Editor's note: In an ongoing series, we ask Alaska outdoorsmen and women about their favorite, or most essential piece of gear. This week we asked Bjorn Olson, 42, a lifelong Alaskan born in an abandoned trappers cabin near the village of Mentasta. In his late teens, he discovered mountaineering and has since explored Alaska by kayak, fat-tire bike and packraft. The fat bike is his current favorite. Over the last dozen years, he's completed a number of original routes, including Cook Inlet to Bristol Bay, Anchorage to Kotzebue, and Nome to Kivalina to name a few. Current hometown: Homer.
What: I've used Titanium Goat WiFi collapsible wood stoves on winter expeditions inside a floor-less pyramid shelter. $320 for a medium stove weighing 1 pound, 6 ounces (without pipe); $240 for a small one weighing 9 ounces less.
What I like: Being self-sufficient and still remarkably comfortable on long winter bike expeditions is a novel concept. The collapsible, medium wood stove fits in a kit with room to spare and, with practice, only takes a few minutes to set up. Being able to dry out all clothing in the evening, and remove all moisture from sleeping bags and the shelter every morning, means an adventurer can spend more time in the wilderness without having to rely on charity and invitations to come indoors.
Issues or concerns: The potential for things to go really, really bad with a roaring hot stove in a nylon shelter — with synthetic gear spread about to dry — exists. Also, sparks coming out of the stovepipe are unavoidable and whatever shelter you use will eventually become speckled with little holes — a small price to pay when it is minus-30 outside.
Suggestions?: If you've got a piece of outdoor gear that you think we should feature, or you'd like to write about yourself, let us know at email@example.com.