Sierra Zip fan-assisted wood stove

Discussion in 'Other Brands' started by presscall, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Around for at least 45 years, many CCS North American members have used them - @Doc Mark has I know mentioned using them.

    Not so common in the UK, a sticker on the unused example I feature here tells me that it was sold in this country by Wild Stoves.

    Knowing the Sierra is still manufactured (website: HERE) I got in touch with Wild Stoves enquiring why the Sierra is no longer in their product lineup and was told
    Included with this example were Zip branded firelighting sticks and a spare fan and battery box/speed control. Not included were the stainless steel pot and lid often marketed with the stove, which fitted inside it.

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    A grill attachment was in the bundle however.

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    That attachment makes worse a tendency of the stove to topple. A titanium version is equipped with fold-out stabilising legs.

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    With cross-grate attachment added, described as a way of achieving simmer (even more so with the fan switched off). Additionally, it creates access to add fuel to the fire without needing to remove the pot.

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    Lacking an upper row of holes to create secondary combustion of wood gases.

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    The engine house, the two-speed fan unit.

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    The inventor of the Bushbuddy wood gasifier stove, Fritz Handel, said of the Zip stove:


    Graphics on the stove and on the box.

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    John
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
  2. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    @presscall , Morning, John,

    Excellent write-up on the Sierra Zip Ztove! And, as always, your delightful photographs, and comments are insightful and educational!! You are right in that I have several of these little wonders, including a rather large and very heavy one, called a Zmart Ztove, that was intended for use in Third World Countries, or, at least that's what I think I recall. In the instructions for the Zmart Ztove, which is a real beast of a woodburner, it states that the Ztove will boil one gallon of water in 14 minutes!! Most definitely NOT for backpacking, though!

    In use, I found these Ztoves effective, but very messy, and as mentioned in your report, you do have to pack along extra batteries, if you're going to be out and about for a while. One big mistake that I made, which is what really put me off of using these stoves for serious backpacking, is that I tried to burn pine cones in one of my Ztoves, and MAN, what a mess that made!! Baked-on sap in the stove, and all over the bottom of the cook pot, too!! HOLY MOLY!! The last "negative", for me, is that IF you are doing a high country backpack, there is little to no wood above timberline!! Thus, you have to pack along your own wood, which is antithetical to the entire reason for using Zip Ztoves!!

    Still, there is something neat and attractive about the Sierra Zip Ztove, and for casual use, they are rather fun, if somewhat sooty and messy at times. Thank you, as always, for yet another excellent report, with clear and detailed photos!! A joy to behold, my friend!! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Zdoc
     
  3. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    @Doc Mark
    Thanks for that essential user insight Mark.

    In respect of user tests, an early one appeared in THIS journal posted on CCS by Rob (Snowgoose).

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    Fred W. Hottenroth, President of the Zip stove company, then based in Los Alamitos, Ca. put up a spirited case for his product in a response in the journal’s Letters column, including an endorsement from a customer - Sourdough Jack Hale of the Backpacker’s Adventuring Club, Tarzana, Ca.

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    Of the genre, I expect a Biolite MkII will remain as a favourite user stove and the Zip stove will be assigned collector value as a pioneer of a fan-equipped forced draft wood stove.

    Finally, the paperwork that came with the stove and other components in the bundle.

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  4. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

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    Another outstanding thread. I have passed when I see a Zip Stove at the used gear store.
    I have a huge version by them. The Eagle. Seen here.
     
  5. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    @snwcmpr
    I saw that post of Dan’s on the Eagle, Ken when I was searching for CCS references to the Sierra (not many). A monster indeed!

    John
     
  6. DAVE GIBSON

    DAVE GIBSON Subscriber

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    I have two of these,the one with the wire running from the battery box
    is easer to control.i just used them on drive in camps or short hikes.
    I did a YouTube years ago about the problem with getting wood in while
    a pot was on top.i used a grate between two rocks and that left room
    to get sticks in.
    I see that there are several grates you can buy that give stand off.