View Full Version : Improved Stove Efficiency???

12-21-2004, 11:11 AM
I have read in the past about a few people who have managed to make there stoves a great deal more efficent using some different methods. Aside from building up a good layer of ash in the bottom of the stove and that whole piece of tinfoil shut in the door (haven't tried this yet) just curious if anyone had any other methods that have proved effective. I had a chance to test out my almost year old Paratipi this week in some -30c(without the wind chill) and it performed amazingly well to say the least.
I guess what I am trying to determine is whether there is some way to improve the stove efficiency even a little bit?? Also for any of you out there who spend time in some cool weather I found a good way to help circulate heat throughout the tent. Go out and buy one of those small stove top fans that run off of the heat generated by your stove. This thing worked amazingly well but would only be something I would bring during the winter when I can just throw it in my sled.

12-21-2004, 11:20 AM
Okay, I guess I maybe embellished the temp a little even though my thermometer said -30, it looks like from looking at the Internet it was probably only -26!! All I can say is that I still wouldn't have been able to sleep out in these conditions in anyother setup and be truly comfortable!!!

Dale Lindsley
12-21-2004, 11:39 AM
Greer: A stove burning full tilt, with lots of air may be quite efficient, even though it goes through a lot of wood.

12-22-2004, 04:05 AM
I dont have my stove or teepee yet but was wondering what is the trick with the tin foil on the door and how do you set it up?
Many thanks


Dale Lindsley
12-22-2004, 10:39 AM
scotsman: Patrick has made it clear that, for a variety of good reasons, he does NOT recommend this method on Kifaru stoves. However, it works well for any wood stove with a leaky door. All you do is take a large piece of aluminum foil and fold it in halfs until it is a little bit bigger than the opening of the stove door. It should end up being 4 or more layers thick. Then, you just close the resulting foil pad in the door of the stove. It acts like a gasket. The foil layers facing the fire melt a bit, so it doesn't last forever, but one is good for several days or a week.

Dale Lindsley
12-22-2004, 10:40 AM
Scott: What is fireplace tape?

12-22-2004, 11:27 AM
Dale Lindsley thanks for that, sounds like it is to be avoided, i thought it might have been a way of getting a longer burn time with the stove.


Kevin B
12-22-2004, 12:46 PM
I guess you can squeeze out some additional time on a burn. You can't turn these little guys into a multi hour unit without sealing them and adding a damper. Especially on the smaller models, not enough fuel and coal base area either.

If you were to cut a solid tin piece in the same shape and size as one of the spark arrestor screens, you can use it as a slide in damper. You'll extend burn time, but at the expense of heat. I'm going to play with a damper a bit. My high hunt location for next year has poor fuel supply if it's wet so getting a few xtra minutes burn time is very nice. And it can be cooler in the tent with no noticealbe temperature issues for me. It makes way more heat than is required.

Of course I'll solve most of it this summer when I do a scout to my hunt spot, cut and cover a ton of wood so that it'll dry out and so that I don't do it day to day when I get there.

Dale Lindsley
12-22-2004, 05:20 PM
I have gotten a three hour burn time in my small stove (carefully timed, without a damper) and am pretty sure I could get several hours out of my large stove too, even though it is leakier. As Kevin B points out, this is done at the expense of heat output. Also, a very slow burn may not produce as much heat per unit of fuel. Lots of air produces complete combustion and maximum heat per unit fuel.

William Clunie
12-28-2004, 04:33 AM
I have a large stove and kept the temps inside an eight man tipi at 70 degrees when it was hovering around zero last winter. It thought I would be smart and stock up on pieces of (kiln dried) scrap, hardwood molding for fuel, but it didn't burn as efficiently as hunks of dried hardwood from the forest we camped in. The thicker pieces burned longer. We made sure to use wood from downed trees, but avoided any limbs that were touching the ground and absorbing moisture. Dead and dry evergreen limbs provided the best kindling.

Rusty Hook
12-28-2004, 12:40 PM
I have used a reducing washer, made for electrical box applications. I believe the size I tried was 3x2". They are galvanized steel and thin enough that one could be slid in the slot above a screen. It did dampen the small stove pretty well but it also restricted the heat out put, so I quit using it.

A nother thing I tried was reienforcing the top
and bottom of the stove, where the legs and head bolts fit, with Ko Plugs, which are used to close off conduit fitting holes in electrical boxes.

The backing brackets for the Ko Plugs were used as feet for the stove legs. These threaded right on to the legs. They added weight to the stove and showed no increase in performance, so I quit using them. Although they could be used to keep the stove's legs from sinking in soft ground, and would prbably be lighter and more compact than the stove platforms are...Rusty.

Kevin B
12-28-2004, 01:22 PM
In the end, the combination of factors adds up to... burn it hot... go to bed.

You have to have everything right for a long burn; dry large wood, air tight stove with controlled air feed and damper.(all within weight restrictions for packing). I've mostly quit on trying to stretch it out. The primary reason I wanted it longer was in the event a guy could add one new load in the night and get to morning with coals on board. And there's just no way this is going to get stretched to 5 hours. I'm not concerned so much about the temp at night as compared to the hassle of making a fire in the am. So, I'm bringing pieces of presto log. In a six man I was surprised how much you can warm up a tent on a 1 inch piece of presto log. Enough to stay in the bag till the bite is off the air, then add some fuel and be ready to roll. I'm a slow riser and don't want to fight the start, presto.

Emmerson, I think if I were going to play with a damper for real, I'd want a new stove colar set up. A collar that is maybe 8 inches tall with a standard post/spindle damper 3 to 4 inches up and then a slide in arrestor above it. There'd be no smoke back up issues then. But it's a moot point in that unless one can do a lot more on the air tight and get some 3+ inch dry wood.. probably still just playing with fire, which is good to do anyhow. I guess a guy could also add a cone to the top of the chimney to reduce the exit whole down to 2 inch.

I'm pert sure Ed ran more than a handful of these angles up the flag pole before settling on the design. But really, can you ask a man not to fiddle with his stuff, or fire for that matter? Right.

12-29-2004, 03:19 PM
One tip I find useful is to dry wood underneath the stove. This is great when wood is less than optimal and you end up with a really easy to start fire the following morning. This works especially well if you have the stove base.

12-29-2004, 04:03 PM
Carrying presto logs into the woods reminds me of the time I showed up at deer camp with split fireood from home. The guys asked me why and I said, "I wasn't sure if could find wood." Big mistake. For the whole hunting season those guys stopped at every piece of wood that we drove by and put it into the truck while saying "We better take this in case we won't be able to find any."

Well every year someone has to be the source of ammusement.

I have to get a tipi and stove, you guys talking about being warm and comfortable in below zero conditions is killing me.

Kevin B
12-29-2004, 04:53 PM
Sisk, ordinarilly, I agree ala presto. Last year I camped above timber line. It had been raining for 2 weeks. There's NO squaw wood on those stubby firs up there. It was damn hard getting good fires going. I'll now cut 3 or 4 1" sections of presto for a guaranteed instant start with enough meat there to get wet crap going, while I wait in the bag. I know it's anathema to some here. Guess what else is that I'll do... I'll drop off those chunks with some water on my scout trip.. OH MY HEAVENS NO! :rolleyes:

In my more eastern areas I hunt... I'd never bother with anything but triox and a lighter. I get the same eye rolls when I say I love to catch and eat yellow perch. Apparently that's offensive to some. All I know is they taste good.

12-30-2004, 10:13 AM
Siskiyous, I have to admire your buddies' sense of humor--but I have brought split wood myself.

KevB, perch taste a lot like their cousin the walleye... who scoffs at walleye? What are they catching and eating out there?