Wednesday, November 14, 2012

QuickStove: Cube Stove

We haven't covered stoves all that much here on Black Scout, we will do better. While in the Marines I used a military grade Esbit type stove that really didn't work that well. This led me to start using gas backpacking types. However, I wanted to search for a viable non-gas option for you guys - that was affordable. I searched the web and came across the Cube Stove from QuickStove. QuickStove products are made here in the US.
Coming in at 2.75" x 4" and weighing only 15.7 ounces, its can easily carried in your pack.The Cube Stove is constructed from an aluminized steel that has been treated with a special coating to reflect heat.

It has two hinged "wings" that can be adjusted for different cooking applications. The CubeStove comes with a special dish or cup and two fuel disks. This stove has 7 cooking positions for using small cups up to large pots or pans. Another nice feature is that it can be flipped upside down and use the bottom as a small grill, for those of you that want to do some primitive survival type stuff.
The downfall to gas backpacking stoves is that you need the exact fuel canisters that fit that stove. Limiting your usage or forcing you to carry unnecessary weight of extra fuel canisters. As I said above the CubeStove comes with 2 fuel disk (extras are $1.95 a piece) and they are about the size of a hockey puck. You can carry 2 fuel disk in the stove when folded down to help with saving space in your pack. Each disk will burn up to 30-45 minutes. During my testing I broke it in half as suggested by their website. I ignited the disk with a UCO Stormproof match and had no problems. On the QuickStove site it states that the fuel disk can be extinguished and re-lit to conserve the fuel. The disk are made of a ceder and paraffin blend, they actually smelled good! It also would make an excellent waterproof firestarter.

What drew me to the Cube Stove was that it can be used with different fuel sources such as: wood, alcohol, esbit type tablets, burn gel, and charcoal. So unlike gas canister stoves - you have options. In the field or a survival situation these types of options can make a bad situation less crappy.
During our testing it took around 4 minutes to bring water to a boil in a standard stainless steel nesting cup. The fuel disk burned hot with a massive flame. It was fairly windy and the construction of the stove helped to protect the flame and block the wind. The only downside with these type stoves is that they do require cooling before packing. It also wouldn't hurt to clean it prior to packing to keep from getting smut on your gear. I would suggest getting a tupperware type container to store it in so you don't have to worry about that.

Overall the Cube Stove is a good buy and a great alternative to a gas canister type. As most of you know we started the "Building a Bargain Bug Out Bag" Series; so you will most likely see the Cube Stove mentioned in that series in the future. It a heavy duty piece of gear that will last you a long time. We will be posting a video review of this soon so that you can see it in action.

http://www.quickstove.com/

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