Smith Rock Climbing and EcoZoom Camp Stove Cooking

A climbing trip to Smith Rock provided lots of heat in the Central Oregon desert. Not to be outdone, an EcoZoom Dura Lite brought its own heat to cook up some post-climbing burritos. Looking up at the first bolt is usually enough to get your heart pumping and palms sweating when climbing at Smith Rock in Central Oregon. This isn’t your local well-bolted crag full of clips along the way up each route. Smith Rock is known as the birthplace of American sport climbing and has more than 200 routes throughout the park, many of which have the first bolt placed well above the deck. Thankfully there are some exceptions to the nerve wracking old-school bolted lines, one of which is the classic 5.9 multi-pitch Voyage of the Cowdog.

View from top of Voyage of the Cowdog at Smith Rock

The view from the top of Voyage of the Cowdog at Smith Rock State Park

As we approached the base of the three-pitch sport climb, I quickly understood where the name for this climb came from. Looking up from the first bolt you can see a piece of rock jut out from the top of the wall, perfectly shaped in the form of an animal face, something that you might be able to characterize as a cowdog. Not sure what a cowdog is, but when you see it, you get it. The first pitch up the climb moved up thin but secure moves in the morning shade. Once this pitch was complete, the shade was gone and we were full on in the searing sun of the Eastern Oregon. The second pitch is nothing to write home about, it’s more of a traverse to the base of the third pitch which is where the real fun begins. The third pitch starts out face climbing the left side of an arête. Near the top the face climbing ends and you are forced out right on the arête, having to make a committing pull with a high foot. It’s not a hard move but the exposure adds a little spice to the climbing as you are all alone with a 500ft expanse to the park floor beneath you. After completing the climb and lowering back down, we spent the rest of the day fighting the heat in the park, climbing sun-soaked walls. Smith Rock rises out of the Central Oregon desert and can be known to cook those willing to take on the heat of the day in the summer. Temperatures regularly are in the mid-to-high 90’s during the peak of summer, which can feel even warmer due to the high-altitude of the area. At the end of the day, the sun had taken its toll and it was time to cook up some of our own heat for dinner on an EcoZoom Dura Lite.

Dura Lite Camping Stove

Cooking burritos for dinner while camping. Fuel was everywhere with dried wood and sticks abundant in the campground.

We brought the regular fixings for making burritos: Sausage, onion, bell pepper, beans, cheese, and tortillas. We started out by firing up the EcoZoom Dura Lite with some wood found around our campground. Given the arid nature of the area, finding fuel was no problem, it was everywhere! After lighting the stove, we chopped up the onion and peppers and started sautéing them. Once they were done we added the sausage and were even able to warm the tortillas over the pan. The EcoZoom Dura Lite rocket stove generated ample heat for cooking using the readily available wood found in the campground. Cleaning up was just as easy. We took the hot coals and buried them in the sand within the campground followed up with a little dowse of water we had on hand just to be safe. The EcoZoom Dura Lite make for a great camping stove based on how easy it is to use, the abundance of fuel that can be used to cook, and the amount of heat it can generate. Where are you taking your EcoZoom rocket stove? We want to hear from you! Send us your story and photos by emailing them to   About the Author: is an EcoZoom employee and likes to cook outdoors with his EcoZoom stove on camping trips or sunny days. You can email him directly at

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