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Flameless, lightweight Heatstick boils water on the move

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May 4, 2012

The Heatstick works with an accompanying Fuelstick and water bottle and fits standard wide...

The Heatstick works with an accompanying Fuelstick and water bottle and fits standard wide-mouth bottles

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The Heatstick from Danish company Heatgear attempts to give backpackers and military personnel a better alternative to the camping stove. Not only is it lightweight, but this flameless heat source can also cook while you hike.

If you follow some of those survivalist shows on television, you've probably seen the concept behind the Heatstick in action. If you don't have a pot or cooking vessel that you can apply directly to flame, you can boil water by heating up a rock, placing it inside the container you have and letting it heat the water inside out.

That's essentially what the Heatstick does, only in a more technological way that doesn't involve fire. The lightweight stick draws on a propane and butane mix to heat itself up and boil liquid directly. It has a wide-mouth head that screws into an accompanying water bottle to heat the water in a sealed package.

The Heatstick is powered by what Heatgear markets as a Fuelstick, an aluminum cylinder that holds enough fuel to boil up to 6 to 9 liters (1.6 to 2.4 gallons) of water. Heatgear offers different Fuelsticks for different temperature ranges so you have the right fuel for your conditions. You could also mix and match when altitude and fast-paced mountain weather dictate uncertainty on temperature.

Heatstick is a stove alternative for military and outdoor applications

The Heatstick aims to provide several clear advantages over a stove. Because it doesn't rely on flame and works inside a container, there's no interference from the wind or weather. It's designed to work across all temperatures (specifically -22 F to 122 + F, -30 C to 50 + C) and weather conditions, unlike stoves, which can be fickle in certain conditions. Also, unlike a stove, you don't need to stop, set things up and wait for your water to boil. As the video below shows, the self-contained nature of the system allows you to cook while moving - you keep hiking to your next destination while the water for your lunch boils in your pack. Tactical customers should like the fact that there's no visible flame, as there is with a stove.

The system itself is comparable in weight to an ultralight backpacking stove with fuel - the smaller, .5-liter Heatstick with Fuelstick weighs about a pound (470 g). Unlike a stove that requires a cooking pot, the Heatstick system allows you to cook directly in your water bottle, so you cut out a few more ounces by eliminating the pot from your pack.

Everything points to an innovative, useful gadget for backcountry use ... except the price. Heatgear lists the retail price at 2,379 Danish kroners, which translates to about US$460 today. That might not look so bad when you're thinking public funding and military volume, but it's several times more expensive than what you'd pay for any number of backpacking stoves.

If Heatgear can bring that price down to a more consumer-friendly level, though, we could see this being quite popular.

Source: Heatgear

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
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7 Comments

This is a natural fit for fire-prone areas.

Alan Belardinelli
4th May, 2012 @ 04:26 am PDT

The compressed gas cartridge may not be allowed on some airplanes.

rutnerh
4th May, 2012 @ 12:38 pm PDT

I can see advantages and disadvantages. Flameless is safer and much more mobile. Time usage is improved to doing things as covering more ground, or setting camp. waste heat could also help heat a tent. Down side though, COST! also the fuel is limited, and when it is gone, there is no other way to cook. Can't use wood without a vessel, or the hot rock trick. If it fails to work, then what is your fallback? Sure, a light weight hiking stove takes time to work, but if I was in a hurry, I would not be hiking. I don't think I would want to wash my socks out in my water bottle either. Maybe have one unit in a group of hikers, and fix one meal at a time while hiking, or when the rain makes a fire difficult to make. But I could spend $460. US on some much more useful gear.

kellory
4th May, 2012 @ 03:45 pm PDT

ONE major issue: Price and fuel capacity.

If I had to carry my own fuel, I'd much rather go with a very small, cleverly holed tomato juice can, and a bottle of metho.

I think ONE liter of fuel costs like $5, and the teeny juice cans - 2 minutes with a drill press.

It you do it right the tiny little can gives about 5 - 15 minutes cooking time

Mr Stiffy
4th May, 2012 @ 06:48 pm PDT

Airlines WILL NOT allow the gas cartridges to be checked in or carried. Spend your $460 on something else.

Wanderer
1st July, 2012 @ 08:11 am PDT

Why do you assume people camping are getting on a plane first? I'd say likely 95%+ of campers do not fly to camping locations, most likely camping within 4-5 hours drive of home.

Nathaneal Blemings
10th October, 2012 @ 01:08 pm PDT

For soldiers (apparently part of it's target market) not being able to take the gas on board aircraft is a showstopper. Try to take gas of any kind on RAF aircraft and you'll be politely told to foxtrot oscar. It's why hexamine still wins (as you'll get it from the QM) and things like http://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2012/03/15/on-test-trekmates-flameless-cooking-system are more practical because at least people at home can send you more of them in the post.

So the comment about aircraft isn't as silly as you might presume.

taxingmonk
15th October, 2012 @ 05:59 am PDT
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