A review of the HebTroCo Storm Stick Stove, a light, compact and efficient all in one system for boiling water in the outdoors.
I’ve been interested in the idea of a stick stove for a while now. I like the idea of having the ability to boil some water for a brew with twigs and sticks collected while out and about in the woods and hills. It seems like a sustainable system without the need to buy gas canisters or liquid fuels.
I looked at and considered various options (including the Patagonia Wood Burning Stove). I even bought what I initially thought might be the best choices. First of all a cheap Chinese wood burning stove off eBay which worked but is too bulky and slow for my purposes. And then I tried a Firebox Nano. This is an American modular system consisting of folding frame that holds sticks and twigs with fold out supports for a small pan or kettle. These are really popular but I found it too fiddly and not reliable enough for UK conditions.
Another option I considered was the traditional Kelly kettle and Gillie kettles and while these are great stoves, we use them on our Beyond the Edge Kids Adventure Camps, they are not very portable.
And then I saw the Hebtroco Storm Stick Stove (Hebtroco are a Hebdon Bridge based company that specialises in high quality UK made clothing) and after a bit of research (reading the blurb on their website!) it seemed that I had found what I had been looking for.
The stove comes in three parts. The kettle, a base for the kettle into which the sticks go and a bung that seals the hole in the kettle allowing you to carry the stove pre loaded with water.
The kettle itself is an ingenious design; simply a double walled chamber for the water with a cone shaped hollow at the bottom to efficiently direct the heat to boil the water. There is a hole to pour the water into the chamber and a bung that seals tightly enough to enable you to carry water in the kettle. The kettle is covered in a neoprene sleeve with a nylon handle to enable you to pour the water when it’s boiling.
To use the stove collect some dry wood, twigs or even pine cones. Bundle them up in the base and light them using your preferred method. Pop the water filled stove on the base with the bung removed. Direct the hole in the base towards a breeze, or blow or fan to feed the flames with oxygen. You can add more wood through the hole in the base or more easily through the top of the kettle.
The efficiency of the kettle means the water should boil in 6-8 minutes. Admittedly this is a lot slower than my MSR Reactor or Kovea Spider and certainly won’t replace these stoves for working on Mountain Leader expeditions or tent based cooking. This is a different kind of experience and the Stick Stove suits a more leisurely approx to boiling water in the outdoors and is perfect for a lot of my Peak District based activities. It is great for making a brew or adding hot water to noodles. There is something relaxing and rustic about the act of feeding wood into the stove and waiting for it to boil. We aren’t always in a rush.
A great feature of the Stick Stove is the ability to pair it with a meths burner. This greatly increases its versatility. You just pop the meths filled burner in the base and light it. It’s not always possible to get dry wood and in some circumstances lighting a wood fuelled fire is not the right thing to do. A Trangia burner works well but the Whitebox burner is excellent, it’s very light and kicks out a ferocious heat.
The Stick Stove is very well made and looks very durable. I see this lasting a long, long time. With no moving parts there just isn’t anything to go wrong. It comes with a durable nylon stuff sack and there is room in base for storage of some fire lighting kit.
In conclusion the Hebtroco Storm Stick Stove is a very efficient, simple but very well designed and durable stove. Great for making a brew on days out. I’ll be using this for years to come for my own excursions as well as for making cuppas for clients on our rock climbing courses!
Hand spun from aluminium, then Hard Anodized to British Standard ISO10074:2010
Weight: 370g (13 oz)
Capacity: 530 ml (18 oz) Approximately 1 pint
Dimensions: 17cm (7”) Tall by 10cm (3.75”) Diameter
Pack: Fitted rip stop nylon carry bag with D-Rings
Transport: Use stopper to carry water
Storage: There is adequate space for matches and a fire starter inside fire base