- Camping Tips and Tricks
Camping Tips and Tricks
When Using Wood Fuel
- The folks at Littlbug support “Leave No Trace” camping principles. If you are at a campsite that does not have a designated fire pit, we recommend you use the optional Littlbug Fire Bowl or build a mound fire. For a mound fire, collect soil, sand or gravel from an already disturbed source, lay a ground cloth on the fire site and then pack the gathered material into a circular, flat-topped mound at least 5 inches thick.
- Gather your fuel:
- Tinder - easily ignitable fuel such as birch bark, dry leaves, pine needles, newspaper or commercial firestarters.
- Kindling - small sticks about the diameter of your finger.
- Firewood - pieces from finger to wrist diameter.
- Remove dry grass, small twigs and anything else that could catch fire from around the stove.
- Loosely fill the stove with a mix of tinder and kindling.
- Light the tinder at the top of the stove.
- Slowly add kindling as the tinder burns down. Hold the sticks upright and drop them into the stove.
- As the fire grows slowly add larger sticks.
- Add firewood as needed.
The Littlbug Stove is designed to increase the flow of air through the fire. Over packing the stove with fuel can choke the flames and make a smoky fire. Smaller sticks make a hotter fire and larger firewood burns slower. If the stove generates a lot of smoke when you place the pot on it, check to make sure you have assembled the stove with the pot supports up (pot support tabs down).
Under wet and windy conditions, turn the stove so the vents are protected from the wind or lay the stove on its side to keep your tinder dry as you start the fire. Once the kindling is burning, place the stove upright. A pot grabber works well for this. The stove gets hot quickly. Do not touch it with your bare hands.
For those times when you have an obstinate campfire, you can make a Littlbug Fireblaster to blow air without getting your face close to the fire. The directivity provided by the fireblaster will put the air right where you want it. You can make it from a 3/8" vinyl tube 2 – 3 feet long and a copper water faucet supply tube. Cut the supply tube about 1/3 from the enlarged end. Insert each piece in opposite ends of the vinyl tube. The enlarged end is the mouthpiece and the other end can be bent however you want. If you use it in winter conditions, consider replacing the metal mouthpiece with a plastic supply tube.
When you are finished with the stove, make sure your fire is completely out. Scatter the ashes (which should be cold to the touch) to lessen your impact. If a mound fire was constructed, replace the gathered material where you found it. Please practice “Leave No Trace” camping principles - for the earth and those who follow you.
Remember that the most important fire is the next one. Carrying dry tinder with you can make that next fire easier to light.
When Using Alcohol Fuel
- The Littlbug Stove will accommodate a wide variety of pressurized and nonpressurized alcohol burners.
- An alcohol flame can be hard to see. Make sure the stove is cool before handling it and never pour alcohol near a flame.
- Denatured alcohol can usually be purchased where paint is sold.
- Assemble the stove with the pot supports in the down position (pot support tabs up).
- Center the stove over the alcohol burner.
- You can increase the efficiency of your alcohol burner by replacing the pot supports with the Littlbug Pot Sling.
More Camping Hints
- For a durable, lightweight water tote, put a 2 – 2.5 gallon ziplock bag in a string shopping bag. You'll be hard pressed to find a large capacity water bag that collapses to such a small package. Its wide opening makes filling a snap. Let the bag rest in the water while you close the top – this helps hold the bag and minimize spilling. The bag can be partially opened to form a pour spout. Hang it from a tree. For even greater convenience, you can have running water by clipping a 3/8" vinyl tube to the inside of the bag and siphoning the water out. To stop the water flow, raise the free end of the tube above the water level in the bag. If you want to increase the water flow, just hang the bag higher. Makes a great shower, too.
- You can waterproof strike anywhere matches by coating them in nail polish, shellac, or paraffin.
- You can freshen up a water bottle by putting three teaspoons of baking soda into it along with one cup of water. Swish, let sit, then rinse.
- Ever been bothered by one end of your bootlace being longer than the other? Try tying a knot in the middle of the lace. This keeps the lace centered between the bottom eyelets, hence the ends you work with will remain close to equal.