Thursday, January 12, 2017

A neat and fast way to boil water with little fuel

I fire up the Kelly Kettle for some tea during my daily snowshoe with Cork

Flames shoot right out from the top just with a handful of bark and twigs

Nearly half a gallon of water boils in just five minutes
For years I have looked at Kelly Kettles in sporting goods stores and thought how clever they were. Now, thanks to a Christmas present, I'm getting to try the kettle out for myself.
The kettle is basically a double-walled chimney with a separate pan-like base. The chimney has a hole with a plug on the outside that allows you to pour in water. When you build a fire in the base pan the fire is sucked by convection up through the chimney and heats the water between the walls all around.
My kettle holds 1.6 liters of water (just about the same in U.S. quarts at 1.7) or nearly half a U.S. gallon.
Using a handful of birch bark and four sticks about the size of a pencil and as long as my forearm I can bring this water to a boil in five minutes.
You can also cook on top of the kettle but that requires accessories. I wonder how successful it would be to fry something on top of what basically is a blowtorch. You can also cook on the base pan, again with accessories. This is just tiny, however, and I would guess you would need to continuously lift your pan to add more sticks.
At any rate the ability to boil water in just a few minutes is really handy. If you were canoeing or hiking and had freeze-dried meals that just need to be combined with boiling water, this outfit could be just the ticket.
It burns any kind of small wood, like small branches and pine cones, even grass.  It not only works in the wind but works even faster. Just point the draft hole toward the wind and you have the equivalent of a bellows.
It would be a great way to purify water. You can boil up water in nothing flat, then pour this into a container to cool and use later.
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