This is where we roll in the UAE.
A seasoned camper will immediately say: “No firewood…” after a sharp intake of breath from the outstanding emptiness of the Empty Quarter – the Rub Al Khali, the largest sand dune desert in the world.
That means you either carry wood with you, or you rely on combustible gas for your cooking.
I hate them both!
Wood is heavy and rattles around the car, and tanks of propane are even worse… these are the angles your 4×4 negotiates in the dunes! You don’t want heavy or metal objects loose in the cargo area.
Enter the Solo Stove!
Ultra compact and ultra light, there on the car’s door you see both the stove and the pot… and when out of their boxes, they fit inside each other.
Packed size: Height 3.8 inches, Width 4.25 inches
Assembled size: Height 5.7 inches, Width 4.25 inches
Weight: 9 oz
Materials: 304 stainless steel, nichrome wire
Fuel: sticks, twigs, pine cones and other biomass
Boil time: 8-10 mins (32 fl oz of water)
Did they say “twigs” as fuel?
And that is what initially caught my attention.
While the desert may seem totally barren, in fact there are always twigs and dry roots to be found.
Could this stove really boil water with whatever twigs I can find in the desert?
If so, this would be an excellent product for use in places where scarcity of wood is only second to lack of water.
No more clunky and dangerous propane tanks, no more stashes of ex-construction wood filled with rusty nails!
We put it to the test!
Ordered online, it came very well packed, and very well made and designed – with its own carry-pouch once the cardboard box is discarded.
The secret lies in the double-burn design.
Here is how it works:
And here are the twigs I found within a 2-minute stroll around camp.
Actually, I found much more than needed!
A quick spark…
And presto! We had a very hot fire raging inside that little space!
I didn’t measure scientifically, but I sure pulled my hand away immediately when I tried to feel if it was warm!
It was like a little blow-torch, and nothing similar to placing your hand over a BBQ grill and counting 1-2-3 to feel if the heat is right for cooking – this was a laser-sharp focused chimney of intense heat.
The stainless steel pot balances on nicely, though at first I felt it might be a bit unstable: not at all.
And just like the Solo Stove website says, with this amount of twigs, we had boiling water! Magic!
A brilliant design – an excellent quality build – and the Solo Stove really works.
Without fuss, smoke, or any issues, the Solo Stove efficiently burnt the very little fuel that was required – and we have a new permanent addition to our adventure gear!
There is nothing more deliciously fulfilling than a hot cup of tea after a day outdoors, or a piping-hot cup of coffee when you wake up with a spectacular open view across the dunes!
weekenduae highly recommends the Solo Stove for UAE camping.
And here is a detailed video review: