The other night it finally got cold enough to go out in the tipi and test the new ammo can stove I bought a few weeks ago. If you haven’t read about it yet I reviewed it here and Calamity Jane talked about it here.
Honestly, I had my doubts about how hot it would get, but I’m happy to report that this little stove can really crank out the heat. The tipi does not have a liner and all I was able to do was close the smoke hole most of the way leaving it open just enough for the stove pipe to go through.
There were still a few gaps around the bottom and the wind was blowing at least 25 mph making it very drafty inside and I didn’t think it would really get hot enough to make a difference under those circumstances.
The first time I did it as per instructions and used hard wood for the fire. I used birch bark to get it going and kept the pieces of hardwood small – about kindling size or a little bigger. I fired it up and sat back to examine my knife while it heated up. (See my cold steel bushman knife post.)
As mentioned it was cold with a little dampness in the air and the wind was really blowing. Once the fire was going I was very pleased at how quick it heated up the place. My dog laid next to the stove looking happy and after ten minutes or so I was able to take off my hat and gloves and sit comfortably. It was still cool, but if I had an insulated tent I’d have been sitting there in a pair of shorts.
A few nights later my dad and I slept in the tipi and this time there was no wind. I hadn’t cleaned the stove from the prior use because I wanted to put it to the test; to see if it would work under less than ideal conditions. It fired right up and worked like a champ. I used fir to start the fire and ran it that way for about fifteen minutes before switching back to hard wood. Once again it ran beautifully. This time I cranked it up and let it run hot for a few hours. Some of the paint peeled off, which I expected. It doesn’t affect the performance of the stove and I don’t expect my camping gear to be beautiful – just serviceable.
The only beef I had with the stove was the small door handle broke when I used a piece of wood to open it and close it.
The bottom line is that this stove works as advertised and I look forward to taking it out on a cold weather camping trip next winter.