FAQ

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 anything wrong?

A: The Bushbox (the regular 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: For cleaning our stoves you can use everything except steel wool (which may leave iron particles in the stainless steel and make it appear to rust). Outdoors the most perfect 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 your dish washer.

Q: Are there any general care principles I should observe?

A: If you take good care of your stove, it should last a lifetime. These are the basic principles you should observe:

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).

According to the experience 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 the 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 being 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 our stoves, almost no visible warping will occur. The warping will never reach an extent where the function or operation of the stove will be impaired.

Q: How do I avoid overheating of my stove and what happens if the stove has been overheated?

A: Overheating is only possible if you operate our largest stoves, the Bushbox XL (titanium and stainless steel versions) outside the specifications (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 being damaged or warp becomes very obvious and permanent.

If you use our stoves according to the specifications, they will not overheat, especially if you operate our larger stoves with rather few (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, which is being used to catch the initial spark from the ignition source and transfers 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, dry tree needles. Tinder ignites easily and very quick, 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 as soon as you remove the outer layers.

Kindling is being 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 that you need 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 can be the wood you are using. The larger stoves burn very efficiently, you do not need a lot of wood and in the Bushbox LF and Bushbox XL models you can even use damp wood once the fire is going.

Also, the smaller the stoves, 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, it is after all an emergency stove. It will not cook a meal for a group of four but it will keep you alive in cold temperatures. And although it seems to be too small (it is the smallest hobo stove in the world), it definitely has its own strengths. You may be surprised but it is even being used by special forces in arctic training.

It develops its full potential when you use it with fuel tablets. But you can even use it to cook a meal, using nothing else but wood. Of course you can also use it as a pen holder at the office (to give a modest 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 (and 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 of the very efficient larger stoves like Bushbox XL and Bushbox LF) and will be destroyed (and might emit poisonous 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 better you will see 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 responsible and according to the operating instructions and if you observe the rules for working with open fire, then you should be safe. These rules are:

  • never leave open fire unattended
  • keep children and animals away
  • make sure your stove has a firm and safe stand (a tipping stove can cause severe burns or start fires)
  • ensure that there are no combustible materials in the surrounding which can catch fire (for instance never make fire directly on forest soil, that may cause a catastrophic smouldering fire which you will not even recognise but which will burn for days and destroy large areas)
  • never use open fire in enclosed spaces (danger of suffocation and smoke poisoning)
  • never touch a stove before it has sufficiently cooled down
  • always have material nearby which is suited to extinguish the fire
  • observe all legal rules

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 rules which restrict or disallow the use of open fire such as camp fires, gas stoves or hobo stoves. This may be especially 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 the use with fuel tablets.

Q: How comes we do not 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 have required the use of environmentally hazardous chemicals. A polishing would also make the Bushbox more expensive - since the slight scratches are no longer visible after the first firing we have decided not to do it.

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 do not use plastic wherever we can avoid it. For this reason, all our stoves come in cardboard boxes and/or cotton bags if you order the plain version. The cotton bag is not meant to be a permanent storage for the stove, it is just a means of wrapping. If you need a sturdy bag for everyday use we recommend you buy the set version of the desired stove (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 (also the 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:

  • Make sure the plunger is well lubricated (vaseline/petroleum jelly is a good choice) and all O-rings are in good shape.
  • Also make sure you use good tinder material (large surface, easy to ignite – our char chord is perfect). It may help to split up the tinder material a little, so that individual fibres stick out.
  • The vent (the lower part of the cylinder) must be closed.
  • Once you have inserted the tinder material, it is very important that you apply the pressure to the plunger in a very short, swift and powerful movement (once or twice) and then immediately remove the plunger.
  • Read the manual carefully, especially the part explaining the use. A very reliable alternative method is shown here: https://youtu.be/sYyKXdifZOo.

Q: Where can I buy the Bushcraft Essentials products?

A: Many outdoor retailers carry our products. In the US you can buy our products from our distributor LoneCone, in Canada from Canadian Outdoor Equipment. 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 costs?

A: We charge a flat rate – 3,50 EUR no matter what you order or where you live.

Q: Which payment methods do you offer?

A: In order not to compete with our distributors and retailers we only offer a small range of payment methods. PayPal is the only payment method which is being offered for all countries.

Q: Can I pay per invoice or advance payment?

A: Unfortunately not. Please refer to the answer of this question: Which payment methods do you offer? If you wish to pay per invoice or 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 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:

  • Charities & NGO’s:
    Please send us a letter with the official letterhead of your organisation, giving details of your project and specifying what kind of support you need. We will then decide whether to provide products, special discounts or to support your project in any other way.

  • Test products, Bloggers & Reviewers:
    We are getting many requests every day for free test products. Please understand that we cannot answer each request and that we cannot send out free products in every case. We can only answer requests with a link to a website, YouTube channel or Facebook page and only with a certain amount of subscribers/followers/views etc. Please understand that we are not interested in unboxing videos or fake Amazon reviews.

Q: Do you have a physical store?

A: No, we don’t. Our products are mostly being 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.

Q: Can I track my order?

A: After shipping your order, we always send you a shipping confirmation email. In most cases the confirmation email contains a tracking number (just very few shipments will not be trackable).

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 packet has entered your country. Until then you can use this link:

German Post: https://www.deutschepost.de/sendung/simpleQuery.html?locale=en_GB

Q: Why is my tracking number not working?

A: It takes a few hours or even some days 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 seriously 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 just by long distance. Please use the tracking (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 plus some bureaucracy – 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.