I'm surprised bears aren't attracted by this stuff because it [*] stinks! Honestly, it smells like 10-day-old fish and it will make your pack smell like 10-day-old fish unless you double-seal the Esbit tablets AND stove in Lopsaks or some other odor-proof bag.Also, the tablets are difficult to ignite. If it's cold out and there is any air movement at all it may take a dozen matches to get these things to combust (you can always drench them in white gas first, but that kind of defeats the purpose). Once you've finally got a steady burn going you might get two cups of water boiling in about 15 minutes. But mind the nasty black residue the Esbit tablets leave on the bottom of your pot - it stinks too!
Pros: a caveman can do it. No need for fuel canister/container, this is all you need! Lasts forever.
These things burn great! They stay lit even under light winds and it's easy to add a second or even a half of one to an already burning cube. One seems to boil two cups of water in about 6-9 minutes depending on the usual factors of temp/wind/etc. Used a couple to boil water for food at 9600 ft in the wind and had some hot rice and tea. Two of them even burned hot and long enough to percolate some fresh coffee in a small 2 cup aluminum percolater too!
This was great. I was impressed and so were the others in my group. I just read from another person who used this product that you can put them out and reuse them again. Good info to know and pass along. One thing to remember when you light them is that make sure you hold up the fuel tablet and have the flame from your match or other fire source lick the bottm so that it can catch fire. We used a match and it the fuel didn't 'explode'or make much smoke. Most likely not recommended by the manufacture, but it works as long as you're careful and pay attention-just like everything else in life.
Tablets are easy to light in heavy rain. Great when used for starting a camp fire. Little, so you can fit eight of them in your back pocket. Wrap them in a zip-lock bag though. They leave a delicate fish smell.
The ultralight way to get things cooking. No moving parts, so, unlike the MSR liquid stoves, you'll never find a repair or maintenance kit on a hook next to this at REI. You only need to pull about 2' of tin foil that you fold to triple thickness to make a windscreen. You get no performance bragging rights with this stove, (e.g. boiling 2 cups in 3 minutes) but you'll love it.
So these aren't the most convenient to use for a daily use stove but they'll work for that. I use them for day hikes while backpacking in colder weather. I have a regular stove at base camp and then bring a few of these bars along with a ti pot, water pump and freeze dried meal for day hikes. It's really nice to have a hot meal where ever you go.
About half a cube heats 12+ oz of water for hot chocolate in just a couple minutes.
I have used these fuel tabs off-and-on for many years as an ultralight alternative to carrying a stove. They are easy to light, burn hot, and are low on weight. One tab isn't likely to boil a whole quart/liter of water, but is typically sufficient to heat enough water for a packaged backpacker meal. Like all trioxane-based fuel tabs, they emit a disagreeable odor when not being burned. That smell will permeate any adjacent gear, so I keep them in a tough poly bag.
Great you can boil a cup of water in about 8 mins. 16 oz. does not come to full boil but its still hot enough to make oatmeal. If you want a full boil for 16 oz. just use 2 when water or whatever comes to boil blow it out and save the rest for later.
Since I got this with the tiny esbit stove (the one of the of your thumb when folded), I never want to go back to canister fuel or alcohol stove. I used this to cook for 4 adults on a 9 days trip on Wonderland Trail, as well as 10 days trip on JMT in the past 2 years. They are so light weight and took reasonable time to heat our breakfast and dinner everyday. Never failed once. We even cooked hot tea at lunch time for my husband many days. We used 2 tablets for cooking dinner (pasta or rice with meat and vegetables dehydrated by myself), and 1.5 tablets for breakfast (oatmeals, hot chocolate etc.). I just blow off the flame and leave any unused part of the fuel for next meal. Sure, it smells like fish, that's probably what is it made of -- fish oil? It would be biodegradable right? And it leaves some black mark on the pods. But it is not difficult to clean. The bottom line is -- nothing else packs so light and so easy to work with. It worked on high altitude, in the rainy days and in the cold morning when alcohol fuel were two difficult to light up.
It makes a great back up stove. I keep one in all my vehicles emergency kits. Never know when you want a hot drink or meal. A must for the family Emergency Preparedness Kit we all should have.
My Esbit stove is the only camping stove I have. I use it to boil water to cook whatever it is I’m going to eat when I’m on the trail. Whether it’s a one night trip or more nights. The solid fuel tablets that east bit makes or always better than any offbrand I have found. There are some that i used to be able to get at Walmart though I have not found them in a number of months but the Walmart ones were not very good.
I have been using these for nearly a decade. No other fuel source out there compares in my mind.
I got these thinking that they would not smell bad until I burned them, or perhaps a slight smell before burning - I WAS WRONG - these smell like three week old dead salmon - I left two in my day pack with light jacket and have now washed them both twice and they still smell like dead salmon - taking them back tomorrow - do not use these unless you are unable to smell.
Believe the reviews that mention how disgusting these things smell. Even double bagged, the fish odor permeated everything. My backpack is trashed. They probably have a better use as a prank. Merely open one and place it underneath the car seat, and let the fun begin...
i took this stove and fuel on a 6 day trip and let a friend borrow and extra i have. it worked so well we used one stove for both our cooking. ended up with more fuel left over than expected.
Esbit leaves a residue on the bottom of your pot and it does have a funny smell. That said, I usually wipe my pot off right after each use with some dried grass. Once at home I have a dedicated scrubbie to clean up the pot to it's original shine. The smell isn't really that bad. A zip lock bag does just fine. It will attract animals just out of curiosity so it does belong in the bear bag or keg. My main concern with other fuels is safety. Alcohol or canister stoves be a nightmare if knocked over. Even the back-draft wood stoves make way more soot. The wood stoves are the only alternative that beats the weight misering of these stoves. Unfortunatly REI only carries the heaviest of the esbit stoves. There is a wing stove made out of titanium ot there that only works with a wind screen. MY FAVORITE ESBIT STOVE IS: the stainless steel version made up of three sides and a middle platform that is easily assembled. It only weighs 90 grams and pretty much is it's own windscreen. Esbit also makes a Trangia type alcohol burner that fits into it. I have used the original Esbit pocket stove since the 1970's
Good fire starters; good for emergency cooking/heating. I don't like the amonia smell though.
easy to use,light, compact,simple to lite!
This is a great product for starting campfires in the backcountry. I don't use these for cooking so can't speak to that but as a fire starter they can't be beat. We often go backpacking in early Spring and late Fall when everything is wet and I have never had a hard time starting the campfire at night or early morning when the wood is wet. Worth throwing a few in you bear canister. And as others have stated....it's like having a trout in your pack for a week.
I bought both the camp stove and the fuel for a two nighter on the AT trail. My hiking partner bought another type with a propane cannister. The Esbit worked well enough but, as some of the other reviews report, the fuel tablets smell like old bait in your pack. I suggest putting them in a zip lock back. The Esbit seams like it is well made and will last a long time. The propane cannister stove worked much faster but was more complicated.
2 tabs lit together brings 3 cups of water to a rolling boil in a small, thin, lightweight steel cup (the kind that nest into the bottom of a Nalgene bottle) at 6k feet.
These things are great for starting a fire in the rain. They burn really hot and last quite a long time compared to their size. I especially like the fact that you can put them out, and reuse them. A must have in any survival kit.
Did a test at home in controlled conditions: With no windscreen to reflect heat (but also no wind) it took 12.5 minutes to boil 500ml of water. I would assume that in the field, it would require more than 1 cube (rated for 12 minutes each) to boil water to rehydrate dinner.
i was surprized the wind didn't blow it out,but it did it's job.would definitly recomend
Bought this for my 11 year old to go on a scout hike and camp in the mountains. After a day with covered 16 miles he was able to cook himself a hot meal with little effort as the fuel was easy to light and lasted long enough to complete his meal. A second tablet was used to cook my meal with the same gear. Light weight, easy to backpack.
I do a lot of camping so have a camp fire every night is wonderful. Now some parks will not allow you to gather fire wood but there is usually enough around you camp site. Using the fire pit ring and 1 whole sq. gets the fire going with the wood burning nicely. Have used this product for many years and never disappointed.
I put some of these into an emergency pack just in case. I tried some out before packing them and found that they heated pretty consistently for several minutes but never got hot enough to boil the water.
As compared with the canister-fuel stoves, the ESBIT system has the advantages of weight and simplicity. I have owned and used only one ESBIT stove for 10+ years and it shows no signs of slowing down.
I bought these to place into an emergency kit along with a small Bleuet stove. I have not usedany, but will do some trials later.
I like these tablets. Each one boils a small pot of water (2 cups)