Archive for July, 2009

The Bushbuddy Ultra, like the Sierra Zip Stove, exclusively uses wood as fuel.  The Zip Stove has been my favorite stove for years.  But the BB Ultra has surpassed the little Zip to become my new favorite.   It performs just as well but is 50% lighter!

Zip Stove Titanium with battery: 10.4 oz.

Bushbuddy Ultra: 5.1 oz.IMG_5847

It is a little slower to boil water than the Zip Stove (8-10 minutes), but not enough to matter to me in the back-country.  Fire starting was just as easy and once it was going it stayed burning without much attention.  If I abandoned it for a few minutes to do other tasks, I would just take the pot off, refill with small pieces of wood and it would rekindle on it’s own.  First it smokes thickly and then bursts into flames; kind of entertaining.  When left alone after a boil, it retains the heat and coals much longer than the Zip Stove.  15 or 20 minutes later you could restart a fire just by adding more wood.  This lingering heat worked well to keep water warm for doing dishes or for coffee warm-ups.

The only problem I encountered was a minor one.  When removing the pot from the stove the upper section would usually stick to the bottom of the pot and become dislodged from the main burner.  IMG_5848

This problem could be avoided if one was careful and twisted the pot just so before lifting.  I did not always succeed in this maneuver however.  I would then have to reposition the upper portion using a couple of sticks as tongs to be back in business.

Another advantage of this stove, and the Zip Stove, is a fully contained fire box.  No fire scars and complete combustion down to ash.  This is an environmentally sound design.IMG_5903

I used a titanium foil windscreen to speed boiling times, but I found it worked fine without it under normal conditions.  The windscreen added 1.5 oz. to the unit, including the 3 titanium tent stakes; still well under the Zip’s weight.

This video was made before we figured out to take the pot off to reload the wood fuel in the burner.  It’s much easier to load when the pot is removed.

Next up we try the Bushcooker LT II!


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