Review: Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove

It is no secret that I love gear, so when I came across this Uberleben Stoker flatpack stove I knew I had to give it a try. I already own a Solostove Lite which I love. In my opinion you can’t have too many twig stoves.

This afternoon I headed to my local State Park to get it’s fire burning and have some food. Conditions out on the trail aren’t always perfect and today’s weather I feel was a good representative of that. The temperature a balmy 38 degrees in addition to 15-17MPH winds and snow flurries thrown in for good measure. It has been very damp and wet here lately so in order to get the fire going I decided to bring some dryer lint and two small pieces of fat wood and in no time the belly of this beast had come alive.

I filled my pot with 12 ounces of cold water and placed it on top. I continued to feed the fire a steady diet of leaves, twigs and sticks. The one thing I have noticed with these twigs stoves is they are constantly hungry. In these conditions it took 15 minutes for the 12 ounces of water to boil which I felt was reasonable. On a warm day with light wind I’m confident boiling time would be around 8-9 minutes.

I poured the water into a Goodto-Go single serve dehydrated meal (Chicken Gumbo) stirred and sealed and let rehydrate for 15 minutes. I put another 12 ounces of water back into my pot in order to boil for coffee.

The Stove: A little on the heavy side (14.5 ounces with canvas sleeve), this extremely compact and simple 5 panel stove assembles in about a minute or so. The first time I put it together it felt a little clumsy to me and I was skeptical that it would be as sturdy as I have read. All the pieces fit snug together giving it a solid base. This stove is made from heavy duty 304 grade stainless steel which is anti-corrosive.  After I had it assembled I truly liked its feel, solid as a tank. You will have no issue what so ever placing a heavy cast iron skillet or pot on this stove. Another great feature about this product was the large opening to feed the fire and the nicely placed holes for consistent airflow.

What I Liked:

Ease of assembly, compact, large opening to feed the fire, Sturdiness, airflow and lastly the price.

What I Didn’t Like:

A little heavier than I would like and extremely sooty during disassembly.

I believe that the positives outweigh the negatives and highly recommend this compact, affordable twig stove. I hope this review of the Uberleben Stoker Flatpack Stove was helpful and if you have a product that you would like me to review please feel free to contact me.

Cheers!

Compact & flat the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove comes in this nice canvas sleeve. ©Joe Geronimo
All the parts of the very compact easy to assemble Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove. © Joe Geronimo
Completely assembled the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove is extremely sturdy. ©Joe Geronimo

 

The belly of the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove is alive with fire. ©Joe Geronimo

 

12 ounces of water working itself to a boil atop of the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove. ©Joe Geronimo

 

15 minutes later we have boiling water atop of the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove. ©Joe Geronimo

 

Goodto-Go chicken gumbo and a hot cup of coffee on cold and windy winter afternoon. ©Joe Geronimo
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Life in Boxes:

I began shooting slide film around 1990 but most of the images I made at this point were mostly captured on print film, something I regret. I didn’t really begin to convert solely to slide film until early 1992 and have been shooting it ever since. I’ll admit that in 2005 I was intrigued by the digital camera and purchased my first DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera. I enjoyed it and made some great images with it as well. I loved the instant gratification of viewing the picture immediately. I also liked the fact that outside the camera and flash card there was no additional cost of film purchase and processing. I vowed to never shoot another roll of film again.

That vow would only last about 6 months before I found myself lacking in something I craved the most. A tangible asset. I would go on to own more DSLR camera bodies as well as film bodies. I spent several years arguing the film vs. digital argument only to realize that it all boils down to preference and what your goals are. There is room in my camera bag for both film and digital.

Our world moves at the speed of now and that is why I carry a DSLR with me most of the time. News happens at a moments notice!

A passion of mine is to preserve history and I choose to do my preservation through photography. No matter the subject matter or the camera you use every click of the shutter captures a moment in time, a piece of our history and for me that is most important. Over the past 24 years I have been documenting my career mostly on film but I do have several hundred images made with a digital camera. I have also been documenting our family as well which is 90% slide film and 10% digital. Without an actual physical count I’d have to estimate my family slide collection hovers somewhere near 8,000 images of which only half have been filed. I just received another 216 slides the other day from the holidays.

Another reason I still shoot slide film is because of monetary value. Collectors want originals. I’ve sold older slides from my collection on Ebay for some serious amounts of money. As a matter of fact I know people who do it for a living. They buy slide collections and break them up. This is both sad and fascinating as well. I’ve slowly been acquiring slides that I hope to flip in the near future but only time will tell.

Since Kodak has exited the slide film market entirely there are only several choices left in which to buy it. Agfa Photo has recently restarted its slide film business and I’m glad because I love the stuff compared to Fuji’s. Its comes done to personal choice. Also Kodak does not process film anymore and most film (Print) is either processed in house at local photo labs or stores like Walmart or CVS. Slide film processing is only done at a handful of locations around the United States with the most popular being Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas.

Although those yellow Kodak boxes of joy that came in the mail are no longer I still get excited for those Red, White & Blue boxes from Dwayne’s!

Cheers!!!!!!

Twas the night before Christmas. Agfa CT Precisa 100, ©Joe Geronimo 2015.
Twas the night before Christmas. Agfa CT Precisa 100, ©Joe Geronimo 2015.
Agfa CT Precis 100 Slide Film.
Agfa CT Precis 100 Slide Film.
I just received 6 boxes of slides from Dwayne's Photo shot over the Christmas holiday. ©Joe Geronimo
I just received 6 boxes of slides from Dwayne’s Photo I shot over the Christmas holiday. ©Joe Geronimo

 

Postcard of the Week:

Vintage Santa Fe Railway map postcard.
Vintage Santa Fe Railway map postcard.

This weeks “Postcard of the Week” is a vintage linen Santa Fe Railway “Map” postcard which was mailed on September 8th 1944 in Gallup, New Mexico. It appears that “Bob” is in the United States Navy and there was no charge for postage. Here are some Wikipedia facts from September 1944.

September 1944

1: Canadian troops capture Dieppe, France.
2: Allied troops enter Belgium.
3: Brussels is liberated by the British Second Army.
Lyon is liberated by French and American troops.
4: A cease fire takes effect between Finland and the USSR.[1][2][17]
Operation Outward ends.
5: Antwerp is liberated by British 11th Armoured Division and local resistance.
: The uprising in Warsaw continues; Red Army forces are available for relief and reinforcement, but are apparently unable to move without Stalin’s order.
United States III Corps arrives in European Theater.
: The BelgianDutch and Luxembourgish governments in exile sign the London Customs Convention, laying the foundations for the Benelux economic union.
6: The “blackout” is diminished to a “dim-out” as threat of invasion and further bombing seems an unlikely possibility.
Ghent and Liège are liberated by British troops.
8: Ostend is liberated by Canadian troops.
: Soviet troops enter Bulgaria.[2]
: The Belgian government in exile returns to Belgium from London where it has spent the war.
9: The first V-2 rocket lands on London.
Charles de Gaulle forms the Provisional Government of the French Republic in France
: The Fatherland Front of Bulgaria overthrows the national government and declares war on Germany.[1]
10: Luxembourg is liberated by U.S. First Army.
: Two Allied forces meet at Dijon, cutting France in half.
: First Allied troops enter Germany, entering Aachen, a city on the border.
: Dutch railway workers go on strike. The German response results in the Dutch famine of 1944.
11: United States XXI Corps arrives in European Theater.
12: The Second Quebec Conference (codenamed “Octagon”) begins: Roosevelt and Churchill discuss military cooperation in the Pacific and the future of Germany.[18]
13: American troops reach the Siegfried Line, the west wall of Germany’s defence system.

Waves of paratroops land in the Netherlands during Operation Market Garden in September 1944.

14: Soviet Baltic Offensive commences.
15: American Marines land on Peleliu in the Palau Islands; a bloody battle of attrition continues for two and a half months.
16: The Red Army enters Sofia, Bulgaria.
17: Operation Market Garden, the attempted liberation of Arnhem and turning of the German flank begins.
: British and commonwealth forces enter neutral San Marino and engage German forces in a small-scale conflictwhich ends Sept. 20.
18: Brest, France, an important Channel port, falls to the Allies.
: Jüri Uluots proclaims the Government of Estonia headed by Deputy Prime Minister Otto Tief.[19]
19: The Moscow Armistice is signed between the Soviet Union and Finland, bringing the Continuation War to a close.[2]
Nancy liberated by U.S. First Army
20: The Government of Estonia seizes the government buildings of Toompea from the German forces and appeals to the Soviet Union for the independence of Estonia.[19]
: United States XVI Corps arrives in European Theater.
21: British forces take Rimini, Italy.
: The Second Dumbarton Oaks Conference begins: it will set guidelines for the United Nations.
: In Belgium, Charles of Flanders is sworn in as Prince-Regent while a decision is delayed about whether King Leopold III can ever return to his functions after being accused of collaboration.[20]
San Marino declares war on the Axis
: The Government of Estonia prints a few hundred copies of the Riigi Teataja (State Gazette) and is forced to flee under Soviet pressure.[21]
22: The Red Army takes Tallinn, the first Baltic harbour outside the minefields of the Gulf of Finland.
: The Germans surrender at Boulogne.
23: Americans take Ulithi atoll in the Caroline Islands; it is a massive atoll that will later become an important naval base.
24: The Red Army is well into Poland at this time.
25: British troops pull out of Arnhem with the failure of Operation Market Garden. Over 6,000 paratroopers are captured. Hopes of an early end to the war are abandoned.
United States IX Corps arrives in Pacific Theater.
26: There are signs of civil war in Greece as the Communist-controlled National Liberation Front and the British-backed government seem irreconcilable.
30: The German garrison in Calais surrenders to Canadian troops. At one time, Hitler thought it would be the focus of the cross-Channel invasion.

Cha, Cha, Changes

In November I ran 135.50 miles, burned 22,000 calories and it only took me 18:27:41 to do it. This past month was my biggest running month of the calendar year. I’m extremely excited because over the course of this year I’ve been trying to cut back my mileage due to some piriformis problems I’ve been having and it has brought some success.

Recently I hired a running coach to help me become more disciplined in my running. I believe over the course of time my training has been somewhat helter skelter and lacking focus. Working with a coach I hope to gain consistency, strength and speed however long it may take. I do have some lofty futuristic goals!

I’ve been contemplating this idea for a while now but was a little hesitant at first. I was hesitant because in my mind I thought that it signaled failure and I have a really difficult time with that. Failure is not a word in my vocabulary. Having the opportunity to speak with several friends and aquaintences who are currently being coached I was able to get to the point of asking for help. Currently I am working with coach Harry Back of ESR Endurance Training. http://esofrunning.com

Yesterday was day one of a new adventure.

Cheers!

 

Gear Review: LL Bean “Ascent” Packaway Jacket

I’ve been an LL Bean fan and customer for years. As a matter of fact my life contains a vast majority of their clothing and gear. In my opinion LL Bean’s customer service is legendary, so when I needed a jacket for layering I turned to Bean. February here in New York has been extremely cold, with Jack Frost nipping at the noses of most in the Northeast. In retrospect a perfect environment to put my new remarkably light LL Bean “Ascent” Packaway jacket to the test.

The Jacket: 

This jacket boasts 60-gram remarkably light PrimaLoft One insulation. Ultralight ripstop nylon shell is treated to shed water and block wind. A highly compact alternative to fleece, packing into its own hand pocket.

Improved fit is trimmer through the body and upper arms with the ultralight ripstop nylon gliding easily under layers for a smooth fit that won’t restrict your motion. Shell resists wind and weather, has a drawcord hem and elasticized cuffs to seal in body heat, rated at -15 degrees.

Center back length, size L: 27″. Imported. Machine wash and dry.

Fit

Slightly fitted, best with lightweight layer, falling at hip. I wear a size large but decided to order an extra large for additional layering as I plan on using the jacket snowshoeing in the High Peak’s of New York’s Adirondack Park. Here weather conditions could change within minutes.

Test Dates:

Friday February 13th 2015 was sunny and cold with the temperature at 3 degrees and a wind chill of -13 degrees. With the wind at a moderate 11 mph I snowshoed around the local park for 3 miles averaging 2.9 mph. This particular park is open with no shelter what so ever. The jacket performed flawlessly. It did what it said, blocked the wind and kept me extremely warm, I was very impressed and extremely excited. I thought the jacket fit just right, I was unrestricted in my movements and after the first mile or so I had to slightly unzip it as I began to sweat a little.

Sunday February 15th 2015 was sunny and cold with the temperature at 0 degrees and a wind chill of -22 degrees. The wind was howling at 22 mph today and I went for a 5 mile snowshoe hike at a place called the “IBM Glen” where I averaged 3 mph. The first and last parts of my hike were .35 miles each across an open wind swept and snow drifting golf course. The wind was pushing at me so hard I had to use my poles to keep me upright. Again this jacket performed flawlessly! In truth I was utterly impressed because it was brutally cold out. Once in the woods I did receive some shelter from the wind. Like I said the jacket fit just right and I was unrestricted in my movements.

On both days I wore the exact same clothing to make sure this test was as accurate as possible. The layer closest to my body consisted of an Under Armour Cold Gear compression long sleeve shirt, followed by an LL Bean “Expedition Weight” base layer, topped with LL Bean’s linden green Ascent Packaway jacket.

Conclusion:

I truly love this jacket and its versatility. I felt very warm during the weather conditions on both days. I like the fitted style and feel of this jacket and I strongly believe it does what it says it does, blocks the wind and sheds water. This jacket is perfect for layering during the winter and can stand alone during the Spring and Fall months.

I have no affiliation with LL Bean or was I given this jacket. Just like you I am a consumer and I think I should get what I pay for. With that said I highly recommend this product.

If you are looking for a light weight versitile jacket look no further than LL Bean’s “Ascent” Packaway Jacket. http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/86465?feat=ascent-SR0&page=ascent-packaway-jacket

Sunday February 15th 2015.
Sunday February 15th 2015.