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Wood pellets
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Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Wood pellets on 09/04/2012 07:18:35 MDT Print View

I came across this video where this man is using wood pellets for his stove. Now, I wouldn't carry the amount he used, but to get a fire going or even for a small fire, has anyone tried using them in their backpack woodburning stoves?

http://youtu.be/vWh21tjAe9g

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Starting a fire in a wood stove on 09/04/2012 07:28:49 MDT Print View

I can't see the YouTube video here at work, but I have been known to "cheat" a little with starting fires. I have some of the small Esbit tablets that I carry to help me get either a real fire or just the one in my woodstove started. They work pretty well for that purpose.

I also carry, depending on the length of the trip, a trick birthday candle or two for getting my fires started. I light the candle with my mini-Bic and then use the candle for lighting the fire. It's nice to have something that doesn't easily blow out and will burn for a full minute or more without you having to worry about your fingers.

For car camping I've used 2-3 Matchlight charcoal briquetes in lieu of proper kindling.

Michael Duke
(mpd1690) - F
Re: Wood pellets on 09/04/2012 07:57:29 MDT Print View

Vaseline cotton balls are the best thing I have found. They are great. I use them with my bushbuddy and have no problem getting a fire going with them.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
firestarters on 09/04/2012 08:01:39 MDT Print View

A small baggie of cotton balls smeared with vaseline will work wonders. Nice and light, easy to use, burns well in any conditions.

Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Wood pellets on 09/04/2012 08:34:19 MDT Print View

The video shows him using the pellets as his main fuel and the thing burned close to an hour without adding anything. Just a small handful would certainly keep things going without adding any wood. They may not be heavy but the bulk adds up...unless one could use them as a pillow....

John Almond
(FLRider) - F

Locale: The Southeast
Re: firestarters on 09/04/2012 08:37:10 MDT Print View

+1 on the cotton ball and Vasalene trick. I use an old snuff can to hold them (one of the guys I work with is addicted to the stuff, so I get 'em for free), and it makes it a lot easier to pull just one without getting too much Vasalene on my hands.

They also double as chap stick, anti-hot-spot treatment, and post-chafe relief.

Duane Hall
(PKH) - M

Locale: Nova Scotia
Wood pellets on 09/04/2012 08:57:46 MDT Print View

I have various wood burners in my backpacking kit (Sierra Zip, Kelly Kettle, Titanium Caldera Cone, Backcountry Boiler). Just for the sake of experimentation, I have tried wood pellets in my backyard, and yes, they do burn well. But it seems to me that the whole purpose and joy of a wood burning stove/kettle is that we don't have to lug our main fuel source with us, and are free to forage around the campsite when it's time to cook our supper.

Cheers

Chris Lacey
(Staplebox) - F
pellets on 09/04/2012 18:45:54 MDT Print View

I primarily heat my house with woods pellets - about 3-4 tons/year.(Easy and cheap) I think you'd need a special stove to make this work well. I'm not sure what stove was used in the video but it seemed to create a decent draft and strong flame.

If you just light pellets in a loose pile they kind of smolder and don't burn strongly without a lot of air. They are themselves very dense and don't allow much air between them. (Pellet stoves use a combustion blower). Scavenged dry wood is much better imo.