REVIEW: GANESHA WOOD BURNING TRAIL STOVE
Updated: Jul 31
Ganesha stove. 700 ml pot on lower level. Top holds larger pots of any size. Note clean burn- barely any smoke.
Every once in a very long while, a new camping product appears which is intelligently designed and honestly useful. The Ganesha wood burning trail stove, which will be released this fall, is one of them.
When I unpacked the stove, I was initially confused. It appeared to be two stoves in one. Aha, I thought, a big one for large groups, a little one for solo.* Cool! Wrong! I went onto the Ganesha website where I learned that the twin wall construction allows superheated air to flow to the top of the fire where it helps burn the smoke. The term for this is “gasifier.” Ganesha says the double wall makes fires easier to start, and to burn cleaner and hotter with less fuel. This is the only trail-sized wood burner I’ve seen with this feature.
My ”light up” tests confirm the “burns cleaner and hotter” part. And it seems the stove smokes less than other wood-fueled models I’ve used. As to making the fire easier to start, my jury is still out.
The table shows specifics. I received the titanium model for review. A stainless-steel model will also available.
I’M IMPRESSED. HERE’S WHY!
1. When you’re tired at the end of a long day, assembly/disassembly time counts. When I tested “Three Great Wood Burning Trail Stoves” (see my blog) the fastest to assemble/disassemble was the TREK stove, at just five seconds. The Ganesha equals that time. Assembly is almost instantaneous. Just set the stove upright and gently pull the sides apart (it may spring into position without help). Check to be sure the trapdoor bottom is all the way down. If not, a light push will anchor it. Align the rectangular top (it’s chained to the stove) and snap it in place. That’s it, you’re done. Total time - just seconds. Disassembly is equally fast: remove the top then push up the trapdoor bottom until it rests against the side of the stove, then, collapse the walls. Seconds again.
Two stoves in one? Nope; the little one (left) fits inside the big one (right). This produces the "gasifier" effect. The insert can be used alone as an ultra ultra go-light stove. It pops open instantly. Note the fire-resistant groundcloth on which the stove sits.
2. No black hands: Expect carbon-black hands when assembling/disassembling most wood burning trail stoves. Best wear gloves. But NOT with the Ganesha. After the stove has burned out and cooled, pull off the rectangular top (you can pop it free with a sliver of wood if you don’t want to touch it with your hands); push up the trapdoor base, crush the walls flat, and you’re done. Hooray! No black hands!
3. Hot ashes that drop through the base of wood burners (this one has air holes in the bottom) will kill vegetation and blacken the ground. Not so with Ganesha, because it comes with a fire-resistant, silicone-covered, fiberglass “ground cloth.” on which the stove sits while running. After the stove has burned out and cooled, pour the ashes on to the ground cloth. You can pour through the loading lip, pop the trap door bottom, or just turn the unit upside down. The cold ashes, which are now safe to bury or scatter, are contained on the ground cloth. Discard the ashes then fold up the stove (it folds flat in just one direction, so don't force it) and close the ground cloth around it (it snaps shut). Then, place inside the Tyvek envelope provided. Fast, neat, clean, efficient. I love it!
Ganesha flattened for travel and happily contained inside the fiberglass/silicone ground cloth. Tyvek envelope (provided) not shown.
Additional specs (comparative boil times, compatibility with alcohol burners etc. are
on the Ganesha website (ganeshacookstoveproject.com). There are also a few videos that show this stove in action.
BOTTOM LINE: Ganesha is one of the most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon and is the Supreme God in the Ganapatya sect. Easily identified by his “elephant head,” he is thought to bring good luck. Great name for a terrific stove!
*The small, interior stove unit can be used alone (go-light trekkers take note). Sans the outer unit, it’s ready to go in about three seconds.
Material: Titanium or stainless steel Packed Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 0.5 inches (25 x 17.5 x 1.3 cm) Assembled Dimensions: 5.25 x 5.25 x 6.8 inches (13.3 x 13.3 x 17.3 cm) Weight: 7.8 ounces (220 g) Fuel: Biomass (twigs, sticks, dung) Recommended Pot Size: 4.2 to 4.6 inches in diameter (10.7 - 11.7 cm). Small frying pans also work well. Boil Time (700 ml): 4 to 6 minutes Time to Fold/Unfold: < 30 seconds Country of Origin: Handmade in India Ground Cloth: Fire-resistant fiberglass, coated on both sides with silicone
Price: To be announced.
*My flagship book, CANOEING WILD RIVERS, 5th Edition, contains a wealth of advice on camping skills, as well as how to safely canoe difficult rivers. There's a complete dissertation on stoves.
My book CAMPING'S TOP SECRETS, 2022 revision, details practical camping tips and procedures that only the experts know. If you know just a few of these tricks, you'll be a hero to your friends! Lots of stove information here too.
*My teen book, JUSTIN CODY'S RACE TO SURVIVAL! mixes a fictional wilderness survival tale with practical outdoor tips everyone should know - a first for books of this type. Adults love it too!
My 90 minute video, THE FORGOTTEN SKILLS details the most important camping skills. If you can do them all you'll be a hero to your friends!