20th November 2017 | Words by Jack Hart @ WildBounds HQ
Like most truly great inventions, the first Bushbox was forged out of adversity. At the time of its creation, Detlev Hoppenrath was suffering from a debilitating illness and had taken to the outdoors for rehabilitation. Germany’s ancient woodland and alpine mountain ranges proved the perfect natural remedy to reinvigorating Hoppenrath, and hiking through these vast, wild spaces gave him pause to think.
With typical German perfectionism, he engineered the stove with unique hinges allowing it collapse completely flat for transit, while remaining brilliantly simple to erect and use.
As any true outdoorsman knows, both an open fire and cooking outdoors are some of life’s simplest but most enduring pleasures — they act as catalysts for great conversation and shared experiences, and provide comfort in wild places. Hoppenrath’s moment of genius was to fuse the two together in the form of a revolutionary camping stove in which you build an open fire, inspired by so called ’hobo stoves’ — homemade survivalist stoves crafted from a tin can. Not only would his adaptation of these simplistic burners be far more efficient, they’d also be safer, neatly circumnavigating the tight regulations placed on open fires in Germany’s National Parks and wild spaces.
Hoppenrath created the first Bushbox using interlocking sheets of metal which can house either a trangia burner or flames fuelled by twigs and other organic camp debris. With typical German perfectionism, he engineered the stove with unique hinges allowing it collapse completely flat for transit, while remaining brilliantly simple to erect and use. The end result is a product — flanked by adapted iterations — that has attracted a cult following across Europe and America, and for good reason.
Bushcraft Essentials aren’t resting on their laurels, either. Not only have they created varying sizes of the Bushbox to suit all outdoorsmen — from lone survivalists to community gatherings — their latest titanium constructions cut down the carrying weight to an impressive 300g. Each stove is manufactured in Germany according to the highest quality assurance standards, with a range of accessories available too.
As well as being ludicrously simple to construct, the Bushbox is highly efficient as a stove and satisfies that primal urge to make fire from scratch — to tend the flames and use that elemental force for cooking. Once you’ve made a cuppa on an open fire — twigs crackling in the flames while the tea brews — you’ll never look back. And you’ll be in good company.