STOVE SELECTION, by Don Kevilus
Stove Selection &
Light weight stove or heavy steel
model ? If you are hand hauling or
using dog team or pack animals think about a lighter weight
stove. Other wise the heavy steel Dog models have more user
friendly features that greatly outweigh their weight. Light
weight items are not always the best way to go if the item
might fail, no matter what the item!
Stove Position in tent?
The best position for a stove is as
close to the center of tent as possible. Why ? Well the
sun is the center of the universe . In the tepee “ North
America”, yurt “Mongolia” or Lavu “ Nordic” structures the
fire was in the center and once the use’s of steel stoves the
stoves where in the center. At present the Swedish, Finland
and Norway military all use there stoves in the center of the
tents. It allows for better draw on the stove pipe, more
radiant heat off the metal of the stove pipe before the hot
gases leave the pipe and better heat distribution in the tent.
Not too hot in the corner and cold in the far corner. Proper
clearances from combustibles must always be observed. Min. 24”
all the way around !!! If your getting singed inserts or
damaged canvas your to0 close !! Or have poor insert
CAN'T BE TOO SAFE !!
Stove design? First the door will make or break the stove. To
have good combustion of your fuel you must have three
fuel , the drier the better, wood does
not become fuel until it becomes charcoal, to become
charcoal it must first get all the moisture and resin out of
the wood, that is why smaller wood burns hotter and more
2– air ,
oxygen that’s what lets the wood burn. That is why the door is
important. If it warps and you can not control the air as it
comes in you can not control your fire! At best it hurts
efficiency, comfort. At worse it gets away from you and burns
the tent down at 3:00 am when it’s 20-. Not good
it allows the hot gases to mix and create a
should be made so as not to allow air to enter or smoke to
escape, if you close the damper and smoke comes from the
seams, not good. That is a sure sign you that you stove will
suck air at
The worst time, thus creating a safety
hazard. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR SAFETY !!
Over all fit and finish.
Is this an item you would
trust your life to...? Because you will if you use it in a
cloth tent!. Can you sleep with it in operation ? If it looks
poorly made why would you trust life to it ? You wouldn’t
drive a car without brakes.
Does it have a baffle and or a true
air tight door ? Both add to the
safety, effiency and usability of stove. If it does not have
high temperature gasket on the door it is not air tight ! A
baffle aids in cooking and efficiency as well as safety (no
direct flame in stove pipe, built in spark
THE BEST MADE STOVE WILL SUFER FROM OPERATER FAILURE
What does that mean ? Well the better
you learn your stove and practice sound technique the better
the stove will work for you. In this high tech world of today
we all like to be able to push a button, point and click and
every thing works right now and how hard can burning wood be ?
It’s a bit of an art with specific laws of physics one must
work within. A stove is like a mule the more you tend to its
need the better it will work for you and like a mule you must
learn its likes and dislikes. Also if you treat it roughly and
with disrespect you don’t want to turn your back on it cause
it might just kick ya!! So it’s up to you to learn the magic
to get the stove and the wood to do its magic! Keeping you
warm, cooking your food and yes even possibly saving your
Now for some facts.
- One pound
of dry wood material contains 7,000 btu of
energy. That stick of wood will have from
a low of 16% water if dry and seasoned and up from
there. If dead laying on the ground horizontally up to
40-60% water and/or if green. That means you have to
take from that 7000 btu's to make wood into fuel. The
higher the water content the lower the btu's from that one
pound. 1% moisture will cause a drop of 2%
larger the wood the more energy used to cure the wood or in
other words the harder it is to get the water and resin out
of the wood to make fuel.
pound of dry hardwood contains as much heat value as a pound
of pine. The difference is in the volume, pine will
take twice as much room as oak in volume. So the same
fire box filled with oak will give twice as much heat as a
charge of pine.
- Blue smoke is a sure
sign of a poor burn and technique. You should have only two
colors of smoke... white, and none. Blue smoke is unburnt
gases and energy leaving your stove. That’s what makes that
creosote in the pipe. It's from
burning to cool a fire or placing new wood to large
on to small a coal
base. You should never place a stick of wood in a fire
box larger the 1/3 width of the fire box less one finger
width. Also always rake your coals forward on a new fueling.
That will give you the heat you need to make that new wood
smoke is normal when new wood is added , it is the water
vapor leaving the wood.
- No or clear smoke means your burning
all the energy being released from the wood before it leaves
- Dead standing wood with the bark off
is the best fuel to find, any angle on the tree will add 1%
water to 1% angle.
- Good starter tree like that at 6-8
in diameter will allow you to get a good fire started thus
allowing you to use less desirable wood with a higher water
- Efficiency means how much usable
energy you extract from your wood, so if you burn your stove
at 30% efficiency or at 60% the deference means you must cut
, haul and stock the fire twice as much at 30% then at 60% .
Twice the work half the fun.
- Small wood good, big wood bad. The
little bit of extra effort to cut and split the wood pays of
with a better burn and less work in the long
- Learn and perfect you fire skills,
it will help you amaze your friends and family . Who knows
it may save your life or that of a loved one and at least it
will help you enjoy your time in the woods.
- We can do something
wrong for thirty years and do it for another thirty years
the same way it still doesn't make it
Stay warm and keep your traces tight