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Thread: Hobo vs Woodgas stoves?

  1. #1
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    Default Hobo vs Woodgas stoves?

    After getting my first kelly kettle a few months ago I began to want a wood burning stove also, this lead me to various "woodgas" stove types that are produced and sold online. However I have seen the odd negative review that states they do nothing more then a traditional hobo stove, and simply do it faster due to blowing air at them.

    Has anyone had experience of both a diy hobo stove and a woodgas stove and can offer an opinion on both? I like new gear as much as anyone but really need good cause to go and blow 40+ on something I can make for under a tenner.

  2. #2
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    I think the people giving negative reviews don't have a clue what they are talking about.

    Woodgas stoves don't have air 'blowing' at them. They make use of the heat from anaerobic combustion to create gas from the fuel; this gas is then burnt. It's all in the construction.

    You can build a diy woodgas stove. I'm sure some of the members on here can give you links and advice.

  3. #3
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    Many woodgas stoves do employ a fan but you can build a basic one at home fairly easily using two food tins if you would like to try - just try searching 'woodgas how to' into google or youtube.
    Honey? That's a stove, right?

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    Woodgas stove like the BushBuddy are excellent and much more efficient and faster than a regular hobo type. They also don't produce much smoke when going. You certainly don't have to blow air into them. Do a search on here for Bush Buddy and Bush Cooker, they get superb reviews.
    <a href=http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/aa-2.jpg target=_blank>http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77..._1969/aa-2.jpg</a>

  5. #5

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    I can definatly recomend this http://woodgasstove.co.uk/index.php?...&products_id=2 just a happy customer noconnection.

    I have made a woodgas type stove was impressed with the results then bit the bullet. To be fair mine dont get much use as I was using it for fishing but most of the places I go are not suitable for this excellent cooker. (So much easier to get going than the home build).

  6. #6
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    A so called woodgas burner is a different beast to a hobo stove. It chars the wood at a controlled rate in a controlled environment due to clever placement of the air inlets and effectively burns some of the fuel twice.

    A hobo stove is simply a fire in tin.

  7. #7
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    Woodgas stoves come in different types - those that use a power source and a fan to create a bellows, blue-ish flame effect (these normally burn from the top down) - and those, like the Bushbuddy that don't operate with a power source - but burn cleaner and more efficiently than an average hobo stove.

    I've used both...The Ikea type cutlery drainer makes for a great little portable brazier and is easy to keep going but isn't what you'd call fuel efficient. The Bushbuddy is fuel efficient and can be kept going with care - but once it's clogged, that's it - you have to empty it out and start again. It's my stove of choice for brews and reheat/ dehydrated meals on the go and where campfires aren't allowed.

    I suppose to summarise - I would say that my hobo stove makes a better portable campfire and requires less attention - whereas my Bushbuddy is specifically for cooking/ brews etc - it's more of a "stove", requires more attention but is very efficient (a brew on a handful of twigs) and burns down to fine white ash. Another plus with the Bushbuddy is that the exterior remains cool enough to handle - you can move it about and it really is a "leave no trace" solution.

    I don't own a KK - but don't they also do a - top of the chimney - cooking option?

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    ged is offline Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!) Wanderer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fin View Post
    ... I don't own a KK - but don't they also do a - top of the chimney - cooking option?
    Yes they do, but I've never understood it. They boil the water so fast and so furiously that you'd never be able to cook anything over the chimney. You could just about use the fire dish to cook over but it would be a real faff and I'd rather use a stove. Any stove.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ged View Post
    Yes they do, but I've never understood it. They boil the water so fast and so furiously that you'd never be able to cook anything over the chimney. You could just about use the fire dish to cook over but it would be a real faff and I'd rather use a stove. Any stove.
    Yup! Thought so - I would imagine that the heat on top of the chimney would be pretty fierce as well - burning the bottom of the pot before the top had reheated? (probably good for stir frying though?) Having said that, there are some ingenious work arounds on the hobo stove front for cooking solutions. I was wondering if anyone had any real world experience with the KK cooking options and come up with some ideas like prolonging the cook time by topping up with cold water? - I really don't know - not having any experience myself - like Ged said - most things I can think of sound a bit of a faff, but I know the KK has it's fans and was wondering wether it could be anything else, practically, other than a water boiler.

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    the only reasons I prefered my hobo to my old wood gas was the fuel feeing hole is larger and it was/is a bit more robust - at some point i'll make my own wood gas and sort these issues.

  11. #11
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    A great thread. I've been wondering the same thing recently. I made an Ikea hobo and have used it on several nights out now and think it's great. I saw a cheaper bushbuddy-esque stove over on Ebay that caught my eye. It's no lighter than my Ikea and would be more awkward to fit into my system (my titanium mug nestles nicely inside the Ikea like it was made for it). I do like trying other gear though but I don't think it would be much more efficient and for occasional backpacking trips and nights out I wouldn't go over to a woodgas stove. If I was on the AT or similar then perhaps I'd invest in a BushBuddy or similar. They do look nicer than my Ikea though, but I like the Ikea's DIYness.

  12. #12
    ged is offline Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!) Wanderer
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    Quote Originally Posted by DS1150 View Post
    ... I saw a cheaper bushbuddy-esque stove over on Ebay ...
    That's not the guy that was spamming the forum last month, is it? Thread 74964, 14 June, now deleted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fin View Post

    I don't own a KK - but don't they also do a - top of the chimney - cooking option?
    The KK is pretty tall - I'd worry about stability with any sort of pot on top of it. As mentioned, the heat is so intense it would only be good for boiling water... I suppose if you've sprung a leak in the main kettle it could work

  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the replies folks, I took a look around after some suggestions here and have things down to four possibles that I would love some user thoughts and opinions both good and bad of.

    http://www.bushcooker.com/BUSHCOOKER.htm This works out as 72 delivered to the UK.

    http://www.bushbuddy.ca/indexs.html This comes to 79 UK delivered, seems they only have the ultra model in stock at the moment, also this and the above seem almost identical, so any thoughts what real difference there will be apart from an extra note in my wallet?

    http://backpackinglight.co.uk/product397.asp?PageID=118 This is the cheapest of all at 38, and it has the added bonus of being able to burn more than just wood, but fiddly just doesn't describe how it looks to set up. Anyone used one?

    http://woodgasstove.co.uk/index.php?...5c51327bcdf6d1 This one comes to 45 and currently is what I am leaning towards, granted running out of batteries could be a pain but just carrying a pack of 6 or 8 fully charged really won't add much in the way of weight. Anyone had any experience of this kit?

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    I had a go with one of the battery powered stoves and it worked pretty well. I suppose a couple of AA batteries don't weight a huge amount and if you think you'd otherwise be carrying gas/meths etc. it's not that much of a pain. What I didn't like is that to change the fan speed, you have to unplug the pack and plug it back into a different socket - seems a neater solution would be to have a switch on the battery pack

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich.H View Post
    Thanks for all the replies folks, I took a look around after some suggestions here and have things down to four possibles that I would love some user thoughts and opinions both good and bad of. ...
    I've never used any of them but I have a hankering for one.

    Lots of people here have the Honey Stove, and a few have the Bushbuddy or Bushcooker. The Honey stove is the one of the four which doesn't claim to be a wood gas stove but I think it's been the most popular with folks on this forum. When a wood gas stove is working properly you should get almost no smoke, so pots might keep a little cleaner, but it would depend on how you use it. I wouldn't expect the difference in pot cleanliness to be astounding. Anyway, use your favourite search engine to search this site, for example

    http://www.bing.com/search?q=%22hone...=QBLH&filt=all

    I've heard one person say that his Honey stove tends to burn the fuel a bit faster than he'd like but I imagine with practice you could probably slow it down. I had the same problem with my Ghillie kettle until I got used to it, and it still catches me out if I'm not watching.

    With all of them you have a fairly small fire so you're going to need to tend it if you want it to burn for a long time using twigs. One thing that I don't think has been mentioned is that as it's a small fire, for the same amount of wood you can get and keep a fire going in bad conditions more easily with any of these stoves than just burning wood on the ground in a camp fire. The kelly type kettles in particular are excellent because of the chimney effect, once they're going you can even burn wood which is quite damp. If there's damp wood about I use it to slow my Ghillie down a bit.

    When you get one, do a review and let us know how you get on with it!

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