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Sometimes the simplest solution to a situation is the best. Carrying a stove and fuel — even a mini version — can be cumbersome, bulky, and heavy, and the prospects of starting a fire with a variety of tried-and-true methods is hampered by wind, rain, snow, or the lack of fuel. Coming to the rescue is this very lightweight, stainless steel stove stand and fuel system. Compact, the four machined sections of the stove break down easily and are stored in a flat vinyl pouch that measures only 4.7 x 4.3 x 0.3 inches. The pouch can also house six of the Esbit solid fuel tablets, and it is equipped with a belt loop (though we can’t see anyone actually carrying this on their belt).

When assembled, it provides a three-sided pot stand 3.5 inches tall that can handle any-sized pot larger than three inches in diameter. The tray fits securely in the three slits in each of the sides that gives the structure rigidity and has a rectangular divot that accommodates the Esbit solid fuel tablet. Without the tray, the stove can still be used as a wind break or with Esbit’s alcohol burner.

Compact and easy to assemble, the Esbit stove and pot stand is approximately 3.5 inches tall, and each side is 4.5 inches wide.

Broken down, it fits in the pouch that measures only 4.7 inches square. The pouch can also hold six of the Esbit solid fuel tablets.

One box contains 12 fuel tablets. The packaging is waterproof and serrated for easy separation.

One fuel tablet fits nicely in the slight divot of the tray. As it burns, it melts, so the divot contains the spreading liquids.

A smokeless flame fills the insides of the stove stand providing an even flame underneath the entire cup.

One fuel tablet was enough to boil one cup of water in under five minutes. The outdoor temperature was 65 degrees with a slight breeze.

Even though the temperature inside the stove stand topped out our temperature gauge, the corners of the stand remained cool. If you had to, it could be moved quickly.

The sides of the stand are nearly two inches higher than the fuel tray, so the flame is well protected from any wind.

Each fuel tablet provided a large flame that lasted about 10 minutes, even though it is advertised as lasting 12 minutes. Towards the end, there wasn’t enough of the tablet left to provide a decent flame.

A pack of solid fuel tablets come in a box of 12 and lasts approximately 10 minutes, providing a constant smokeless flame advertised at 1400 degrees (it topped out our digital thermometer). They were slightly difficult to start, however, but once ignited, were able to boil a cup of water in under five minutes.

MSRP: $29.95 (Stove) $8.49 (Fuel tablets)

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the February 2015 print issue of American Survival Guide.