Emberlit Wood stove vs everything else
Display Avatars Sort By:
Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
Stove wars! on 04/24/2012 10:44:42 MDT Print View

Just kidding ; )

There are some great stove choices out there, and the best one for one person is not necessarily the best one for someone else. Issues of weight, materials, complexity, cost, fuel options, ease of use, boil times, ease of getting into your pack, matching up with a cook pot - all and more are worth considering and factoring in to your decision.

Some responses to some of the ideas in posts above this one that relate to the FireFly: If you just want to quickly boil a couple cups of water, a straight chimney fire is all you need. So if this is all you usually do, no need for the Port options. If, on the other hand, you like to make a longer burn (say for slow-cooked stew, melting snow, or just to enjoy the ambience of a small fire in camp) then a Port option makes this easier than feeding in twigs from the top of the stove over a longer period of time. If you do some of both types of cooking/burning, a FlexPort option lets you choose a chimney burn OR feeding bigger caliber sticks through a Port with almost no weight penalty. The FireFly I put in my pack has a FlexPort side, because I want to have both options available.

The FlexPort and the really light weight are the two most unique FireFly options and features, IMO. I have to give Steve Barber the credit for getting me to think about a Port at all. Thanks grampa!

You can use a Companion stove or Mini Atomic, or just about any alcohol or Esbit stove you might already have in the FireFly if you like them. No need to get my MultiFuel Kit. If you want one of my windscreens, there's probably a way to add that as well to your setup.

You can simmer in a FireFly. It takes some practice with fire management, and is most easily done when using an open FlexPort or FuelPort, since you can quickly adjust temperature by moving wood out or in through the Port.

brent driggers
(cadyak) - MLife

Locale: southwest georgia
Emberlit Wood stove vs everything else on 04/24/2012 10:50:14 MDT Print View

Any woodstove will be very inefficient in wind without some kind of windscreen. There is no static pressure and even a slight breeze can take the flame off the bottom of your pot.

edit:
Packing flat is a nice feature. As well as being "one piece".

Coals are the original simmering tool arent they? Woodstoves are great for simmering and baking after most of the fuel is gone. It just takes practice.


the rock by Holey Grail

Edited by cadyak on 04/24/2012 12:00:15 MDT.

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
stove wars on 04/24/2012 11:01:09 MDT Print View

Robert,

By no means am I trying to "kindle" (nudge, nudge, get it? ;) a wood stove war. I think all of the stoves mentioned have merits. I just like asking the question "why". If someone wants to opine that one is better than another, I would just like to know specifically what makes them hold that opinion. An opinion without the rationale behind it is of little use.

Brent,

I hadn't seen your Firemug/Holey Grail stove before. Nice.
Agree with the statement re: windscreens.

Edited by BER on 04/24/2012 11:16:43 MDT.

chris markley
(motorapido) - F
Compare emberlit & firefly to caldera cone ti tri inferno?? on 04/24/2012 11:27:12 MDT Print View

How would the emberlit and firefly compare to my wonderful caldera cone ti tri with the inferno woodburning insert?

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
More comparisons: FireFly vs TiTri on 04/24/2012 11:58:46 MDT Print View

"do or do not, there is no tri" (yoda)

I really like the Ti Tri stoves; I have two of them in fact. One for a big pot when cooking for 2-3 people, and one for a solo pot. But where they really shine is in alcohol and Esbit fuel use. Not so good as a woodburner IMO, and ill tell you why in a minute. First the good: good that you can use wood fuel as a backup, and I have needed to do that and appreciated the flexibility (you do not BTW need the Inferno insert to do this, but I have used the two-piece ti floor you can get from TD instead as a ground shield). But the bad: you end up with your cone, a large surface area, covered with soot, and because you roll it up to store it, I have found it difficult not to get soot on stuff - hands, caddy, fuel bottle stored in the caddy, etc. I'm sure there are ways to minimize this, but I find it annoying enough that I would never PLAN to use a Ti Tri as a wood burner, just as a backup plan if I run out of my primary fuel. However, if I am planning to use alcohol or Esbit as my primary fuel, the Ti Tri is what I put in my pack. I would typically do this if I expect foul weather or I'm above tree line or a fire ban exists, etc.

The FireFly is a more desirable wood burner than the Ti Tri IMO. More concentrated burn, more complete burn, FlexPort side feed option, much less soot more easily avoided. It's not as good as an Esbit or alcohol stove as the Ti Tri. So I use it when I'm expecting to burn wood as my primary fuel, and I would personally use Esbit as a backup if I thought I might need another fuel option.

So in my gear closet, these are actually the only types of stoves I use. If I went above tree line in winter and needed to melt snow, I do have a white gas stove that I would pull out of mothballs (MSR Simmerlite).

Your opinions may vary. I'm sure this discussion could go on a long time. ; )

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Not splitting hairs??? ;-) on 04/24/2012 12:01:47 MDT Print View

"Sorry for splitting hairs."

Hey Brian

There is a difference in air flow between the side burn stove set-up and the all-four-sides-closed set up. While you can indeed shove sticks into the Emberlit from the top, the air flow hasn't changed - it's still coming through the side with minimal chimney effect.

With the Firefly, you can get the side-feed air flow, minimal chimney, slow burning to lightly saute the morel mushrooms you found. Or you can close the FlexPort, take out the notched ti floor, put in the screen floor, and boil water quickly for your freezer bag meal.

And having the wood (two options), alcohol and esbit all integrated as one system from the stove manufacturer does have an appeal - in fact, I think there's another company that does something like that, ummm, something about an inferno and a caldera, that a lot of folks find very appealing! The Firefly is just lighter! (and not as fiddly!)

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
splitting hairs on 04/24/2012 13:22:26 MDT Print View

Stephen,

Fair enough. While I think I can control the burn adequately with just the side port by regulating fuel input, I accept that there may be nuances to having the option for 4 enclosed sides and a difference in airflow which is not available on the Emberlit.

If you find me some Morels I will be more than happy to saute them up to your specifications, then boil you some water for a spot of tea! :)

Edited by BER on 04/24/2012 13:31:17 MDT.

Devon Cloud
(devoncloud)

Locale: Southwest
Man, did I open up a can of worms ;) on 04/24/2012 13:33:01 MDT Print View

Sorry to get everyone so worked up! It is awesome that there are so many ideas out there though.... Here I thought there would only be a few options and already I have learned there are a ton of them, even a very good DIY.

It is fun to have watched the UL progression through the years though, that is the true fun part of all of this. So far, the systems have gotten lighter and lighter, stripping off more and more options until we have gotten down to the nearly most basic of designs (with the exception of tarp/tent cloth material, that has gotten entirely more scientific and complex, just look at cuben fiber).

That being said, it seems like the progression of this has now taken a bit of a new turn, where some features are being added back into designs when the addition of the weight is very minimal... that to me is a great progression. I believe in going as light as I can, but doing so in a way that does not require me to lose any comfort on the trail... after all, we are out there to enjoy ourselves.

I am a very big guy for a backpacker. My transition into ultralight backpacking is very tough because of that. Most in this forum are gram weenies... I dont have that luxery and must simply think in terms of ounces in most cases as most UL gear does not fit me or hold my weight. The one exception to that is cooking gear where I can be a gram weenie like the rest.

All things considered, my transition has been very fulfilling (although pretty expensive). it just makes the transition all the more enjoyable knowing I have made the cuts where I can to really reduce the weight in my pack. While it still weighs more than most, it has been cut by about 2/3rds in weight from where it was when I started.

Now, only if I can do that around my waste-line ;oP

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Accept! on 04/24/2012 13:49:56 MDT Print View

@ Brian: I accept your offer!! But morels in SoCal are few and far between! I found a lot more when I lived just south of the Wisconsin-Illinois border! Have you tried Lapsang Souchong tea? Mmmmmm!

@ Devon: Don't know about sauteing worms. I've sauteed grasshoppers (sans wings and legs) and caterpillars - both surprisingly tasty! No worms though! ;-)

If you've reduced your pack weight by 2/3, you're doing great! I imagine many of us could do better with our body weight - I know I could!

Devon Cloud
(devoncloud)

Locale: Southwest
Windscreen on 04/24/2012 14:06:54 MDT Print View

"Any woodstove will be very inefficient in wind without some kind of windscreen"

I really do not think that all these stoves are equal in this regard. The emberlit IMO looks to be the best bet in regards to this as the sides would act as their own wind guard, at least more so than those stoves which have a mesh top on them that wind will cut right through unless you use a windguard.

the emberlight/firebug design I think ideally makes the loss of heat due to wind much less than those that have the pot sitting on top of mesh. They will still get some loss, especially when the pan is smaller than the top opening... but when the pan covers most of the opening where there are only the notches for the heat to escape, the heat is still passing the pan and heating where the others, well not so much. I am of course just using logic here and no real experiense using all the stoves mentioned in real practice.

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
Windscreens when wood burning? on 04/24/2012 14:40:54 MDT Print View

It depends on how much wind and the stove design. Yes, it's less efficient, but is this important? You decide . . . I have not generally worried too much about a windscreen in wood burning mode because:

[1] I don't have to carry the wood fuel, so if the heating is less efficient due to wind, I just throw another few twigs on the fire;

[2] I agree with Devon that some stoves (like the Emberlit and the FireFly) have the fire protected in an enclosed firebox until it's 1/2 to 3/4 inches below your pan, so a lot of heat get transferred to your pot even if its a bit windy. This is more true for squat wide pot shapes than for tall skinny pots. So sometimes stove and pot design matters.

[3] I'd prefer not to carry the weight of a windscreen if I don't need it.

[4] If its REALLY windy, I'd prefer not to have a fire at all unless I can find some shelter or windbreak, natural or contrived. I have used terrain features for shelter from the wind, downed trees, big rocks, etc (without moving them) or done my cooking on the downwind side of my tarp or tent, or my pack, or a securely propped up piece of CCF, or even just sitting there myself with my back into the wind. Not really that difficult.

Of course a nice ti or robust aluminum windscreen that can take the heat would work just fine, I'm just saying I don't think most folks will find they really need it.

In contrast to wood burning, when carrying fuel like Esbit or alcohol (when you want to be fuel-efficient so you carry less fuel), a windscreen is one of the keys to heating your pot better with less fuel use. This is why my MultiFuel Kit includes a windscreen. The most efficient example of this IMO is the original Caldera Cone design. The Sidewinder CC is probably not as efficient, though I've done no personal head to head testing of the two Cones. Burn times with the FireFly MultiFuel Kit also seem to indicate very good heat transfer to the pot with windscreen use (which also prevents the wind from cooling the exposed pot surfaces).

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Windscreens when wood burning? on 04/24/2012 15:04:31 MDT Print View

Wind on a wood fire is a good thing, it helps it get started and burning hot much easier. For the same reason you blow on a fire when it's struggling.

brent driggers
(cadyak) - MLife

Locale: southwest georgia
ok on 04/24/2012 16:04:48 MDT Print View

wind on fire =good
wind at base of pot=not good

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
v.s. "EVERYTHING" Else??? on 04/26/2012 00:40:40 MDT Print View

I'll take a CC Tri Ti or my own CC Sidewinder W/ Inferno insert over ALL other woodburning stoves, soot be d@mned. I use grass or leaves to wipe it down.

1.The CC Inferno design is a TRUE double wall gassifier stove that burns more efficiently than either the Emberlit or Firefly single wall stoves.

2. As mentioned above the Tri Ti or Sidewinder can burn ESBIT or alky more efficiently than other stoves. And when I say efficiently I mean in calm AND windy conditions.

3. The CC design can. like most other woodburning backpacking stoves, use pots larger than its diameter if necessary with less loss of efficiency than other stoves due to the protection of the flames.

Of course this is IMHO... :o)

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: v.s. "EVERYTHING" Else??? on 04/26/2012 07:29:41 MDT Print View

@ Eric:

Robert addressed some of the points you make 3 posts up from yours.

I have seen the argument of double wall gassifier stoves being more efficient and have yet to see how this makes any difference in practice. If we are using found wood, does it matter if your stove uses 3 sticks to boil water and mine takes 5? I would argue that 99% of the time it would make no difference, and the other 1% when the wood was so scarce or so wet that we could not find enough to boil a pot of water, we'd both likely choose a backup fuel anyway.

In regards to your second point, the firefly and the emberlit are not brought so that they can be used as primary alcohol or esbit burners. They burn wood. Having the ability to use either as a wind block/platform for an alcohol or esbit burner is a nice backup. If I am forced to use my backup due to some poor circumstance, I am willing to give up a little efficiency as long as it gets the job done. FWIW, I have burned both alcohol and esbit in my emberlit with my windscreen in the wind with success. I did not bother to measure the alcohol or the remaining esbit to calculate the efficiency.

Your third point seems related to your first point. For the sake of arguement I would say the use of a windscreen (which I use) negates the difference you suggest.

This is just MHO. I have no doubt that the CC/Sidewinder is a great set up. They are very popular for a reason. These are alternatives. BYOF (burn your own fire) ;)

Edited by BER on 04/26/2012 07:37:05 MDT.

Devon Cloud
(devoncloud)

Locale: Southwest
my two cents worth on the caldera on 04/26/2012 08:10:51 MDT Print View

I may be opening a can of worms here as I was already chastized on a different post pitting the firefly vs the caldera.... so I wont get into too much detail there (everoyone can go to that post), however in terms of efficiency I would say the caldera wins... boil times would be better.

But I will go back to one of my other thoughts which is the ability to simmer foods to me is important. You have less control over the amount of heat that goes to your pot in that design than the firefly. The Caldera gets you there quickly it looks like, where I can make up my mind to cook slowly in the firefly design.

Edited by devoncloud on 04/26/2012 10:13:35 MDT.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Stove efficiency on 04/26/2012 11:31:12 MDT Print View

My Dear Brian,

Well, yes, one could say less fuel is better but to me the Sidewinder or Tri Ti's real efficiency comes from its hotter fire due to burning gasses that go unburned in non-gassifier wood stoves. And then ther's the great built-in wind screen of the CC designs.

And that means faster cook times as well as less "found fuel" to mess with.

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Stove efficiency on 04/26/2012 11:43:21 MDT Print View

My Dear Eric,

I have often seen it written that a gasifier burns hotter than a non-gasifier wood stove. And conceptually, it makes sense. Do you know how MUCH hotter the Ti-Tri Sidewinder burns with the Inferno insert vs. without it? I have been unable to find data on this. I have found data on gasification in general but it was in regards to commercial wood burning furnaces and I am not sure how that translates to this application.

I will continue to argue that needing 2-3 extra small sticks or 2-3 minutes more to boil water (throwing out numbers like confetti :) mean very little in practical terms while in the piney woods.

BUT, I do admit, that you are making an argument for the Ti-Tri with inferno insert that makes me want to buy one, if only because I like to play with new stoves. If only if packed flat!--haha.

Cheers.

Edited by BER on 04/26/2012 12:02:25 MDT.

Devon Cloud
(devoncloud)

Locale: Southwest
still say that a stove that has a setting other than blast off is better on 04/26/2012 13:13:45 MDT Print View

The Caldera looks like a great water boiling machine and very efficient. I would like to hear though how well you can control it to burn slow to simmer food as there are plenty of foods that need this type of cooking and would make life on the trail more enjoyable. After all, we are going out there to slow down and relax for the most part, right?

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: still say that a stove that has a setting other than blast off is better on 04/26/2012 13:18:47 MDT Print View

Devon, for info on simmer type cooking on the caldera with a wood fire:

http://adventuresinstoving.blogspot.com/2012/02/wood-fired-cooking-ii.html