Home / Gear Reviews / The 180 Stove and Ash Pan: A Wood Stove and LNT Campfire Solution

The 180 Stove and Ash Pan: A Wood Stove and LNT Campfire Solution

Review of: 180 Stove
manufactured by:
Philip Werner
Version:
http://sectionhiker.com/the-180-stove-and-ash-pan-a-wood-stove-and-lnt-campfire-solution/
Price:
49.95

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On October 14, 2014
Last modified:October 22, 2016

Summary:

While the combination of the 180 Stove and the Snow and Ash Pan weigh in at close to a pound, they do provide several different functions including a wood (and charcoal) stove that is large enough for multiple people to use at the same time, a grill, and a LNT fireplace. While I wouldn't bring this stove on trips where I want to travel fast and spend as little time in camp as possible, it does provide a convenient multi-purpose cooking and low-impact entertainment solution for the colder/darker half of the year when I want to watch a little hiker TV at night.

180 Stove
The 180 Stove can be used as a wood-fire camping stove or as a small fireplace in conjunction with an ash pan.

The 180 Stove is a simple, three-sided box-style stove that can be used as a wood-burning camping stove, a grill, or as a Leave No Trace fireplace when used in conjunction with a ash pan. I like bringing the 180 Stove with me on autumn trips when I want to have a fire after dinner since it gets dark so early. Unlike other wood stoves, which are designed exclusively for cooking, you can also use the 180 stove as a mini-fireplace to help reduce the impact of a fire if you’re camping at a wild site without a fire ring or pit.

The 180 Stove consists of three stainless steel panels that slot together to create a three-sided fire box.
The 180 Stove consists of three stainless steel panels that slot together to create a three-sided fire-box.

The 180 Stove consists of three stainless steel panels that slot together, leaving one side open so you can feed the fire with larger, longer burning pieces of wood. Three cross bars fit into slots on the two long sides of the stove (or simply over the top edges) and provide a surface to hold a cook pot, frying pan, or that you can grill on.

Cross bars slot in or across the two side walls and create a cooking or grilling surface.
Cross bars slot in or across the two side walls and create a cooking or grilling surface.

Unfortunately, there’s no base to the 180 Stove, and while that’s probably ok if you cook on a durable surface like mineral soil or river stone, you’re going to scorch the ground and kill off all of the micro-organisms in it when the burning wood touches the forest floor. 180 Tack (the company) manufactures an add-on to the 180 Stove called a Snow and Ash Pan ($17.95), which will protect sensitive ground and which I always carry when using this stove. It can also be used to provide a base for the stove in winter, to keep your fuel off the snow.

The stainless steel snow and ash plan fits together to form a based for the180
The stainless steel snow and ash plan fits together to form a base for the 180 Stove in order to protect the ground from scorching. Raised edges along the pan perimeter also help to protect fuel from snow melt when cooking in winter.

Once assembled, I like to light the 180 Stove by filling the fuel compartment under the grilling cross bars with medium-sized pieces of wood, while piling smaller sticks on top of the grill and basically setting the stove on fire. Once lit, the small sticks fall between the grilling supports and create hot coals that ignite the large pieces of wood below. Alternatively, you can start a small tee-pee fire and then place the stove on top of it when it gets going.

If you pile small sticks on top of the grill, they'll create coals that fall through and light the larger wood pieces below.
If you pile small sticks on top of the grill, they’ll create coals that fall through and light the larger wood pieces below.

Cooking on the 180 Stove is the same as many other wood stoves with an open front door, so  you can restock the stove with longer pieces of wood that you push forward into the firebox as they are consumed.

As the larger pieces of wood burn, you can push the part that stick out o fthe front back into the firebox, providing the fire with more fuel.
As the larger pieces of wood burn, you can push the parts that stick out of the front into the firebox, providing the fire with more fuel.

The 180 Stove (10.4 ounces) isn’t going to set any ultralight weight records and if you’re weight obsessed, this isn’t going to be a stove you look at twice. But to its credit, it folds flat for easy storage and is nearly indestructible because it doesn’t have any hinges or soldered points. There is also a smaller and lighter weight version of the 180 Stove called the 180 Flame, which weighs 6.4 ounces. (The Snow and Ash Pan weighs 5.9 ounces and is only sized for the larger stove)

The Elusive Leave No Trace Campfire

Besides it’s use as a group stove, the primary reason I enjoy using the !80 Stove because I can use it as a portable Leave No Trace fireplace when I’m alone and when I’m backpacking or camping with friends and we want a small social fire to sit around at night. You’d think something like the 180 Stove would be more available, but I’ve been looking for a Leave No Trace campfire solution like this for almost two years with little success.

  • The fireproof blankets used by river guides are all too heavy and difficult to obtain
  • Vargo’s Titanium Fire Box Grill is too flimsy and best used with charcoal briquettes, not wood
  • UCO’s Firebowls are also best used with charcoal briquettes for car camping, not backpacking since they are too clunky and dirty to pack
  • I’ve even tried to build a fire-box stove similar to the 180 Stove using Nimblewill Nomad’s Little Dandy stove plans, buying steel and metal snips, but failing miserably in the process.

Summary

While the combination of the 180 Stove and the Snow and Ash Pan weigh in at close to a pound, they do provide several different functions including a wood (and charcoal) stove that is large enough for multiple people to use at the same time, a grill, and a LNT fireplace. While I wouldn’t bring this stove on trips where I want to travel fast and spend as little time in camp as possible, it does provide a convenient multi-purpose cooking and low-impact entertainment solution for the colder/darker half of the year when I want to watch a little hiker TV at night.

Manufacturer specs:

  • 180 Stove (MSRP $49.95)
    • Size In Use: 7″ L x 6″ W x 3 1/4″ H
    • Size Stowed: 7″ L x 3 1/4″ W x 0.6″ H
    • Weight: 10.4 oz (295 grams)
    • Material: 304 Stainless Steel
    • Tough 5 mil plastic pouch
  • Snow and Ash Pan (MSRP $17.95)
    • Size In Use: 7″ L x 6″ W x 1/4″ H
    • Size Stowed: 7″ L x 3 1/4″ W x 1/4″ H
    • Weight: 5.9 oz (167 grams)
    • Material: 304 Stainless Steel

Disclosure: Philip Werner received a sample of the 180 Stove from 180 Tack for this review. He has also received samples of other products mentioned in this article including the Vargo Titanium Fire Box Grill from Vargo Outdoors and a UCO Firebowl from Industrial Revolution. 

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9 comments

  1. So, roughly $78 bucks to have a fire? Seems a bit steep. Particularly given what it probably costs to manufacture it. Why not dig a pit, then bury it when your done?

    • You might also ask why people don’t always dig a pit when they have a fire…..but they don’t.

      For example, in my neck of the woods, it’s impossible to dig a pit without a backhoe because of the rocks.

      Think about who could really benefit from a product like this.
      -Groups of up to 5 people
      -Boy scouts, because it reinforces LNT practices
      -Fisherman who want to cook on charcoal or fire
      -Freshwater canoe and kayakers who camp in fragile wetlands where you don’t want people digging fire pits

      There is also a very light weight grill built in….that many people would find valuable for the grill alone.

  2. No thanks! Canister stove and double up on the tight-fitting windscreen for me!

  3. I’m not a weight weenie but that 180 Stove is pretty portly. I’d maybe keep it in my in-car survival pack and use it on a leisurely day hikes when I wanted to build a fire to hang by for an hour. I’d much rather carry the 180 than try to dig a pit in our Appalachian mountain strata (although we have enough stone that it’s pretty easy to make a fire ring in under 10 minutes).

    I’d be more inclined to carry a titanium emberlit for cooking on but I do see the benefits for being able to grill which I never do back-country but would do car camping. The price is good and I personally wouldn’t care about the ash pan which would make the price a bit harder to accept.

  4. Take a look at MSP Core 4 stove or a Trail Designs Sidewinder with Inferno.

    The Core 4 is cheaper and can be configured multiple ways. It may not have as large a stick feeder port as the 180, but I think it’s large enough for a small group. You can configure it for pot cooking, fires, grilling or it even holds an alcohol stove. It also packs flat and you can leave some portions behind.

    the Trail Designs Sidewinder TI with Infernal – probably for a larger pot is really great as a small fireplace, and is a super windscreen, that can be used with wood fire, alcohol or esbit. It’s pricey, but I think most would appreciate the value if they can afford it.

  5. Thank you for the review. Simple, but effective wood stove. I agree with all your reasons for using that setup, but I’d have to try making a DIY version first before paying that much. But then, I’m pretty cheap. Recently, I made a wood stove out of a $3 IKEA utinsel holder. With a few mods and a couple of cheap skewers, it works pretty good. My small pot fits in it snugly. And now instead of cranking up the firepit in my backyard, I fire this one up for roasting hotdogs and marshmallows with the kids.

  6. Take a look at the Qiwiz “Firefly” or “Firefly XL” made of titanium and collapses to a very thin package. Very nice stoves that have a door for feeding the stove as well as a floor. Very light.

  7. Rodger Phillips, LNT Master Educator

    In reply to the “Why not dig a pit fire?”, BSA does not recommend pit fires. Having a fire in a pit has the same effect as placing it on the ground – the heat from the fire will sterilize the bottom and sides of a pit. It may look good after you fill it in and replace the sod, but not so much after the first rain. To prevent damage to the soil, the fire needs to be elevated a few inches from the ground. Mound fires or pan fires work well.

  8. The 180 stove reminds me a lot of the aluminium Sterno stove. FYI: The Sterno stove weighs 7 oz., and costs about $7.00 at Wally world.

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