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Bushbuddy "Ultra" (BPL/Ryan Jordan/Arctic 1000 Version) Wood Stove

in Stoves - Other

Average Rating
4.93 / 5 (15 reviews)


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b d
( bdavis )

Locale:
Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
F. H. Enterprises Bushbuddy Ultra Wood Stove on 12/13/2006 18:34:41 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Update: I just discovered I can place the BushBuddy inside my MSR Titan kettle, turn the lid upside down and the lid fits perfectly over the top of the BushBuddy. Thus, risk of damaging or crunching the lightweight BushBuddy (which is plenty strong, but I don't want to dent it) is eliminated.

I just received and tested the Bushbuddy Ultra. It is all that RJ indicated, and more. First, the company is great to deal with and tells you whether they can ship immediately or have the item in stock. I was lucky they did have it in stock. Email communication worked great. Here is a picture of how it came, once unwrapped.

Bushbuddy in box, as received (inside wrapping paper)


I knew I had to try this stove out. It was karma because it was the first thing I noticed on the cover of the last issue of the BPL magazine and I knew whatever it was it was gonna be in my camping life. Then, as I recall, I read a brief description of a woodburning stove in the magazine and it was all over -- it was woodburning. Here it is with the lid of the box open:

Bushbuddy in opened box

So, after first seeing it in BPL's magazine, then I read a forum post describing how they are made by someone in Canada and giving their email address. That was it, bam ... like a trout hitting a fly. I emailed the person who makes them, verified it was a 5 oz. model, called the Ultra ... and he had a few in stock.

F. H. Enterprises, Iskut, B.C. V0J 1K0
1-250-234-3919
www.bushbuddy.com

That was it, no choice there, no looking back. It was ordered, had to go through the ground mail from Canada and just got here today.

Here is what it looks like, the body, top, and inside:

Bushbuddy and top

Bushbuddy with top on

Nuff said, here is a picture of my first fire, and my first boiling .5 litre of water in a MSR Titan Kettle in around 5 minutes, at 4500 ft. elev. w/o the lid on -- I had to watch the bubbles form and check out the heating pattern.

Bushbuddy and Titan

It gets a 5 because of the weight it will save in fuel in the future, its low weight, the pleasure of wood heat and cooking, and I could get it to work, burn wood and a small pinecone, not burn my house down, heat water enough for a meal -- all the first time. And, there is a distinct pleasure watching the flames where the heated air enters the fire chamber when you get the right amount of dry wood burning in the main chamber -- looks like propane sorta.

Gotta run, gotta go play with my stove.

Update:

Here is the stove with an MSR Titan Kettle on a homemade grill piece, for ventilation. The ventilation is necessary because the pot will fit so tightly over the Bushbuddy w/o its top that smoke and fumes end up circulating back through the breather holes on the inside of the stove and blow out the lower intake holes on the outside. The pot is heating water over an esbit BPL Firelite Ti Esbit Wing Stove and fuel tab inside the stove firebox:

BPL Firelite esbit stove MSR kettle and Bushbuddy

Here is the stove with an experimental grill, and grill covered with aluminum foil to serve as a heat deflector or cooling piece so the pot can simmer for a few minutes after boiling:

Bushbuddy with grill

Bushbuddy, grill with foil, MSR Titan Kettle

Edited by bdavis on 01/26/2007 13:17:48 MST.

Frank Deland
( rambler )

Locale:
On the AT in VA
a small point on 03/30/2007 20:37:21 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Note BD's final picture: the handles of the pot are directly over the opening that allows wood or fuel to be added to the stove when it is burning and the pot is ontop. When adding wood, I found that the flame tends to leap out of the opening and, therefore, up onto the handles if they are left directly over the opening. Try to avoid this. Set the pot, so that the handles are away from the opening. They will be less hot when you go to remove the pot. (A minor point.)
When adding sticks, I split them just as I would when adding logs to a fireplace in the living room. Starting the stove works best with a firestarter or at least a long handled match, since it is not easy to reach the bottom of the pile of fuel in the stove. I am impressed with how little fuel it takes to get water boiling. When the flames die down, hot wood coals remain that continue to give off a lot of heat. The can does not hold a lot of fuel at one time, so it is necessary to be ready to add fuel as it burns. With my esbit stove, one tablet just gets two cups of water boiling before going out, and the water immediatly stops its boil. With the Bushbuddy, 4 cups boil vigoursly, and can easily be kept boiling. I am fast becoming a fan of the woodburners. For now, the stove packs into an aluminum 5 cup coffee pot (without the innards) from "Open Country ", 5 cup.(REI, $13) With the stove inside it weighs 11 5/8 ounces...about the weight of an esbit ti-stove, Snowpeak mini solo ti-cook set, (including the small cup) and six tablets.

Edited by rambler on 05/23/2008 09:16:46 MDT.

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Andy Howell
( ecotrend )
What a Great Piece of Kit on 04/18/2007 06:01:51 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

What a good buy this has been! The bushbuddy is light, compact and very effficient. Just a little wood will keep you with a fire four hours.

Far better cooking than with gas, just as easy to light and boil as alcohol but lighter than any of them (when you include the costs of fuel).

John Kays
( johnk - M )

Locale:
SoCal
On the Trail on 04/26/2007 21:47:21 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Took the Bushbuddy to the woods for the first time last weekend on a hike in the Southern Sierra north of Kennedy Meadows up to Monache Meadows. I wasn’t expecting much from the stove but I didn’t take a backup opting to make it work or suffer the consequences of a cold dinner and a cold cup of coffee for breakfast. Actually my backup was my buddy’s stove but I was dreading the humiliation of going begging if it didn’t work. As it turned out I was quite surprised at just how nice the stove did work and provided hot boiling water almost on demand.FiredUp

Pine needles were an excellent source of fire starter although treated cotton balls were in my pack. Igniting the stove began with stuffing it with pine needles which took off burning just short of the velocity of gasoline and I then fed small twigs and sticks and a liter of water boiled in no time. It was so much fun that I was boiling water even when I didn’t need it.

I brought along a couple of large Tyvek envelopes from the post office and stuffed them with twigs and sticks along with large handfuls of pine needles to keep the fuel dry since it was snowing off and on. I don’t know how I came on such a brilliant idea since I have never relied on wood as my fuel on a backpack before but it worked out great especially for the early morning coffee and breakfast. The intermittent snow flurries during the night left it damp in the mornings and created a wet fuel supply.
Boiling
Steam
For anyone who has been considering the Bushbuddy but remains skeptical, you will find it very easy to use and efficient in boiling water. If you are an incurable fire bug, this pyrotechnic device will prove to be a source of joy and unmitigated delight. I highly recommend it especially to anyone hiking in unrestricted fire areas. Unfortunately I will not be able to use it in many of my favorite hiking haunts since open fires are not allowed in a wide swath of the Sierras

Edited by johnk on 04/27/2007 10:08:01 MDT.

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Sam Haraldson
( sharalds )

Locale:
Gallatin Range
Best Buy of 2007 on 09/13/2007 17:36:46 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

At a little less than five and a quarter ounces the Bushbuddy Ultra Wood Stove will probably receive my best buy of 2007 award.

I own an MSR Whisperlite, a Snowpeak Gigapower and two different beer can alcohol stoves - none of which compare to the Bushbuddy Ultra.

I pair my Bushbuddy Ultra with a Snowpeak 900mL cooking pot (modified) and a BPL Mini Ti Spoon and my cookset weighs a scant 8.49 oz.

The methodology of using the Bushbuddy Ultra is very easy and you'll grow to find that it makes cooking a treat. There is also an element of romance to cooking over a fire - and still knowing you're not leaving a nasty fire scar.

I found the Bushbuddy Ultra to work easiest when paired with some fire-starting tabs (I use the BPL TinderQuik ones). I simply collected two fistfuls of pencil to finger sized dry wood, broke them into three inch pieces, placed some of them in the firebox of the stove, shredded some kindling (birch bark, dry pine needles, dry moss, et al) atop this, placed and lit a TinderQuik tab in the middle and then carefully added kindling and then more twigs to the rising flames. Once the flames were going I placed the pot stand atop the stove followed by my pot of water and watched the show.

Once burning, addition of fuel is dependent on the type of fuel you are burning. With some wood you must constantly add it to the firebox, with others it will burn for awhile. I find that tending to the fire is fun and allows me to pay close attention to what I'm cooking. It is also a lesson in safety to not walk away from a lit stove in the backcountry anyway.

I give the Bushbuddy Ultra a rating of five for not needing to carry additional fuel and fuel bottles, for it's charm and it's fine craftsmanship.

Watch a six second video of my Bushbuddy Ultra in action.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
MSR Fuel Bottle priced at: $8.00 - $19.95
MSR Spoon priced at: $4.21 - $4.95
MSR WhisperLite priced at: $63.96 - $79.95
George Matthews
( gmatthews - M )
Bushbuddy on 03/25/2008 10:18:42 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

At a bit over 5 oz, the Bushbuddy is a light cooking solution because your carried fuel weight is minimal. With adequate practice, it is easy to use except under either windy or wet conditions. Another constraint to consider is camping in areas with restrictions where you will not be allowed to burn wood stoves.

I prefer to use the Firesteel firestarter and Tinder-Quik tabs to facilitate the fire building process. These plus an out of the breeze spot and as dry as possible sticks make for an enjoyable cooking experience. Because rain soaked wood does not want to burn, I take FireLite solid fuel tablets as a backup alternative.

The pot I use with the Bushbuddy is the FireLite SUL-1100. It is a little over 3 oz and its design is customized to store the Bushbuddy. The stove, firestarter, tabs, etc. fit inside the 1100. The 1100 goes into a plastic bag to keep the blackened pot isolated from other items in my pack.

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Thierry Monter
( eraz )
Enjoy your cooking on 03/26/2008 07:10:21 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The BB stove is just great. I'm from France and I use it mainly in Vosges hills.
Fueling the BB is just a lot of fun (my little Sarah 7 years old enjoy preparing the little sticks of wood and burning them). THe stove is very efficient, quick to start in every conditions except with wet wood of course. In this occasion I start the BB with slivers cutted in small log's heart.
I never use esbit or other firestarters... except sometimes a little twig of grease-wood.

I especially enjoy my BB in wintertime : the cooking is easy and safe even under a tarp and you can keep your hands warm. You can make large amounts of water with snow : it take some time, but you have plenty of fuel awailable. In the same way, you can cook rice, pasta, lentils, etc products who needs a long boiling time...
I really love this stuff ;).

eraz

Greg Vaillancourt
( GSV45 )

Locale:
Utah
FUN to use on 04/14/2008 10:04:25 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

And very nice workmanship.

Lynn Tramper
( retropump )

Locale:
The Antipodes of La Coruna
provisional review on 04/14/2008 20:43:27 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

OK, I'll give this little gem a '5' too. I haven't used it yet in torrential rain though, so I may end up down-grading my rating at some stage. But in dry conditions this stove is just plain fun and functional. It really needs wind protection to work well though. The stove itself still burns hot in windy conditions, but the flame gets blown sideways and most of the heat doesn't reach the bottom of the pot. It' very well made. If they ever got the weight down using titanium, I might even consider splashing out on another one...

There are down sides to this kind of stove. Pot black gets all over the place, it takes a lot longer to gather and prepare the fuel, it takes longer to cook/boil things, smoke is regualarly an issue, and there's always the risk of not finding adequate dry fuel. Seems to me it works better for group cooking so one person can tend to the stove and wood gathering while the other(s) set up camp. All this would be true of any wood-burning system though, so not sure it's fair to hold it against the BB ultra.

Edited by retropump on 04/14/2008 20:48:43 MDT.

Guthrie Abbott
( GuffAbbott )

Locale:
Southeast U.S.
Wood Burning Perfection on 05/22/2008 17:07:38 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I decided to post a review of the regular Bushbuddy wood burning stove with the Bushbuddy Ultra reviews because the stoves are identical in size and function. My regular Bushbuddy weighs about 6.5 ounces, while the Ultra model weighs 5.1 ounces. It seemed silly to post separate reviews for two essentially identical stoves.

That said, the Bushbuddy is a marvelous stove in its construction, design, performance, and ease of use.

Construction: The stove walls and floor are made of thin, but strong, 18-8 stainless steel, as is the pot stand, which nests conveniently inside the stove. The small grate above the stove floor is made of nichrome wire – very expensive and extremely resistant to heat. The tiny spot welds are themselves miniature works of art. The stove itself is quite strong, but would be susceptible to denting if not stored within a pot. My Bushbuddy fits perfectly within my GSI Double Boiler.

Design: Fritz Handel deserves an award for the elegant simplicity of this stove. The Bushbuddy has only two parts: the stove and a nesting pot stand. The double-walled design makes for an extremely clean and efficient burn. The Bushbuddy has a terrific draft; even a tiny flame causes a visible chimney effect. It appears that air follows two paths through the Bushbuddy. First, air flows in through the bottom vent holes, past the ash bin, then up through the grate, through the combustion chamber, then out of the stove. At the same time, air flows in and up through the vent holes in the outer wall, up past the hot inner wall, pre-heating the air, then through the vent holes in the top of the combustion chamber for efficient combustion. Thus, air flows in through the bottom and top of the combustion chamber. You can see the preheating effect of this outer wall path to the top of the combustion chamber when the stove gets going: flame pours through the top vent holes toward the center of the stove. It is quite impressive.

Performance: The careful thought put into the design of the Bushbuddy explains its stellar performance. If you can find one dead branch about four to five feet long – with twigs still attached, you have found all the fuel you need to cook two meals for two people. In optimal conditions, I can often bring a quart of water to a rolling boil in eight minutes from first spark to boil. Of course, wet wood and windy conditions will extend the time. Choosing a spot out of the wind will pay off with quick enjoyable firestarting.

Ease of Use: I have used the Bushbuddy on several backpacking trips in the Southern United States – and, due to an injury temporarily keeping me out of the game – extensive “deckpacking” use of the stove in my carport. Using the Bushbuddy is quick and easy. Simply break off pinkie-sized pieces of the branch, and stack them according to size: kindling, small fuel, and big fuel. I carry a hunting knife when backpacking, which makes it easier to chop the ends of thick branches into pinkie-length pieces. I get my tinder lit using a firesteel (I always carry tinder and fatwood splinters with me because I cannot always find good tinder in the bush). Then I use the tinder to light a small, toothpick -sized splinter of fatwood – and put the flaming end of the fatwood splinter below the grate in the Bushbuddy – sort of propped up on the grate. Then I use two sticks to put the burning tinder in the stove – and carefully put a small handful of twigs on top of the flame. Placing the burning end of the splinter of fatwood below the grate lets the flame rise up from below the tinder and twigs. Within seconds, the twigs are burning and crackling. Then I quickly add larger sticks until the combustion chamber is full. The draft is impressive, the flame intense. At this point I put the pot stand on the stove, which improves the draft even more. Once the Bushbuddy has a good bed of coals, I just add thick sticks every five minutes or so to keep the stove hot and flaming. I modified my GSI Double Boiler by adding a bail; I prefer to suspend the pot over the Bushbuddy for easier temperature control – and because hanging the pot reduces the chances of spilling dinner into the stove.

Downsides: Within the rational limitations of wood burning stoves, there is no downside to the Bushbuddy. Backpackers using the Bushbuddy are limited by the availability of fuel – really nasty weather – wood burning restrictions – and must deal with soot-covered pots. That’s it.

Conclusion: The Bushbuddy is nearly the perfect wood burning backpacking stove. It lights quickly, burns cleanly, uses little wood, and weighs only 6.5 ounces (5.1 ounces for the Ultra model). The only change I might suggest is putting three small feet on the bottom to keep it from slipping a bit on gravelly ground.

Two thumbs up. Five Stars. Bravo.

[I edited this review to say that the lighting technique described works MUCH better with a splinter of fatwood, rather than a twig found in the bush. A flaming twig is much more likely to go out than a flaming bit of fatwood when transferring from the lighting surface to the BushBuddy. In really bad conditions, I use Tinder-Quick Tabs or a small one-quarter ball of cotton soaked with petrolatum jelly. Those have not failed to get a fire going quickly, even with wind and wet wood.]

Edited by GuffAbbott on 06/14/2008 09:07:32 MDT.

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Robert Taylor
( Robtay )
Best thing since sliced bread on 05/28/2008 08:43:52 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Agree with the last review. It took me ages before i decided on the regular bush buddy, i wouldnt have had that problem until they decided to make them the same size. For a start its a little cheaper but the reason i opted for the regular version is because of its high quality 18% chrome 8% nickel stainless steel body, its gotto add a fair bit of durability to the stove, rather than hardened stainless steel.
The weight penalty is there (1.4 ounce) but i wanted to make sure it lasted a while at $100 a pop. Both models are exactly the same now other than the materials used and so would work the same - excellent, and imo even the normal bush buddy is a very light weight stove not needing to carry fuel.

Its a good idea to pick up fuel as go on a rainy day, by the time you camp down it will be dry. Obviously it doesnt work as good as other types of stove in windy conditions, i never carry a windbreak, i just find somewhere suitable. Cant exactly see this being a good choice for high altitude.

Pete Richards
( mangawhio )
Horsesh*t! on 08/25/2008 04:12:31 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

There's plenty of reviews raving about this little beauty, and this one will be no different. I've been living in Mongolia for 6 months and use the Bush Buddy on fishing/hiking trips. Not much in the way of trees on the steppes so I use what the locals do - horse dung. If dry, it burns hot and long and no, it doesn't stink. Every now and then you come across a low-tech item that should have been invented a hundred years ago (like wheels on suitcases) - the Bush Buddy is one.

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Dan M
( r4gl7q )

Locale:
Arizona
An amazing stove on 05/18/2009 22:40:41 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I received my BB Ultra today. I immediately took it out in the back yard with a handfull of small sticks and tried it out. I was thrilled by the performance! Within a minute, the flames were lapping up the sides of my 1L pot of water. I wished I had timed it, but the water was at a rolling boil before I knew it.

I had made a wood stove last year and based on it's lackluster performance, I was reluctant to purchase a BB. However, with all of the positive reviews on BPL, I decided to take my birthday money and buy one. I am so glad I did. This will go with me on all of my backpacking trips from here forward. Not only is it a beautiful work of art, it is the most amazing stove.

Dan

Stephen Barber
( grampa )

Locale:
SoCal
Superb piece of gear! on 08/18/2010 11:59:08 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I was able to pick up a Bushbuddy Ti used, and can't imagine why anyone would want to get rid of one! I used it repeatedly this summer and have been absolutely delighted with it!

It is probably too small for use with more than 2 people, but for an essentially solo hiker who prefers to stay below the tree line, it's ideal.

Unless I'm in an area that prohibits wood fires, this is my stove!

ERIC PAYNE
( vaporjourney )

Locale:
Greater Gila
Bushbuddy: perfection in the desert on 11/08/2010 22:00:18 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I can think of no other stove that suits the desert better than the BB. There is never a shortage of dry wood, and that dry wood often smells like amazing incense (ever smell juniper?).

Starting a fire is a fine art of course, and an art that can be fine-tuned by using this every night and/or morning. I used my BB for 750ish miles on the Grand Enchantment Trail, every night for dinner, and toward the end of the trip for breakfast coffee/tea as well. The lack of need to carry fuel has another positive side effect: you aren't afraid to use the stove more than you would others. Want a fire to kill annoying moths? no worries. Want some ambient/romantic light to eat by under the stars? Check. Want to start making a hot drink in the morning, but dont want to carry more denatured alcohol? No worries.

Cooking as an active process is very fun. If you pick good wood, large size branches once the fire gets going, you can get water to a boil nearly as fast as with an alcohol stove. Simmering is easy as well: once you are boiling, use small pieces of wood, and don't feed the fire as often. Flexibility is key here. As is fun.

Highly highly highly recommended.

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