The other day while wandering through the local Canadian Tire I spotted a product that peeked my interest. I had seen them before however had never thought of testing them. I took a moment and picked the product up and was immediately engaged with the packaging claims. So for $8.99 I thought it was well worth the risk.
The product is the Magic Heat Stove. A product that considers itself great for everything from Tailgate Cooking to Natural Disasters. It claims it will provide 6 hours of heat and is safe to hold, safe to use with no evaporating fuel. It also claims to be better than gel fuels. The pictures show the Magic Heat Stove cooking a stir fry and heating a Haybox.
What intrigue me about this product was its lightweight, portability and obvious simplicity. The system runs with a small fuel canister with a screw top covering a soaked wick. Together with a small tin wind shield and steel cross members as the burner top. These 3 items put together make a simple looking bush stove.
However, products are not often tested to their breaking point by folks like us. So yesterday I had the opportunity to be on the Bat Lake Trail in Algonquin Park for a training day. With a few minutes to kill I prepped a small area off the trail to test. I lit the Magic Stove and constructed the burner setup. I then took out my survival tin from my pack and packed it full with the fresh snow.
As most of you are aware, hydration is so vital to your survival. Therefor the ability to turn snow into water and bring it to a boil could be the difference between living or dying.
Within 15 minutes I was pleasantly surprised to see the melted snow boiling as clean water. It was a strong rolling boiling capable of sustaining the snow melting process to produce a great amount of drinking water.
For the 2nd portion of the test I dismantled the 3 parts and buried them in the snow and carried on with the snowshoeing we were there to do. Approx. 1 hour later I returned and constructed the stove again. I then lit the wick with no issues at all. This was a great test to determine how the product would work when frozen and wet.
Another great reason to have this product is amount of heat it produces quickly. If you've been submerged in ice cold water you have very little time to screw around before you'll find your fine motor skills disappear. This stove allows for quick easy lighting and can rewarm your hands to allow you to function
This is another product that I will now carry with me. The simplicity and reliability is worth well more than $8.99. Go out and get one.