View Full Version : Stratus Trail Stove, Wood stove

Bob S
01-24-2008, 19:48
http://www.trailstove.com (http://www.trailstove.com/)

Do any of you use this stove? And if so how do you like it & how did it work for you. I made a gasified wood stove that works great and Iím happy with. But I also like simple reliable things that have few or no moving parts. Their web site says its stainless steel and light weight. With no fan or batteries it looks like it may be worth playing with.
Itís only $24.00

01-24-2008, 19:50
There is a video of this stove being used on you tube if you want to see it in action. I personally dont have one but i do own a bush buddy and like it very much for a wood stove.

Bob S
01-24-2008, 20:03
That tube thing looks like a lot of work, I would just want to light it, feed it sticks through the hole in the side and cook, not blow puffs of air into it.

01-24-2008, 20:11
Bob S: I have this stove and have only used it as a alcohol stove. Worked just fine. I imagine suing it with wood would be great. when i used it before I was on the AT. I plan on using it as wood this next summer for a month on AT. It is light and fuel is never hard to find. Have you tried it out yet? As wood? I hate to admit it, but I have not even tried it out! I know what I'll do. It is below freezing here in West TX. I will try it out tomorrow. In back of our yard where I used to split wood there is a lot of chips and etc. I'll come back tomorrow and let you know. I'll cook something. Fun. -SunnyWalker

Bob S
01-24-2008, 21:21
I have not tried it. Over the last 5 years I have really gotten into alcohol stoves. Last year I started playing with a few homemade wood stoves and also bought a Thermette. I notice with the wood stoves I no longer care about fuel consumption. It opens up lots of cooking possibilities when you don’t care if you burn up fuel.

01-25-2008, 00:21
Yes, one attraction. When I was on the AT in GA this last July I fully intended to use the ST as a wood stove. I had the alcohol as a "backup" so to speak. Well, each night I was so exhausted that I just went to alcohol. But this was my first week on the AT, getting into the swing of things so to speak. I think when I return I will be able to achieve this goal. No worries about fuel are attractive to me also. And I must admit when I was a kid in BSA we had made something line this out of the #10 can and used them. Easy, good, effective. I remember picking up wood chips and twigs. worked well. -SunnyWalker

08-14-2008, 21:53
I tried this stove out finally. I had only used it's alcohol aspect. I have decided its alright. When you use the alcohol stove part you place the little dealie inside the Stratus and Whala-perfect wind breat like a Caldera Cone-and AT ONLY ABOUT $20.00!!!! I like it! (Stratus)

08-14-2008, 21:58
Voila is a French word. I don't have the accent to go over the a, but it means, basically, there it is or that's it.
Glad you like the stove.

08-26-2008, 00:58
The Stratus is a great wood stove. The gentler heat means you can really cook on it. And it's easy to learn to keep a low fire going for a true simmer. The tube is really an important part of this set-up because if you've ever cooked with really small-dimension wood you know how easy it is for the fire to die way down. With other stoves this means you may have to start all over. But the tube allows you to blow even a few remaining coals to high enough heat to get some added sticks burning again. The one minor consideration with this stove is that you have to have a separate stuff sack for this stove and your cooking pots as you will be dealing with soot. The major reason I've stopped using this or any wood stove when the forest is very dry is that if you get a sudden wind you can easily have hot embers blow out of the cone. This happened to me last Summer and I was fortunate not to have any embers catch dry leaves or duff on fire. It was enough of a scare that I've gone back to white gas, but with an Optimus Nova stove. This is the first white gas stove I've ever owned that really does simmer and I never have to worry about blowing embers.

Two Speed
08-26-2008, 07:31
I've got a Stratus Trail Stove. I'm not all that impressed with it. Bulky and I suspect prone to damage.

If anyone wants to offer me $20 and shipping shoot me a PM.

08-26-2008, 08:06
x2 what two speed said. Better off making your own Heini or Titanium one.

11-07-2008, 18:48
I don't see what could damage it. It's just a cone and no moving parts. Just as simple as many other wood stoves. Works good for me so far. The breathing tube is really neat.

12-11-2008, 12:29
Chiming in here - I've got one, and it works really well. The only "trick" one really needs with this stove is to have some decent tinder and never use wood thicker than your finger. I've seen some claim that they had to sit with the stove and work the blow tube like a human bellows -- that's just not my experience. There's no moving parts, and I think it could take more of a beating than anything else I hike with - including my feet. I've also seen people critique it for being sooty/ putting soot on pots...

But that sort of fella doesn't really get "the woods".

12-11-2008, 13:46
This may be a really dumb question but I gotta ask....can i get an opinion of doing a thru hike with a wood burning stove. The idea of not carrying fuel and having such a light inexpensive stove is really appealing but I don't know if it would be practical for a thru hike. If anyone has done it I would really like your reviews...I read a book about a woman who thru hiked and she used a wood stove...I am just curious to know if it is more of a hassle than it is worth.

12-11-2008, 15:29
It can be a hassle. It's not as quick as other stoves to get going. Thats not so much a problem at the end of the day, but in the morning it can slow you right down if you need to cook breakfist. Because of the smoke, you can't cook in shelters so if its raining out, that can be a problem. I end up taking along an acohol stove for a back up if I need something hot *NOW* or when conditions aren't good for a wood stove.

On the plus side, any shelter which has a fire pit has pleanty of little sticks to use and often many of these end up under the shetler roof so thier dry. You do need to carry some kind of tinder. Cotton balls soaked in Vasaline I hear works well. Farther north, birch bark is great and can be picked up along the trail.

12-11-2008, 16:38
I end up taking along an acohol stove for a back up if I need something hot *NOW* or when conditions aren't good for a wood stove.

It seems like alot of the wood stoves double as an alcohol stove....am I correct??

12-11-2008, 18:54
I don't think there is any way one could make a wood stove to burn either/or with out a sperate burner for the alcohol. The wood stove simply becomes a pot stand.

The Stratus stove looks to be nice design, the only problem I have with it is it's kinda bulky so will take up valuable space inside the pack. Though, I suppose no worse than a jet boil. And it looks like one could store the back up alcohol stove and a small fuel bottle inside the wood stove cone so all that open space isn't totally wasted.

12-11-2008, 22:18
yeah, the wood stove becomes a wind screen for your alcohol stove set-up. You may need to modify the thing, though; add some new holes for tent-stake pot-stands.

Last year a guy I hiked a bit with had a homemade wood stove, made of a coffee can. I saw it in action many times, it seemed to work well. It convinced me; I made one myself a week ago, and yes, it works... in my backyard at least. It has not been trail-tested.

I made mine so that my (homemade) pot and cozy, and my mug, nest inside it, along with backup alcohol stove, lighter, etc. Depending on what space is left, I'll probably stuff some other stuff in there too, like a bandana, tea bags and whatnot.

There's no reason not to do this on a thru, saves you money and weight. Do have the alcohol stove (with a very small amount of alcohol with you, use those tiny 4oz water bottles) for the situations slo-go'en mentioned, though. Just think, you'll become a freakin PRO at firebuilding, you'll impress all your friends.

And the vaseline trick works well. You just need a tiny dab of it on some lint, cotton, or paper balled up. I used this myself a few times just for regular campfires.

12-12-2008, 08:49
When I was a kid me and my dad used a MSR whisperlite but the thing was not easy to light (I think it may have been an operator problem though). The idea of depending on a wood fire seems better to me. Now I have to figure out the alcohol stove deal. I have never even seen one, except on this website. Could anyone reccomend a good alcohol stove for a beginner?? Or does it even matter?

papa john
12-12-2008, 08:52
An easy one to make is the J Falk catfood can stove.


You don't even need to have a cat.

12-12-2008, 09:29
the major complaint of a wood stove is the soot.

Those who have used it a lot recommend an ignitor like a cotton ball impregnated with vaseline or a shot of alcohol.

You have to carry some kind of a bag to isolate the stove and pot from the rest of your stuff.

In my own limited tests in the back yard, a hot fire limits the amount of sticky soot, but it's there.

Alcohol(the paint thinner type, not rubbing alcohol which does burn dirty) or gas burns clean.


12-12-2008, 11:17
try this one, it's even simpler (one piece). the page has a ton of info on it, but you can scroll down past a lot of it to where it says "Materials". Personally I found it very interesting, but I think I'm what people on here call a "stovie."

Anyways, I made one, works great.


12-12-2008, 11:19
you can't use gas in an alcohol stove. too volatile, dangerous.

12-12-2008, 13:39
Can you or can't you use rubbing alcohol??

12-12-2008, 13:59
You don't want to use rubbing alcohol. You COULD use the really pure stuff, like 90 or 95% pure isopropyl alcohol, but you will get better results using denatured alcohol or HEET, and pure (pharmaceutical grade) isopropyl will be expensive and harder to find on the trail. Go with paint stripping denatured alcohol or yellow bottle HEET.

Best by far, IME, is pure grain alcohol, but that will be VERY expensive, VERY hard to find in places, and illegal to buy in many others.



12-12-2008, 16:30
I am assuming you could probably get the denatured alcohol at any hardware store.

12-12-2008, 19:47
yep, it's widely available. S-L-X is a good brand, but it probably doesn't matter.

12-12-2008, 23:03
Wood stoves like this one work well, but you do need patience. It takes time to gather fuel, light and keep feeding in fuel to keep it going. The disadvantage of this one is that it burns the ground it sits on. ( A bushbudy can be set on a table or shelter floor) An advantage is that you can get the fire going then lower the stove over it. The blow tube probably is not necessary, and be sure to remove your lips away before taking in a breath to blow out. The easiest way would be not to move your lips away as you suck in, but this might draw hot smoke into your mouth. Seriously, be careful. If you burn alcohol, go with the Calderon Cone. Several outfitters along the AT sell alcohol by the ounce. Denatured alcohol can be found as a paint thinner in hardware stores. If you use a fire starter for your wood stove or campfire such as vaseline in a cotton ball, use a flint spark to catch the cotton fibers and you can save your matches.

12-15-2008, 08:50
hiker girl
Yes you can use rubbing alcohol, but (always a but) it will not burn as clean. the yellowish flame will leave soot on your pot. Also, 90 % is better than 80 or lower.
and, paint thinner is best.(and maybe also HEET, but I've never used any so can't speak first hand) leaving the pot virtually soot free.

When I referred to gas burning clean, I should have added "in the proper stove" Tripppinbmt is correct. It is dangerous to try gas in an alcohol stove. A big out of control fire will result.

don't ask me how I know <G>


05-02-2009, 18:56
When it comes to the Stratus Trailstove I think the jury is still out. There is not enough comments or hikers with experience with it. It seems the majority of hikers who have tried it (2-3? on WB) tried it once and gave up or took it on a short trip, and gave up. Learning curve here and etc.? Product loyalty to Zip and et al is too strong. I am going to try ot test it very well. I'll be reporting back in to WB Central!! :-)

05-02-2009, 19:59
i have a homemade coffee can stove that works pretty well in my gallery