There are a few things that I look at as gadgets. Some are trinkets or “nice to have,” while others play an important role in my need for survival gear. The I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency) Stove from lockedandstocked.com is one of those that play an important role.
I approached lockedandstocked.com about doing a gear review because I had to see this type of tool in action. Notice I said tool. This is not just a stove but it really is an 8-in-1 survival tool. Trust me, I tried all 8 tools and was very pleased at the strength of the stainless steel plate, as well as how well they handled the pressures I put on them.
What are the 8 tools:
- Wood Stove
- Bottle Opener
- Can Opener
- Wing Nut Wrench (say that five times fast)
I started out by observing the packaging. I do this because I want to know how the manufacturer sees their product. This has become a little more about the manufacturer’s care of the item rather than how appealing it is. It shipped in a printed cardboard envelope and had three words that made me smile: Made in USA. YES!
Within the cardboard sleeve there was a ziptop plastic package that contained all of the parts to the stove, yes, you do have to assemble it but that is half the point. Do you want to carry a tissue box size piece of stainless steel around in your pack? No. It folds flat. This packaging works well for storage of the I.C.E. Stove as well as you will see later.
After trying the tools out, assembly took me approximately 30 seconds. Yes, it is that easy, not to mention it does come with instructions and labels on each piece.
I liked how the stove sits very flat even when I tried to place it on an uneven surface. The slots on the sides make it adjustable whether the manufacturer thought of that or not.
Starting the fire might have been a little more difficult but I had great tools for that as well. I placed a small twig tinder bundle in the opening and struck my fire starter into my bird nest tinder and placed it inside the stove as well. The openings in the side panels were enough to ensure proper air flow.
Before I get into testing of each tool, I want to share the test results of the stove itself, because no matter how well the tools perform, if the stove sucks, it is all for nothing.
I place a cup with 12oz of water in it over some wet green twigs about 1″ diameter each. The goal was to have the water hot enough to burn before the twigs burnt in two.
The Stove results:
- 2 minutes 30 seconds – HOT water
- 5 minutes – boiling water
- 6 minutes – twigs burnt in two
- 7 minutes – rolling boil with cup on an angle
The degree of hotness may be subject to one’s own opinion, but it was hot enough to cook ramen should you desire to do so. Me, I would have made coffee.
A word of note: Be prepared to feed the fire. This is not one that burns big logs so you can walk off and it still be burning. It is designed to stay hot while using smaller fuel. I see this as an asset since it is easier to find smaller pieces of wood, either on the ground or snapped off of dead tree branches. It will also burn green wood really well once you have your fire started.
The Tools results:
- Saw – while it did really well for cutting a fairly sizeable piece of wood, I would prefer smaller teeth for ease of starting a cut and not ripping a pack should I carry it without plastic or cardboard sleeve. This sleeve was the benefit of the packaging.
- Ruler – it is a ruler, nothing fantastic but a nice to have and I measured my twigs with it. I would use it to measure depths as well.
- Wrench – for a standard SAE nut up to 7/16″ this was solid and did not bend under pressure of turning the nut and bolt. Good grip.
- Wing Nut Wrench – while I did not have any wing nuts, it was made in the same fashion as the wrench and I simulated it with a small piece of metal I had. Good grip.
- Screw Driver – can be used for both regular and philips head. Great job even on tight screws. I might want a little longer head to set deeper in screws but it worked great.
- Can Opener – while it is no John Wayne, it certainly ripped open the can. It was easy to use and had a good grip on the lip for easy opening of water chestnuts.
- Bottle Opener – all I can say is after working this tool to my limits and it not giving up, the beer opened by it was well worth it.
I would recommend this to anyone who is adding to their camping or survival gear. At $50, the I.C.E. Stove is worth the investment for a good solid piece of American made craftsmanship. Since performing the tests, I have added the stove to my survival gear and am debating on whether to either buy one for my camping pack or just move it over since I have a gas stove that I normally use for backpacking.
I could speak volumes on what a great product this is, but I urge you to go and buy one and check it out for yourself. You will be glad you did.
Use your instincts to survive