Vargo Hexagon Wood Stove– Titanium
DESCRIPTION: One piece, collapsable, titanium, ultralight wood burning stove.
Vargo has long been in the game of creating great Backpacking Stoves and their Hexagon stove is a pretty amazing addition to their offerings. Folding virtually flat and lighter than a bunny's tail this collapsible wood burning stove has no reason not to be in your pack. If you can source wood as a fuel this is the next great thing for your trips.
Based on utilizing the most available fuel on the planet this stove will burn as long as you can add fuel and will be limitless in it's uses due to the unique construction. Wide based and shaped some what like a teepee this stove is really simple to start, build a mini camp fire in the center of the hexagonal titanium stove and watch this baby burn.
After prepping the stove with a layer of tinder then small twigs the stove lit quickly and burned hot. I was able to keep even damp wood cranking due to the sides keeping the wind out and the heat concentrated in the middle, by manipulating the side door you can easily control the rate of burn. As with any wood fire you should collect about 3 times the wood you think you might need so be sure to have plenty of fuel ready for action!
I stacked the wood into various sizes to be sure it was ready when the fire was hungry for it. Igniting the tinder was effortless and given the shape of the stove it was protected from the breeze that started to kick up as I began the test. Once the tinder and small kindling had ignited I fed the fire with larger pieces of wood that were about 1" diameter and no more that 3" long. Getting the fire raging is easy as you can top feed the fire initially, however once you start cooking you will have to add from the side so the smaller the length the better. And remember as with any stove be sure you're aware of how the fire is doing so you can tend it often with additional fuel.
For this review I had no choice but to use damp wood I collected which was ok but I wonder if I was waiting too long between refueling because it took about 14 minutes to get a nice boil of my 2 cups of ambient temp (67° F) water.
Once boiling I let the fire die out and clean up was unremarkable. Although if you are new to using wood as a fuel it will soot up not only the stove but also the base of what ever you are cooking in.
So be prepared to either get black soot on your hands and gear or be prepared to clean it off before you pack up.
Not only is this design clever and performs well, this can also double as a windscreen for small alcohol can stoves if you choose to use them. So it can be the back up to your back up. All in all I see no reason every camper would not want to have one of these handy as either a primary or an easy back up should your main cook system fail.