LOG IN CART

loading Loading... Please wait...

The Littlbug Blog

Get Out and Enjoy the Hot Cocoa

Posted by Written by Esther Drebelbis of Littlbug Enterprises on

The longest month of the year, January, has come to a close and February is in full swing! The sun stays out a bit longer and the first day of spring is about a month and a half away. You may even be counting down the days to summer. But you don’t have to wait until summer to bust out some of your favorite camping gear, and enjoy it while snow still covers the ground.

At Littlbug, we like to take advantage of the outdoors as much as we can. Even if it’s a short hike after work to fire up our wood burning backpacking stove to enjoy a hot drink and watch the sunset, we’re taking advantage of the daylight hours as much as possible.

How’d We Do It

After work, we quickly packed up a small daypack with the essentials:

✓ Water

Littlbug Jr. Stove

✓ Lighter

✓ Small backpacking pot with a lid

✓ Hot chocolate mix (or other favorite hot drink mix or tea)

✓ Thermos or insulated mug

✓ Warm layers

✓ Kindling from home (old newspaper or cotton balls - soak them in vaseline for an extra kickstarter - works great)

✓ Alcohol burner (optional)

✓ 1 spoon or stir stick (optional - or just use a stick from the woods)

✓ Marshmallows (optional)

We then ventured out on a trail close to town so we didn’t have to travel too far. Chasing the daylight, we hiked fast to find a quiet spot, with a beautiful view to fire up our ultralight stove. Using our day pack, we compressed the snow to create a sturdy surface for our stove to sit on. Another alternative could have been to make use of the Junior Fire Bowl and suspend from a nearby tree. We then collected dried twigs and sticks to build the fire. If you’re in an area that lacks natural resources, feel free to bring an alcohol burner to substitute.

Once the fire was burning hot, we were ready to start boiling water for hot chocolate. Surrounded by snow, the pot worked perfectly to scoop full of snow to start melting over the fire. We added roughly half a cup of water to prevent snow from burning on the bottom of the pot before melting.

Littlbug Tip #1: The snow to water ratio is about 10:1. For every 10” of snow, you gain 1” of water. This means when you fill your pot with snow, your snow won’t melt into a full pot of water. Resist the urge to pack snow into the pot. Instead, use the pot’s lid or a thermos or mug to slowly scoop more snow in increments as it melts.

Littlbug Tip #2: Keep the lid on the pot as much as you can (If you’re using the lid to scoop more snow, you have to take it off for a few moments, but that’s OK). This helps the water to boil faster, and also keeps the moisture inside the pot. When you’re already looking at a 10:1 ratio from snow to water, you want to keep as much of the moisture inside the pot as you can.

As we waited for the water to boil, we continued to feed the fire with kindling, enjoyed the views, and prepped our insulated mugs with hot cocoa mix. Thankfully, the cone shaped design of the Firebowl kept the snow from melting too unevenly under the stove, keeping a fairly flat and even surface. Once the water began to boil, we carefully removed the pot from the fire, filled our mugs, and enjoyed the beautiful views and the last bit of the sunset.

How We Made It Delicious:

Enjoy some hot chocolate on your next winter adventure with a Littlbug stove and our perfect homemade hot chocolate mix of a 1:1 ratio of unsweetened cocoa powder and sugar:

  • We used unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • Add more sugar (1:2 cocoa powder to sugar ratio) for a sweeter beverage
  • We used a tablespoon scoop to measure out our mix, but for larger batches, feel free to use larger measure options like a ½ cup or 1 cup measuring cups.
  • Add your favorite powdered milk to add a creamier texture
  • This lightweight concoction works perfectly for a lightweight backcountry hot drink. Mix it with your coffee in the morning or have it as an after dinner dessert.

Your Outdoor Skills: Using Walking Sticks on the Trail and in Your Camp

Walking sticks are one of our favorite hiking and backpacking accessories. Their versatility comes in handy on the trail, helping you become a better hiker and reducing your risk of injury. Their use doesn’t end when you’re finished walking.  At camp , we’ve used them to reach water to fill our water bag, provide shelter and even support our hammock when the trees are [...]

Read More »


Comparing Wood Burning Backpacking Camp Stoves | What's Important and Why It Matters (Part Six)

In this collection of posts I am presenting 20 considerations that are important when choosing your wood burning backpacking camp stove and showing how these considerations are dealt with in four different stove designs available on the market today. In this post I will discuss the complexity, Leave No Trace capability, available accessories, company values, [...]

Read More »


Comparing Wood Burning Backpacking Camp Stoves | What's Important and Why It Matters (Part Five)

In this collection of posts I am presenting 20 considerations that are important when choosing your wood burning backpacking camp stove and showing how these considerations are dealt with in four different stove designs available on the market today. In this post I will compare the pot supports, wind and cold weather performance and the [...]

Read More »


Comparing Wood Burning Backpacking Camp Stoves | What's Important and Why It Matters (Part Four)

In this collection of posts I am presenting 20 considerations that are important when choosing your wood burning backpacking camp stove and showing how these considerations are dealt with in four different stove designs available on the market today. In this post I will compare the weight, stability, boil time, size and accessibility of the fuel [...]

Read More »


Comparing Wood Burning Backpacking Camp Stoves | What's Important and Why It Matters (Part Three)

In this collection of posts I am presenting 20 considerations that are important when choosing your wood burning backpacking camp stove and showing how these considerations are dealt with in four different stove designs available on the market today. In this post I will compare the packed size and shape of the Littlbug Junior, Solo Titan, [...]

Read More »


Comparing Wood Burning Backpacking Camp Stoves | What's Important and Why It Matters (Part Two)

In this collection of posts I am presenting 20 considerations that are important when choosing your wood burning backpacking camp stove and showing how these considerations are dealt with in four different stove designs available on the market today. In this post I will compare the assembled size of the Littlbug Junior, Solo Titan, Emberlit FireAnt [...]

Read More »


Comparing Wood Burning Backpacking Camp Stoves | What's Important and Why It Matters (Part One)

Over the next several posts, I will present 20 considerations that are important when choosing your wood burning backpacking camp stove and show how those considerations are dealt with in four different stove designs available on the market today.  Getting ready to buy a stove and want to read the complete article now?  Just send us [...]

Read More »


Tales of Fire in the Belly: Hudson Bay Adventure

Don't miss the highlighted sections!In the summer of 2016, the four of us– Mark Heiman, Mike Heiman, Allison Heiman, and me, Laura Gundlach– all embarked on a huge adventure, canoeing from the Boundary Waters in Minnesota all the way to York Factory on Hudson Bay in northern Manitoba, Canada. The trip ended up encompassing over 1200 miles and took 78 [...]

Read More »


Three ways to get the best out of your Littlbug camping stove!

You’ve made the investment, now it’s time to make it last. When you’re out on the trail with your Littlbug stove, it won’t take long to realize its lightweight, max-efficiency characteristics.Knowing how to assemble and disassemble it effectively, keeping it clean, and understanding how the Littlbug can be stowed in or on your pack are all ways you can [...]

Read More »


While we add value to your outdoor experience, you are adding value to our planet and all that live here. Littlbug Enterprises donates at least 10% of its profits to help care for the Earth and its inhabitants.