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When the pandemic created a shortage of camping fuel, I realized how dependent I was on those pesky canisters and how mechanical my backcountry cooking strategy had become: a series of rapid boils and pre-packaged meals, time and time again.
When fire bans allowed, I began experimenting with wood-burning stoves in the wilderness areas around my hometown of Palisade, Colorado, to see if I could reignite some of the camp-kitchen romance. The products ranged in complexity from the battery-powered Biolite Campstove 2 to the uncomplicated Solo Stove Lite. Both create intense heat by burning small twigs inside narrow, cylindrical bases, with a spot to rest a pot on top.
Cooking with these products was fun and effective, but I wanted to get even more creative. Ultimately, it was an accessory for the Solo Stove, the Solo Stove Tripod, that proved to be the answer.
This device is simple: It’s a stainless-steel tripod with an adjustable chain to hang your pot over the fire. The whole thing weighs just 19 ounces and folds down to a packed height of 13.5 inches, so I barely notice it in my pack, tucked in with my tent poles.
The tripod is low-maintenance, and though it gets hot, it cools down completely in just minutes once removed from the fire. It’s perfect for making healthy and hydrating meals with ease—so far I’ve made chicken noodle soup, buffalo stew, and lentil potage. Just dump in the ingredients and spices, add water, hang the pot, and let the ingredients slowly simmer.
More importantly, the tripod has led me to put more thought and care into mealtime. Whereas gas stoves have basically become the microwaves of the backcountry, cooking this way has slowed me down and given me a new appreciation for the food that fuels me.
If your backpacking trips have become a little too rushed, and your reliance on gas a little too evident, I suggest going back to square one. Grab a tripod, light a twig fire, and enjoy the delicious results.
$33; Buy Now