This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vargo Wood Stove

During last week's trip, I was able to try out my latest toy.  
The Vargo Wood Stove promises to be a very useful way to remove some excess weight.  
It is a tiny titanium contraption which folds up to fit in that little nylon envelope you see.
Standing, it forms a typical "tepee" campfire configuration out of the built in windscreen.  They say you can cook using nothing but twigs.
According to the proponents of this device,
what you see in this photo will be fuel enough for dinner.
After picking up a bit around the table, I had a fair amount to fill and refill it.
People claim you should use only small twigs, smaller than your little finger, 
and be sure to leave enough room for airflow.
I thought a pine cone would be something to try.  It wasn't worth it.
Stick to the hardwood twigs; if it breaks, it's good, if it bends, it's bad. 
The flame lights easily with a match.  I used a little wad of dryer lint for tinder, but it wasn't really necessary.
The stove can get very hot and burn very quickly.
 The door on the side allows the addition of more wood and modulation of the air flow.
It cooks amazingly well.  Two things of note: it is small, so larger cook sets will be unstable, 
and it was designed to sit on the ground.  When using it on a table, 
place it on a piece of metal like the stainless steel plate I used.
There are great advantages to this stove.  It does not require one to carry fuel, that provides a great weight and environmental advantage. There will be some places, deserts and mountains above the tree line, where the stove will not be practical or, in some cases, legal, but I can see it as my most commonly used stove. 
 I think any serious backpacker or cycle tourist should consider one, 
at least as a back up if not a primary stove. 

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