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11/10/2016 10:58 AM
 

So I haven't had much time to get out lately, but I've been really jonesing to get out. Lately we've had some real bad forest fires (for this area; nothing like what happens out in Cali). So, I decided to make a fire on my porch. It's outside, it's practicing a skill that I'm only mediocre at, and it's fun.

So safety first. I was building a one-stick fire in my Emberlit Fireant, which is a really neat piece of gear, inside a giant flower pot that I had soaked with a gallon of water. I also kept another gallon near by to put the fire out when I was done or if it did get out of control (there was also a fire extinguisher a few feet away).  I may or may not have been drinking some whiskey and coke... So maybe safety was second... No porches, flowers, or people were burnt in the making of this project.

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My first fire was a one-stick one-match fire. The stick was an old piece of birch I've been using for carving and whittling for two years. The one match fire is a classic from my childhood, and honestly, with my old birch it was too easy. 

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I put this fire out with some water pretty quickly. I then decided to rebuild a fire and try to light it just using my ferro rod. I have never successfully lit a fire with my ferro rod, so it is a skill I'm still really working with. I rebuilt the bundle, and topped it with some shavings.

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No go. I tried to top the shavings with some scrapings (sharp spines on knives can come in handy). 

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Still no go. I started collecting scrapings on the Emberlit's case, and then transferred them to the little insert that came with the Emberlit, designed for solid fuel tabs.

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It took me a while to figure out the best way to use the ferro rod like this, but I finally got the scrapings lit.

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I even got my wood bundle to barely light... And then it went out. 

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It took me a while to get enough scrapings to get another light, and I spilled them more than once... But finally I got the scrapings lit, and used them to light a another stick.

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In minutes I had a nice fire going.

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I tried to boil some water, but it burned through my kindling too quickly and I only got the water from cold to warm. 

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Since the goal wasn't really to boil water, I didn't mind. 

Anyways, it was fun. The ferro rod was really frustrating to use, but I'm glad I hung with it and figured out a way to get it to work. 

- J

 
New Post
11/10/2016 11:45 AM
 
GoKartz wrote:

 

I tried to boil some water, but it burned through my kindling too quickly and I only got the water from cold to warm. 

 

 

This was my experience with the Emberlit. Cool design but after I that I lost interest. Perhaps the bigger model would be more useful.

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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11/10/2016 12:26 PM
 
Yeah, I've found that little hole in the bottom to be horrible for feeding wood through. Maybe with practice I'll get the hang of it, but this time around I just lifted the pot and slipped a few more pieces in. I like the bigger version of this, or similar models like the Bushbox or Firebox, but the larger models are right around 1-2lbs, and at that point I'd rather get a wood gasifier like the Solo Stove titan. I like that I can use this Fireant with the Trangia I picked up, and that I can keep the fire ant in whatever bag I'm using and won't even notice the weight (2.6 oz is awesome). - J
 
New Post
11/10/2016 2:44 PM
 
The way I use my emberlit is to fill the box with sticks like you did and set that on fire. Once it's all burning, then feed longer sticks in through the side.




What's nice about the side port, is that you can use less sticks, or take some out if you want to adjust the flame. Similar with the diy ikea stove


 
New Post
11/10/2016 2:50 PM
 
I should follow up with the fact that the only fire i've set in my FireAnt is using the Trangia...
 
New Post
11/10/2016 5:48 PM
 
Hey chorpie - thanks for the pics, I'll have to try that next time I'm out in the woods and the burn ban is lifted. I take it you have a the FireAnt's bigger brother? (And kind of a side question - do you use a windscreen when using the Trangia in the FireAnt?) - J
 
New Post
11/10/2016 9:29 PM
 
I have both, but i've never taken the Fireant past my back yard. I figure if i'm bringing a stove, i'm going to bring the big one. And since it's the titanium one, it weighs almost nothing.

So... i've not used a windscreen with the Trangia... A possible shortcoming of the FireAnt in Trangia mode is that the stove is theoretically too close to the pot in that mode.

I'll be honest though: when I go into the woods, it's either isobutane canister stove (when there are fire bans) or wood. I've not tried using the alcohol stove past my back yard.
 
New Post
11/11/2016 7:27 AM
 
Hey chorpie,

I didn't realize that Emberlit made a big titanium firebox! I'll have to look into that. I had though that the flame was a bit close to the pot, but figured they'd've built it right, and I'm new to alcohol stoves so what do I know. Like you it seems, all of my outdoor excursions I've used a campfire or my Jetboil. Lately been experimenting with alcohol stoves and small wood stoves (Emberlit and Solo). I'd actually thought about hanging a pot over the FireAnt with a toggle (just like a regular fire), rather than setting it on top. Don't know if that'd work better - any experience or thoughts? I imagine if I did that with a wood gasifier I'd lose a lot of efficiency, but not sure about the Emberlit.

- J
 
New Post
11/11/2016 4:45 PM
 
You know, that's a really good question. I imagine if you did that, you'd want a windscreen, depending on how windy it is. The best thing about the emberlit (and probably any wood burning stove with holes at the bottom) is that it automatically shields from the wind for the most part. The ikea diy stove has too many holes for wind to be beneficial.

The only issue i see with hanging it over the fireant is wind will take up that space (if it's windy). And, it seems like a lot of work :D Personally, i'd just let it take the extra minute or two that it would take. Because i mean, you're out in the woods... which is better than not being out in the woods!
 
New Post
11/11/2016 5:17 PM
 
So it takes about 9 minutes to get two cups to a rolling boil. I think average times are like 7-7.5 minutes? Seems negligible to me.
 
New Post
11/12/2016 12:42 PM
 
Good thoughts chorpie. Thanks for the input!
 
New Post
11/12/2016 12:53 PM
 

Well during my son's nap today I got out my solo stove to try and repeat my Emberlit experiment - this time actually seeing if I could boil water (16-18oz).

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Above are pictures of the amount of wood I was using. The first picture shows you the finger sized pieces, and the second shows you the shavings I put in to get it going. Lit with one match, simply to save time. 

Will it light? [URL=http://s257.photobucket.com/user/jkartzinel/media/Will%20it%20Light.jpg.html]
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It is alive! [URL=http://s257.photobucket.com/user/jkartzinel/media/1st%20Burn%20Initially.jpg.html]
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That amount of wood ALMOST boiled the water, and pretty quickly too. I was talking with my brother and neglected to watch the clock, but I'd say that it burned through all the wood in 6-7 minutes, and the water was quite hot to touch, little bubbles forming, but definitely not boiling. I waited too long to add in my back up wood, and the fire died. [URL=http://s257.photobucket.com/user/jkartzinel/media/2nd%20Burn%20Wood%20pile.jpg.html]
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I quickly shaved up some new shavings (the Tops BOB makes quick work of dry birch!) and a little bit more finger sized pieces, and then relit with another match. [URL=http://s257.photobucket.com/user/jkartzinel/media/2nd%20Burn%20initially.jpg.html]
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It took maybe three minutes and boom! Boiling. [URL=http://s257.photobucket.com/user/jkartzinel/media/Boiling.jpg.html]
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It kept it boiling for maybe 5 more minutes, and then burned out. It seems that one load of wood in the solo stove gives 5-7 minutes of burn time, so you will need to load more wood to boil water, so having a full second load on stand by would probably be advised to feed it to boil and purify the water. Very little ash was left. [URL=http://s257.photobucket.com/user/jkartzinel/media/PostAllBurn.jpg.html]
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Over all, I liked the Solo better than my FireAnt. It was much easier for me to feed (even if I let it go out, when I was trying to put wood in to keep it going it was very easy to slip them through that top hole). I'll have to try them both with my Trangia next and see how it goes.  Big pro of the FireAnt is weight and compactness, big pro of the Solo is easy feeding and quick boiling. I can't pick a favorite, but I guess I don't have to. :)

- J

 
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When humans first set foot in a new continent, they came in small groups under their own power, bringing only the gear they needed. Most simply called themselves The People. Over time, those who chose the rougher freer life of the up country came to think of themselves as the Hill People.
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