Thursday 9 October 2008

Just Can't Leave It Alone

I have exactly a week to go before the next trip in the Lakes and I just cannot wait. My last outing was the end of July on the Coniston circuit and I've racked up some new kit that is crying out to be tested.

Having sorted the 'expensive' items on my kit wish list I thought I'd have a break and just enjoy my new found lightness and forget about gear - at least for a while. Well, that didn't happen and I've been looking at my cookware. Baz Carter (off of Baz'z Backpacking Blog) recently documented his 'Cookware Evolution' and I think this has started a kind of mid-life crisis in my own cookware.

I have always been stupidly excited about making and using alcohol stoves, and in fact this is the area where I bought my first piece of lightweight kit. I now own various alcohol stoves from minibulldesign and my cooking pot has always been the Heineken mini-keg that works so well with most of Tinny's stoves. Its light at 60g (including a heat-proof binding of fibreglass wick) and with a pot cosy is a proven, efficient pot. Why then have I just aksed for a titanium pot weighing 110g for my Birthday?!!

My excuse that follows is somewhat indicative of my own evolution in backpacking philosphy, looking outside of the lightweight box if you will....

Whilst my Heineken pot is clearly lightweight, efficient and great value for money it poses a few niggly issues which can combine to become a little annoying. The first problem is when using a conventional gas canister stove where you can't store the gas canister inside the pot. No big deal but when everything else but the canister does fit inside its harder to store all the cookware in one dinky package. The other issue is cleaning where the concave base forms a hard to reach ring where food loves to get stuck!

I had a dilemma when choosing an alternative pot because I wanted lightweight and efficient but became seriously tempted by the Primus EtaPower pot with heat exchanger. At 295g including lid its not that light for a pot but would be efficient on gas and everything would stow inside it nicely. After days of pondering I have finally decided on the MytiMug from Alpkit as its the lightest/cheapest 750ml titanium pot I could find at 110g and £25. It's by no means perfect but it will now mean all my cookware fits in one compact place and will be easy to clean. Cookware karma restored.


Anonymous said...

Have a look at backpackinglight Bob's bags for pots. If you carry all your stuff in the pot, then get the pot dirty, you need somewhere to put all the stuff till you clean the pot, the bag is great for that. Also keeps the rest of your stuff like windshield and pot cosy together too.
Also, Tesco are selling Thermawrap (for pot cosies ) for £12.50 a roll at the moment.

Marcus said...

That's a good idea I hadn't thought of although generally I clean all my gear as soon as I've eaten - mother taught me well!

baz carter said...

It's a good habit to have. Nothing worse than trying to chisel dried food off the inside of your pot when you want a brew first thing in the morning!

I never clean the outside of the pots I used with alcohol stoves; no point you'll always be doing the washing up - use a pot bag as shuttleworth suggests.

Hm, must add one to the shopping list for when the Bush Buddy arrives..