We recently were given the chance to review the Stainless Steel ‘Trekker’ Kelly Kettle, an elegant version of the “Volcano” style of kettle. While it isn’t UL by any means it is well built, durable and works well. The only learning curve is mastering the art of a small fire – something that if you haven’t done before you can be a master of in a couple uses.
What is the advantage of these wood burning stoves over traditional camping stoves? The biggest is you always have fuel to use. You can burn almost anything in it – twigs, pine cones, dry animal dung (yeah, I know gross but it does work!). It is quick to get a fire going, even in nasty weather. And while the stove with all the accessories is heavy/bulky you are not carrying containers of denatured alcohol, HEET or bulky canisters of fuel which when empty you have to pack out. While on short trips (say a weekender) this might not pay, on a long trip or thru-hike it can.
Loaded with twigs:
Having said that there are a couple limitations – open fires must be allowed. Know your rules! Especially in areas with fire bans. Know that the fire pan under gets hot and you can leave scorching. Use the stove on a bare surface such as rock or dirt and make sure there is nothing nearby that will catch on fire. You will mar picnic tables in the same way you see alchy stove rings….. you can always bring a piece of light metal to put under for more protection.
- You can use many different pots on that support, but keep them small for stability.
The Kelly Kettle Trekker Stainless Steel kit combo is sold for $96.99 with everything below included.
Water capacity for Kelly Kettle: 0.57 Liter/19 ounces
Size: 10.6″ packed
Set up just shy of 13″ (with pot supports), 11″ without. (Kettle inserted atop of firebase)
Diameter of kettle: 5.5″
Also comes with stuff sack, stainless steel pot and lid, pot lifter, pot support system and fire grill.
Kettle w/ all accessories (kettle/firebase/pot set/pot lifter/pot support/grill): 2 lb. 6.3 ounces fully loaded.
For the accessories by themselves, broken down by weight, size and cost:
Pot set w/ Grill:
Pot size: 0.45 Liter/16 ounces
Kettle With Fire Base: 1 lb. 11.4 ounces
Pot Set (pot/lid/lifter/pot support): 9.4 ounces
Pot w/ lid: 5.3 ounces
Pot Lifter: 1.8
Grill: 1.3 ounces
Kettle: 1 lb. 6.7 ounces
Pot Support: 2.3 ounces
Firebase: 4.7 ounces
Time to boil water:
Well, that really depends on the user! Once you master the fire building it is a couple minutes – until you master it plan for 10 to 15 minutes, or better carry a tiny container of alcohol based hand sanitizer – a little dab will get nearly any fire going…..
And more on the boiling – while you boil about 19 ounces of water internally (in the kettle), if you have the pot supports with you, you can also boil more water on top. The stainless steel pot brings another 16 ounces (2 cups). So not only can you boil water for dinner, you have plenty for hot drinks. And on the adding of water to the kettle? Very easy to do, even when on top of the firebase. The pouring of the hot water is elegant as well – take the wood handle and the metal chain and tilt to pour, no spills.
There is something to be said for elegance – it can be worth the extra weight.
PS: That grill?
You can use it to cook over the hot coals after you have boiled your water….while it isn’t big it is fun. And hey, you can always roast marshmallows and wienies!
FTC Disclaimer: We received a review copy for potential review.