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[CDT-L] FW: an "absolutely" and another request...

I want to thank those who sent some thoughtful replies, on and off-list,
about their thoughts or experience with the Zip stove.  A couple folks
suggested I contact Jim Stoltz, who it seems has been using it for a few
years now, I've known Jim for quite a while now, but our conversations had
never turned to Zip stoves!  I thought you all might be interested in his
lengthy and enthusiastic reply. I share it with his permission.

Bob  Ellinwood

Jim's reply:

Ah, to zip or not to zip?  Actually the first summer I used it, it was an
extremely wet year. Rained or snowed almost every day.  The only time I had
trouble getting it going was when I put the battery in backwards and the fan
was sucking air rather than blowing it. Other than that, I've been very
enthused about it. Drawbacks are that your pot gets black (I double bag it
to keep my pack from getting dirty)  and it is a bit more hassel finding and
gathering a pile of sticks. And there is smoke, too.

But there are so many positives. I've never had trouble getting it going
(outside the reversed battery) and once you do have it going it burns so hot
that even wet wood will burn. It saves on the weight. (That's a BIG PLUS!!!)
It simmers much better than any gas stoves I've seen (by just turning off
the fan or going to the lower speed). Also, I burn my garbage every day,
especially toilet paper.  (Another subject, but I don't think folks should
bury it because animals end up digging it up, and burning on the spot is
often time consuming and ineffective) Instead of hauling out all my garbage
and tp I burn most of it before I start cooking dinner. I come back with a
small bag of tinfoil and unburnables.
I've never had to eat cold food. For firestarter I just use a ball of pine
pitch with pine needles and twigs, or a piece of toilet paper, then lots of
little stuff to get it going, before putting on the bigger stuff.  I've
found that if you really want to get it hot use lots of medium sized sticks
at first to get it up to boiling, then put on the thicker stuff for the long
term cooking.
In extremely wet weather I look for dry stuff under fallen trees and in the
dead branches under the "dry side" of dense cover.  I will often carry a
ziplock with dry twigs just so I have an easy start.   I've never been
unable to find fuel.  Even in the desert I've just used dead sage.  When
I've gone above treeline, I've just filled up my little ziplock bag with
enough twigs for a meal or two.  The more you use it you can gage how much
wood to gather, and what kind of twigs to use.
I haven't used the tabs you mention or any other backup (but I always carry
a candle stub for emergency fire-making) but have used the zip stove almost
exclusively since '93.  In the northern rockies it is extremely rare to have
it rain more than a couple days in a row in July and August.  Things don't
get that wet here.  I used it all along the PCT in Washington and that was
wet.  No troubles with the stove.  I'm a big fan of this stove. Not having
to lug fuel and find more at the towns along the way is another big plus!
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