Written by Phil Brown, Badger Bushcraft Blog Saturday, 12 November 2011 11:02
After just over a year of owning and using the excellent BushLife Essentials Eco-Burner we have finally managed to get some pictures of this well designed and superbly manufactured piece of kit in action during a weekend in some woods near to our base here in Kent.
As regular followers and readers of the Badger Bushcraft Blog and Badger Bushcraft RSS Feed will remember we wrote a series of articles back in September and October 2010 about the BushLife Essentials “Eco-Burner” entitled:-
Phil Hawkins, from BushLife Essentials, was kind enough to write a wonderful article about his inspiration for the burners design and how it works, repeated below:-
“The Eco Burner was inspired by an article about 3rd world country cooking inside huts. The design is also very similar to another very much smaller item that is fan assisted. As I try my best to recycle all that I use to turn into something useful I was just stacking up a load of blasted, partly cut cylinders one day and suddenly saw the opportunity and the large Eco Burner design was born.
The principal is that the burner mixes air-in with unburned wood gasses and reintroduces them to burn off the wood gas. This is done by the dry media in the inner cylinder being burned, at the same time, due to the unique design; unburned gasses are drawn down through the fire and through a perforated steel plate at the bottom of the inner cylinder. Here it is mixed with incoming air and travels up the air gap between inner and outer cylinder; reintroduced around the upper inner peripheral holes of the inner cylinder. This can be seen when the stove has reached its maximum temperature, its most efficient, and the unburned gasses igniting. It is witnessed best when very dry fuel is used in ideally low wind and low light situations. The ring of gas jets can be clearly seen and the wood just seems to charcoal and reduce to next to nothing. If burning mildly damp wood, keep it small and alternate between loading damp and dry to keep the fire burning hot.
Our first trial burn after manufacture was for 3 1/2 hrs and we burned a large amount of dry wood. At the end of this trial, we removed only a large mug of fine ash. The burn, when hot is very clean and gives off far less unburned gasses and smoke. Minimal ash is produced due to the high efficiency.
All in all I am very pleased with the results. I do make a smaller version of this using the 4.5kg cylinders but the inners for this are very hard to find.”
We have used the Eco-Burner on many occasions since writing these initial articles and have, until now, managed to miss the opportunity to take some photographs of this most useful part of our bushcraft kit being used in action.
I was recently working with Michael Cunningham and Karen Wydler of Touchwood Trees Ltd at their marvellous woodland site where they are constructing an Iron Age Roundhouse and Michael and I got talking about the Eco-Burner and how useful and fuel efficient it was. A necessary journey back to the Badger Bushcraft workshop and stores meant I was able to pick up the Eco-Burner and finally capture some pictures of it in use.
As Phil Hawkins also states due to the burners efficiency it is almost smokeless, we burnt a selection of silver birch twigs and boughs and, as can be seen in the picture by George Bilcliffe there is hardly any smoke visible.
We all really like using the BushLife Essentials Eco-Burner as it is simple to use, exceptionally fuel efficient, superbly crafted and very sturdy and solid. It boils a large kettle of water in a matter of minutes, keeps the fire off of the ground, certainly a major consideration to minimal impact and leave no trace of some sites and in some environments where lighting a fire on the ground is not possible.
Do take a look at the BushLife Essentials website that has host of well designed and manufactured products that include log burners, self levelling fire pits, blown mobile coal forge, charcoal oven, fire troughs and a whole lot more! You will find the BushLife Essentials team a pleasure to deal with and I am sure you will be delighted with the quality of their products and their excellent customer service.