Titanium wood burning stoves


Well-Known Member
May 10, 2011
What are your guys thoughts on using one of those titanium wood burning stove to boil water instead of a gas style stove? Bunch of different brands/styles, but I'm talking about the ones that are just sheets of titanium and they fit together into a box shape. Obviously you would have to be hunting where there are forests to get wood to burn, but they sure would save some weight.

I've always wanted to pack one in, but never do it because I'm always worn ragged at the end of the day when I'm out hunting and like the convenience and guaranteed flame of a fuel stove.
I don't use that stove, but when we winter backpack we boil all our water in a fire. We use custom pot holders and lightweight aluminum stock pots. It's usually in the low teens or single digits at night so we all keep Nalgenes with boiling water in our sleeping bags to keep our feet warm and then we have water to drink in the morning. Filters freeze so we don't have but to boil it. A few observations about fire-boiled water:

It taste nasty. Smoke is great on salmon... Not as good when you need to quench your thirst. You can try to cover it but the some always gets in.

Your pot and stove will build up a lot of very sticky creosol. It's like tar and can't be cleaned off. Pine is the worse contributor. We like to keep our pants in a grocery bag to protect our other gear. Bring an extra bag.

It's very difficult to boil water in the rain. I've spent 2 hours getting g a fire going when we relied solely on boiling water for purification.

Hope this helps.

My kit (before its first use about 6 years ago):

Winter hiking last year:

We made and stayed in quinzees instead of tents. It was MUCH warmer:

One thing they're very good for is cooking squirrel. This is a Sterno brand cooker that weighs less than half a pound and costs about $6:
I've used a wood stove that I built out of an altoids tin. It gets the job done. I've also used a couple alcohol stoves that I made out of beer cans. I like the alcohol stove better because It doesn't stink up my pack. I haven't committed to either completely and still carry a butane stove most of the time.
Back when I was in my 20's I didn't have the money to buy any kind of stove, so I just packed in an aluminum pot and boiled water over a campfire. I think that getting a fire going in one of the small wood burning stoves could be easier than lighting an entire camp fire especially in wet conditions. But then any wood fire is going to be tough to get going when it's wet.

I'll always pack in my water filter, just thinking that a little wood stove would help lighten the load and save space. I'm going to use it over the summer and see if I can get comfortable using it to boil water for MoHo dinners. Lots of pine park beetle trees in the new area I"m going to hunt, so wood is going to be plentiful.
The small wood stoves - particularly the more advanced designs - do a pretty decent job. They don't take a lot of wood, and in fact make efficient use of pine cones, etc. The other advantage is that they burn a lot hotter than a standard campfire, so don't soot up your pans nearly as badly.

I bought a CORE multifunction stove off of Kickstarter - it's sort of a Swiss Army knife of stoves that you can configure in several different ways. I haven't hiked with it yet, but have lit it up several times on our wooded property. It works great and is very lightweight.

But then - the ultralight isobutane stoves like the Snow Peaks type (I have several - in various backpacks and survival packs) weigh practically nothing even with a gas cartridge, and assure you of instant heat.
I have the SS version of this stove: Emberlit Emberlit Stove Titanium and I've only tested it twice. I haven't had it up in the mountains yet. I will say it is hotter/faster vs. using a pot over an open fire. You've got to stay on top of it, as that hotter burn requires very regular fuel feeding. You'll want a pile of burn material ready to go. The first time I lit it, it got a head of me as I was searching and preparing fuel when it had almost gone out.

Good thread. I'm interested in hearing others experience.
I've also got an Emberlit and it does burn very hot. But like you mentioned, you just have to feed it small bits of fuel very often.

When you compare to a small fuel stove, the wood stove weighs just about the same. So you are saving up to about 10-12 ounces by not carrying the butane tank, and a bit of space. as you use the butane throughout the trip total weight savings goes down.

So what I"m still trying to figure out is if it's worth it to save that bit of weight or have the convenience of an instant butane flame. Ounces add up to pounds so if the goal is ultralight, then the wood stove wins.

But the flip side is when I'm out hunting, I want all of my energy and focus to go into hunting. If I have to spend bunch of energy searching for dry wood, then I just burned off the energy I would have used just carrying the butane tank.

The other added perk of the butane is you can boil water under your vestibule (assuming you have great ventilation) and I would definitely not light a fire in a wood stove under the vestibule.

So I'm obviously still undecided which way to go. I'll use the wood stove throughout the summer and see if I develop a routine that is easy enough to carry out while I'm hunting.


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IF you want to use iso-butane (canister) stoves in cold weather you really need a remote canister stove like the MSR Whisperlite Universal in its canister mode. The canister is held in a special stand upside down at about 60 degrees so the liquid fuel goes into the fuel line and over to the burner where it is vaporized. The MSR Whisperlite Universal can also be set up with white gas (petrol) or kerosene from a MSR furl bottle W/ pump and different burner jets, one for gas, one for kerosene. (Preppers love this multi-fuel stove.;o)

---> The very most efficient Titanium sheet wood burning stoves are made by Trail Designs. Their Tri-Ti and smaller Sidewinder ti stoves have an optional Inferno insert and bottom screen that make the stove transform from an ESBIT or alcohol burning stove into a very hot "gassifier" type wood stove that burns gasses given off in initial combustion by re-circulating them.

The Trail Designs titanium stoves, like the heavier and non-collapsable Canadian made Bush Buddy stainless steel stove, are very hot burning and leave white ashes. But with TD's stoves you must get a pot (from TD) that is made to fit the stove to get maximum efficiency. TD does make some stoves to fit popular pots like certain Toaks ti mugs. In winter I cook with the 3 cup pot made for my ti Sidewinder stove but I use a larger 2 qt. JETBOIL pot with bottom heat-absorbing fins for better efficiency when melting snow.

For winter use, especially melting snow for drinking and cooking, wood stoves are great as long as you have a good source of fuel. The gassifier stoves I've mentioned only use finger sized sticks, which are easy to find and break into the correct length. Why carry fuel when you can get it at your campsite?

Eric B.
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