Written by Liz Wakelin, Badger Bushcraft Blog Sunday, 17 March 2013 09:14
In this Badger Bushcraft Blog we are delighted to have guest author Liz Wakelin contributing with her experiences of the Frontier Stove made by our friends over at Camping Solutions UK. So without further ado I’ll pass you over to Liz with her article and fantastic pictures.
"With some considerable help from Camping Solutions UK Father Christmas brought me a Frontier Stove – and a short while later I had it erected and burning in the back yard, cooking a remarkably successful Christmas brunch of fried eggs, mushrooms and baked beans. However, I had to wait some weeks before I could test it in the woods. In early February I won a bag from Camping Solutions UK, and have invested in the water heater as well, having read the review posted by Badger Bushcraft.
We own a small woodland and the stove and heater are light enough to be carried short distances such as the steep quarter mile to our woods. Thus, in mid February we set it up in a small sunlit clearing between two fallen larches.
It was as easy to erect and light in the woods as it was in the back yard. One match and it was lit, with the smoke funnelled away up the chimney. The stove is very efficient and, once burning well, produces very little smoke. In a surprisingly short time the water heater boiled, warmed by the waste heat rising through the chimney, and we had the first brew of the day in our hands.
I wanted to try baking fresh bread so made the dough using a pre-packaged seeded bread mix.Despite the sun it was still only February, and the air temperature was very chilly so I hung the bowl of dough in a string sling below the stove to prove in the warmth - we were using the stove outdoors. This worked remarkably well and I’m considering ways of creating a detachable rack to hang from the carrying handle and rail. Whilst the bread was rising, I prepared the soup – tomato, lentil and vegetable on this occasion.
Once the soup was bubbling away merrily and it was time to cook the bread. I didn’t have a pan that would fit through the door of the stove so experimented with a flat stone placed just inside the door, with the coals pushed to the back of the stove. The dough roll was placed on the hot stone and the door closed. The roll rose and cooked but was a little burnt on the side closest to the coals. I will try again, letting the coals burn down lower in future as this should give a better result. I’m looking for a tin that will fit inside the stove with sides high enough to protect the bread from too much direct heat. The most successful way of cooking the dough was as fry bread on the stove top.
On the following day I tried Tesco’s Pizza Mix as bread. I added nigella seeds to give extra flavour. This mix requires far less rising time so can be prepared very quickly. It would accompany another soup – plain tomato and vegetable this time. This pizza dough works exceedingly well as fry bread, particularly if the fire has died down sufficiently for it to cook slowly. If the fire is still hot, then flatten the rolls into to very thin rounds, like small pizza and they will cook like small naan breads. They are unbelievably delicious!
The stove is phenomenal. It is easy to carry, easy to erect, easy to light easy to use and easy to pack away. I still need to explore its potential for baking in the body of the stove, but the large stovetop and efficient water heater mean that cooking in the outdoors has never been easier.
It holds the heat well, and produces very little ash if allowed to burn out fully. These are the last embers of a long day’s burning (note the cooking stone in the entrance) and they reduced further to nothing more than a handful of ash. I’m looking forward to many more woodland days with this excellent stove."
It is always a very fulfilling to hear from other people about their experiences with bushcraft skills, kit, et al and we are delighted to have published this wonderful article on Liz’s behalf. We hope that her stove and water heater give her many years of pleasure at her woodland site and look forward to see what else Liz can find to cook on her Frontier Stove – so far it all sounds delicious! Thanks for a wonderful article and some great pictures Liz.
Phil and Co.