The Pocket Stove from Backpackinglight.co.uk is a tiny stove that promises much. It is designed to work with meths burners, hexamine tablets and wood in the shape of smallish twigs. There are two versions; one in stainless steel and the other made from titanium. The titanium one comes in at 56g which, oddly enough, is also the weight of the tin.
The tin easily holds the stove and trivet while still having room for a lighter/flint, tinder and some fuel tabs.
As Bob and Rose were offering a deal on the stove plus a titanium trivet and a pack of Hammaro imoreganated paper for the same price as just the stove I bit the bullet and bought one. Below is a picture of the stove laying in its supplied tin. As the name implies, the tin will fit in a pocket!
The stove is easily assembled into a four-sided structure with a baseplate. This is shown in the picture below with my thumb in shot to give a sense of scale.
The trivet consists of two pieces weighing a total of 7g which slot together into a X shape and then rest at the top of the stove. Without the trivet the stove feels solid but with the trivet it’s rock solid. The trivet also allows the use of many different diameter pans. The whole assembly is pictured here.
For my test burns I used a LifeAdventure titanium cup that holds 350ml of water. In the following picture it can be seen that the cup stands firmly on the trivet.
I also used a MYOG pot lid and heat trapping cone made from 0.016 ins thick aluminium foil which was obtained from a foil platter courtesy of the Pound Shop! As the can been seen it’s not the most pretty looking MYOG but it works well.
The baseplate can be set at two different heights. The lower is for burning wood and some meths burners while the higher one is for hexamine and other meths burners. I used a hexamine tablet and a Zelph Starlyte burner for my trials. No windshield other than that formed by the stove was used. I lit the stove outside on a sunny but cool day (about 4C) with winds strong enough to move branches. The water was at the ambient temperature. All in all, a fair facsimile of conditions likely to be experienced backpacking.
Firstly, I used the Starlyte placed on the lower height setting of the baseplate. I got a rolling boil in 8 minutes, 22 seconds. A reasonable time for a meths burner bearing in mind that the water was pretty cold.
For the second burn the baseplate was moved to the higher setting and another 350ml of water heated. To my surprise I found it took about 20 seconds longer to boil and the flame also briefly flared out the sides quite a distance at times – maybe 6 inches or so. Clearly the burner’s optimum position is on the lower height position. As it notes in the instructions, different burners work best at different heights.
Next I used a WebTex hexamine tablet to heat 350ml of water. The tablet had burnt out before I achieved a rolling boil although it was very hot with bubbles forming. I did notice a considerable amount of soot being produced in this burn. Easily wiped off but worth remembering.
To conclude. The Pocket Stove is a very light, multi-fuel stove. The ability to burn wood increases the versatility of the stove. It’s simple to assemble and disassemble, easily packable and works well. Nowhere near as fast as a JetBoil but no meths/hexi stove is. Recommended if your cooking is basically boiling water and adding it to dehydrated foods.