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Gear talk: the Fire Maple FMS-300T ‘Hornet’ gas stove

Fire Maple FMS-300T Wasp gas stove

An alternative to the popular BRS 3000-T canister top gas stove is the Fire Maple FMS-300T Hornet, also known as the Wasp. First released a decade ago, it isn’t the smallest option, it isn’t the lightest, nor is it the most efficient, but it is good.

Detail from instruction leaflet

Chinese manufacturer Zhejiang Deermaple Outdoor Products Co. Ltd. was established in 2003 and specialise in the manufacture of technical outdoor equipment. Products are exported mostly to the US, Europe and Asia. They filed an application for the Fire Maple trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office on 17 December 2017. This was awarded 27 October 2020 and Deer Maple now use the Fire Maple brand for many of their products including outdoor gear and lightweight camping stoves. They have a large R&D department and are equipped with a complete production line for camping stove and aluminium cookware. Many stoves you may know under different brand names were actually manufactured by Fire Maple. All their stoves have CE certification and the FMS-300T comes with a three year guarantee.

Fire Maple FMS-300T comes with a small drawstring baggie
Fire Maple FMS-300T comes with a small drawstring baggie

Following its release in 2012 the Fire Maple FMS-300T gas stove immediately began collecting awards for its design and performance. The FMS-300T (FMS stands for Fire Maple Stove) is tiny. At 43g it is heavier than the 25g BRS-3000T, but the construction of the Fire Maple stove is also an improvement on the lighter BRS offering. As purchased, the stove comes with a small 5g nylon drawstring baggie, an information leaflet (printed in English), all within a small card box. I never use the baggie, preferring to wrap the stove in a small square of microfibre cloth and store it inside a small pot with a small gas canister and mini Bic lighter. The stove is easy to purchase online and you can find a wide range of prices on eBay etc. Shop with care as this is not a £50 product.

43g Fire Maple FMS-300T Hornet compared with 25g BRS 3000T Hornet

The stove measures 85mm x 68.5mm unfolded and 37mm x 52mm when folded. These tiny stoves are about as small as it is actually possible to get. There is limited room between pot and gas canister and it is doubtful that anything smaller would be in any way practical. It will fit inside any size of pot or pan you use. Variously advertised as weighing either 43g or 45g, it comes in at 42.8g on my scales.

This stove has more than one designation. Having begun life as the ‘Wasp’, Fire Maple increasingly used the ‘Hornet’ name in their advertising for their FMS-300T, though they have also catalogue described it as their “Mini-Stove” model. Interestingly, Hornet has also been BRS’s name for their smallest stove, the BRS-3000T.

Fire Maple stove weighs 42.8g
Fire Maple FMS-300T weighs 42.8g

The FMS-300T is made from stainless steel, aluminium, copper and titanium alloy. The jet is brass but that doesn’t seem to get included in the manufacturers materials specification. I would have liked to have seen a threaded brass insert in the aluminium block where it attaches to a canisters Lindal valve, but there isn’t, so care needs to be taken when tightening down. The block is simple and no pressure regulator is included.

For a few years some users reported difficulties obtaining a gas tight join when attaching this stove to some makes of gas canister. That was a particular thread problem in the manufacturing stage and was promptly resolved when bought to the attention of Fire Maple. All stoves subsequently manufactured should exhibit no such issue.

Close up of sintered insert in inlet to .27 jet
The .27 jet on the FMS-300T has a sintered brass filter insert in the inlet. This is designed to trap any impurities, swarf, rust etc. before they can block the jet. Just one example of where slight improvements in design can almost imperceptibly improve a product.
Narrow flame pattern on the FMS-300T. Even here, in a sheltered garden, the very light breeze is causing the flame to drift
Even here, in a sheltered garden, the very light breeze is causing the flame to drift

The stove is pretty much typical of all lightweight canister top gas stoves. It is advertised as knocking out a reasonable but unremarkable 2600W / 8870 btu/hr. The gap between burner head and pot base is quite large at 20mm and it has a narrow flame pattern due to the small head size with a recirculating vortex-style flame that burns blue indicating a clean hot burn. There are lower CO emissions with this stove compared to many other small stoves, particularly when operating at anything less than full bore. The stove is limited to mostly boiling water rather than simmering food as the narrower flame spread is directed to the centre of a pot so lends itself to narrower pots, but not exclusively so. The modest 69mm overall height of the stove means that space between pot and canister is quite small to operate the wire control valve. However Three Points of the Compass has used this with a wide Evernew 900ml pan with little issue, though I wouldn’t like to attempt to operate the small wire control when wearing bulky gloves.

One occasional complaint about the BRS-3000T is that the narrow flame pattern on that stove has occasionally softened the thin pot supports, enabling them to flex under weight. This is not an issue with the FMS-300T, mostly due to the strengthened skeletonised pot supports. This is a loud stove with a roaring burn when on full. Noise decreases as the burn is turned down but it is never silent, until turned off.

The three pot supports fold close to the body alongside the folded wire valve control but they flop around annoyingly. Unlike the BRS, there is no indent to hold them open. When unfolded, the small wire valve control extends 28mm outward from the aluminium screw-on block. Flame control is smooth and progressive but fuel efficiency is not great. Fire Maple list it as 185g/hr. For this reason alone, the stove better suits day walks where a small gas canister is being carried. On longer multi-day hikes the greater efficiency of some other stoves will offset their greater weight after just a few days. In common with most of these small stoves, performance is woeful in any sort of breeze. A windscreen goes a long way to lessening gas use while improving performance. I am not showing water boil times as that type of stat has far too many variables. Suffice to say that this stove is reasonably quick at bring a pot of water to a boil if adequately protected from the wind.

The FMS-300T stove can enable the smallest of gas powered cook sets to be compiled. Not that you ever would, but the stove doesn't even need to be disconnected from the gas canister to fit inside a Toaks 750ml pot
The FMS-300T stove can enable the smallest of gas powered cook sets to be compiled. Not that you ever would, but the stove doesn’t even need to be disconnected from this 100 gas canister to fit inside a Toaks 750ml pot. Disconnected, it fits inside all of the smaller pots

The FMS-300T is a minimalist lightweight stove for boiling water and little more. A simmer is difficult to maintain as the flame will blow out fairly easily when turned right down. If you prefer a wider flame pattern to suit a wider pan or pot and the ability to simmer as well as simply boil water, there are alternative gas stoves that are still very light. Three Points of the Compass frequently uses the 67g Soto Windburner in its lightest Triflex configuration on longer backpacking trips. Fire Maple also produce the FMS-116T that has a wide burner head that is only 5g heavier than the FMS- 300T looked at here. I review the 48g Fire Maple FMS-116T ‘Heat Core’ canister top gas stove in a separate post. That stove is far better suited to wide base pots and pans than the Hornet. A listing of other lightweight Fire Maple stoves is included below, but there are, of course, many other backpacking stoves available from other manufacturers. That said, you may be purchasing a Fire Maple product after all.

Hot, narrow, directed flame on full
Hot, narrow, directed flame on full
If there is no wind and the burner is well protected, then a small flame can be achieved
If there is no wind and the burner is well protected then a small flame can be achieved

Fire Maple (or Deer Maple) are an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) so many of their products have appeared under other brand identifiers as well as their own. The FMS-300T is also sold as the Alpkit Kraku, Eifel Lithium, Robens Fire Midge, Pinguin Atom Titan and Olicamp Ion. These are all exactly the same stove with just variations in branding. If buying one of those versions, it is also possible that you might find differences in warranty so check the small print.

Alpkit Kraku
Alpkit Kraku
Olicamp Ion
Olicamp Ion
Robens Fire Midge
Robens Fire Midge

In conclusion

the FMS-300T Hornet gas stove is a well made product from a manufacturer with many years of experience in producing stoves. This particular stove has been on their catalogue for ten years now. In that time Fire Maple have sold tens of thousands of them and they remain a favourite for those looking for a truly lightweight small burner, specifically for heating water rather than cooking. In operation, the stove performance benefits greatly with protection from the wind and if treated with due care should perform faultlessly for many years. While not the cheapest, or the most efficient, or even lightest for that matter, the FMS-300T will fill a particular niche more than adequately.

Three Points of the Compass now occasionally uses the little FMS-300T stove shown here in conjunction with a Flat Cat adapter plate. This enables the stove to nest closely with a Sterno heat exchanger pot and makes a compact and fairly wind resistant cook kit. There is a closer look at this excellent lightweight and efficient system here.

Dismantled FMS-300T stove
Dismantled FMS-300T stove
FMS-300T converted for use with Sterno heat exchanger pot
FMS-300T converted for use with Sterno heat exchanger pot
Model numberNameTypeGenerator coil fitted?Primary materialsBTU  (Manufacturer specification)Weight
FMS-300THornet / Wasp / Mini StoveCanister topNoStainless steel / aluminium / copper / titanium2600W   8870 BTU/hr43g
FMS-116Canister topNoStainless steel3000W    10200 BTU/hr72g
FMS-116THeat CoreCanister topNoTitanium2820W    9620 BTU/hr48g
FMS-117TBlade – second generation

Remote canisterNoTitanium / aluminium / copper2800W    9560 BTU/hr106g (advertised as 98g)
FMS-118VolcanoRemote canisterGenerator coilStainless steel / copper / aluminium2800W    9560 BTU/hr155g (advertised as 146g)
FMS-117HBlade 2 -with improved valve connectorRemote canisterGenerator coilTitanium / aluminium / stainless steel2800W    9560 BTU/hr140g (advertised as 135g)
Fire Maple gas stoves particularly suited to the lightweight backpacker

Three Points of the Compass occasionally takes a glance at items of gear, including a handful of other stoves. Some fairly new, many now getting old. These reviews get added to as I get round to it. Links can be found here.

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