The CORE is a double walled, multi-function wood burning, wood gas stove. It's designed to inject superheated air into its own exhaust to re-burn it. This translates into more efficient use of fuel energy, less smoke, and less heavy black tar soot on your pot. It can be tweaked and tuned using integrated features, configuration modes and accessory parts to meet just about any use condition. It's tough, ultra light and stores flat in its included stuff sack.
The Core's dual wall design is comprised of two parts; the outer wall and inner plates called afterburners. The afterburners channel fresh air up from its lower intake ports and superheat it before directing it into its exhaust. This creates a wall of superheated air that will ignite and re-burn any unburned wood gas or smoke particulates that try to escape. The afterburners also act as insulators, recirculating heat that might normally escape out the side of the unit as radiation and directs it back up towards the cooking surface. No batteries or fans required and no moving parts or sensitive electronics that can break or wear out.
Its a complex little reactor that makes cooking in the outdoors easy and fun.
Since there is no single perfect setup for every fuel type or climate condition, the Core design allows you to tune it using integrated airflow management features and accessory parts to meet almost any fuel or weather condition. It can be run wide open to get a fire started and then closed down to make its core blazing hot, just like a full size wood stove.
The Core was designed for realistic cooking chores and it can be configured with either 3 or 4 sides to accommodate the solo hiker to cooking for the entire family. Depending how you configure it, it will support everything from small cups up to large dutch ovens without extra small parts.
Its also great at home as an extra burner for outdoor barbecues, grilling or for emergency cooking during power outages. Its even got an optional integrated heat shield that can be installed in the bottom so that it can be used on a picnic table without scorching it or used on the top as a griddle to keep soot off your pan! It can completely shield a fire from wind and pouring rain and every piece has a hole in it so that they can be clipped to a carabiner.
Optional parts are also available such as an integrated grill, solid fuel tab support or solid burn plates that helps build heat in the core and contain coals without the heat shield.
The CORE is practically indestructible so it has a lifetime guarantee. If a part ever breaks under normal use conditions, I will replace the broken part for free. If you ever lose or damage a part, you don't have go out and buy a whole new unit because each part will be available online at a reasonable price.
The Core has many modes and can be configured to meet just about any use condition so if you're interested in the granular details, read on:
This is where the CORE separates itself from any other ultralight stove.
The addition of a Top Lit Up Draft (TLUD) plate, installed above the afterburners, increases the units efficiency by initially trapping heat inside the reaction chamber by slowing down the exhaust, more thoroughly mixing it with super-heated air and then focusing the heat and flame right into the center of the cooking surface. It basically turns it into a little blast furnace.
The TLUD plate allows the unit to burn hotter and cleaner and perform smokeless, extended length, high temperature, burns that can exceed one hour per fill. It will incinerate thick and even slightly damp fuel. In this mode the Core will burn its fuel to dust and you will be amazed at how how much heat can be generated by such a small stove.
The TLUD feature turns the CORE into a no smoke, no stoke, nature powered gas burner.
The ideal spot for the cooking surface is in the hottest part of the flame which is near the upper 1/3rd of the flame where the fuel has fully completed the combustion process and where the most heat is available. If you've ever used a non after-burning stove, you may have discovered that they usually position the cooking surface too low in the combustion process which allows unburned resins in the smoke to condense into a thick black tar on your pot. One of the best features of the TLUD plate is that it forces the completion of the combustion process earlier than other, non after-burning stoves allowing the cooking surface to be closer to the flame. The Cores' pot supports also protect the flame and keep the heat under the cooking surface unlike other afterburning stoves that allow the heat to waft away in the slightest breeze and are nearly impossible to cook with in windy weather.
TLUD mode is perfect for extended cooking times when cooking for friends and family or when you need a consistently hot fire but don't want to have to keep messing with it. At home the Core is a practical, and realistically sized back up burner for power outages or emergencies. Just fill it with wood pellets (or whatever fuel you can find) for a smokeless burn that can last over an hour. Much more efficient and clean than trying to cook on an open fire or barbecue.
The TLUD plate is also designed to support a Trangia or Esbit alcohol stove at the optimum distance from your cooking surface. So if you can't get your hands on any dry wood, you can always use your alcohol stove as a backup and still be able to easily and completely shield the flame from the elements.
The Trangia, Esbit and Evernew alcohol stoves work with three sides fitting into the afterburner slots or exhaust ports, held firmly in position by spring tension.
An optional ultralight fuel tab support places the fuel tab at just the right height below the cooking surface by using a couple small strips from a soda can to cradle the tab and completely block it from the weather.
The Rocket Port is an optional module designed to increase the performance of the unit by increasing its draft length. The rocket port sucks heat and flames from fuel burning near or outside the fuel port opening that would normally escape, into the burn chamber and directs it towards the cooking surface. The port can also help keep your pot handles cool, keep rain or snow off your fuel and even dry damp fuel as its slowly fed into the unit.
The sides of the rocket port also have holes in them to accept heavy wire or stakes to create a fuel platform allowing air to draft under the fuel.
Some people like a larger stove because they're generally easier to keep a fire going in and generate more heat for group cooking chores. Others prefer to have smaller lighter weight stoves for ultralight camping or single person use. The Core was designed to meet both needs so you only need one stove. Just pack the parts you need and leave the rest at home.
Core 4 Stainless Steel:
Core 3 Stainless Steel
Titanium Core 3 Stove Ultralight - 4.1oz
- One front panel, two side panels, perforated burn plate
- w/Door 4.4oz
Titanium Core 4 Stove Ultralight - 6.3 oz
- One front panel, three side panels, perforated burn plate.
Titanium Core 4 Bio-Reactor - 8.7 oz
- One front panel, three side panels, perforated burn plate, three afterburners, TLUD plate
- w/Door - 8.9 oz
Titanium Core 4 Bio-Reactor Unlimited - 11.6 oz
- One front panel, three side panels, perforated square burn plate, three afterburners, TLUD plate, rocket port, bottom square heat shield/griddle.
- w/Standard Core grill - 12.4 oz
Sometimes you want to go ultralight yet not sacrifice the efficiency and reduced cooking times that a stove provides. The Core was designed so that it can be used with only its side panels and nothing else. Just assemble 3 or 4 side panels and place it over the top of a ground fire to create draft, control airflow, focus heat and provide a cooking platform. The flat bottom beams were designed to create a seal against the ground to resist ground fire creep yet allow air in at the lowest possible level.
Biochar is composed largely of carbon made from wood and recycled agricultural products. When mixed into garden soil, biochar works much like compost, promoting fertility by retaining minerals that help plants flourish. The carbon in compost lasts for only a few years, but biochar’s carbon remains in the soil for centuries, continuing to provide those beneficial nutrients to plants. By using biochar, regular composting and adding fertilizers is no longer a necessity. (and tomatoes love this stuff)
To configure the Core as a Biochar Reactor, set it up in the same configuration as TLUD mode except the idea is to only give the fire just enough oxygen to keep it going so it just bakes the fuel but does not completely burn it. To control amount of oxygen the fire gets, close off most of the air from entering the lower air intake ports by sliding a strip of tin or other metal into the port supports.
Then fill the fuel chamber with wood pellets or sticks and start a fire on the top of the stove. It will burn down a bit and then start cooking the wood instead of burning it. Eventually the flame will go out and all the wood in the fuel chamber will be cooked completely through into a black charcoal. Just extinguish any hot spots with a little water so it doesn't smolder and the bio-char is ready to use.
To use the biochar, just integrate it into the soil around your flowers and vegetables and watch them take off.
Most twig stoves aren't easily tuned and many have limited or even only a single configuration that you slap together and hope works for you in whatever conditions you may be in at the time. The Core is different in that respect.
The Core is designed to be extremely strong but as lightweight as possible. To accomplish this the sides of the unit have an arc.
Just as a flat piece of paper is flimsy when stood on its edge but becomes amazingly rigid and strong when a crease is added, the arc in the side panels perform in the same fashion. Therefore the panels can be thinner and lighter while still maintaining amazing strength. Using spring hard stainless steel or titanium makes for a very weight efficient package while retaining the ability to spring flat for storage.
Its not a jack-stand but it isn't as heavy as one either. The CORE can easily support over 100 lbs so it has no problem holding up a full cast iron skillet or dutch oven.
The base of the Core is flat which provides lots of surface area at ground level to reduce the risk of the unit sinking into the dirt sideways on you at the worst possible moment. The base has a scalloped edge to both grip rough surfaces better and to rip through grass and debris to allow a good seal against the ground to stop fire from creeping out from under it.
An optional secondary heat shield plate can be installed into the lower air intake ports to protect surfaces from high temperatures which also helps the unit to sit on top of the snow.
The Core fits inside its storage bag which is 6x6 inches square and stows flat. Holes in each part allow them to be clipped on a carabiner.
Its storage bag, made from tough, waterproof pack cloth, comes with every unit to help keep residual soot and ash dust out of your pack. The seams on the bag can be sealed to create a wash station or to carry water.
One of the things that bugged me the most with earlier designs was to watch all of my heat and fire blow out the side of my stove from just a small breeze with no easy method to block it. I also wanted the ability to properly control airflow exiting the top of the unit like dampers do in full size wood stoves while still allowing plenty of oxygen in the bottom to prevent oxygen starvation and smoking.
The new design incorporates unique port features that allow them to be blocked with just a couple small strips of thin metal from a tin can.
Each upper exhaust port allows a strip of lightweight metal to be securely snapped in to block the port. This allows the combustion chamber as much fresh air as it needs without stalling combustion while at the same time compounding the heat generated within the burn chamber. Ridges on the top beams facilitate continuous airflow by allowing a small amount of exhaust out even when all upper ports are blocked and a pot is on the unit.
Each lower port has a center tab to support metal strips for simmering or blocking wind.
The slot above the fuel port accepts a simple door which you can get online or just make from sheet metal or a tin can.
The Core grill locks into the ridges in the top of the stove so that it doesn't move around while you mess with your food. There are a few standard grill designs to choose from. You will be able to select the one you like most in a survey when the project ends.
Why have a grill that's just a grill? The optional SHTF grill is 6x6 inches, made from spring hardened stainless steel or titanium and has parts that you can break out in an emergency. It stays locked in place when in use and will cook your food just as good as any single purpose grill. Clean up is simple, just leave baked on food as bait! It also fits inside the Core stuff sack.