SIERRA Zip Backpack Stove 111A
The Original Wood Burning Backpack Stove.
Sierra 111A Zip Stove
This SEIERRA Zip Stove is ideal for backpackers, distance bikers, kayakers, backcountry horsemen and a variety of other campers looking for an extremely lightweight, dependable and powerful stove.
Inside view of burner chamber.
The SIERRA is also an excellent choice for Boy Scouts, providing a safe and simple way to learn the skills of campfire cooking. The SIERRA burns twigs, bark, pine cones and other woods readily available around a campsite, as well as charcoal and other solid fuels.
Bottom view of burner chamber.
The SIERRA Zip Stove incorporates an adjustable speed fan, creating a forced ventilation system (like that of a blacksmiths forge) that provides intense heat and efficient burning. A single "AA" battery powers the highly efficient fan for 6 hours. The SIERRA weighs only 1 lb. yet creates up to 18,000 BTU/hr, enough heat to boil a quart of water in four minutes!
Stove base with fan and battery compartment.
SIERRA Stove Features:
- Forced air technology creates 18,000 btu/hr using a small fan and a AA battery to provide eight hours of cooking time.
- Just attach lower fan/battery unit to main burner, start a small fire inside burner, start fan and begin cooking.
- Burns wood, charcoal, pine cones, bark or any solid fuel. The lower unit fits inside burner for compact storage and easy packing.
- Heat is controlled by setting fan to high, low or off.
Close up view of motor and fan.
Sierra Stove FAQ's:
What is the Sierra Stove?
The Sierra Stove is an ideal stove for those who love the outdoors. It burns any kind of solid fuel to produce up to 18,000 BTU/hrs of cooking power. When not being used the stoves two parts fit snuggly into each other in an efficient space saving manner.
How does the Sierra Stove work?
The Sierra Stove works like a mini blacksmith's forge, fueling the fire with preheated air causing the fire to burn hotter. A small "AA" battery powered fan blows air through a hollow walled burner that heats the air before it gets to the fire. The preheated air produces a hotter flame.
What does the Sierra Stove use for fuel?
The Sierra Stove will burn any solid fuel that will fit in the burner (and some that won't). Twigs, pinecones, charcoal, dry animal droppings or any other solid fuel. Left over charcoal from other people's campfires works really well but the most convenient and plentiful fuels are twigs and small sticks from around the campsite. Finger size chunks of hardwoods work best but any wood you find will work.
How do you set up and start the Sierra Stove?
To set up the Sierra Stove you take the Blower unit out of the Burner unit and attach it to the bottom. Start a fire in the burner unit using paper and small twigs or a fire starter. A few seconds after you get the fire started, switch on the fan, add some l larger fuel and watch the flames shoot out of the stove. It doesn't take long to have a fire ready for cooking.
A useful tip for starting fires in the Sierra Stove is to use cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly (Vaseline) and to keep them stuffed in a 35-mm film container. Take out the cotton ball and stretch it out when ready to start a fire.
How do you add fuel to the Sierra Stove?
Once you have your pot cooking on the stove you will notice there is a gap between the burner and the pot. This allows plenty of room to add fuel to the fire as needed. If the chunk of wood is too fat to fit through the gap it only takes a second to lift the pot and toss the fuel in.
How long will the Sierra Stove Burn?
This could be considered a trick question! The stove will burn until it runs out of fuel or the battery dies. Since you can add fuel any time the flame starts to die down you really don't have to worry about running out of fuel. Just make sure you gather a good pile of fuel before you start cooking. After a couple of times cooking with the Sierra Stove you will be able to judge how much wood you will need for any cooking event. It's not hard at all to gather as much fuel as you need in just a few minutes. As for the battery, the "AA" will last at least 8 hours. That's plenty of cooking time any way you look at it.
Does the Sierra Stove simmer?
Yes, Sierra Stove does simmer. To simmer with the Sierra Stove just adjust the fan speed to the burner unit or turn the fan off entirely.
Will the Sierra Stove burn wet fuel?
After you have a fire started wet fuel can be added. Since the stove burns like a forge the fire burns hot enough to burn wet wood.
Can the Sierra Stove be repaired in the field?
Due to the simplicity of the Sierra Stove there is little on the stove that can break. The motor is the only part that can really fail. It's the same type of motor used in tape players and has a failure rate of 1000 to 1. If the motor does fail, a replacement motor kit is available for around 10 dollars.
What advantages does the Sierra Stove have over other stoves?
Many of the advantages of the Sierra Stove are obvious. You save pack space and weight by not having to carry fuel. On long self sustained trips this can be big plus. You never have to worry about having a fuel bottle leak onto your food or gear. No touchy priming or eyebrow burning flare-ups. No altitude or temperature problems you get with pressurized gasses. The Sierra Stove cooks very hot. It can boil a quart of water in about 4 minutes. Another advantage is it can be used as an evening campfire. More and more places don't, for obvious reasons, allow open campfires. You can easily keep a campfire going in you stove throughout the evening.
What are the disadvantages of the Sierra Stove?
The main disadvantage to the Sierra Stove is that you have to be willing to watch the stove while you cook to add fuel as your flame goes down. It doesn't mean you have to baby-sit the stove, you just have to be aware of it. Also since you are burning with a wood flame (unless you are using charcoal) the bottom of your pots and pans will get black. Even though a black pot is more efficient (by about 25%) some people don't like them. To solve the problem you can spread some vegetable oil or dish soap on the bottom you your cook wear before you start cooking and the soot will wipe off when you are finished cooking. Another method is to use the ash from the previous fire. Mix the ash with a little water and smear it onto the bottom of the pots to prevent blackened pots. This really Works!!!
Can you bake with the Sierra Stove?
I have used the OutBack Oven with my Sierra Stove to cook orange scones. They required around 18 minutes of baking time and required adding wood slowly to keep the correct cooking temperature. The scones came out great, topped them with some powdered sugar icing..mmmmm! My hood turned a little black around the edges and would probably work better with a charcoal fire.
Can the Sierra stove be used in National Parks?
Most national and state parks don't allow open fires. To be sure you should call ahead and find out from the park staff. Since the fire is not technically 'open', I would suspect that there would be no restrictions on the stove, but check before you plan your trip.
Sierra Stove Reviews:
Backpacker Magazine Review -
The best invention for backpackers since feet. Use wood, pinecones, twigs, bark, charcoal, or any solid fuel and quickly generate intense heat output (18,000 BTU/hr.) Works like a blacksmith's forge by blowing air into the fire. Uses one AA battery that lasts more than 6 hours of cooking. No propane or gasoline to leak, spill, splash, or explode! Measures 5 1/2"in diameter, 4 1/2" tall and weighs 17 oz. Excellent value-for-money...In a class by itself... Four minutes to boil a quart of water in cold weather.
Kevin Klein, Cool Tools -
There I was, in driving rain, cooking breakfast under a tree over an intense, portable fire, I cooked fresh coffee and scrambled eggs with a Sierra Stove. It's a mini-forge, forcing air into a small insulated chamber where a double handful of twigs (or dung or whatever) can heat water in a couple minutes---just a little longer than a butane stove, but with NO fuel or fuel containers to carry. One enthusiast hiked from Mexico to Canada cooking with one, claims Chip in "The Complete Walker IV " Chip himself now claims to camp largely solar--with backpack solar charged batteries running his flashlights and his Sierra Stove. I was impressed at how little fuel was needed, and how funky it could be. A switch offers high or low speed on the fan, driven by one AA battery. All in all an impressive little rig.
Mike, BackpackGearTest.org -
Using the stove is not much different from cooking over a campfire. The first step is to put small burnable items (pinky size or less) into the chamber, followed by a small piece of fire starter; turn on the fan to low then light the starter (for this I find a match easier to use than a lighter). After the fire catches I add larger pieces of wood and turn the fan to high, if needed (usually for roasting, baking, or if I'm in a hurry). If it weren't for the cross grate in the upgrade kit I would have to lift the pot off of the stove in order to add more wood, the cross grate sits on top of the stove, and the pot sits on top of the grate. Four openings exist between the pot and stove now through which I can add wood without having to lift the pot. It's easier this way, but not required. The wood will burn down to ashes; build up of ashes isn't a problem, even after a 2 hour cooking demo for Scouts the amount of ashes in the bottom wouldn't even amount to a handful.
NOTE: Features may vary without notice. However any design change will not effect the outstanding performance of this dynamic stove.
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