If you fancy upping your camping game and adding a wood burning stove to your bell tent camping set up, the Winnerwell Nomad makes an excellent choice. Read on for our review
What is it?
Winnerwell Nomad 1G Wood Burning Cooker & Stove
Expect to pay: Around £329.99
- Ideal for Heating & Cooking in Compatible Tents, Recreational Shelters, and for General Outdoor Use
- Precision-crafted in 304 Stainless Steel that will never rust or corrode
- Door features an air-control damper and a glass window for fire management and ambience
- Level side shelves lend cooking versatility and double as a carry handle
- Highly portable-Nesting legs and shelves fold flat to the stove body
- Wide 4-leg design helps keep the stove stable on uneven surfaces
- Compatible with Large Size and 3.5″ Winnerwell Stove Accessories
- Fuel Type: Dry, seasoned wood only (not intended for coal burning)
What’s in the box?
- The stove body
- 5 Chimney Pipes
- 1 Spark Arrestor
- 1 Ash Scraper
What we thought
I did a lot of research before buying my stove, because I knew I wanted to cook on it. I had previously been using a small gas stove which is inconvenient in cold weather when the gas tends to stop working.
There is also the environmental impact of disposable gas canisters to consider. Whilst there is still an environmental footprint to a wood-burning stove there is a definitely more of a ‘back to nature’ feel to them which makes my inner hippy happy.
I watched a lot of YouTube videos and looked at all the possible accessories that were available. I eventually settled on a Winnerwell Nomad medium tent stove, not only is the stove a thing of beauty it also had cooking and water heating add ons available.
For the money (£329.99 on Amazon.co.uk at the time of writing) I think they could have thrown in a pipe cleaning brush and a carry bag as well, but these come as additional extras.
I have bought some add ons, a folding stove top oven, a water heater and a fireproof mat as well as the flashing kit to allow me to use it in my tent, a fire extinguisher and a carbon monoxide alarm. It all adds up but I figured I was only going to be buying it once and I may as well get exactly what I wanted rather than pay slightly less for something that didn’t quite meet my spec.
It’s pretty, oh man is it pretty but it is also incredibly well made. Fresh out of the box it was a beautiful high quality shiny stainless steel hat Winnerwell claim will never rust or corrode.
After it has had a couple of burns it changes to a softer heat burnished tone which is possibly even more attractive. It has fold-down side shelves that also act as a carry handle.
The thing about these that I really like is that they fold to be flat with the stove top so you can double your available cooking space and can move pans to the side to keep them warm. I also found that they also make a very handy drying rack for wet tea towels!
The water tank is an add on but in my opinion, is invaluable. Having a constant supply of boiling water when the stove is lit is a real luxury.
It sits on the top of the stove hugging the stove pipe which is the best place to put it for a quick boil but you can also move it down to the side of the stove to keep the water hot and free up more cooking space.
The one niggle I have with this is that the tap only lets out a slow trickle when you are trying to fill a washing up bowl it takes a bit of time and I would like a slightly better tap fitting. The water does stay hot for a long time after the last of the wood has been burnt and whilst it may not be hot enough for a cup of tea it is certainly hot enough for washing in even a couple of hours later.
It had been recommended to me that I buy kiln-dried hardwood for burning rather than the composite bricks you can get, these type of bricks can burn quite sooty and clog the chimney pipes. So armed with my kiln-dried birch I attempted my first adventure into cooking using a wood burner.
I started by baking some bread in the folding oven. The oven comes with a temperature gauge on the outside so you can see when it has reached the correct temperature.
Adding more wood will cool the fire down for a short period so I recommend popping the oven on to the top of the stove as soon as you light the fire and then you have the optimum length of time for cooking.
I also found a cheap stovetop thermometer on Amazon that helps you keep an eye on the burn temperature you are achieving when you aren’t using the oven, apparently, there is an optimum heat range and to go above or below that can cause your pipes to coke up more quickly.
Downsides of using a wood-burning stove for cooking are having to light it and wait for it to get hot rather than turning on the gas. Camping trips are supposed to be a slower pace and so this really does make you take your time and plan ahead, which might not be ideal if you need to feed kids in a hurry or have got back to your tent after a long days hike.
It also requires constant monitoring to make sure there is enough wood and once it has been lit I would feel very unsafe leaving it burning in my tent without being there to keep an eye on it.
You will also need to deal with high heat in the tent which of course for cold-weather camping is a bonus, your bell tent will be toasty warm, but may not be ideal on hot days. Let’s face it though, I live in the UK, we don’t get that many of those!
Something else to consider is that in high winds your chimney will be moved about by the billowing of your canvas, you’ll want to weight down your stove with a heavy pan for peace of mind or if it gets too bad you might not want to use your stove at all so that you can take the chimney down.
This then, of course, leaves a hole in your roof where your flashing kit is stiuated, but this can easily be remedied with an empty pop bottle, push it into the hole where the chimney should go to seal off the gap and stop rain or wind coming in.
Would I buy the same stove and accessories again? Yes, without a doubt. You might think you can manage without the water heater or the stove top oven and you probably can but why would you want to?
The Winnerwell Nomad certainly isn’t the cheapest stove out there, but compared to cheaper models it has a lot going for it, offering more practical features than cheaper stoves.
For serious campers, for families wanting the ability to oven-cook food when camping and of course for cold-weather camping, the Winnerwell Nomad makes an excellent investment.
DISCLOSURE | The featured product was privately purchased. We were not paid to write this review.
Where to next?
- CAMPING | Take Camping To The Next Level of Comfort With The Outbacker Firebox Tent Stove from Bell Tent Boutique
- CAMPING | Should I Buy A Canvas Bell Tent? The Ultimate Bell Tent Buying Guide
- NEWS | SoulPad Raises Bar With New Flame-Retardant Tent Fabric
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