October 26, 2021

Spotter Up

In Depth Tactical Solutions


I don’t know who came up with the idea first, but Spotter Up owes it to Chris over at Heavy Cover Inc. for pointing us to the Hot Ash Stove, and their amazing portable camping stove.  I say amazing, because the genius is in the simplicity of the design.  It’s actually called a rocket stove, and you can see why.  The “L” shaped design efficiently burns fuel in the base, while piping the heat and energy toward the cooking surface.

In this way it reminds me of an old Russian stove, known as “pechka” which used to be every working household in the olden days, and was highly effective for the same reasons.  But unlike pechka, Hot Ash Stove doesn’t need to heat the house, and is able to us a small design to accomplish big things.

The basic two piece assembly takes a couple of minutes to put together, and once you’ve done it, you can probably do it again in your sleep.  It’s amazingly easy, and just as reliable.  The stove is put together of a base and pipe sections.  The cooking surface sits atop of the pipe opening.  The main pieces basically lock together, and with an addition of a feeder tray and another base piece, are held by two wing nuts.

The top of the stove is completed with interlocking pieces which allow for a flat cooking surface.  The metal is light, yet strong 0.48 inch stainless steel for the main pieces, and 0.62 inch stainless steel for the interlocking cooking surface.  At about 3 pounds weight, the stove is amazingly light and packable.

Since it stores nicely inside itself, it fits nicely into a medium utility pouch, which can go inside, or mount on the outside of your ruck.  The Hot Ash Stove comes with its own carry bag, and a brown paper bag, which works nicely as a fire starter.

The genius of the design is also within the variety of its uses.  While the company understandably discourages wood pellets, just about every other type of organic fuel is awesomely fitting.  You can use anything available in nature, and personally I prefer those options over propane, or specialized fuel stoves.  The environments where I picture this being very effective can range from a family camping trip to mountains of Afghanistan.

Typically organic fuel sources are available after the commercial fuel has run out, not nearly as hazardous to transport, and leave no empty containers.  This makes Hot Ash a great primary, as well as a back-up stove.

I am a bit old-fashioned anyway, so to me cooking with organic fire is always the first choice.  I recommend carrying some kindling, which is obviously handy, but also very easy to pack with the stove.   Grab a handful of charcoal or lump coal with you.  Adding it to some wood keeps the stove hotter longer, or allows for lower temperatures and extended, more controllable cook times – depending on what you’re cooking.

As one of the enthusiasts behind Grunt’s BBQ and Easy Co, I am pretty partial to low and slow.  Our meat is smoked for most dishes, and the Hot Ash Stove even allows you to do this on the go.  Say you’ve speared that salmon on your next adventure, while wearing your Spotter Up Silkies.  You can fry it, bake it, or smoke it.  Just bring a set of disposable aluminum containers of appropriate size.  Put them together and make a large hole on the bottom.  Fit that over the pipe of the stove.

Make several smaller holes in the top part, place your cleaned fish inside, and regulate the temperature through the base.  You can even monitor the temperature as you control the wood intake, by placing a cooking thermometer through the top cover.  I truly enjoy the fact that you can do so much with this product.

On that note, I wasn’t going to do a video.  Hot Ash has several on their site, and YouTube is full of outstanding videos which show you the stove being used.  However stay tuned, because I can’t resist showing this awesome piece of kit in action.  Maybe in my mind I do picture this being used more across the deployment realm, but that’s only because we’re always looking for ways to make the suck better and so it can be embraced.

Hot Ash Stove is made in Georgia USA, and is currently on the company’s site for $119.  With free shipping in the US and high quality construction, lifetime guarantee and great customer service, the company truly lives up to its slogan “The Stove to Fuel a Lifetime.”   This is an easy to do hearth for your trip, which can be set up just about anywhere. You can find it on www.hotashstove.com or purchase it below.


I received this product as a courtesy from Hot Ash Stove so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

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