The Honey Stove

You know me. Lightweight is all about being there out there, my feet treading lightly on the ground snow, watching the sun set and rise on a distant horizon from a high camp. I hate fannying about, gear I’ve got to work with, coax and adjust. If I started that shite it would become all about the gear and not where I am, looking at my titanium pindörst and not the view. Nightmare.
So, when Bob the Pod asked if I wanted to trial one of his new self designed and manufactured Honey Stoves, my first reaction was “Jings, you’re joking, aye?”. But there’s no point in having any kind of opinion without constantly updating your data. Things change, hey, people change. So I said: Alright!

There will be others in internet land giving greater detail I’m sure, but basically it’s a Meccano set. There’s 9 flat sections made from 0.7mm stainless steel that slot together to make a hexagonal shell. There’s three horizontal inner trays which you can mix and match depending on what fuel you’re using. It’s fiddly and a little tight to put together, cold fingers and tired eyes will suffer here, but once together it’s rock solid.
It comes in a wee case, with an ashtray to sit it on if you’re burning solid fuel, and this’ll help reflect heat as well, so I’d pack it all the time as it’s weightless. They whole thing does pack almost flat, but it does weigh 351g.

I’ll be testing this with ready made fuels, there’s not much to burn on the snow covered tops, so I’ve got a Greenheat tin under it in the photie, which works okay but getting the lid back on to put the flame out is awkward. I’ll try other stuff as I go.
The pot there is an Optimus Terra Weekend which is a good fit, my first attemept with my old MSR Titan Kettle was abandoned as the kettle handles sit on the edges of the side sections and you can’t sit it flat. Bummer.

I’m sitting on the fence here. I’ll land on one side or the other soon enough, maybe even later. On my arse or feet, we shall see. If I can get the boil time down, I’ve got a flat-packing cooker as well as a radiator in my tent for heating hands, feet, socks?
If I slice a finger on it when I’m putting it together at 2200hrs, 1000m, below freezing, tired and hungry in my tent, then someone one day will find a trig point which looks like one of the cast of Hellraiser, what with all the stainless steel pieces protruding from its body.

This is good stuff for me to be doing. Is this finely made piece of lightweight backpacking kit all about the geeks gratification of spending time with the mechanics of it’s operation, or is it going to be as simple and unobtrusive as I’m used to?

56 thoughts on “The Honey Stove”

  1. Now that one I got first time and without help.

    Like the BBC report on the washed out mountain marathon. Something like “hundreds forced to sleep out on hillside”

    In the eyes of the majourity what we do appears a little odd ball. I’m happy to keep it that way.

  2. Just following up on this thread cos it’d be rude not to given that I ran with the advice posted here. Finally went with a Primus Gravity EF burner for Norway. First reaction is realy positive, worked well in temps down to around -15C (with primus 4 season mix canisters)and stable enough to accomodate a big pan. With the can inverted it burns fiercly and consistently without loss of power. Never had to realy work to warm the cans. Pity the controls are impossible to access with an inverted can since the stove is clealry well suited to that configuration. Never measured boil times (doesn’t interest me) but never felt the thing was sluggish in the least. Only issues were that I found the piezo reluctant at low temperatures and the heat shield/wind shield started to crack open with all the unfolding and refolding over a long weekend (cold?).Never seen the latter happen before.

    Out of interest PTC, Chris Townsends review (in that other rag) confirms your field experience with the windpro. His measurements show that it burns weak and is very fuel inneficient compared with other remote cannister stoves out there. If I had the time I would’ve waited and gone for the Primus Spider but I’m happy enough with the Gravity for now.

    Thanks to all for the input!

  3. That trip looked brilliant :o)

    Good news on the stove, that’ll be worry-free kit in the future. Intersteing about the windshield though, low temps making it a little brittle?

    The MSR is already back in its box. Ebay beckons…

  4. That trip looked brilliant :o)

    Not complaining. Was good to be out rather than reading about others having all the fun. Winter trip may become a standard fixture.

    Not sure about the windshield thing. The others I have are all annealed dead soft and bend like putty. Got a feeling this one was pretty stiff to start with. Alu shouldn’t embrittle at low temperatures. Whatever the reason its a bit piss poor after two days of use. Still I have half a dozen of the things in the bat cave.

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