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7/18/2013 2:44 PM
 

Placeholder for questions and discussion about the new HPG Shepherd Stove.

A User Review:

Quote:

The guys at Hill People were kind enough to send me a stove, and requested that I write up a review. I do not normally participate in forums so gave them permission to post this for me.

I was a few days away from leaving for my elk trip when I realized my new titanium stove would not work for my needs. For spike camp I needed something bomb proof and easily put together. The guys agreed to sell me a stove and over night it. A few days later I was deep in colorado putting it through its paces. It performed perfectly and was a show stopper for the other local hunters.

The belly sheet metal is very thin but strong, it will deform if not handled carefully prior to its first burn. I didn't get it put together as smoothly as their video, but after some fumbling it was seated. After firing it goes together quickly. The beauty of this stove is that there are no parts to loose, it's sturdy and easy to handle. The stove surface is spacious, and it appeared there were no hot/cold spots. The legs are sturdy, and easily seat into the ground with minimal leveling needed. They kindly fabed up an adapter for my 3 inch kifaru stove pipe that fitted together easily. The door is awesome! No small door latch requiring delicate feeding of wood, just open it up and stuff it full! The vents are perfect, in fact once the kindling is lit it started faster if I closed the door and allowed it to draw from the vents vs the open door. The damper works well, however I did find it a little difficult to move in/out once the stove was hot. I only kept it from half way in to all the way open so wasn't an issue.

The stove burns just like any larger wood stove. Start a small fire with kindling, once a draft has been started close the lid. Open a few minutes later, load it up, and in a matter of minutes you have water boiling and your jacket is hanging up drying. It will consume virtually any piece of wood you can cram in it. Feedings are about every 40-60 min pending how hot you are running it. Before bed I would load it up with larger pieces, put the damper half way in, and a few hours later it's coals were still keeping the tent warm. That sucker ran almost 20hours on it's first burn with out a hitch.

The only issue I had was that one corner of the belly seems not to stay in the groove during initial assembly and the bottom may gap a little and not sit flush. However, after pushing various parts down/out, it fills out once heated and is weighted down with wood. I still have a slight gap that occasionally would form on the side but it is strictly cosmetic. It never leaked smoke, and appears to not effect the draft.

I used it in my kifaru sawtooth tent and seemed almost over kill. I am confident it will handle much larger tents with ease.

I personally don't see the need for a titanium version. It's light where it can be, sturdy where it must be, and tuff enough to handle being shoved any where in a back pack.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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7/18/2013 11:24 PM
 
HPG love the design. I'll be watching tbe progression of these closely. As you get things ironed out it will be inetersting to see the weight savings of titanium. Keep up the great innovations.
 
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7/19/2013 9:31 AM
 

Evan - I watched the video last night, really marvelleous concept and design.  It will make a great addition to my gear when the time comes.  I am really intrigued by the idea of titanium, though the cost may become too restrictive.

Those flies looked pretty terrible in the video!

 
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7/19/2013 10:34 AM
 

 The ease of set-up looks very appealing, I'll be interested to see the pricing when you get that ironed out.

 
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7/19/2013 9:42 PM
 

 Evan,

Very nicely done on the stove. Very classy design.

 
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7/20/2013 12:46 PM
 

In a word, elegant.  At 3#5oz this stove has more volume and is lighter than a Kifaru medium.  This thing should turn a 6man into a sauna.

 
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7/21/2013 4:17 PM
 

 It is slick. I don't think the ease of set up can be over stated. I was pretty impressed you were allowed to set it up on the kitchen table Evan. Does Cameron let you burn it inside too? ;)

 
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7/22/2013 12:06 PM
 

Ed, thanks! Much appreciated coming from the guy who designed what was the standard lightweight fold up stove for the last couple of decades.

Chris, there are downsides to not having either of the spouses be the "responsible one", but there are upsides!


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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7/23/2013 10:27 AM
 

Just saw this.

Evan, the stove looks awesome! About as simple as it gets and lots of room to stoke the heck out of it meaning long burn times for such a compact stove.

 

 


http://www.skookumbushtool.com | sig added by Evan. Go check out Rod's work.
 
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7/24/2013 10:44 AM
 

Great concept! I really like it.

Any plans to make a smaller version more suited to solo use/carry?

Is there a big enough weight differance between the SS sheet for the body and Titanium sheet for the body to justify the extra cost? Maybe a hybrid, Ti flue and Ti roll up body, with SS body would be more cost effective.

 
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7/24/2013 1:28 PM
 

We will be doing a smaller version, but that is down the road once we get this one into production and out in the wild so to speak. 

The nice thing about this design is different bellies and pipes can be used based on the users needs and desire, for instance you could use a heavier gauge no roll up belly and tall pipe for car camping in an 8 or 12 man and a roll up stainless belly with shorter pipe for backpacking in a smaller shelter.  We have definitely talked about titanium pipes and bellies as well as a complete titanium stove, but we haven't yet figured out the cost/weigth savings on titanium. Our goal is to first produce an extremely efficient, simple to setup and easy to use stove at a reasonable price. We know that titanium will be lighter, but at this point the focus is on stainless due to price.  Once we get further down the road we will look at the weight savings of titanium versus cost.  However, pulling this together has been a big enough issue that we didn't want to cloud things with different materials, etc...


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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7/24/2013 5:04 PM
 

I can imagine it's hectic with the season approaching. I would think the cost/weight savings would be more worth it for the pipe than the belly, it seems like the flue is about 40% of the total weight on the box stove I have. 

I am getting flown into the Frank Church this November for a Mule Deer hunt and will most defiantly need to upgrade my stove. Hopefully things work out and these stoves come to market soon :)

 
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7/29/2013 1:40 PM
 

 Fantastic design, guys!  I believe you've just dialed up the backpackable woodstove concept significantly & it's something to be proud of!  There are lighter stoves out there, but at a some point, light equals flimsy & it becomes a game of dimishing returns.  I prefer a few more ounces & an easy-to-assemble design that can handle some hard knocks, which is exactly what you've got here.  And for those of us whose hands lose dexterity in the cold, this is about as good as it gets! 

Once a few of these stoves get out in the field, it would be great to get some side-by-side comparisons from users who have other types of packable stoves.

 
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7/29/2013 1:54 PM
 

Thanks Mike! We got a chance to burn it quite a bit this last weekend. We have run a Kifaru box stove (for nearly a decade) and a Seekoutside box stove (for about 30 hours straight) so we have a pretty good idea of how it compares to those. Here's some datapoints for you that might let you compare it to your stove or others you've used:

  • 3" coal bed in bottom, put (2) 8" half rounds on top and close the door. That is about a half load in this stove.
  • about a minute later (once the half rounds gasify and stop putting smoke out the chimney), put the damper in halfway
  • an hour later, pull the damper out to 1/3 engaged to kick up the heat of the stovetop
  • cook two pancakes in a row and then a quesadilla
  • put the damper back in to halfway
  • two hours after the initial loading, maybe 45 minutes after cooking was finished, open the door for the first time because heat output is noticeably starting to decline
  • there is enough of a coal bed left to put more half rounds in and repeat the process

We decided that in actual use you'd want to open it up every 45 minutes to an hour to stoke it a bit and throw another log on. The one test we didn't get to was a fully loaded firebox, half (or more) damped, how long until it isn't putting out heat? Based on what a half load got us, a full load should still be putting out some heat 4 hours later.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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7/30/2013 9:30 PM
 

I was able to see the Shepherd Stove in action last weekend and used it for cooking breakfast.  It really is a great design.  Being able to control the temp via the damper makes it great for cooking.  This thing put out heat for a long time on just a couple half rounds.


Not all those who wander are lost - JRRT
 
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8/2/2013 4:43 PM
 

Great design, guys!  I am very intrigued at what seems to be a longer burn time than a Kifaru Box Stove.  The estimated 4 hour ability to keep heat sounds amazing! The potential for heat through the night without getting up 5 times to start fire would be great!  I also like how it seems like you've kept the efficiency of a cylinder stove (being the bottom so the coal bed can build) with the utility of a flat surface for cooking!  Not as many seams for air to leak in, too.  I 'm digging it.

 
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8/2/2013 5:33 PM
 

Well, the opening for wood is simply cavernous. You can get a major chunk of wood in if you want a long burn. I still can't get over the set up. So simple, even I can do it.

 
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9/18/2013 12:50 AM
 

Elegant solution, BFO moment in stoves.

Sell it and I will buy it.

This is why I drag my sorry butt to work everyday.

 
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9/18/2013 1:01 PM
 

Thanks!

We've got a whole pile of them sitting here ready to go. What we don't have yet is stove cases, stove pipes, or final pricing (because we don't know pipe cost yet). By the way, the stove by itself weight has dropped to 2lbs, 15oz.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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9/18/2013 4:59 PM
 

 I've never really needed a heated shelter, living in a very mild climate, but this stove is certainly making me want one. Can't wait to hear final price.

 
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