Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Caldera Ti Tri Inferno and the Bushbuddy

Hendrik over at Hiking in Finland has provided an excellent video on the operation of the Ti Tri Caldera Inferno with his Tibetan 1100 pot. Similarly this BPL.com review thread provides reviews of the Inferno.

I have used the Inferno stove on a recent 3 day trip as well as on 2, day walks. My overnight hiking meal routine involves a boil in the bag meal such as Real Turmat, soup and cup of tea (or 2) at night. For the mornings I need some hot water for coffee, so I heat no more than approximately a litre and a half a water a day. When I am hiking with a fuel stove, alcohol, esbit or gas I am always worried about how much fuel I am using and how much is left and usually as a result have spare fuel when I return home. The benefit of the wood stove is that you are only dependent on wood being available in the vicinity of your campsite, which is not an issue in Scandinavia, unless you are up high. (See The bearable lightness blog for a discussion of the use of the Bushbuddy above the treeline in Sweden). Hendriks review along with reviews at BPL.com support my positive experiences with the Inferno, it is efficient at boiling water quickly, it is easy to place wood in, the multi use aspect of the stove (wood, alcohol, esbit) provides the ideal arrangement for the hiker. I found that the fire took less than 5 minutes to become hot enough to place the pot on and in less than 10 minutes I had 800 ml of boiling water in my BPL.com 900 ml pot. Hendrik has reported times of 7.5 minutes for a litre which reflects my experiences.

The boiling times for the Bushbuddy maybe a little slower, but I have not done a side to side comparison to determine this. Importantly there is very little ash left over with the Inferno, a similar result will be found with the Bushbuddy.

The major differences between the 2 stoves are:
-the compactness of the Bushbuddy over the Inferno
- the ease of adding would to the inferno
- the coolness of the base on the Bushbuddy when compared to the inferno
- more assembly required on the inferno
- the Caldera is a multifuel cooking system

Comparing the weights of the Inferno and the Bushbuddy in use

In both cases I am assuming that I am using the same pot (BPL 900 ml.)

Ti Tri Caldera Inferno, Caldera, Ti base plate mesh and grid for inferno. Total weight (on my scales) is 116 gms

Bushbuddy Ultra weight 144 gms.

However, this is not the end of the story.

In use weights will normally be higher, in my case if using the Ti Tri Inferno I would also take the caddy to protect and hold the stove and the caddy weight is 80 gms.

The Inferno in use weight plus caddy is 196 gms

Whereas for the Bushbuddy I will need to take a cup and will use the pot or the freezer bag as a bowl the total in use weight with a FoldaCup is 169 gms.

In the morning I would not use a wood stove but rely on a small fuel stove, normally Esbit.

In the case of the Caldera I could take the Gramcracker for an extra 3 gms and would have a complete Ti Tri Caldera system for 199 gms. (lets call it 200 gms)

A second stove with the bushbuddy is a little more problematic, Hendrik has described making a small alcohol stove for his bushbuddy, however, I would prefer to use an esbit stove such as the HPS stove weighing 5 gms combined with some ti foil for a windshield weighing 8 gms. Providing a complete Bushbuddy system for 182 gms. Unless you are a diehard gram counter the difference between the two set ups (17 gms) is not worth worrying about.

So which is better? Neither really, I think it will come down to personal preference, they are both great wood stoves and will serve you well in the outdoors. Which will I be taking on my next trip? I am undecided at the moment and it ultimately depend on the type of weather expected.