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Walking Equipment and Accessories

Savotta Happy and Grumpy Stove | Review

A friendly (or angry) stove that burns twigs to give you food, warmth and morale

Why We Chose It: Small packed size, simple design, lightweight, effective.

We’re constantly hearing about new fabric innovations, backpacks with all kinds of gizmos and so on, and don’t get us wrong, we like all that, but sometimes it’s the simple stuff that we all fight over here in Outdoors Magic towers. Simple stuff like this little ‘hobo stove’ by Savotta.

It’s a simple design but it’s done well, and Savotta have added a bit of their own style to it as well. What we’re obviously referring to are the ventilation holes which give you the option of having a jovial, friendly-looking stove, or one that has the face of a football fan who feels the referee has made a bad call. We haven’t known this Finnish brand long, but we’ve quickly realised that they like to make serious kit, but have a bit of fun with it as well – go and check out some of their ‘tough testing’ videos on Youtube.

“If Ikea made stoves, this would be what they’d look like.”

This is a wood burner, don’t expect it to manage any other types of fuel. You pile your sticks and leaves all inside, spark them up, let the air holes create some nice convection and then plonk your kettle or pot on top of the cross bars and wait.

If Ikea made stoves, this would be what they’d look like. In other words, it’s a flatpack. Completely disassembled and stowed into its little pouch, it’s about the size of that letter your bank sends you when they want you to sign up to a credit card account, and it’s not much smaller than a Boden catalogue. We appreciate that for a non-UK reader that last comparison might be a little too niche, so here are the actual dimensions of the packed away stove: height 15.5cm, width 14cm, depth 1cm. When it’s assembled – a process that’s quick and easy by the way – it measures 14cm in height, 14cm in width and 14cm in depth.

Add fuel via the mouths to avoid lifting the kettle off whilst boiling your brew. Photo: Chris Johnson
The Happy and Grump Stove are purchased separately. Photo: Chris Johnson

The weight is equally convenient, a mere 250g, so that’s ever so slightly lighter than a Solo Stove Lite (255g). And it’ll take a heavy load as well – the weight of an entire man with a four-foot long beard actually (evidence on the Savotta website). That’s all thanks to the neat, interlocking stainless steel panels which all slide into place nicely.

As is the case with all wood burners, you’re only going to want to use this when there’s been some dry weather or when you’ve brought your own dry fuel with you. In the usual British conditions, they’re not the most efficient option out there, but they’re the lightest, cheapest and, more importantly, the most fun.

Oh, and by the way, if you want something bigger, go and have a look at their Big Bad Stove.

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, Outdoors Magic Editor

“I’ve used this on a couple of occasions. The first time was on the edge of a Norwegian Fjord and the second time was on the edge of the M25 motorway in Essex. While each setting couldn’t be any more contrasting, the common theme was that this stove was a joy to use each time. On both occasions, there’d been dry weather for the duration of the day so finding fuel wasn’t a problem, and I found the stove very quick and easy to assemble. It didn’t take long to get going at all. It burns really well, and when you turn the face (quite literally) to the wind, it’s clear to see how well the ventilation works.

“I’ve had both the Happy Stove and Grumpy Stove both roaring alongside each other, swallowing up anything I feed into their mouths, and providing both a means of cooking and morale-boosting warmth. It’s really handy that you don’t have to lift your pot off it in order to feed the fire, and to me this gives this stove a big edge over the similar twig burners by Solo Stove.

“Bear in mind that despite the fire being lifted slightly off the ground, I found that the stove did still charr the earth underneath it. I guess that’s expected really. To avoid leaving a mark, perhaps try cutting away the turf before using the stove to then replace it afterwards.

“Packed down into the little pouch, this Savotta stove design is so light and convenient to carry on or with you. It’s the kind of thing, I’d be happy to carry in my pack on any trip, just in case I get the right weather and setting to use it. I could definitely see myself carrying this on my next kayaking adventure.”

All you need are small pile of twigs for enough fuel to boil a kettle. Photo: Chris Johnson

Trade Secrets

Jenni Valkeinen – Savotta Marketing Staff

“Happiest twig stove on the market! All the twig-stoves are handy because you don’t need to carry around gas or other similar fuels. The fuel for these stoves comes from the forest: twigs! Compared to an open fire the twig-stoves are much more fire safe and the flames have a windbreak. (Always use nonflammable surface when using twig-stoves). The stove offers good support for your cooking or coffeepot. With one “mouth full” you can easily boil a kettle full of water and you can add more twigs from the mouth opening without the need to lift the kettle out of the way.”

Savotta Happy and Grumpy Stove

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Selected for The Outdoor 100 2019/20

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