Stump Stove

Stump Stove

By: Saffron | June 15, 2017

The stump stove is a log that has two holes drilled into it with the fire built in these holes creating a very efficient and hot burning fire that can be fueled by adding extra wood or allowing it to burn into itself.

The stump stove uses the same design concept as a rocket stove, and the Dakota Fire Hole except it is built into a log that burns, thus becoming its own fuel source. Just like a traditional rocket stove, once burning these are very efficient and can become very hot, making them ideal to boil food in pots or fry foods in skillets.


Unless set-up in a fairly tool rich standing camp, it is best off if this fire is made at home. Tools like a large drill press make it considerably easier to construct.


How to Build a Stump Stove

1/ Assess the location. Just because this fire is simple and portable doesn’t mean you can light it anywhere. As always consider the surroundings for fire hazards, wind direction and similar.

2/ Create the Log. Select a stable log that stands on its end well and is cut well so that the other end is also flat and stable so it can safely support your pot or pan. The log itself should be well dried, unlike some fires this may be of a lighter soft wood as we want it to burn quick and easy, some heavy hard woods can extinguish themselves.

Using a large drill press, portable drill or hand drill, drill a hole down from the top flat surface of the log about 3/4’s of the way down, the diameter of the hole varies, but 2 inches (5cm) for an average log is a good starting point. At the same level as where the downward hole ends, drill a hole in from the side about the same diameter, or slightly bigger, stop when the two holes are connected.

3/ Lay the fire. Tinder and small twigs can be added via the base hole to create a small fire, remembering to leave enough air to flow.

4/ Light the fire. Light the tinder via the side hole and allow the fire to become established, additional wood can be added, or you can let the log itself be the fuel source.

5/ Maintaining the fire. Depending how long you want the life span of the stump stove to be you can either continue to add wood to the fire base, extinguish and re-light for each meal. Alternatively, once established, you can let the log itself burn as the primary fuel source.

You can also adjust the location/orientation of the stump stove relative to the wind to manage the oxygen into the fire to speedup or slow down the burn.

6/ Extinguishing the fire. This fire can be left to burn out into itself, or splashed with water to extinguish.

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