We are always suckers for a new stove, and we’ve been waiting for the MSP Core Woodgas Backpacking stove to come out for sometime now. At long last we’ve got a couple specimens in our hands and have had the time to put them through their paces. Spoiler alert, they did not disappoint.
For those of you not familiar with the MySurvivalPack.com Core Woodgas backpacking stove, it is a fully collapsible box style wood buring stove. The big difference in this design, versus most collapsible box stoves, is that this one is a wood gasifier. This very important feature is accomplished by the addition of what MSP calls the “after burner plates”. These internal air directing dampers help to force the hot gasses from the fire, ie smoke, to the top and cause a secondary combustion. When used in conjunction with the top lift updraft (TLUD) plate, this wood gas combustion is quite effective. This is the same principle that makes the Solo Stove and Biolite such efficient biomass burners. Yet unlike the Solo Stove and Biolite, which are solid cylinder stoves, the Core Stove is fully collapsible and packs flat.
–Design, Assembly, Options–
Every Gear Whore can appreciate extra kit, and the Core Stove delivers this in spades. The multitude of configurations are extensive. In its simplest form the Titanium Core 3 Stove Ultralight is configured as a three walled, solid burning box. This allows for the least amount of parts, and as such comprises the lightest available option. The addition of the after burner plates allows this design to work more effectively as a wood gas stove, which in our opinion is the major plus to the Core Stove. In the most complex configuration you construct a four walled, after burner installed, rocket port having, TLUD gassifiying beast that can easily host a full 2 or more liter pot. The full Titanium Core 4 Bio-Reactor is a stove erector set of lightweight titanium and fire fun, and weighs about double that of the Titanium Core 3 Stove Ultralight, but also gives the user the full featured woodgas biomass burning efficiency we’ve come to know and love from our other woodgas stoves.
When assembling the components of our two stove kits we chose to utilize the Core 3 configuration using our stainless steel kit, and the Core 4 Bio-Reactor configuration using our titanium kit. We first noticed that the edges of the individual pieces, though not sharp, could certainly cause a nice paper cut, if one wasn’t careful in assembly. So with stable hands, we worked to put together the Core 3, following the instructions as provided, but adding two afterburner plates into the mix. We also popped together the Core 4 Bio-Reactor from our titanium kit without too much trouble. We found the major feat of skill with either assembly was making sure to hold the stove upside down, with the afterburners installed, while adding the final wall and closing the box. After we went through the procedure a few times, it became easier.
We started with the Core 3 Stove Ultralight configuration we assembled. Gathering twigs and small brush appropriate in size for this stove was quite easy, given a recent storm, but did provide moist wood. The stove was packed with properly sized sticks, and started with a good old fashioned egg crate, paraffin and lint fire starter. The whole kit sparked to life, and burnt and smoked. After a while we had burnt down the wood enough to place a 700ml titanium mug on top to begin our boil. The Core 3 Stove Ultralight, did begin to gasify a bit at this point, but not as efficiently as we had hoped. The Core 3 Stove Ultralight did easily and efficiently burn all the wood we fed it through its front port, and boiled our pot in about 20 minutes.
Assembling the Core 4 Bio-Reactor from our titanium kit took just a bit more time than the Core 3 Stove Ultralight, which makes sense considering we now added in another wall and after burner plate, while also building in the TLUD plate. We also assembled and fitted the rocket port to the front of the stove, but later removed it finding it was difficult to start the fire through the rocket port with our lighter.
Still unscathed, we snapped a fine stack of moist twigs and packed the Core 4 Bio-Reactor tight with fuel and another egg crate fire starter. Once we got the flame touched to the fire starter this thing took off like a torrent. Quickly the totality of our fuel was engulfed in flame and consistent gasifying commenced. Placing the smaller of the Solo Stove 3 pot set pots on top with about 500ml of water brought us to a rolling boil in a quick 5 minutes or so, which was rather impressive. Again stoking the stove was easy via the front port, and another test will have to be conducted to try out the rocket port, as we completely forgot to add it back on to the setup.
Two things have to be said as a disclosure. One, we love woodgas stoves, so we are a bit biased. Two, we are kind of Solo Stove fan boys, so again there is a bit of bias there. Given that, the MySurvivalPack.com Core Stove folding woodgas stove, especially in the Core 4 Bio-Reactor configuration, is a great stove. It is well built and designed and is certainly impressive considering its take down design. Now if you are interested in aquiring one of these stoves stop by MySurvivalPack.com and use the discount code THEGEARWHORES-COREWHORE to get a nice little chunk off the current retail price. Act fast on that though, as the code is only good until 11/30/2014.