It’s always entertaining to leave Dave and the kids for half a day; I never know what I might return home to. Just recently I came back to find that Dave had invested in a pallet of fire bricks and was busy testing out designs for a rocket stove.
If you are not familiar with rocket stoves, the basic idea is to create a stove that uses small amounts of fuel, burns it very efficiently, and produces surprising amounts of usable heat. A handful of twigs in a suitably designed rocket stove can be used to fry an egg. (At least, in theory. So far we have not tested this on actual eggs.)
Why does Dave want to build one? I could say that it’s to replace our rock-shard-spitting fire pit, which it would, or to have on hand in case of Zombie Apocalypse. But I think it would be closer to the truth to say: Because it’s cool. Or, equally: Why wouldn’t someone want to build a rocket stove?!
Dave has experimented with a couple of variations so far. The coolest part to me is that Nathan has been interested enough in the process to build his own — first a small stove of his own design, and later he built his own version of Dave’s latest. He did an excellent job on it, and we even fired it up one night to roast marshmallows. I can’t vouch for an egg, but it fried marshmallows like a champ.