review by Tony Lourens
Fire Fusion Stove
There are so many camp-style stoves on the market these days, and knowing what to get can sometimes be a little difficult. At the end of the day, you want something that is reliable, stable and light, with an adjustable heat source, puts out a decent amount of power, with relatively good fuel consumption.
The other criterion that needs to be considered is a liquid fuel stove (benzene, etc.) or gas stove (canisters). For me, that decision is easy. Unless you are flying to a country where gas canisters may be difficult to come by, or you are going to extremely cold and very lofty places, gas wins every time. Way less fuss, much quicker to assemble and make ready, and these days even faster to boil water.
Looking at gas stoves only, there are quite a few brands and models to choose from, some quite pricey – almost half the price that you would pay for your standard Defy kitchen stove.
I recently took Fire Maple’s Fire Fusion stove for a little trip through the mountains in Montagu. I chose a cloudy, blustery day so I could put the little burner through its paces, and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting any surprising performances. Well, surprised I was!
First off, the Fire Maple has excellent stability. The three pot-rests fold out, giving an overall pot stand of 15 centimetres in diameter, but at the same time has an inner ring of only four centimetres, which means it can take large pots, kettles and frying pans, but also your very important Bialetti coffee pot. And for extra support, the stove comes with three little fold-out stabilising legs.
What adds an extra dimension of stability, is that the stove does not fit on top of a gas cylinder, which means it sits much closer to the ground, giving it a much better centre of gravity. The gas cylinder is connected at the end of a thin, 27-centimetre meshed metal catheter. This makes the stove much easier to use on uneven ground, and enables you to turn the cylinder upside down so the stove can suck liquid gas, rather than just gas, making it more functional in very cold conditions.
I purposefully set up the Fire Fusion in an exposed windy position to see how it performed in the blustery conditions. The stove is lit with a manual spark igniter, which can never not work, and gives off a good broad flame, protected by a built-in wind shield. The flame is very finely controlled by the control knob next to the cylinder – from full retro rocket thrust, right down to a really low simmer, which is not easy to find, even on some of the very expensive models out there.
The final test – water boiling time (500 metres asl): Using Fire Maple’s, Feast XT1 Kettle, with built-in heat exchanger, it took two minutes to bring 800 millilitres to start showing bubbles at the bottom of the kettle, and three minutes to bring it to a full rolling boil.
Light, effective and compact (comes neatly packed in a stout plastic 10 centimetre cubed storage box), and really well priced, I would recommend any outdoor person to give this stove serious consideration when next looking for a good reliable burner.
• Stainless steel
• Piezo ignition system
• Power controlling valve
• Folding and solid support legs
Unfolded size: 17.4 cm x 17.4 cm x 7 cm
Folded size: 9.1 cm x 9.1 cm x 6 cm
Weight: 246 g
Feast XT1 Kettle
Constructed from hard-anodised aluminium with a plastic-coated stainless steel handle, the Feast XT1 kettle is a great little kettle and an ideal companion to the Fire Fusion stove. Light, rugged and compact, and finished in a brushed grey, the XT1 makes a sexy and very effective addition to your camping and hiking kitchens. It also comes with a pouring spout that works! No dribbling! And an easily removable lid, which has ventilation holes to allow escaping condensation.
But the pièce de résistance is the heat exchanger element fitted to the bottom of the kettle. This not only reduces wind interference, but also traps the heat, giving you a 30% reduction in boil times.
A very effective product, which can also be used with any other brand of stove.
• Soft protective mesh bag withdrawstring closure.
• Includes mesh tea infuser ball.
Size: 153 x 86 mm
Weight: 242 g
Liquid capacity: 800 ml
Available at: www.traversegear.co.za