Wonderful winter weather we are having from crisp 40’s* to minus -01* . Sunshine to snow with the assorted everything in between tossed in just to keep me packing ten tons of layers and rain gear. 100 days to my first long tour of the season not that I am counting the 12 hours and 4 minutes before it becomes 99 days.
So stoves on past tours have ranged from tin can and charcoal to a nice whisperlite, I looked after I order my newest stove and counted four different stoves in my gear cabinet. Problem being none of these stoves have ever been trouble free. But those are stories for another time. This year I toured Greece without a stove, big mistake as anyone who knows me knows I run on 99% caffeine for the first four hours of my day. You know the triple shot Americano followed by a triple shot Americano just to take the edge off. So I really wanted a stove to make my morning coffee and maybe a bowl of my famous oatmeal.
I had been reading up on the Kelly Kettle stove after someone on the touring list had used/liked the concept. Here was a water jacketed stove that used paper, small twigs, pinecones and dried grass as fuel, combined the pot and stove in one slick unit. So I brought out my most recent stove, the pan I take to boil water in, the full fuel bottle and weighted them.
This 3 pint stainless steel Kelly Kettle stove actually weighted less then my stove kit. The full fuel bottle alone weighted a whopping 30 ozs. So I debated for a few months the old back and forth of pros and cons.. less weight – pro, bulky – con, no real fuel concerns – pro, limited to boiling water – con. So after a good look at the reviews I finally sent away for the 3 pint kettle in stainless steel. With shipping from Ireland it came to $100 US. And then a few weeks later…. It arrived. Larger then I had imagined though it did not feel heavy. Good workmanship was evident in all the details. I was impressed.
My first firing was with some dried grass, dry leaves and twigs smaller around then a normal pencil. Eureka I have flame shooting up and out the chimney within 2 minutes. Steam started pouring out the spout after 4 or so minutes with a good rapid boil soon following. They have devised a clever way to pour out the boiling water so you do not have to touch the kettle while it is hot. Using the handle and the attached chain I was pouring without spilling water into my French Press coffee maker. The first test was a real success. The small fire dies quickly and the base was ready to be packed away, it stores up inside the chimney part of the kettle. One small opps was when I picked up the base the wood on the porch was scorched from the heat of the base that was in direct contact. This was good to know as I will avoid using it on a surface that may burn for now on.
So as with any new item only time will tell if I made the right choice. But seeing the results of the first test I am leaning towards many happy cups of coffee.