What are the Three Parts of the Fire Triangle?

what are the three parts of the fire triangle?

The three parts of the fire triangle are heat, fuel and oxygen.

Most of us will be aware of the fire triangle from those school science lessons.

However, it is worth briefly going over again though, to reinforce its importance when lighting a fire in the field.

Let’s take a look at each of the 3 components.

1. Heat

The fuel needs heat in order for it to release its combustible vapours, which in turn, ignite from a flame or spark.

This heat also dries out the surrounding material, causing that to release combustible vapours also and is how a fire spreads and takes hold.

This is why a wood fire will start slowly at first but start to blaze, once the correct conditions for it to do so are met.

2. Fuel

A fire needs fuel to burn. This is pretty obvious, but the type of fuel needs to be considered.

The most common fuel that we use in bushcraft is wood, as it is freely available and for the most part, sustainable.

You can’t usually just set fire to a large log though, as you need to build the fire up in stages.

To light an all-wood fire, we generally need 3 grades of wood fuel:

Tinder: This takes your ignition source and transforms it into a flame or ember.

Kindling: These are small pieces of wood that have either been collected in that state, ie small twigs or that have been chopped down to size from a larger log.

Main fuel: Anything larger than kindling – usually large branches and logs that are dry and form the main fuel source.

3. Oxygen

A fire requires 16% oxygen to burn.

Oxygen acts as the oxidising agent for the chemical reaction that produces the flame.

A flame will not form without it.

Therefore, oxygen is vital to the success of a fire.

Fresh air contains approximately 21% oxygen, depending on your altitude.

Therefore, as long as you maintain a good supply of fresh air to the fire, it should continue to burn, as long as the other conditions are met.

The Fire Triangle in action

The Fire Triangle

Without all 3 parts of the triangle present, you will not achieve a sustained fire.

If you have fuel and fresh air for example, but not enough heat to ignite and sustain it, your fire will go out.

Equally, if you have heat and fresh air, with wet fuel, such as very damp wood – your fire will not start.

The fuel element has not been satisfied and the triangle implodes.

An example of not meeting the oxygen requirement would be that you load too much fuel onto the fire, too quickly, in which case you smother the flames and kill off the airflow.

To be successful, you need to keep all 3 elements in balance, ensuring a sustained and controlled fire for you to warm yourself and cook with.

Keeping all 3 parts in mind will ensure greater success.

The video below from Coalcracker Bushcraft explains this visually:

What are the 3 stages of a fire?

Generally speaking, a fire has 3 stages:

Growth stage: when the fire is building and gathering heat and voracity. In this stage, the fire is very much dependent on the oxygen and fuel supply that it has.

Fully developed: this is the stage when the fire has reached its peak and is now giving out a good amount of heat. You should also have a good bed of embers now to keep the fire sustained.

Decay: once you stop feeding the fire with fuel, the fire will enter the decay stage and start to burn down. The embers are still extremely hot at this stage though and will likely ignite any fresh fuel that you put on. If left alone, however, the fire will die out on its own.

What happens when 3 elements of the fire triangle combine?

If you have the correct proportion of heat, fuel and oxygen present and you have a source of ignition, such as a spark, or flame – then you have a good chance that a fire will start, as it has all the required elements.

This could be a good thing if you are looking to start a fire…It could also be a very bad thing if you are not.

Always be mindful of potential ignition sources and keep things such as tinder and stored wood well away from anything that could ignite it.

Summary

We hope you found this a good refresher on ‘What are the three parts of the fire triangle?’

It’s a very simple concept, but quite often forgotten about when trying to get a fire lit.

Next time you do light a fire, try and bear all the elements in mind and you should have more success

Want more??? We have loads more articles for you to read in our fire section here.

Common Limpet Foraging – The Ultimate Guide

Common Limpet - Coastal Bushcraft Foraging

Found on rocky shorelines across the UK, the common limpet is an almost guaranteed find for the shoreline hunter and is a handy addition to any foraging trip. 

With that in mind, let’s look at some limpet facts…

What are limpets?

Limpets are small, cone-shaped creatures that live on rocks in the inter-tidal zone.

They are usually spotted at low tide clamped to rocks and should you try and pick one up, will nearly always clamp down and become immovable. They are seriously impressive in this regard.

In this clamped state, they don’t really do a lot, but once the tide returns, and they have submerged once again, they ‘spring to life’ and start going about their business of feeding on their chosen home.

There are two main types to be found in Britain, the common limpet and the slipper limpet.

Today we will focus on the common limpet.

What is the scientific name for limpets?

The scientific name for the common limpet is patella vulgata.

Patella vulgata are the European common limpets and as the name suggests – are of the Patella genus

These are marine gastropod molluscs and are in the Patellidae family.

Can you eat common limpets? Are common limpets edible?

Yes, you can eat common limpets providing you follow the advice below.

Although I can say with confidence that there are certainly tastier wild treats to be had, the limpet is certainly worth knowing about from a wild food perspective, even if that said food does sometimes resemble the texture of pencil rubbers.

Are limpets healthy to eat?

Yes, as long as they were a healthy limpet when you collected them and you have stored and prepared them correctly, limpets are a high protein snack, with many many other vitamins and minerals to boot.

Do limpets have eyes?

Yes, the common limpet has a left and a right ‘eye‘, but there is little research on what they can actually view with these.

They also have two antennae for feeling their way around and sensing. The combination of the two helps them build up a picture of what is around them when hunting for food.

Can limpets swim?

Juvenile limpets spend the first part of their lives as free-swimming planktonic creatures and therefore do technically swim.

Once they mature though, they find a home that they like and stay put.

Fully grown limpets do not swim. They use their foot to travel across surfaces.

Where are limpet shells found?

The common limpet can be found in coastal areas all over the British Isles

They are not usually hard to find and are generally located in shallow water, on rocks or cliffs that are within the intertidal zone.

What is unique about the intertidal coastline?

The intertidal coastline or intertidal zone is unique in the fact that it is submerged by seawater around 2 times a day.

It is essentially the section of shoreline that is between the high and low watermark.

This area is fully submerged at high tide and then dry again at low tide.

Creatures and plants must therefore be able to survive in both of these states.

This makes for a special environment that supports many different creatures including limpets, starfish, sea anemones, sea stars, mussels, winkles, crabs and many more.

How do you identify a limpet?

What does a limpet look like?

The common limpet is cone-shaped and easy to identify. There will often be many limpets attached to one rock, in varying sizes.

Their shape and ability to tightly attach themselves to rocks allows them to remain in place – even whilst getting pounded by strong waves.

What do limpets eat?

At high tide, the limpet feeds by slowly moving around its chosen rock, feeding on algae and similar vegetative marine life.

Although classed as herbivores, they are also thought to eat small creatures like young barnacles etc.

Do limpets bite?

No, well they wont bite you anyway.

Limpets have a super tongue which they use to feed with. This is known as a radula.

The radula is similar to a tongue, but has rows of tiny ‘teeth’ attached.

As you can probably imagine, this radula is extremely tough, as it needs to be able to scrape food off rocks when feeding.

Indeed, UK engineers discovered that the teeth attached to this are made from the toughest biological material that has ever been tested.

Impressive stuff!

Limpets will generally stay in a localised area and not stray too far from their home, which they will always come back to when the tide goes back out.

Over time, this can cause an indentation on the rock which is known as a ‘home scar’. 

The limpet clamps down on this section of rock, using its powerful ‘foot’ and remains there until the tide comes back in and it’s ready to move and feed again.

How do you forage for limpets?

Common limpet collected in bucket - Seaweed - common limpet foraging
A little seaweed and water helps keep the limpets fresh

Common Limpets can be collected all year round.

Ensure that the area you intend to forage from has a regular and strong tide to ensure that the limpets are regularly submerged.

Also, check that the local area has good water quality and is free from pollutants.

The common limpet is an important part of the ecosystem, keeping the rock’s algal growth in check.

It is vital therefore that you do not gather too many from one area, as an imbalance can occur.

Good practice would be to take only one from each rock or immediate area, leaving the others to carry on their good work.

If there is only one on a rock, then leave it be. Do not over-collect in one area.

Fill your bucket or collecting vessel with fresh seawater and place some carefully collected seaweed in as well if available.

This will help to keep your limpets fresh.

How do you remove limpets from rocks?

A variety of tools can be used to prize the limpet away, including an old chisel or sharp implement such as a knife etc, but a rock will usually do and is usually readily available.

One thing to know when collecting limpets is that you only really get one good chance at them.

Although they will be stuck to the rock when you approach them, they are not usually ‘fully clamped’.

A sharp whack from one side will usually dislodge them.

If you do not manage to dislodge them on the first whack, or they sense you coming, they will fully clamp down on the rock and you will have a hard time getting them off the rock, no matter how hard you try.

They are unbelievably strong.

You can follow up with a second strike very shortly after the first one, but if this fails, leave them alone or you risk damaging them, as they will now have fully clamped down.

Your best bet is to go and find another to work on.

When collecting them myself, I generally have one hand holding the dislodging rock and my other hand is placed on the opposite side of the limpet, ready to catch the dislodged morsel before it disappears into the brine below.

In a good area, it is not hard to quickly collect a bucketful. Remember, do not take more than you need.

If your camp is based nearby, you can always return if necessary, or visit another spot.

Can you eat a limpet raw?

The common limpet is edible and can be eaten raw, but you’re probably going to want to cook it.

Check that the limpet is still alive, especially if it has been a while since collection.

You will see it moving, so it’s not hard to check this. 

Are limpets tasty?

I’m going to get straight to the point here and say that limpets probably aren’t going to on your top 10 list of bushcraft cuisine.

The fact is that they are usually chewy, really chewy – no matter what you do to them!

The flavour isn’t bad, it’s like a chewy mussle, but the texture isn’t always great – well never great actually!

Some say not to cook them for too long, but they seem to be chewy whatever you do to them, so just expect that to be the case.

One way to combat the chewiness is to finely chop them and add them to other dishes so that they are more easily consumed.

This can be done after they are cooked and then added to a curry or stew etc.

They will certainly add a new dimension to the dish!

Caveats aside, they are definitely worth a try and can form a great addition to other foods if prepared in a certain way.

If you want to cook them on their own, try cooking them upside down, straight on the embers of your fire.

If you have the luxury, try adding some olive oil and some garlic to add some flavour and cook until the oil starts to bubble.

Remove from the shell, remove the black part if you wish and enjoy.

I can guarantee you will remember the experience.

What does limpet taste like?

Limpets have a taste of their own, but to give you a rough idea – they taste a bit like a chewier version of a mussle and are equally sweet in taste.

Can you fry limpets?

Yes. You can fry them in their shells, or for a more direct method, you can remove them from their shells, tenderise them with a meat hammer or similar and then fry.

You can fry them as is, or coat them in a flour mixture first, depending on your preference.

Safety whilst common limpet foraging

As with all foraging, there is a degree of risk involved.

Coastal foraging brings additional dangers.

Apart from the food safety side that is mentioned above, the actual collection part can be risky in itself.

You are usually stepping on or wading through rocky areas when foraging, contending with slippy, jagged surfaces and possibly waves.

Common sense goes a long way here.

Take great care with your foot placement and move slowly and deliberately.

A wading stick may prove useful.

Wear appropriate footwear, something that will protect your feet from the sharp rocks and provide you with some grip.

Avoid standing on rocks with a slimy green surface. The last thing you want is a fall in this environment.

Be aware of the tides. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the moment, only to realise that the tide is a lot higher than you thought, with your access back to dry land now cut off.

As with most things, preparation is key here.

Plan your route and enjoy the forage!

James

Bushcraft Hub

What’s your favourite way to eat limpets?

Let us know in the comments below.

Bushcraft Gear List

Bushcraft Gear - Bivvy Bag

What is the best bushcraft gear you can buy?

Below, we have compiled a bushcraft gear list detailing the top equipment that is currently on the market.

Unless you want to do the whole ‘naked and marooned‘ approach, you will need to take some gear with you.

With that in mind, we thought it would be helpful to create a list of what we would recommend kit wise.

As you will see, we haven’t gone for cheap rubbish here! We are firm believers in always buying the best you can afford.

Good kit will last you many years, even a lifetime, and is usually worth the extra few bucks.

You will end up with good quality gear, that is usually better to use – and if you ever want to sell it on, there is usually a market for the decent items.

This can’t always be said for some of the cheap rubbish that you see peddled out there.

Go for the best and build your kit up slowly. It will be worth it in the long run.

Anyway, on to the gear…

Trousers (Pants)

Best Bushcraft Trousers Pants
Classic (but pricey) bushcraft trousers

If you want the best bushcraft trousers out there (or best pants if you’re over the pond), then the Fjallraven Vidda Pro are one of the best options available.

There’s no shortage of people using these, but for a very good reason though…they’re solid trousers and made for the job.

Designed in Sweden, Fjallraven has an excellent reputation for quality – and if you go for these trousers you will not be disappointed.

Fjallraven Vidda Pro video
Bushcraft Trousers Pants Fjallraven Vidda Pro Best Buy

They aren’t cheap and are by no means completely necessary, however, we consider it an investment worth making if you are serious about your gear and overall comfort.

Product links: USA | UK | CAN

Backpack

Karrimor SF Sabre 75 rucksack - Bushcraft Gear
Karrimor SF Sabre 75 rucksack

You need something to carry all that kit in.

There are numerous rucksacks out there, with varying qualities and features.

Our opinion is that you want to keep it simple. You want a solid, hard-wearing pack. that will last for years and not let you down.

Our favourite is the Karrimor SF Sabre 75.

For a daysack, this may be a little on the big side, but if you are out for an overnighter or multi-day trip, then it’s not hard to fill up a bag like this with all your kit.

Highly recommended!

Product link: here

Looking for a bit more of a rundown on bushcraft backpacks? Check out our article here.

Knife

Bushcraft Gear - Knife - Morakniv Companion
Morakniv Companion – this one needs a clean!

A fundamental tool in the field and therefore an essential piece of equipment, your knife has a multitude of uses – which makes it a vital tool.

One of the most popular knives out there is the Morakniv Companion.

These just can’t be beaten for functionality and price.

Sure, you can spend a lot more and get a fancier knife – but you don’t need to!

One of these knives will do everything you want it to and more and will last a very long time.

And you won’t be crying if you ever lose it!

The only thing you need to decide is if you want to go for carbon or a stainless blade.

The carbon blade is easier to sharpen, but oxidises easier and needs more care to prevent it rusting.

The stainless blade is slightly harder to sharpen, but is lower maintenance and therefore probably the best option for all-round use.

Or, considering the price – why not get both!

Purchase links: USA | UK | CAN

Firesteel

Firesteel Ferro Rod - Light My Fire - Bushcraft Gear & Equipment
Light My Fire ferro rod and striker

You need a reliable way of starting a fire, whether rain or shine!

There comes no more reliable than the trusty firesteel.

These always work and don’t require any special storage, so are a great item to carry in your kit.

There are many different types available, you can even make your own by purchasing a blank and then fashioning your own handle, from deer antler, etc.

However, for a ready to go option, the Light My Fire is a solid choice – from a trusted brand.

Purchase links: USA | UK | CAN

Axe

Granfors Bruks Small Forest Axe - Bushcraft Axe
Granfors Bruks Small Forest Axe

If you are going to chop wood, you need a decent axe.

There comes no finer than Gransfors Bruks of Sweden.

Their Small Forest Axe is a great size for all-round camp activities.

It’s powerful enough to chop hefty logs while being compact enough to carry on your person – making it perfect for bushcraft purposes.

Each one of these axes is individually hand made, with the blacksmith’s initials stamped onto each one.

Purchase links: USA | UK | CAN

Folding Saw

Folding Saw - Bahco Laplander - Bushcraft Gear

Carrying a folding saw is a great, portable way of sawing smaller branches around camp.

They are fairly small and super sharp when needed.

One of the most popular is the Bahco Laplander. They come in green and are tried and tested.

Purchase links: USA | UK | CAN

Boots

Hanwag Tatra Top GTX Boots - Bushcraft Equipment
Hanwag Tatra Top GTX Boots

A good set of boots are essential for ankle support and comfort and another critical item on your bushcraft gear list.

If you are active around camp or hiking – you need some sturdy boots.

Investing in a good set from the start is money well spent.

Make sure you allow some time to wear them in though before going on any extended trips.

There are a few good makes, however, one of the notable ones is Hanwag, with their Tatra Top GTX boot being extremely comfortable for all manner of outdoor activities.

If you do go for a set of these, make sure you get the wide option if you have medium-wide feet, as the standard fit is quite slim around the toe area.

Purchase links: USA | UK | CAN

Socks

Thorlo KLT Hiking Socks - Bushcraft Gear
A good set of socks is essential for your comfort

If you are wearing boots, you want a good set of socks.

The thin type that you might wear day to day, just ain’t gonna cut it.

Invest in a few good sets and your feet will thank you for it.

One of our favourites is the Thorlo KLT Hiking Socks.

They provide great cushioning and will help keep your feet warm in colder conditions – while still wicking away sweat when your feet get warmer.

Purchase links: US | UK | CAN

Tarp

A good tarp will help keep you and your kit dry

If you are staying outside you will probably want a shelter of some sort.

One of the most versatile is a good quality tarp system. They can be used in a multitude of ways and will keep the worst of the rain (or sun) off you.

You can go larger for groups etc, but a good standard size for personal use is 3 x 3 metres.

One of the best is the DD Tarp 3 x 3.

Product links: US | UK | CAN

Meths burner

Trangia Alcohol Burner - Meths Stove
Trangia alcohol burner

If you want a low-tech, reliable stove, then a meths burner may be a good fit for you.

They are super simple and just work.

The two contenders are the Trangia and the Esbit burner. The Esbit is slightly more user-friendly than the Trangia as it has a small handle to operate the simmer ring.

However, the Trangia is slightly better built and is, therefore, our burner of choice.

Get the full rundown on bushcraft stoves here.

Purchase links: US | UK | CAN

Paracord

Paracord-Hanked-550-Green
Paracord is an essential item for your kit bag

Paracord is just one of the things that you need in your kit. Its uses are almost limitless.

If you do buy some, don’t buy the cheap stuff, it will only let you down.

Go for real paracord, which is made in the USA by Government approved suppliers.

This is the only way you can guarantee you’re getting the real thing.

You want their commercial-spec or their mil-spec. The mil-spec will cost more but is the exact same cord that the US military get.

The same manufacturers commercial-spec will usually be equally as good strength and material wise.

So in general, the commercial is the one to go for, as it balances quality with a sensible price.

Make sure it is USA made though. We have more on this in our article here.

For the UK we recommend Clutha Paracord, which is 100% genuine – USA made cord.

For the US and Canada, Tough-Grid cord is your best bet.

Purchase links: US | UK | CAN

Bivvy bag

Bushcraft Gear List - British Army Bivvy Bag Green
Using a bivvy bag is a great way to help keep you and your kit dry

Using a bivvy bag is a great idea if you are sleeping out. They provide you with some extra protection from the elements, increasing your chances of a good night’s sleep.

They can, of course, be used on their own, with your sleeping bag inside, using the bivvy as your sole outer protection.

This is great for sleeping out under the stars, in good conditions.

They are also great when used in conjunction with a tarp or basha – which is the preferred method if you are expecting rain or snow.

This can be done straight on the ground, or in a hammock setup.

You may even want to use one inside a tent, affording you a bit extra warmth when needed.

Most are breathable and waterproof, but the quality does vary.

British Army Bivvy Bag

One of our favourites is the no-nonsense, British Army Gore-tex bivvy bag that is pictured above.

As with most equipment designed for the military, these are solidly made with fully taped seams and a drawstring hood section.

They are heavy compared to others, but this is made up for by the excellent, bomb-proof quality that they afford.

They will last you for years.

There is no zip on these, so you have to slide in and out, but on a plus point, this means there is less to go wrong.

As they are made with Gore-tex, they are relatively breathable, while still providing a good degree of all round water protection.

They are designed to be used underneath a tarp as the hood does not completely cover you, but you can sleep out in them on their own if the weather is dry.

If it does start to rain though, you can always roll over and sleep on your front if necessary.

The only problem is that these bags are not easy to come across these days, especially new.

If you can get one though, we would recommend them for a heavy-duty bag.

Due to the sourcing problem, we will recommend another which is more widely available, this being the Snugpak Special Forces Bivvi Bag.

Snugpak Special Forces Bivvi Bag
Snugpak Special Forces Bivvi Bag

These are not Gore-tex, but do incorporate Snugpak’s Paratex Dry Fabric, which is designed to do a similar thing, in that it allows moisture from your body to escape, while not letting any outside moisture in.

They feature a central zip, which helps with getting in and out of them, as well as being very lightweight and packable.

Some users find that they get a condensation build-up in these bags, but this will depend on the conditions and sleeping bag used etc.

They are ultimately, a well-made bivvy bag for a reasonable price – that you can actually get hold of!

Product links: US | UK | CAN

Sleeping mat

Thermarest ProLite Plus - Rolled up in hand
Thermarest Sleeping mat

A sleeping mat, although not completely essential, is a great way to aid a good nights sleep.

They generally come in 2 forms. One being the standard foam type that rolls up into a tube otherwise known as a roll mat.

The other type is the inflatable, which has become much more popular over the last few years, as the technology has improved.

The inflatable type allows you to carry a mattress in a relatively small package and then inflate to a usable size very quickly when needed.

One of our favourites is the Thermalite ProLite Plus which we have reviewed previously here.

It is lightweight and packs into a small stuff sack, so will not take up much room – but still gives you some decent padding during sleep.

Purchase links: USA | UK | CAN

Hammock

Image: DD Hammocks

A hammock is a great way of sleeping off ground, keeping you away from the cold floor as well as any bugs or other creatures that might be crawling around camp.

They take a bit of getting used to at first, but once you learn how to sleep in them they are a great way to camp out, assuming you have something to tie them to of course.

Two decent trees are ideal, but anything that will provide a strong anchor point will do.

The fact that they can be packed away into a small stuff sack or similar makes them a great addition to your portable sleeping system.

One of the best out there for the price is the DD frontline, which includes a bug net and has proven itself all over the globe.

Purchase links: USA | UK | CAN

First aid kit

Lifesystems Pocket First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is a must

It’s always sensible to carry a first aid kit with you in your pack and have it close by.

During bushcraft activities, you will be often be using knives, axes etc, as well as being around open flames.

Accidents can and do happen, so it’s best to be prepared for this, especially if you are a long way from medical assistance.

What you need to carry will depend on where you are going and what activities you intend to do once there.

A good option is to make one up yourself, which can then be tailored to your exact needs.

You may want to buy an off the shelf kit and then add to this as necessary.

There are plenty of these available at a good price. We have included links to some decent kits to start off with below.

Purchase links: USA | UK | CAN

Water filter

Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System - Bushcraft and Survival Water Filter
Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System

Obtaining clean drinking water is a must. You do not want to be getting ill.

There are a number of options for purifying water, including boiling, sterilization and filtration.

Water purification tablets are one option, but they do leave a bit of a taste in the water. The Katadyn tablets are one of the best if you do go down this route.

Boiling is another option but does require you to have a heat source, which is not something you are able to do – or have time for.

The modern water filters are one of the simplest and convenient options.

You can go for the bag type such as the Platypus Gravityworks, which is a good choice for around camp, but if you want something a bit more portable, then the Sawyer mini below is a great choice.

Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System

The Sawyer Mini Filtration System is a multi-functional water filter that is lightweight and easy to carry.

It can be used with the squeeze pouch that is provided, with your own bottle or bag – or placed on your hydration bladder hose, to filter water on the go.

The filter unit can be cleaned out and reused, so should last you for a good while indeed.

The units are USA made and a great price for what you get.

Purchase links: USA | UK | CAN

Water bottle

Nalgene Narrow Mouth Water Bottle - Bushcraft Gear
The Nalgene is the best water bottle – bar none

You need water! It’s vital for your survival and general well-being.

To store it, you are going to want a bottle of some sort.

If you want a straight-up water bottle, then there is no finer than Nalgene bottles.

These are quite simply the best plastic bottles out there and we use ours daily.

Made in the USA, they come in narrow or wide mouth versions and are also BPA free.

We use and far prefer the narrow mouth 1 litre (33oz) everyday bottle, as they are far easier to drink from than the wider type.

Drinking from the wide ones usually ends up with you spilling water down the sides of your face as you drink.

Go for the narrow type if you are using the bottle purely for drinking.

If you buy one of these, you are unlikely to regret it.

They are bombproof and are everything that a water bottle should be – solid and no fuss.

Purchase links: USA | UK | CAN

Dutch oven

Lodge Dutch Oven - Bushcraft Gear Cooking

If you are at camp for a while or have the ability to transport one, a dutch oven is a great option for your cooking needs.

Get the full lowdown on camp dutch ovens in our article here.

If you want the quick answer on the best one to get, then we recommend Lodge dutch ovens.

They are tried and tested and with a little care, will last you a lifetime.

Purchase links: USA | UK | CAN

Binoculars

Leica Trinovid HD binoculars - Bushcraft Binos
Leica Trinovid HD binoculars

A good set of binoculars (sometimes known as binos) are a great asset to have with you.

They let you scan areas in the distance with ease and come into their own when wildlife spotting or during hunting activities.

It’s not just the size that matters!

The optics are the most important part of the binoculars, far more than the actual size of them.

A smaller, but higher-quality set, will let in far more light and be far sharper visually than a lower quality, larger set.

It, therefore, pays to invest in great optics, especially if you are using for hunting etc in low light conditions.

Binoculars are one of those items that you really notice the extra quality on, so it pays to spend a bit on them if image quality and light gathering matter to you.

In low light, such as dusk, a good set will pick out the animal or object long after a bad set will, which can make all the difference to your day or hunt.

Once you have decided on a good brand for optics, then size plays into it.

Size selection will depend on whether you want an ultra-compact pair or are happy to lug around something a bit chunkier.

For a good all-round pair, that will work well in woodland and out on the open hill, a set of 8 x 42’s are a great choice.

There are a variety of good makes to choose from, including Zeiss, Swarovski, Kahles, Steiner etc, all of which are a great choice.

Our current favourites are the Leica Trinovid HD 8×42, which are German made and top-quality.

Like the others, they cost a bit to purchase, but presuming you don’t lose them, should last you a lifetime.

Purchase links: USA | UK | CAN

Summary

We hope this list gives you a good insight into what we feel are the best items to buy if you are looking for any of the above kit.

It is by no means exhaustive and we will be adding updates to this as time goes on.

It does, however, give you our position on what we recommend for each item. We hope you found it useful.

If you would like to let us know your favourites or something you would like included, please do so in the comments.

We would love to hear from you.

James

Bushcraft Hub

Thermarest ProLite Plus Review

Thermarest ProLite Plus - In Stuff Sack

The Thermarest ProLite Plus mat is designed to be compact and lightweight, while still providing a decent amount of comfort for the user.

Weighing in at just 670g in the regular size, this is a lightweight mat – that is suitable for many uses – when space and more importantly, weight, are at a premium.

My personal reason for buying this is for backpacking and canoe/kayaking trips.

Time will tell how this performs, but first impressions are very good.

How it looks and feels

On opening the packaging, this does indeed feel like a quality product – and so it should at the price of around £80.

The materials feel good quality and durable, considering the mat’s lightweight properties.

When packed up, inside its stuff sack, the size is certainly compact for this type of mat, which helps when space is at a premium.

Where is it made?

The mat that I purchased, is made at Therm-A-rest’s EU factory, which is located in County Cork, Ireland.

This is good to see, with so many products being produced in China these days, it’s nice to see something made in Europe like this.

My only slight disappointment was that the stuff sack is made in China.

This is not the end of the world, but I do think you should keep it consistent, especially when one of the main selling points is the mat’s EU origin.

I would like to see all the components made in the EU.

Never mind….

Therm-A-Rest also produce their mats in their US factory – to serve the North American market.

This is their original and main factory, and where your mat will be made if you are buying over the pond.

However, as I purchased this in the UK, we get the European made version, which should be equally as good. If not better 🙂

What’s inside the bag?

Asides from the mat itself, there are also a set of instructions included.

ProLite Instructions - Front
Instruction leaflet – front
ProLite  - Instructions - Rear
Instruction leaflet – rear

How to use a Thermarest mat

Thermarest ProLite Plus - rolled up - compressed
The rolled-up mat

Inflating the mat

Upon taking the mat out of the stuff sack for the first time, you will find it wrapped in a clear plastic sleeve.

Remove this and you will be able to unfold the mat.

As the mat has been in storage in this compressed position, you will probably find that it is a bit reluctant to actually ‘self inflate’ at the beginning.

I actually thought that something was wrong with mine the first time I used it.

Unfold the mat and lay it out on a flat surface.

Open the valve and you should see it at least inflate partially, but the first time you may not see any movement at all.

Self-inflating process

The reason the mat will start (hopefully) to self inflate, is that the memory foam has been compressed and will try to return to its original shape when unrolled – and with the valve open.

In doing so it expands and in turn pulls in air from outside, which inflates the mat.

This self-inflating process will only inflate the mat to a certain point.

To get the mat to a usable point, you will need to put in some extra air by blowing it up yourself.

Place your mouth over the valve and put in some good puffs. You will need to do this a few times until it is full.

There isn’t a non-return valve on this type of mat, so you have to be quick with your last breath.

At the last moment, turn the cap in one motion, in order to seal the air in.

Once this is done, you are good to go. It’s very simple!

Packing the sleeping mat away

Deflating and packing away the mat is almost the reverse of the inflation process.

The main difference is that Therm-A-Rest recommends that you squeeze the air out of the mat first, by opening the valve and folding the mat up in half and then in half again, towards the valve end.

Once this stage is complete:

  • close the valve again and unfold the mat – most of the air will now be out.
  • fold the mat in half, length-ways, and tightly roll up from the bottom.
  • once you get near to the top, open the valve to expel any further air that has been pushed up.
  • roll all the way up and then close the valve again.
  • the mat will hold its folded shape and you can now place the mat back in the cloth bag.

Video run-through

A video of the inflation/deflation/storage process is below.

However, note that the ProLite Plus will require folding lengthways first before rolling up, as the stuff sack is smaller than the one in the video.

Comfort

I’m 6ft 2”, with fairly wide shoulders and this does feel quite slim underneath, compared to other full-size mats I have used.

However, I went for the regular size, as I wanted to try and strike a balance between comfort and trying to keep the weight down.

I tend to sleep on my side, and this feels comfortable for that, with a good layer of padding under my body, providing a good level of support.

Even when lying on my back, it still feels good – although a little slim.

I also haven’t noticed too much of a sweaty back when sleeping on this mat, which is a good thing. Some mats can be bad for this.

It’s just my arms that are not on the mat and lay to the side of it, which is not too much of a problem – I can sleep like this.

If you go for the larger version, it is another 12cm wide (5”), so it would be more suited to bigger persons, but does come in at an additional 210g, at 880g.

Not too much of a problem if you’re not concerned with weight, but it all matters if you are trying to minimize what you have to carry.

Your requirements

If you are buying this mat, then you are probably doing so based on weight, over outright comfort.

As ever, it is about trying to balance this comfort with what you plan to do.

I would say the regular size is a good compromise for most larger adults, but go with what you feel is best for you.

However, it must be remembered that this is designed to be a lightweight mat and if ultimate comfort is your goal, I would look at a different mat.

Something like the Thermarest Basecamp would be the one to go for, but they are a lot bulkier.

ProLite Plus Mat - Logo
Printed logo on mat

Where you can use it

You can use this mat in a variety of applications.

In a tent, inside a bivvy bag, a hammock or just straight up on the floor.

It’s suitable for inside or outside use.

Place your sleeping bag on top and away you go – it’s as simple as that!

Long-term storage of your mat

Therm-A-Rest recommends that you store the mat in its inflated state when not in use.

If you do this, you will need to find a suitable place to do so, down the side of the wardrobe or similar.

This is presuming your other half will let you.

Storing the mat in this way will keep it in optimum condition, as the memory foam will be fully expanded, ready for your next trip.

ProLite Plus Specification

[table id=3 /]

Summary

This is a great mat, that’s lightweight, while still providing enough cushioning for you to sleep comfortably.

The fact that this is so packable means you can take in on almost any trip and still enjoy a good night’s sleep – without lugging around a hefty and bulky mat to do so.

I wish they did it in a green option, but I do actually quite like the red all the same.

If you are after a lightweight mat, that you can easily carry, then I think this is a great addition to your kit and would definitely recommend it.

Thanks for reading.

James

Bushcraft Hub

P.S. – please leave your comments and thoughts in the section below – it keeps us on the right track and ensures we are giving you the best content.

Thanks again!

What does paracord mean?

Paracord-Hanked-550-Green

The term ‘paracord’ is the shortened version of parachute cord.

It is used for the suspension lines on military and commercial parachutes.

However, due to its superb strength and other properties, paracord is also widely used for a variety of other applications.

In fact, its potential uses are only limited to the imagination.

Paracord uses

The options are almost endless, but to give you an idea for bushcraft and survival purposes, let’s list out a few common uses for 550 cord below:

  • Erecting shelters: whether stringing out a tarp/bivvy or used as a binding to construct shelter from natural materials.
  • Lanyard: to ensure precious items such as a knife or compass do not fall out of your pocket and get lost in the bush.
  • Bootlaces: some use paracord as their standard lacing system, or it can be used as a replacement if your main laces fail.
  • Animal snares: if absolutely necessary, the inner strands can be removed and used to trap wild game.
  • Emergency fishing line: as above, the inner strands can be removed and used as fishing line.
  • Bow drill cordage: strong, pliable cord is an essential element of a bow drill. Paracord does an excellent job and will help you get that fire going.
  • Equipment repairs: for lashings etc, or for more delicate tasks, the inner strands can be removed and used for sewing.

Make sure it’s real

It must be clearly stated that not all ‘paracord’ is actually paracord. Confused? You’re certainly not the only one!

There are a great many imitations on the market, of varying quality, with most claiming to be the real thing.

Most of this cord is imported from China. This is sometimes known as ‘Chinese cord’.

It may be marketed as 550 cord, but it is usually much cheaper and of a much lesser quality than the genuine, US made article.

It will certainly have its uses for less demanding applications, but you need to know the difference, especially if you are going to depend on it.

Put simply, if you were going to rely on it to jump out of a plane, would you trust the imitation version?

I certainly wouldn’t!!!

550 Paracord - Green - Hanked
Hanked 550 cord

Mil-spec paracord

Genuine ‘mil-spec’ cord is made in the USA, by trusted and certified US government suppliers.

The U.S Department of Defense extensively vets these manufacturers to ensure compliance.

This ensures that the quality and specification of their ‘mil-spec’ cord meets the Department of Defence’s strict paracord requirements, MIL-C-5040H.

These requirements stipulate what raw materials must be used, down to the exact construction method required.

This paracord is called MIL-C-5040, commonly known as Mil-Spec.

Mil-spec is manufactured in different strength ratings, but 550 (type III) is the most popular, this being 550 pounds in strength.

[table id=1 /]

Most paracord that you see on the market claims to be ‘mil-spec’.

However, unless it has been made in the USA, to the requirements of MIL-C-5040H,  by an approved government supplier, it is not mil-spec.

It is vital therefore that if you are after real paracord, that you purchase it from a reputable supplier.

It is also worth knowing that mil-spec cord will have a coloured strand inside, that is unique to the manufacturer.

This is known as the Manufacturer ID Marker.

The purpose of this is to essentially provide traceability so that the end-user (military) can identify which manufacturer produced the cord, should there be any issues in use.

This presence of this identifier is another way that you can tell if your paracord is mil-spec or not.

The most popular strength mil-spec paracord will be the type III, 550 class.

This is the most commonly available and provides great functionality.

Mil-C-5040H type III specifications:

  • Approx diameter: 3.8 mm
  • Weight: 6.6 g per metre
  • Certified minimum tensile strength: 550 lbs / 249 kg
  • 100% high-quality nylon yarns
  • Sheath structure: 32 Strands
  • 7 core strands, each made up of a further 3 twisted strands
  • Rope Construction: kernmantle
  • Unique manufacturer ID marker inside the cord

Commercial 550 paracord

In addition to their mil-spec cord, US Government approved manufacturers will also usually manufacture a commercial version.

This is known as 550 Type III – commercial spec.

This is almost identical to the mil-spec, but with some subtle differences.

It still consists of 7 core strands, as per the military-grade version, and has the same strength rating, it just differs in its construction.

Instead of using 3 intertwined strands per core strand, as the mil-spec does, commercial-grade 550 uses 2 intertwined strands, per core strand.

It also does not have the internal colour coded core (Unique Manufacturer ID Marker) that the mil-spec does.

Although it varies slightly in its design, it is as strong as the equivalent mil-spec version and a great alternative, should it be made by a reputable supplier as above.

Commercial 550 type III Specifications:

  • Approximate diameter: 3.8 mm
  • Weight: 6.6 g per metre
  • Certified minimum tensile strength: 550 lbs / 249 kg
  • 100% high-quality nylon yarns
  • Sheath structure: 32 Strands
  • 7 core strands, each made up of 2 twisted strands
  • Rope construction: kernmantle

[table id=2 /]

For those looking for genuine paracord for bushcraft or survival purposes, the above (and their strength variations) are the only 2 real options.

Safety

Although it is extremely strong, paracord is not to be used for climbing activities or similar.

The 550 lb / 249 kg rating (assuming you are using 550 cord) is its ‘static load’ rating.

This essentially means a load that is not moving and stable.

When climbing, you are placing what is known as a ‘working load’ on the rope.

This will likely be much, much higher than your actual body weight in a static situation, due to the movement and shock load placed upon the rope.

There is also likely to be abrasion from the rope touching rocks etc under tension.

Serious injury or death could occur, so do not use paracord for this purpose, or anything similar.

Summary

Paracord is essential bushcraft equipment, that has a multitude of uses.

If you are serious about your equipment and want the best out there, go for the ‘real deal’, genuine US made paracord, that has been manufactured by a US Department of Defense approved supplier.

Unless you specifically need a certain type of cord, the two main options are:

  • 550 type III mil-spec or
  • 550 type III commercial-spec.

Mil-spec is more expensive, but this is the exact cord that the US military gets and is, therefore, more expensive to produce, due to the manufacturing requirements.

If you opt for 550 Type III commercial-spec, you are getting an almost identical cord to the mil-spec above but made for commercial use.

Just make sure it is from a supplier who also supplies the military.

The commercial is usually sold at a more competitive price.

Either of these two cords will serve you well.

We use and recommend Clutha paracord. This is US-sourced, from a reputable and US Department of Defense approved supplier.

You can find them here.

Thanks for your visit today! We hope you found this article helpful.

James

Bushcraft Hub


What is the Best Bushcraft Stove?

Bushcraft liquid fuel stove - MSR XGK EX

Although it is generally preferable to cook on an open fire, there are times when you will want, or indeed need, some form of bushcraft stove.

Fast and reliable, they will get things cooking in minutes.

So what’s available?

Wood burning camp stoves

If you can’t have an open fire due to it not being practical, or perhaps they are prohibited at your location, then you may be able to use a wood-burning camping stove.

These are also sometimes known as Hobo Stoves.

If used with wood, these are as close to an open fire as you can get, whilst having the benefit of keeping the flame concentrated and controlled.

Of course, the main benefit of a wood-fired stove is that you can operate them using free fuel.

This is presuming this is available at your location, or you have brought some in with you.

Most of these stoves are fairly compact, with some being foldable.

They pack down into a smaller carry bag, making them suitable for transportation.

These stoves are primarily designed to burn small twigs and sticks, but most will also run on a variety of other fuels if required.

This includes hexy blocks or meths/alcohol.

Some will even let you incorporate a gas burner.

There are various models and designs on the market, with some performing a lot better than others.

The main options are the foldable box type or the wood gas type.

Box type

Honey Wood Stove - Bushcraft
Backpacking Light’s Honey Stove

The box type wood stoves feature a series of sections that slot together, allowing for different configurations, providing a solid base and pot support.

A popular choice is the Honey Stove which is made by Backpacking Light.

The Honey Stove consists of multiple pieces that can be constructed in a variety of fashions.

You can alter this depending on what you are cooking/boiling and what fuel you are using.

This stove allows for many fuel types including dry leaves, grass, wood, hexamine blocks, to name a few.

It can also incorporate a meths burner (Trangia type) and will even utilise an Optimus Nova burner if required.

All in all, it’s a very versatile choice for bushcraft activities.

These stoves fold down to a very compact size and are therefore ideal for transportation.

Similar alternatives to the Honey Stove include the Firebox or BushBox XL.

Wood gas stoves (Solostove)

Solo Stove Lite Wood Gas Stove
Solo Stove Lite

These types of stoves are usually cylindrical in design and incorporate an external jacket.

How does a wood burning camp stove work?

This jacket funnels warm air (taken from the external vents below), upwards.

This warm air is then deposited into the top of the main fire compartment, via the internal vent holes, just above the flames.

The Solo Stove diagram below shows the process in more detail.

Solo Stove Airflow Diagram

As you can see in the diagram, the airflow process effectively fans the flames, similar to when you blow on a fire to get it roaring.

This creates a hotter, cleaner burn, and also helps to reduce soot build-up.

The above process will begin to happen once the fire in the main compartment has warmed the stove up to operating temperature.

Wood stove round-up

Whether you opt for the box or wood gas type, these stoves are very popular and have very little to go wrong.

They are therefore a great choice if you are looking for a no-nonsense stove, that should last for many years.

The fact that most can also incorporate other fuels, such as meths or hexy blocks, is an added bonus and further increases their versatility in the field.

The main consideration on which type to go for would be transportation.

If you want one that can fold away into a flat package, the box type is probably your best bet.

They take a little assembling, and they can be a little frustrating to put together at times, but once together, they are solid.

If portability isn’t your primary concern and you are happy with a fixed unit, the wood gas type is a great option.

These are already good to go, so are great from a time perspective, but do not fully pack down.

Your choice will ultimately boil down to space and your trip length.

What is a Solostove?

A Solostove is a type of wood gas stove that is cylindrical in design and incorporates a jacket, so that cold air can be drawn upwards from the bottom of the stove, warmed by the flames and then delivered to the top of the stove where it fans the flame and produces a hotter burn.

See the image above for a visual description.

What is a twig stove?

A twig stove is a type of camping/outdoor stove that uses natural materials, such as dry twigs, leaves, pine cones, pine needles etc.

These stoves are a great option if you have a reliable supply of fuel as they can be run on free to find materials.

Additionally, some models allow you to incorporate a basic burner, such as a Trangia or you can just use a basic hexy block. See above for more on these.

Meth burners

Trangia Meth Alcohol Burner Bushcraft Stove
Trangia Spirit Burner

Sometimes known as an alcohol or spirit burner, this style of stove is another simple option for bushcraft activities.

They are generally known as Trangias, although this is a brand name and they are not all made by Trangia.

These stoves are small in design, lightweight and portable.

You will need some form of pot support as well, as these will not generally work with a pot placed directly on them.

However, there are many options available.

How does a Trangia work?

These burners all work on the same principle, in that you partially fill the main central chamber with fuel, then light it.

The main chamber will slowly burn (sometimes it’s very hard to see) and heat up the stove and fuel.

Once it is up to operating temperature, the fuel that is in the outside chamber, starts to vapourise.

This vapour then rises up to the small pinprick vents at the top, where it combusts.

This is often referred to as ‘blooming’ and means the burner is now ready to cook on.

Trangia spirit burner

The Trangia Spirit Burner pictured above is the best known and most widely used meth/alcohol burner out there.

Low cost, virtually indestructible and brilliantly simple in its design, this is a fantastic, relatively lightweight stove, with a multitude of applications.

Designed back in 1951, at Trangia’s headquarters in Sweden, not much has changed.

It is made of brass, with a weight of 110g and consists of the main burner unit, screw-on lid and a simmer ring.

The simmer ring’s design allows the flame to be regulated and also allows you to extinguish the burner completely when finished.

The stove is designed to run on methylated spirits (denatured alcohol). This fuel can be obtained very cheaply from your local hardware store.

It is worth noting that this burner can be used on its own if it is placed in a sheltered depression and your cooking vessel suspended above.

In general, though, the spirit burner is designed to be used inside a cooking system.

Examples include Trangia’s popular 25-2 cooking set or other makes such as the Honey Stove mentioned above.

The meth (or alcohol burner) is an extremely simple and effective cooking system, that has stood the test of time.

Esbit alcohol burner stove

Esbit Alcohol Burner Methylated Stove - bushcraft stoves
Esbit alcohol stove

A good alternative to the Trangia is the Esbit Alcohol Burner.

It is based on the Trangia, however, the Esbit also incorporates a foldaway handle, that operates the simmer ring.

This lessens the possibility of you burning your fingers when adjusting the flame – making it more user friendly.

You can purchase the Esbit here: USA | UK | CAN

Gas stoves

MSR Pocket Rocket 2 Gas Stove
MSR PocketRocket 2 Gas Stove

One of the most convenient and simple options out there is the gas stove.

As long as you have a ready supply of canisters, these stoves are a great choice for your cooking needs.

They provide a quick, clean heat-source, providing minimum hassle for the user. They are just as quick to dismantle and pack away.

Gas selection

Historically, gas canisters were 100% butane. This is the worst performing gas for stoves.

In the early days, 100% butane fueled gas stoves struggled to work at all in cold conditions.

This is due to the fact that butane’s boiling point is approximately -2 deg C.

Essentially, this means that below -2 deg C, butane gas reverts back into a liquid.

It, therefore, loses its pressure and does not want to leave the canister, as it is no longer a gas.

This doesn’t help matters if you are relying on it to ignite.

What gas do you use for a camping stove? The modern solution

In more recent years, nearly all gas canisters are a butane/propane mix, generally around 70% butane and 30% propane.

Propane has a much lower boiling point of around -42 deg C.

When combined with butane, the mixture provides good performance well into the minus figures.

Another gas commonly used in isobutane.

This shares the same chemical structure as butane but delivers higher pressure, which increases flame performance.

If you want to read more about gas stove fuel options see the MSR article here.

Modern gas stoves may struggle at extreme altitudes, but for most applications, they will operate absolutely fine.

Due to the above, these stoves are slowly becoming the choice of professional mountaineers.

This is due to their simplicity and the fact that they are generally more lightweight and safer in use than liquid fuel options.

Fuel availability

One thing with gas stoves is that you do need to have the correct gas canister cartridge for your stove.

You also need to be able to find these fairly easily should you need to get replacements.

This is not usually a problem in more developed parts of the world, but may be an issue in more remote regions.,

Make sure to check this before setting off if you are likely to need more.

How does a camping stove work?

In general, most gas stoves simply require you to:

  • attach the gas canister by screwing it onto the burner (clockwise)
  • deploy the pan and stove supports (if any)
  • turn on gas by opening the valve
  • ignite

Simplicity!

Some stoves even feature an integrated piezo ignition, which ignites the gas for you when you turn on the gas.

This is a handy feature to have.

However, even if your stove has this, you should always carry an alternative form of ignition.

This could be a ferro rod or lighter, in case the piezo ignition fails for whatever reason.

Top-mounted canister stoves

This is the most common type (see picture above). The gas canister screws onto the bottom of the burner and acts as the stove’s base.

Because of this, top-mounted stoves require a very stable and level surface to place the complete unit on.

This style of stove set-up often becomes top-heavy.

This is especially true if you have a lot of liquid in the cooking vessel that might slosh from side to side.

This sloshing can then end up tipping the stove over, including your food.

It is therefore important to site the stove correctly in the first place, on a flat, level surface.

Be vigilant of any gusts of wind that might have your pot toppling.

You also need to guard against you or your companions knocking into it.

Although the above is a bit of a drawback with this style, the fact that they are simple and generally cheaper than other designs, makes them a popular and solid choice for your bushcraft cooking needs.

Remote mounted canister stoves

Primus Express Spider 2 Gas Stove - bushcraft stoves
Primus Express Spider 2

This style of gas stove is by far the most stable, due to the burner being much lower to the ground and having a set of wide legs for stabilisation and support.

The gas canister is attached to a hose that allows the canister to sit to one side, adjacent to the burner.

However, due to the additional materials used, they are generally a little more expensive to buy than the top-mounted style.

Other than that, they generally operate in much the same way as topmounted stoves.

Liquid fuel portable stoves

MSR XGK EX Liquid Fuel Stove
MSR XGK EX

Liquid fuel stoves generally cost more than their gas-fired cousins.

They also usually weigh more and involve a bit more effort in their operation.

With this in mind, why would you choose to opt for liquid fuel over the more common gas cartridge type?

What are the advantages of a liquid fuel stove?

In most cases, it chiefly centers around the fuel that you can obtain.

If you are operating in remote locations, for extended periods, a liquid fuel stove may be the better option over gas or other types.

The reason for this is that gas canisters are not always readily available should you run out.

They are usually stocked in outdoor shops and available online.

However, if you are out of area and certainly if you are in a different country, you may not be able to come across them quite so easily.

You can obviously bring 1 or 2 in your pack when you are on shorter outings.

For extended trips though, such as expeditions etc, you need to be mindful of how much fuel you are likely to use.

It is likely that you will find that you do not have the room to be taking heaps of gas canisters with you.

Added to this, once used, empty gas canisters need to be brought out with you and disposed of responsibly.

This creates additional dead weight and space that you will have to carry out with you.

Here lies the advantage of liquid fuel stoves!

In most places around the world, you can find some form of fuel to use in your stove.

Available fuels

Most liquid fuel stoves burn a variety of fuels, that are readily available across the globe, so you should never (hopefully) find yourself without a fuel source.

These include – white gas (also known as Coleman Fuel), petrol (auto gasoline), kerosene, diesel and more.

Read more on this here.

If you are travelling by vehicle, an additional benefit is that the stove can share the same fuel as the vehicle.

This can simplify things by eliminating the need for additional fuel storage.

How much fuel should you carry for your trip? Check out this MSR article here.

Economy

Because they can run on standard unleaded petrol or in some cases diesel and other fuels, they tend to be more cost-effective, when compared to resealable gas canisters.

This is especially true if you are on an extended trip.

This needs to be balanced with the fact that they are usually more costly to buy.

However, over the lifetime of the stove, this difference is negligible.

Safety procedures for using a liquid fuel stove

There are safety considerations to take on board when using liquid fuel stoves.

You have a bottle of extremely flammable liquid, usually petrol or similar, a few inches away from a roaring burner.

This sounds worse than it actually is, as the stove is obviously designed to operate this way and is safe as long as you use it sensibly.

How to fill a liquid stove fuel bottle

MSR Stove Liquid Fuel Bottles
MSR Fuel Bottles

One of the big things to remember is to wipe everything down after filling the fuel bottle, as you will no doubt spill a small amount whilst doing this.

Tip – It sounds obvious, but do not fill the bottle over its max fill line.

If you do, when you go to insert the pump, it will spurt out fuel all over your hands and the bottle, as the fuel pump takes up quite a bit of volume.

Only operate the stove once the stove is properly connected and you are sure there is no fuel residue left on the outside.

Can you use a camping stove inside a tent?

As with any stove, only use in a well-ventilated area. It’s not a great idea to use stoves inside of tents.

Apart from the obvious reason of potentially burning the tent down, you can get carbon monoxide poisoning too.

Follow the instructions and use some common sense and you won’t go too far wrong.

Remember, gas and other stoves are potentially hazardous too.

How to use a liquid fuel stove

One thing to note is that liquid fuel stoves require priming before they will work.

This means that a small amount of fuel is pumped into the stove and burnt off before it can be used properly.

The main purpose of priming is to heat up the section of metal tube that sits over the top of the burner.

This is known as the Generator Tube.

This is what fuel passes through before it reaches the burner. Once this is warm, it transfers heat to the fuel passing through it.

This, in turn, enables the now heated fuel to vapourise and combust correctly when it reaches the actual burner.

Stove Maintenance

MSR Expedition Service Kit for MSR Stoves
MSR Expedition Service Kit

There are more moving parts on a liquid fuel stove as opposed to gas.

Due to this, although very reliable, it is essential to carry some form of field repair kit if you are relying on your stove to function effectively.

Most of the stoves mentioned below will come with a small parts kit included.

However, it is wise to bolster this with some extra parts such as those included in the MSR expedition service kit.

Periodic maintenance of the stove is required to ensure long term performance.

The MSR expedition service kits will cover most eventualities in the field and are a good item to carry with you.

If looked after, and properly maintained, these stoves should last a lifetime.

Summary

There are many options available when selecting a bushcraft stove.

If you have a good supply of small twigs etc and don’t mind longer boil times, the closest and most environmentally sustainable option is the wood type, such as the Solo Stove, or Honey Stove.

The fact that this fuel is usually free and readily available, further adds to their appeal.

However, if you want or need to go down the fuel route, meths, gas and liquid fuel stoves are all excellent in their own right.

Your choice will depend on the environment you will be in at the time, trip length and of course, personal preference.

Hopefully, this post has outlined the main bushcraft stove options available.

If you feel you would like anything else mentioned, please leave a comment below or use the contact us page and I will do my best to oblige.

Thanks for your visit today