Submitted by Eric Daniel
Since the dawn of time soldiers in the field have used fire for a variety of things; light, heat, cooking, the list goes on. Well, times have changed, and the Army has come to the conclusion that fire is nasty stuff, and the less soldiers see of it the better.
Rubbish. I happen to like hot food, hot coffee and hot water to shave and clean up with, and while the trioxane tabs are great in tactical environments, there are times where the situation will allow you to really set up shop. Enter the Optimus SVEA stove. Introduced in the late 1800s, this white gas stove is simply bombproof. It has a self-contained fuel tank, an on-off burner with a self cleaning needle, requires no pumping to prime the tank, and will run an hour on 1 tank of gas. Made of brass, the SVEA is heavier than more modern stoves, and it is white gas only (no kerosene, JP-8, DF-2 please) but it is a near indestructible stove, which is why it is currently my stove of choice for dismounted operations. Armed with a 1-liter top off fuel tank, the SVEA will keep me in hot water for over a week.