I recommend you do. Instead, the reinforced tyvek pouch I have available is quite light and serves this purpose well. Plenty of room for a few fire starters, lighter, what have you. I always keep a mini bic and some cotton balls in mine, for example. The tyvek pouch is light, and the whole idea is to keep it light. This is BPL after all. ; )

Edited by QiWiz on 04/15/2012 15:28:06 MDT.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
BB: No soot? on 04/15/2012 11:39:37 MDT Print View

@ John: While I can see how you'd stay sootless assembling the Bushbuddy, do you really stay sootless for the whole cooking process? Inevitably, I get sooted hands when dealing with the pot - very sooty item, that!

My experience is that any wood-fueled cooking experience is going to involve soot at some point - I'm more concerned with keeping the soot from spreading to everything else in my pack!

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
Pot soot prevention plan ; ) on 04/15/2012 13:15:13 MDT Print View

The way I prevent pot soot from getting on my hands and gear is to use a cozy. The inside of my homemade Reflectix cozy gets dirty, but not my hands or my pack/gear. Some folks keep a large ziplock or other plastic bag handy for the same purpose, but I like how the cozy also keeps my food hot and even works to replace simmering for many meals that call for a few minutes of simmering after adding food to boiling water.

Here's a comparison photo of a lightweight plastic sandwich container (35 grams) to my reinforced tyvek pouch (11 grams). In addition to the added weight, the container is more bulky than necessary. The pouch with stove in it is only about 0.25 inches thick; even with a few fire starters and a small lighter added, it would still be considerably more compact. Having said that, if anyone wants one of these containers with their stove, add $2 to your order and I'll squeeze one in.

lunch

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: Pot soot prevention plan ; ) on 04/15/2012 14:24:44 MDT Print View

Backcountry Boiler.
No pot to get sooty.














Sorry just had to.

kevperro .
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Monroe, WA
Nice additions! on 04/15/2012 15:07:11 MDT Print View

Nice work Robert.... the Firefly is full-featured now.

I used a wood-burner for the southern part of the PCT and never found soot to be a problem. You learn to live with it and if it bothers you that much a pair of latex gloves would add less than an ounce to your carry weight.

The Esbit/Wood option looks attractive to me.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife

Locale: www.hikelighter.com
Re: Re: Pot soot prevention plan ; ) on 04/15/2012 15:23:15 MDT Print View


Backcountry Boiler.
No pot to get sooty.


Yeah, and 7 ounces heavier than the FireFly.

Oh, yeah, and lets not forget... 10 MONTHS after paying for my Backcountry Boiler I STILL do not have it.

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
FireFly vs Backcountry boiler on 04/15/2012 15:25:44 MDT Print View

"Backcountry Boiler.
No pot to get sooty"

True that. Also no pot to cook in or eat out of. The BCB is probably a good match for the needs of folks that like to do freezer bag cooking. I don't have one to make any comparisons, but the BCB is really something different from a wood burning stove IMO. It is certainly bulkier than the FireFly and is probably also somewhat heavier than a FireFly paired with a light pot, cooking mug, or beer can pot. It looks like a nice design though.

john hansford
(jhansford) - MLife
Re : BB no soot on 04/16/2012 15:50:45 MDT Print View

@Stephen : I really don't get dirty using the BB. I cook eat and drink out of the one pan, so maybe I get rim marks on my face, but then I wouldn't know! However, I use a pair of cut down calf leather flying gloves when top feeding wood or picking up the hot pan handles, which will help - I really don't want nasty burns when on the trail and those flames are hard to see sometimes in the sun. Also I've only used bone dry wood, and not been forced to burn damp smouldery stuff, so I always have a hot and fairly clean flame. When all is done the stove goes into a small plastic bag, they nest into the pot, and everything goes into another light bag for packing :-)

I was interested to try the Backcountry Boiler too, but my emails to Devlin have remained unanswered, and the site seems quiet.

+1 : " Nice work Robert.... the Firefly is full-featured now. ". !

Chris Martin
(hope_for_gorilla) - F

Locale: Finger Lakes
FireFly on 04/18/2012 19:36:33 MDT Print View

Robert,

I just purchased one of your FireFly stoves used from here.

On a first test with very dry hardwood twigs, I noticed that the stove couldn't keep a flame when I set the pot on. (I'm using a Vargo 900 mL.) It would just sit and smoke and smolder and never boil.

As soon as I removed the pot, the flames returned and the smoke subsided. But as soon as I set the pot back down, the stove died down and just emitted lots of smoke again.

Also, I could blow into one of the corners to elicit flames with the pot down, but they wouldn't last once I ran out of breath.

Any idea what I'm doing wrong? I tried for an hour and could not boil a pint of water. It looks like an airflow problem, which is weird considering that there's plenty of space for exhaust to escape out the top of the stove, even with the pot. There was no breeze and I wasn't using a windscreen.

Thanks for the guidance!

Edited by hope_for_gorilla on 04/18/2012 19:37:48 MDT.

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
FireFly puzzler on 04/18/2012 20:11:58 MDT Print View

@ Chris -

"first test with very dry hardwood twigs, stove couldn't keep a flame when I set the pot on . . . As soon as I removed the pot, the flames returned and the smoke subsided. But as soon as I set the pot back down, the stove died down and just emitted lots of smoke again . . . Any idea what I'm doing wrong? I tried for an hour and could not boil a pint of water. It looks like an airflow problem, which is weird considering that there's plenty of space for exhaust to escape out the top of the stove, even with the pot. There was no breeze and I wasn't using a windscreen"

I've edited out my original response to Chris so that it does not mislead others. Dan (zelph) suggested later in this thread that the pot supports on the FireFly might not be high enough. That turns out to be true for larger pots (even some squat 900 ml pots) but not for cooking mugs, beer can pots, and smaller squat pots. There are now large pot supports that are included with the FireFly and are a free retrofit for already-purchased FireFly stoves.

Edited by QiWiz on 05/13/2012 15:34:24 MDT.

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
FireFly Loses Weight ! on 04/22/2012 06:19:49 MDT Print View

It was already ultralight, but I've been able to get some titanium that is 25% thinner and made some stoves and test burns. No problems, but it does not look like I can get any more of this thickness, so the "regular" FireFly will be it.

FF ultra thin

Edited by QiWiz on 02/24/2014 13:08:43 MST.

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
FireFly reviewed by JacobD and others; new MultiFuel option on 05/06/2012 12:54:45 MDT Print View

Jacob has kindly posted a review of the FireFly on his blog: Hike It Like It
as well as an interview. You can check it out at:

http://hikeitlikeit.com/2012/firefly-stove/

I've also made some changes to the FireFly multifuel option: improved integrated windscreen supports and new DualFuel burner. Video at:

http://youtu.be/wlPNwdKMQso

There's also a fellow in Japan who has done a nice 3-part video review of the FireFly:
(the version of the MultiFuel kit he got is still available, but has been upgraded)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efk7OZHUbeg&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-SV6g-o5Cc&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOECiQJlQvU&feature=plcp

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: FireFly puzzler on 05/11/2012 21:35:09 MDT Print View

I can see the pot supports are too low and will cause problems.

(As soon as I removed the pot, the flames returned and the smoke subsided. But as soon as I set the pot back down, the stove died down and just emitted lots of smoke again.)

Edited by zelph on 05/11/2012 21:37:08 MDT.