Not cheap, but one of the best made wood burning stoves around. I bought my Bushbuddy to use on a two-week wilderness canoe trek in Sweden. Having paddled in the area before, a wood burner is arguably a better option than carrying fuel for Trangia or gas stoves. The fuel is free and the landscape I would be paddling through is not dissimilar to that where the Bushbuddy is made by Fritz Handel in Iskut, BC. The first thing a new owner will notice about these stoves is the superlative workmanship that Fritz has achieved in creating a tin can work of art! Everything from the quality stainless steel, neat spot welding and the clean punching of the ‘woodgas’ vents is impressive and display a remarkable attention to detail. Needless to say, the Bushbuddy worked flawlessly and added an element of fun into making a brew or cooking food. It took about 5 minutes to bring 900ml of lake water to the boil once the initial burn had settled down with an occasional feed of fresh fuel in the form of dry, dead twigs. The only drawbacks of using a wood burning stoves are that your pots will turn black from the flames and residues of burnt fuel and cooking inside your shelter is not an option. In wet weather you’ll need dry fuel, a tarp or some other open, well ventilated shelter when lighting the stove. Birch bark shavings, maya dust or a couple of cotton wool balls soaked in petroleum jelly make effective firelighters, pick up a few dry twigs to maintain the fire and you’re all set.
It’s difficult for any outdoors enthusiast of a certain age to imagine being without a Trangia stove! When something has been designed and refined over many years to be almost perfect in function as a Trangia stove, then it fully deserves it’s place in the Outdoor Hall of Fame. Heavy and bulky in comparison to current exotic titanium options, the Trangia seems set to become a victim of it’s own success. Short of taking a hammer to it, you cannot kill a Trangia through normal use and I suspect many have been in the same family ownership for many years. My Trangias are like old friends to me, they’ve been with me through thick and thin, trial and tribulation and have been my companions on many journeys. They just work flawlessly with either gas or meths burners. Because of the previously mentioned lightweight titanium stoves I now use, my Trangias have been all but pensioned-off. One lives constantly in the boot of the car, it would be unthinkable to me to be without the means to have a coffee or put my feet up after a walk without a cuppa and the good old Trangia never complains!
Makes the coffee and never argues!