Our model for the trip will be to alternate morning tasks. Every other morning one of us will wake up two or so hours before the other, light the fire and begin melting snow for the day’s water – a casual but persistent chore. This will also help dissipate moisture from sleeping bags and frost from the tent. We plan to alternate evening chores as well. One night one person cuts wood while the other prepares dinner and drinks. Both tasks keep you warm but the alternating keeps us fresh and in the past this kind of chore swapping has proved to be good for overall moral.
We have yet to experience strong winds with this setup but from what we have gleaned from others the stove seems to still work fine. The stovepipe outlet is well above the shelter and we saw no sign of rogue cinders coming back to melt holes. That said, I have little doubt that after six weeks on the trail our shelter will be pretty or hole free.
I also experimented with a lightweight bow saw that I made from a commercial blade and three pieces of thin, flat aluminum. Although the saw performed well enough for this trial run, I have my doubts. There is currently not enough tension on the blade and it wants to bend. We may end up bringing small folding handsaws. The jury is still in deliberation on this topic.
We are planning to rely solely on the wood stove for our trip and not bring a fuel stove. We will however leave my trusty MSR Whisper-Lite with Hig to send to us if need be. I imagine some camps will be harder than others to harvest enough wood but on all past trips I have found that as you go, people are generous with trail information. As is the case with all trips – you never know until you go.