Q: Which stove should I buy?
A: If you cannot decide which stove to buy, you may find our Stove Selection Matrix helpful.
Q: I cannot disassemble my Bushbox – am I doing something wrong?
A: The Bushbox (the standard model without hinges) is equipped with a safety mechanism to avoid accidental disassembly during operation. To disassemble it, the safety mechanism needs to be unlocked. Please refer to the instructions in the product manual.
Q: How do I assemble my Bushbox (models without hinges)?
A: Please refer to the instructions in the product manual.
Q: How do I clean my stove?
A: You can use anything except steel wool (which may leave iron particles in the stainless steel and make it appear to rust). The best natural cleaning agents are sand or horsetail (a plant, it is actually one of the best materials for cleaning pots, dishes, cutlery and metal in general). Indoors you can use a kitchen sponge or run your stove through the dish washer.
Q: Are there any general care principles I should follow?
A: If you take good care of your stove, it should last a lifetime. These are the basic principles you should follow:
Q: What is the difference between the steel and the titanium versions?
A: The titanium versions of our stoves are much lighter than the stainless steel ones. Also, titanium will show more intense and very beautiful annealing colours (colouring of the material when it is heated above a certain temperature – this is a normal physical process).
Based on the experiences of our customers and our own testing results, our titanium stoves do not warp more (or less) than the stainless steel versions. Also, since we are using pure titanium, it does not become brittle due to heating.
Although the titanium and the stainless steel versions are identical in design, there is a little difference in the Bushbox XL Titanium. This stove contains two elements which are not made of steel: The bottom plate and the trivets, both are made of stainless steel because customer experience has shown that these are the only components which may warp or bend if made from titanium.
Q: Will my stove warp when heated?
A: Warping is a physical effect which happens when metal is heated unevenly. In other words: Warping cannot be avoided. However, we do everything possible to reduce warping to a minimum. If you do not overheat your stove, almost no visible warping will occur. The warping will never reach an extent where the function or operation of the stove is impaired.
A: Overheating is only possible if you operate our largest stoves, the Bushbox XL (titanium and stainless steel versions) outside the intended purposes (to cook meals, make coffee or tea, etc.) and only if you use wood. These stoves have such a strong chimney effect that – if they are being abused as a camp fire for an extended time – they may get so hot that the material is damaged or permanently warped.
If you use our stoves according to the specifications, they will not overheat, especially if you operate our larger stoves with fewer (but thicker) pieces of wood.
Q: How do I operate a hobo stove perfectly with wood?
A: First of all, that depends very much on the size of the stove. The larger the stove, the stronger the chimney effect and the easier you will find it to start and maintain a fire. The smaller the stove, the more experience is required.
To start a fire, you need tinder material, used to catch the initial spark from the ignition source and transfer it to the kindling. Perfect natural tinders are the paper-like outer parts of birch bark, dead dry plants, leaves and grasses, dry moss, wood shavings and dry tree needles. Tinder ignites easily and quickly, but it burns just for a very short time.
Before igniting the tinder, you need to collect two different types of wood: Kindling and the fire wood you need to maintain the fire. Try to use standing wood – material collected from the ground is almost always damp, although it seems to be dry. All the material you collect must be very dry – if it was raining, you can still find very dry wood in the core of branches and logs once you remove the outer layers.
Kindling is used to transfer the fire from the tinder to the rest of the wood – it consists of small twigs, small pieces of wood or thicker wood shavings. Kindling needs more energy to catch fire, but it will burn hotter and longer than tinder – long and hot enough to ignite the real fire wood.
Maintaining the fire is very easy with our large stoves but becomes more challenging with our smaller stoves since they cannot develop such a strong chimney effect. The most important point is to make sure that your fire can breathe, i.e. that it gets enough oxygen from below (and the air flow is not blocked). Always make sure the bottom plate (the one with the holes at the bottom of the stove) is not clogged up by wood or ashes. The bigger the stove, the thicker the wood you are able to use. The larger stoves burn very efficiently, so you do not need a lot of wood. Bushbox LF and Bushbox XL models can even use damp wood once the fire is going.
Remember, the smaller the stove, the more time you will need to dedicate to the maintenance of the fire – always make sure it is burning well, do not let it go out. If the fire dies, it is very easy to start it again in the larger stoves (by blowing into the coals); with the small ones you may need to start from the beginning.
Q: Is the EDCBox really a fully functional stove?
A: Absolutely – as long as you use it within its specifications. Nevertheless, the EDCBox is an emergency stove. It will not cook a meal for a group of four, but it may keep you alive in cold temperatures. And although it may seem to be too small (it actually is the smallest hobo stove in the world), it definitely has its own strengths. You may be surprised to learn that the EDCBox is being used by special forces in arctic training.
It displays its full potential when you use it with fuel tablets. But you can even use it to cook a meal, using nothing but wood. Of course, you can also use it as a pen holder at the office (for a subtle hint you’re a seasoned outdoors enthusiast) or put a tea candle in it and keep your coffee or tea warm.
Q: Can I use coated pots on hobo stoves?
A: No. Over open fire (all our stoves are open fire), the best choices are cookware made of stainless steel, cast iron or wrought iron. Please avoid all coated materials since the coating will not survive the high temperatures (especially with the very efficient, larger stoves like Bushbox XL and Bushbox LF). The efficiacy of the pot will be damaged (and might emit toxic substances in the process).
Q: What is the chimney effect (stack effect) and why is it important for hobo stoves?
A: The chimney effect (also called stack effect) is basically an airflow caused by heated air which flows upwards and draws in fresh air from below. It results from temperature difference and is the underlying principle of our hobo stoves – once the fire has been started, they burn hot and efficient because an airflow builds up and sucks in fresh oxygen which in turn fuels the fire.
The chimney effect is most important when you work with wood and fuel tablets. It will not make a huge difference when you use a spirit burner inside a Bushbox.
The larger a stove is, the stronger the impact of the chimney effect. Our larger stoves like the Bushbox LF and Bushbox XL will have a perfect chimney effect and get very hot as a result.
To take full advantage of the chimney effect please make sure that the air intake of the stove is not obstructed.
Q: Are there any dangers when working with hobo stoves?
A: If you operate your hobo stove responsibly and according to the operating instructions and if you observe these rules for working with open fire, then you should be safe:
Q: Do I have to observe any laws when I am using a hobo stove?
A: Sometimes. Before you use your stove make sure there are no local or general laws or regulations which restrict or disallow the use of open fire such as camp fires, gas stoves or hobo stoves. This may especially be the case in arid regions, during seasons with a high risk of forest fires or in general in certain regions of the world.
If in doubt, always use common sense and observe the rules for using open fire (see “Are there any dangers when working with hobo stoves?”)
Q: Can I use a Trangia spirit burner with my stoves?
A: All of our stoves (except the EDCBox) are compatible with the Trangia burner. Most of our stoves also have special holding positions for the Trangia – for details please refer to the manual of the stove in question.
Q: Are the stoves compatible with fuel tables (Esbit, hexy blocks etc.)?
A: Yes, they all are. The EDCBox is perfect for use with fuel tablets.
Q: Why don't you ship the Dog Tag and the Survival Card to Canada and the US?
A: We have an agreement with the patent owner (Philip E. Bellefeuille), who wants to sell his own products in the US and Canada.
Q: Can I use tent pegs as a grill on my Bushbox XL?
A: Yes, you can, up to 5mm diameter.
Q: Is it normal that my stove has scratches?
A: A few scratches might be visible on the surface of the stove from production, as Bushcraft Essentials does not polish their products as to avoid water pollution and health risks. Moreover, the use of polishing agents would require the use of environmentally hazardous chemicals. Polishing would also make the Bushbox more expensive - since the slight scratches are no longer visible after the first use,we have decided not to polish our stoves.
Q: Where and how are the stoves manufactured?
A: Bushcraft Essentials stoves are designed and manufactured in Germany, to the highest manufacturing specifications possible, and contain no plastics in the products or in the packaging - opting instead for cotton bags and cardboard.
We also make sure that we use materials of the highest possible quality and that all our products are being manufactured under fair working conditions and without health or environmental risks.
Q: Why do some Bushboxes come in a cotton bag?
A: We avoid plastic wherever we can. For this reason, all our stoves come in cardboard boxes and/or cotton bags if you order the basic version. The cotton bag is not meant for permanent storage of the stove, it is just a means of wrapping. If you need a sturdy bag for everyday use we recommend you buy the desired stove as a set (with the Heavy Duty Outdoor Bag) or the Heavy Duty Outdoor Bag as an accessory.
Q: Which bags do I need for my stove?
A: If you have a Bushbox XL (stainless steel or titanium version), you will need the “Heavy Duty Outdoor Bag Bushbox XL”. All other Bushbox stoves fit in the “Heavy Duty Outdoor Bag Bushbox / Bushbox Ti / Bushbox UL / Bushbox LF”. The EDCBox comes in its own bag, which cannot be ordered separately.
Q: I own the Fire Piston but I am not able to make fire with it – is it broken?
A: No, we guarantee that all fire pistons work. However, the fire piston is an ancient way of fire making. As opposed to using a match or a gas lighter, it requires a little experience, skill and preparation. The following are important success factors:
Q: Where can I buy Bushcraft Essentials products?
A: Many outdoor retailers carry our products. In the US you can buy our products from our distributor LoneCone, and from Canadian Outdoor Equipment in Canada. You will also find our products on Amazon and in our web shop.
Q: Do you ship worldwide?
A: Yes, we do. Just enter your complete address and country when you order.
Q: How much do you charge for shipping?
A: We charge a flat rate – 3,50 EUR no matter what you order or where you live.
A: In order not to compete with our distributors and retailers we offer a limited range of payment methods. PayPal is the only payment method which is being offered for all countries.
Q: Can I pay per invoice or make an advance payment?
A: Unfortunately not. Please refer to the answer of this question: Which payment methods do you accept? If you wish to pay per invoice or make an advance payment, please contact one of our retailers.
Q: Do you offer discounts?
A: Unfortunately not, apart of our MILBOS program. We may offer a discount when we introduce a new product, but otherwise we cannot undercut our retailers. The only exception is our special discount for military personnel, public servants and NGO’s (20% discount, please refer to our MILBOS program).
Q: Do you offer free samples or free products?
A: Under some circumstances we do. Since we get many requests for free products, we can only answer requests which follow our Test & Charity Rules:
Q: Do you have a physical store?
A: No, we don’t. Our products are mostly sold by retailers. We select our retailers very carefully to make sure you receive a very high standard of service which matches the quality of our products.
A: After shipping your order, we always send you a shipping confirmation email. In most cases the confirmation email contains a tracking number (some shipments will not be trackable due to circumstances outside our control).
We use two different tracking systems, depending on how we ship. If we ship by DHL, you can track your shipment here: https://www.dhl.de/en/paket/information/sendungsverfolgung.html
Otherwise you may be able to use the tracking system of your national post once the package has entered your country. Until then you can use this link:
Q: Why is my tracking number not working?
A: It takes a few hours (or a few days in some cases) for the tracking to start working. If after some time you still cannot track your order, please contact our customer service. Before contacting us please take into account that shipping to other countries may involve customs, which can significantly delay delivery (up to 2-3 weeks in some cases).
Q: Where is my shipment?
A: We are sometimes contacted by concerned customers just a few days after shipping. Please take into account that we are shipping from Germany and in many cases the shipment may be held up by customs or simply by long distance. Please use the tracking number (see Can I track my order?) if available.
Q: I live outside the EU, why do I have to pay VAT?
A: Our beloved tax authorities require proof that the goods have left the EU and remain there. We can only provide that proof using a much more expensive way of shipping – all together being more expensive than paying the VAT.
However, if you plan to make a larger purchase, please contact us by email and we will try to find a way.
Nevertheless, the EDCBox is an emergency stove.