There’s always a competition for the lightest, cheapest and smallest – but as the saying goes you can choose 2 out of the 3. Well the Esbit Ultraligh Titanium stove, in our opinion provides all three of these, but does that make this the ultimate ultralight wild camping stove?
The stove is manufactured from titanium and consists of three pivoting arms and a central plate for the fuel. We don’t know how long this mechanism would last, but it looks sturdy enough considering the ridiculous weight of 11.5g.
You can fit a large pot on this stove with ease, but we’re talking ultralightweight large pots here – so anything up to around 1 litre in capacity should be fine. We tested it with an MSR Titan kettle (850ml) a Snowpeak Mug of 450ml capacity and a Coleman 1 litre pot with no problems. As it’s so low down, it’s surprisingly stable.
That’s the good. Unfortunately, the cheap price and light weight does come at the expense of some functionality and performance. You depending on using the Esbit solid fuel tablets, or generic equivalents by the like of Highlander or Gelert and the genuine Esbit tablets can be pricey. If you’re lucky you’ll maybe manage to boil 600ml of water with a 14g tablet – and 12 will set you back £7.99. They also reek of fish due to the amines in there (that E in A-Level chemistry didn’t go to waste!) and leave a nasty residue on the cookware.
To get the water anywhere near a boil, you’ll need to have a wind shield – which is slightly more weight again. We used the home made foil wind-shield as to use anything heavy would begin to negate any advantages with this stove. Adding a lid to the pot helps even further, removed here for visual purposes.
With the foil wind-shield in place, a lid and one 14g tablet, you can get 500 to 600ml water to the boil in around the 15 mins it takes the tablets to burn down – that’s around 66p per boil. So for an overnighter – say 4 pots of water to be generous– that’s 4x14g tablets, stove and wind-shield. Still an impressive weight as you don’t need any fuel bottles or canisters.
We think that the running costs are a tad expensive for every day use, especially if you get a lot of wild camping nights in like we do. But this isn’t the stove that you’ll take with you on every trip. This is the stove that’s packed when you’re going down to the absolute bare minimum. It takes absolutely no room in the pack, you could even carry this in your pocket. It isn’t the speediest stove and the tablets not the easiest of fuels to deal with, but that’s all irrelevant when you’ve got an overnight option that weighs in at around 50g with a couple of tablets and foil wind-shield.
If you want an exceptionally lightweight cooking option for a short trip, or even as a backup option, then you can’t go far wrong with the Esbit Ultralight Titanium Stove. Gas is much more convenient for most trips, but for a spartan bivvy this is all you need. In fact, this is now the likely stove for use on our Bum Bag Bivvy challenge this June.