BW Esbit field stove, surplus
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Invented in the 30's, almost immediately adopted by the German army, and still in use today. This little contraption will take care of nearly any field cooking needs, just throw in some fuel tablets and let it burn. German engineering at its best!
The Esbit-kocher is basically an ingenious foldable field stove. Fold the stove open (or halfway open), put in a few fuel tablets (not included), light 'em up, and watch your food get hot.
The official Esbit fuel package fits neatly inside the stove for easy storage. The quantity of tablets needed for different cooking needs varies greatly, and we can't really give and "hard data" on this matter. What we can do though is offer some advice based on our empiric tests. We have been able to get 0,5 l of water to boil with 2-3 tablets and warm a 350g tin of food with 1-2 tablets. Of course, all this depends on the overall temperature, winds etc. The tablets do burn for a surprisingly long time.
If you are not into fuel tablets, the stove can also be used with any natural materials, like twigs and all that. Just pile them up and light it up. Alternatively, you can use one tablet and place the sticks on top of it. This way you should have a decent fire in no time.
Weight 40 g. Measurements 9,5 x 7,5 x 2 cm.
Some used, some unissued, all in serviceable condition.
Product reviews of the Esbit field stove
The Esbit cooker, combined with the British-model mess box, is an awesome thing. Thanks to its shape it is easy to pack, and there are no extra bells and whistles. The cooker, another pack of fuel, spork, matches, and even coffee and cocoa all fit easily within the mess kit. During my time in the Finnish army, I left the Trangia at the barracks and did all of my cooking with the aforementioned combo. As a veteran user of the Esbit, I had all of my rations ready while other were still heating up their stoves. In the right conditions it is a very fast and easy-to-use system.
Simple and efficient. Warming water for cooking is easy and requires just a few tablets per half litre. Boiling water is quite demanding and, in strong winds, could prove to be impossible. So much heat escapes that proper cooking requires a good location and a lot of fuel tablets. It's not very useful for making lake water drinkable, but cooking and warming drinkable water is easy.