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Reviews > Cook and Food Storage Gear > Stoves > Past Primitive Pocket Stove > Test Report by Erin Marie Hedden

August 01, 2011



NAME: Erin M. Hedden
AGE: 33
LOCATION: Southeastern Colorado U.S.A.
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 153 lb (69.40 kg)

Backpacking Background: I have been backpacking since 4 years of age, taking long trips into the mountains with my family. I hike various terrains from mountains and plateaus to grasslands and prairies. My excursions can be a day hike with a light-weight waist pack, a loop trail taking up to 5 days on which I keep my pack as light-weight as possible, or an in-and-out trip for a night or two where my pack can be heavy. Slow and steady is my pace and I use a tent or a hammock depending on weather and terrain.



Manufacturer: Past Primitive
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: USD $24.99
Listed Weight of Stove: 0.75 oz (21 g)
Measured Weight of Stove: 0.89 oz (25 g)
Listed Dimensions of Stove: 1 x 2.7 in (25 x 69 mm)
Measured Dimensions of Stove: 1.57 x 2.76 in (40 x 70 mm)
Listed Carrying Case Weight: 1.4 oz (37 g)
Measured Carrying Case Weight: 1.5 oz (43 g)
Listed Dimensions of Carrying Case: 1 x 3.3 in (25 x 84 mm)
Measured Dimensions of Carrying Case: 1.1 x 3.3 in (28 x 84 mm)
Listed Priming Time: approximately 20 seconds
Measured Priming Time: Approximately 30 seconds
Listed Boiling Time: 1 pt (0.47 L) of water 5:35 minutes
Measured Boiling Time: 1 pt (0.47 L) of water 5:20 minutes
Listed Average Burn Time: 7:30 - 11:00 minutes for 1 fl oz (29.6 ml) of fuel
Measured Average Burn Time: 6:58 - 10:34 minutes for 1 fl oz (30. ml) of fuel
Listed Fuel Type: Alcohol (ethanol, methanol, or isopropyl at least 91% alcohol content)
Listed Fuel Capacity: 1 fl oz (29.6 ml)
Listed Fuel Efficient: 0.6 fl oz fuel per pt of water to boil (17.7 ml fuel per 0.47 L of water to boil)
Also Including: 10 ml (0.34 fl oz) syringe for fuel filling


IMAGE 1The Past Primitive Pocket Stove comes in a handsome gold and red case with an image of the stove on the center of the lid. The companies name is etched around the edge of the lid while the companies website is etched at the bottom edge of the lid. The case is made of a heavy duty metal and rather than having to pry the lid off, it unscrews.

After unscrewing the lid and opening the case the pocket stove itself is revealed and is packaged together with a pot ring, a thumb screw and a sheet of paper with the instructions and other information as its contents.

The pocket stove is obviously made from the bottom of a Pepsi can with a Ball canning jar lid attached to its base. The company promises that the stove is made from recycled materials and it is obvious they fulfilled that promise. I liked the inventiveness of the product with regards to the materials that were utilized in its construction.

The stove also came with a 10 ml syringe for easy filling.


The instructions that came included in the carrying case with the stove were easy to read and understand, clearly printed and compact enough to keep folded up inside of the case with the stove.


IMAGE 2Assembling the stove was simple since all there is to do is squeeze the pot lid together tightly enough to fit in the lip of the stove, fill it with 1 oz (30 ml) of alcohol as fuel, then close off the filling hole with the thumb screw that was included in the stoves case.

A little bit of fuel squirted around the bottom of the stove and lighting it with a lighter or match served to prime the stove itself. Priming took a total of 30 seconds until the flames took hold and the stove was ready to serve its purpose.

I found that the average boiling time was between 6:58 - 10:34 minutes for 1 fl oz (30. ml) of fuel used. The average boiling time for 1 pt (0.47 L) of water was measured to be at 5:20 minutes consistently.

It performed well in a light breeze and never was blown out and even in colder temperatures it had no problems functioning, it only took a few seconds longer for the priming process and that was the only measured difference in its function.


I have two separate overnight excursions planned as well as several day hikes on which I plan to put the Past Primitive Pocket Stove to the test by cooking meals, sterilizing some water as well as making some hot drinks with it. Once wild turkey season starts I will be spending long days out in the backcountry from before dawn until after dark.


IMAGE 3This is a simple yet effectively designed little stove that impressed me when it came to how easily it was to put together and operate. I also like the fact that it came in a very sturdy screw top case that actually held my weight when I stood on it, as was promised by the manufacturer website.



IMAGE 1Picketwire Canyon in Southeastern Colorado for an overnight hunting trip where the temperature was a chilly 27 F (-2 C). The night was calm and void of even the slightest of breezes when I used the Past Primitive Pocket Stove to make a late supper. The next day I used the stove to make lunch and the temperature was 58 F (14 C) and there was a slight breeze coming in out of the east.

IMAGE 2Ryans Pond where the temperature was 74 F (23 C) and there was a slight breeze coming in from out of the Northeast.

Lathrop State Park with winds gusting up to 34 mph (55 kmph) and the temperature was 58 F (14 C). The sky was cloudy and there was a short period of time when there was a bit of rain falling from the sky while the stove was in use.

Vogel Canyon during a rain storm where 3/4 of an inch (1.57 mm) of rain had accumulated and winds gusted to 38 mph (61 kmph) and the temperature was 62 F (17 C)


IMAGE 4The stove performed well and did not disappoint in the cold weather of early spring. With temperature dipping down to 27 F (-2 C) the stove took a little longer to prime, at a timed 48 seconds, and it also took a little longer to boil 1 pt (0.47 L) than the listed 5:35 minutes, or the previously measured 5:20 minutes. The cold weather retarded the boil time to 6:42 minutes, right as the 30 ml (1.01 fl oz) of alcohol fuel that the stove itself can hold, ran out. To continue to heat the water for a longer period of time in order to fully cook the ramen noodles I was preparing on this particular occasion, I had to wait for the thumb screw to cool down enough so that I could add another 10 ml (0.34 fl oz) of fuel to the stove and finish cooking my late supper.

During a recent rain storm in the canyons of Southeastern Colorado the Past Primitive Pocket Stove managed to boil some water for a late afternoon lunch in 5:38 minutes and did not get blown out when the winds kicked up and rain began to fall.

Overall during regular outings the stove performed consistently enough to call it reliable regardless of being dampened and wind blown. It was only blown out and had to be restarted on 3 separate occasions, all 3 occasions were during days when high winds were being experienced and I was unable to block the wind effectively. Otherwise, it performed well and I had no problems with the stove.


IMAGE 3Overall the Past Primitive Pocket Stove proved to be a very lightweight and functional stove.
I experienced no problems while using the stove to boil water for various hot beverages and meals.
I like the fact that it is lightweight, easy to assemble and disassemble as well as its efficiency for boiling water and heating up drinks.
The time needed to boil water does vary depending on the conditions it is used in, it proves to be slower at boiling water in colder temperature and even though alcohol stoves are usually quite sensitive to wind this one really did not seem to have too much of a problem with having its flames extinguished if a wind block of some sort is used. In my case I put it into depressions in rock or used natural windbreaks such as the roots of trees or rock formations.



On five different overnight trips to Holbrook Lake in Southeastern Colorado we made camp on the sandy shore and cooked our meals using the stove each night since there had been a fire ban in effect on each of my visits.

During two of the five nights that were spent at the lake there was a slight breeze blowing in off the water directly on the stove. On one of those nights the breeze was recorded at 12 mph.

Four of those five nights were spent under clear, starry skies and in dry conditions, however, on the final night there were some high clouds and the humidity was a factor. The relative humidity is not known but it was enough to stick to the exposed skin of my arms, legs and face.

The Past Primitive Pocket Stove was also used during a four night stay in the Snowmass Wilderness range where the Maroon Bells are located near Aspen, Colorado. During this trip it rained almost continually but there were a number of breaks in the storm where the sun actually managed to shine down for a few hours at a time. The sun was never out long enough to really dry anything out so everything was always damp, if it wasn't just dripping wet. Because of the drenching rain no dry tinder or firewood could be found. We all were relying on the stoves for every meal, for a quick warm up of fingers or toes, and even to serve as a means to dry out a pair of socks on one occasion after one of our party had fallen into the river that paralleled our campsite.


The Past Primitive Pocket Stove performed consistently well throughout the months and proved to be a great addition to my lightweight backpacking gear.

The only issue that did arise was one evening out at Holbrook Lake when there was a breeze blowing right in off of the water. The breeze was only recorded being 12 mph but because of the direction from which the wind was blowing into camp it was unobstructed and able to blow out the flames on the Past Primitive Pocket Stove four separate times until a windbreak could be fashioned from green branches off of a nearby cottonwood tree. Taking the green branches which were cut all the same length they were formed into a crude birds nest shape that would fit around the stove. The leaves were left on the branches and weaved in and out through the frame of the birds nest to further the amount of protection the flames would receive from the wind. Once it was completed it worked like a charm and I experienced no more problems while cooking dinner with the stove.

In the very wet conditions of the Snowmass Mountain range the stove was consistent in its priming time every evening when it was utilized for cooking dinner. The rain never hampered its ability to prime, burn or cook. In fact, the rain drops that had managed to land on the stove while I was switching out pots were quickly dispatched by the heat of the stove was putting off.


IMAGE 1Overall the Past Primitive Pocket Stove has shown that it is a very capable and dependable alcohol cook stove. It has been consistent in its priming time, its burn time and the time in which it is able to boil 1 pt (0.47 L) of water, which always ran between 5:23 and 5:35 minutes without much of a variation in that time whenever something as added to the water, such as tea, hot chocolate, coffee or even ramen noodles and its broth packet. The longest amount of time it took me to cook something was 13:54 minutes for 2 fairly thick slices of Spam in a mess kit frying pan.


I will continue to use the Past Primitive Pocket Stove as an addition to my lightweight kit that I carry with me on quick overnights. I find that it will produce the results that I need when heating up some hot drinks in colder weather, or a quick meal on the trail.

Thank you to BGT and to Past Primitive for allowing me to test the Past Primitive Pocket Stove.

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Cook and Food Storage Gear > Stoves > Past Primitive Pocket Stove > Test Report by Erin Marie Hedden

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