The Emberlit FireAnt Titanium Wood Stove is a collapsible wood stove that folds flat for easy carriage in your backpack. Weighing just 2.8 ounces, it can be used to burn small pieces of wood so you don’t have to carry fuel when you go backpacking. It also comes with an optional shelf for holding solid fuel tablets, such as Esbit cubes, and positions them at an optimal height for efficient boiling.
Collapsible Wood Stove
I’m a huge fan of collapsible wood stoves because they take so little volume to store in a backpack. Un-assembled, the FireAnt folds completely flat and can easily be stored in an external pack pocket which is nice if you want to avoid stinking up the rest of your gear with wood smoke. This stove is so small – the long panels are only 5″ high – that you can store the entire disassembled stove flat in a ziplock sandwich bag!
Assembly is very easy: simply slot the panels together and slide in the stove base to prevent your wood from burning the ground beneath the stove. There’s no need to insert cross bars or use tent stakes to keep your pot from falling into the stove, unlike the original larger version of the Emberlit which is heavier and has a larger fire-box.
I’ve found that a stove’s worth of wood (two handfuls) is usually enough to boil two cups of water. If you need to add more, you can lift your pot and drop more in from top or feed it into the side fire door. This is a large opening in one of the FireAnt’s side panels that lets you slide bigger pieces of wood into the fire-box, especially ones you’re unable to break by hand. As these large pieces of wood burn down, you can keep pushing them into the firebox to provide your fire with more fuel. Alternatively, you pull them out when you want to reduce the heat put out by the stove for simmering.
No Wind Screen Necessary
One of the nice things about most wood stoves it that you don’t need to pack a pot stand or wind screen, because the stove fulfills both of those functions. Wide pots or narrow, the FireAnt can support them all, although I’d be careful about putting a very heavy 3+ liter pot full of water on top of it if it’s not sitting on a level surface.
One caveat. While the FireAnt’s air ports and fire door provide ample oxygen for your fire, they can also channel a lot of the fire away from your pot if you stove the set up in a brisk wind. If it’s windy out, set up the stove behind a big rock or wind break in order to keep the flame and heat centered on your camping pot.
Using Fuel Cubes
I always pack a few solid fuel cubes in my fire-making kit when I carry a wood stove on trips, in case it rains, and I can’t find any dry wood. When using solid fuel, you want to position it closer to the bottom of the pot using the optional solid fuel shelf insert that comes with the FireAnt. If you lose this shelf, you can also just fill the FireAnt with small rocks up to the same height as the shelf to get the fuel cube into the proper position. I know from experience!
The Emberlit FireAnt is a great little titanium ultralight stove ideally suited for cooking simple one pot backpacking meals that require boiled water or a little simmering. Weighing just 2.8 ounces, it’s very nicely made, easy to assemble, and fully collapsible, making it very easy to carry in a backpack. If you’re going to buy a small wood stove for individual use, the FireAnt is an excellent choice.
Disclosure: Emberlit provided Philip Werner (SectionHiker.com) with a sample FireAnt Stove for this review.
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