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- Subject: [CDT-L] Zipstove/long..
- Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 05:33:54 -0400
Hiya, Lurker here..
I've used a zipstove for a couple years and have
answered lots of questions about it. Here's a
repost of my basic answer.
Welcome to the world of Zipstoves <g>. Below are two links
for the official and the unofficial zipsites plus a
reprint of some info from previous questions. Hope it
helps. Anymore ??? e-mail. I'm just so glad to
have the company<G> Kahley
>From a previous post.....
No worries about which fuel, how much fuel you are using, where
to get more, or fuel leaking on your new down bag because you
_don't_ carry_fuel! Well to be honest, I usually use one fire
to dry out some tinder for the next fire so I do carry some
tinder and firestarter.
My stove is listed at one oz more than the whisperlite
and the pot (with a pan for a lid) that they sell for it,
is listed at 10oz. I carry a metal bandaid box (<1oz)
to put the ashes and half burned stuff in.(Remember what
Smokey says...) So my total weight for the stove,_ the
pot and pan/lid_, ash box is under 30 0z.
Because you need not worry about how much fuel you are
using, your diet becomes more diverse...cooking time
is limited only by your hunger.
The stove really puts out the heat...I've never done
the time to boil thing...but it's quick enough for me,
and it simmers really well.
The two speed fan (plus off) give you lots of control
especially when you add in the control you have over
how much wood you put in.
It burns anything ...pine cones, bark, paper
(no plastic please)...wet or dry...once you get it
started. But wet stuff does smoke more.
The leftover charcoal from other people's fires
works really well. Should be easier to get onto
an airplane than petro-stoves.
Toasted Marshmellows...nuf said
Makes your pots black and you'll smell of smoke.
You cannot cook in the tent. Or above tree line unless
you bring tree with you. Takes practice...and feeding,
for anything more than a cup of coffee.
But we're talking about really tiny amounts of wood.
One Sunday, I cooked 4 drycups of rice (2 cups at a time)
plus coffee with one three foot branch (<3/4 in at it's thickest)
If you love playing with a campfire you might like the Zip.
The stove is a little unstable..but I've never dumped
it in hundreds of uses.
Recently someone asked if there was a problem using them
in areas which prohibit open fires but since it's actually
contained I don't think this would be a problem. YMMV
When you take wood from the forest, even tiny amounts,
you are robbing nutrients from future trees.
So make sure you pee wherever you collect wood<<VBG>>
Maybe someone else will have a con that I haven't thought of.
Like I said...I'm prejudiced.
And a later answer.....
Actually i guess I've been trying to tone down my public
endoresement for the Zip because they aren't for everyone.
Another lister and I talked in a chat and he described
himself as someone who loves camplife,playing with a fire
and cooking. He bought a zip, used it a couple times and
decided that he didn't like it. Zipheads are special folks i
think<<<G>>>.Not better or worse, just
different. I like the simplicity of the whole idea. and
that sounds really silly considering the motor et all.
Hints...hmmm...I know it runs counter to the whole idea
of no fuel weight but I usually always carry some dry twigs
with. Except this summer, because we had a drought and it
was just plain silly to worry about not having dry wood
to start it. In normal times, I carry an old metal bandaid
box with a doz or so really small twigs...we're
talking 1/16 to 1/2 in sticks. The can is also useful
if you're in too much of a hurry to wait for the coals to
burn out. You always have a little ash bucket and have no
worries about safe disposal. But come to think of it I guess
I've gotten to the point where I rarely have more fire than
I need. I love the bandaid box though, wrapped with ductape,
with some coals in it as a hand warmer/foot warmer.
Sometimes in the winter, even five minutes of toasty is heaven.
Firestaters..I use 3 or 4 cottonballs with maybe 20 30
drops of wax from leftover holiday tapers. then wrap them
in a 6x6 square of wax paper....in the fashion of salt water
taffy...the little tails are easy to light. Super light
and compact . I just tear a little strip of the wax paper
off and use that to light the starter. Usually, around
Feb, when I'm bored to tears, I spend an evening dipping
tiny sticks 2/3 in wax and then wrapping cotton balls around
them but to be honest that's just for something to do.
The taffy balls work just as well.
Light with the motor off, swicth to low until you get
good flame...about 30 secs and then full blast. For long
cooking meals, once you have a base of coals..switch it off
to simmer. I only burned stuff once, '97 spring when i
got to supper late and then got distracted by the
comet...burned chili...ooops. I forgot to turn it off.
In damp weather, I always use the end of one fire to
dry tinder to start the next fire. Just lay themn across
the zip dry off and then keep them dry and you'll have no trouble
with your next meal. Soft wood burns fast, evergreen burns
sooty, you really can smell applewood and nut wood
and it does great things for grilled trout.
Your pots will turn black. I've heard that coating them
with dishwashing stuff will let the soot just wipe off,
but I've never tried it. I just wipe off the outside with
the wet wipe I've used on my face and hands pre-eating.
I used to scour it after every trip until
I learned that a good coat of carbon makes the pot heat
quicker and also doesn't rub off on stuff as badly as
a fresh coat of soot does. The pot and pan set that
they sell for the zip is surprisingly light and very
tough. Mine has one tiny dent after all these years.
And the zip fits into it exactly..great use of space.
The handle on the pot should be like the one on the
No matter how carefully you check the wind, the smoke
will blow in your face<<<G>>>which is fabulous in bug season!
The left over charcoal, both maunfactured and natural, from
other peoples fires works great if it's dry...long slow
heat or a blast furnace if you load it up. But you
need some wood to get it going. I love being able to cook
with other peoples left overs. I guess that's it.
Except that one weekend we aborted a dayhike because
of sooo many people on the trail. We retreated to a back
corner of the picnic area and tried to cook some burgers.
We had so called "easy light' charcoal and a tiny grill.
It took forever to try and get the coals lit. Boy
did I wish I had my zip. That little fan is great for
lighting stubborn fires. After dinner, just dump your
coals in the fire ring, add a little tinder, point the fan and
Hope this helps!
James Lofton wrote:
> CABONSALL@aol.com wrote:
> > In response to James Lofton...
> > I think this would be a great place to discuss the pros & cons of various
> > equipment on the CDT and the western mountain area in general. The
> > Appalachian Trail mail list has lots of equipment discussions, but there are
> > different environments out here that are not addressed.
> > One example is that I use the Sierra ZZ stove out here almost exclusively.
> > However, back east on the AT many claim that there are times when there is no
> > dry fuel handy.
> > Another example seems to be the need for much more rain gear on the AT.
> > Charlie Bonsall
> > Utah
> Hello Charlie, I had "lost" your note and just found it this morning. I
> agree. This country calls for a differant approch and equipment most of
> the time. "and packing TONS of water lots of the time!" :>( My water load
> is sometimes more than the rest of my pack, many times.
> I too have a little ZZ stove. I have only got to do some cook test here
> at home but so far it has passed all with flying colors! I think mine
> will be replacing my ageing 8R-jr on my longer trips. On two/three day
> trips I will still take the little "vienna sausage can" stove. I've made
> a stove out of a can that fits in a beer can that fits in an insulated
> mug. The whole setup, stove/pot/lid/matches, complete with esbit tabs
> only weighs 7.5ozs.
> How long have you had your zip stove? Any problems with it or lessons
> I was reading a story about a couple that took a 18 day trip into Canada.
> On their planning list it showed 7 qts.(3.5 per leg) The little zip stove
> would have saved them 15lbs of gear on that trip!!
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