|Cooking up a batch of potato soup on the Bushbuddy Stove.|
First and foremost, with a Bushbuddy (a gasifier type ultralight wood burning backpacking stove), you don't have to carry any fuel because you're surrounded by an unlimited supply of fuel (twigs, pine cones, bark, and assorted biomass). This is important in and of itself for several reasons. The absence of white gas fuel bottles (which I would use for my MSR Whisperlite) in my pack logically equate to lighter pack weights. The absence of iso-butane fuel canisters (which I would use for my Pocket Rocket or Coleman Exponent F1) also mean lighter pack weights, as well as eliminating the waste of discarded empty 110g or 220g canisters. Lighter pack weight and no wasted empty fuel canisters! Low impact on both my back (pack weight) and the environment (discarded fuel canisters).
|My Bushbuddy stove, and a Four Dog 1.1L Mors camp pot, |
cooking up a batch of dehydrated kasha with brussels sprouts.
|The fire starter I use the most with the Bushbuddy...cotton balls soaked in Vaseline.|
|Finger-sized twigs...juniper...great fuel!|
|The Four Dog 1.1L Mors bush pot. The Bushbuddy nests inside it perfectly!|
As for the crafting of the Bushbuddy stoves, all of it is done by Jeff and Belle. According to Jeff, Belle does at least half of the work. Jeff does all of the forming, drilling, grinding, and welding of the outer shells, pot supports, and fireboxes. Belle does all of the material processing, which includes shearing stainless steel pieces (they get them in bulk rolled coils), cutting out discs for forming, hammering out pot supports and ash pan tabs on the anvil, welding all of the ash pans and heat shields, and etching the logo on the bottom of the stove. Belle also processes all of the cardboard used for packaging. All while caring for a 16-month-old baby while pregnant with their second child. My respect for Jeff and Belle goes beyond the crafting of the Bushbuddy stove, as it takes Jeff around 20 hours a week just to keep up with the demands of living an off-grid life in remote Alaska. Add that to the 2-3 hours it takes the two of them to produce just one Bushbuddy stove. I'm both amazed by their grit and ingenuity and thankful that there are people in this world like Jeff and Belle!
I couldn't be happier with my Bushbuddy stove (made by Jeff and Belle several years ago, under the previous Nomadic Stove label), and the history and deep workmanship that it represents, going all the way back to Fritz Handel's original hard work, and all way up to the present with the crafting of these wonderful stoves by Jeff and Belle. I've said it before many times...utilitarian ART!