Wednesday, December 5, 2018

what's for breakfast -- cook kit

Over the years I've had a number of cook kits. I've watched in awe of Andrew Skirka's Chili and Fritos. I've boiled water for coffee, reheated pasta for my kids, made breakfast and so on. One thing I've done is complained about people who go minimalist on their cook kit and I get particularly grumpy about people with aluminium pot covers. On the one hand I'm apologizing and the other I'm not. It's complicated.

I have many stoves. small word burning stove, isobutone stove, 4 different alcohol stoves and a fuel tab stove. They each have their own problems....

Wood/twig stove - these stoves are great and great fun. The challenge is always having or finding dry wood and a safe and permissible place to flame up.

isobutane - these stoves are simply easy. But depending where you are hiking you might not be able to locate fuel. In many ways they are specialized. Certain general camping fuels can be found but still rare. The worst offense is that this stove makes a ton of noise.

alcohol - this stuff is easy to access. But it can get expensive depending on the quantity you actually want to carry and whether you want to buy medical grade.

gel - easier to come by and slightly safer than alcohol but harder to start. Sparkers and fero rods do not work well and I almost spilled it once. Not easy to extinguish.

tab - it's easy to use but so many fails... need a lighter, not easy to extinguish, smells, wrapper trash.

Keep in mind that depending on the ambient temp and the amount of water the amount of fuel to accomplish the task will vary.

The first experiment with the new stove was gel. This stove is multi-fuel capable.


I was not able to light the gel with my sparker or large fero rod. I almost knocked it over. After lighting the gel with a lighter I tested the alcohol function with the sparker.


The lop on this pot is not fastened well. I guess I realized that at some point you have to stop babying your gear and use it like it was meant. As I was using the water to make some breakfast tea I saw the freshness cover for the new can of ground coffee.


Given the heavy gauge I decided to use it as a lid.


That got me to thinking... can I make this smaller? So I made it smaller.


I decided that I was only going to take what would fit in the bag. While I have other stoves this one is low profile, efficient with fuel, multimode, and if I wanted I could replace the blue windscreen with the complementary wood stove.

Notice I have a knife in the kit. That could be relocated to the med kit.

Lastly, while some sort of single wall metal is required to heat your booty trying to drink from it when it's hot is another. Ti is the worst of all so a kettle with a collapsible silicon cup might make more sense. Furthermore, depending on how long you're traveling cold or instant might be better anyway.

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