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#187433 - 11/04/09 03:26 PM Kettles - I keep thinking I should get one
dweste Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Three products aimed at the same audience. I am slightly leaning toward the Eydon but would like to hear from anyone with real world experience with any of these:





#187437 - 11/04/09 03:50 PM Re: Kettles - I keep thinking I should get one [Re: dweste]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1913
Loc: Washington, DC
I have the Thermette and Kelly Kettle but haven't used them so can't attest to which one functions better. They both certainly appear well-constructed and capable of doing the job they are advertised for. I recall reading that the Eydon is higher quality. And my extensive research advised that any of the three would be a great addition to my gear.

The principal difference between the Thermette and the Kelly may be which is easier to pour with less risk of being burned. The Thermette's handle is spartan and puts your knuckles at risk. The Kelly requires two hands to pour.

The Thermette was on backorder last spring so took longer to get here but that inventory situation may be resolved. Kelly's customer service was superb as they were responsive to e-mails.

The Kelly is in my teardrop trailer (which is in storage near the mountains) because the one I got is a bit more compact than the Thermette.

I got the Thermette because its copper and it has a history that appealed to me.

I ended up with two because my teardrop is near where we camp and I didn't want to lug a kettle back and forth from the city.

They are not compact.

As survival gear, any of these kettles seems like a wise investment. Gotta love a stove that will run on twigs or dung.

If my JetBoil weren't so efficient I'd have used the kettles by now.

Need to take the time to play with them.

#187442 - 11/04/09 04:08 PM Re: Kettles - I keep thinking I should get one [Re: NightHiker]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1913
Loc: Washington, DC
Originally Posted By: NightHiker
I know they have larger ones but for backpacking those would probably be a bit too bulky for my liking.

The Thermette would look hysterical carabinered to a backpack. It'd be like a section of copper stovepipe bobbing on your back.

Their serious utility is for long-term survival in remote places where wood and dung are all you can count on for fuel. Or worst-case urban survival scenarios in which propane and other modern fuels are scarce or unavailable.

They are a neat car camping curio. Not practical for cooking a meal for a family. My main interest with it is hot water for coffee or tea.

Every survivalist should have at least one.


#187446 - 11/04/09 04:24 PM Re: Kettles - I keep thinking I should get one [Re: NightHiker]
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: NightHiker
Really the only advantage I can see to the volcano style kettles is that it will bring water to a boil quickly if your cooking over an open flame...

Is this "volcano" design really considered faster boiling or more efficient than using a pot over an open fire? It seems like this design would be superior and make better use of a given amount of wood, but sometimes the theoretical doesn't live up to expectations in real use, so I wonder what folks really say about them.

#187447 - 11/04/09 04:30 PM Re: Kettles - I keep thinking I should get one [Re: Dagny]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2641
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I always look at the Kelly Kettles but never buy one. I'm skeptical of their versatility. Because the water is in the jacket on the outside of the chimney, it's not handy for cooking coffee or soup or stew.

I've seen several variations of the Sierra Stove, which uses natural fuel that's whipped up by a tiny fan. Seems more practical -- basically a campstove. I'd like to try one (or make one) someday.

My interim solution is one of those BBQ briquette starters (basically a steel chimney with a handle) that I bought for $5 on clearance from WallyWorld.

#187486 - 11/04/09 08:59 PM Re: Kettles - I keep thinking I should get one [Re: NightHiker]
scafool Offline

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
I had a Kelly Kettle.
It was very fast if all you wanted was to boil water for tea.

You can't cook in them because the spout is too small to put anything in or get anything out.
Using the bottom as a stove after boiling up a jug of water is only a mixed success.
I found out there is just not enough bottom contact with the stove top on a woodstove, the element on an electric stove or the ring of flame on a gas stove for it to work on any of them.
It only works with a little fire burning inside it.

For packing they are bulky with no way to balance that by stuffing them full of other items. That is not as much of a concern if you travel by boat or car but if you need to pack your gear on your back it matters a lot.
They are very easily dented, but that is just a secondary concern for me.
They are pretty expensive here too.

To recap:
They were designed to boil water for tea fast and efficiently with a small fire inside them. They are excellent at that, but they are a single use item. They are not even good to brew the tea in once you have the water boiled.
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

#187490 - 11/04/09 09:18 PM Re: Kettles - I keep thinking I should get one [Re: scafool]
oldsoldier Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 742
Loc: MA
If all you want to do is brew tea, I would think a Zip stove, or even a Esbit stove, would work fine-and, the cup you use to boil is at least more packable...I was going to get one a couple years ago, because EVERYONE on several outdoor forums I belong to raved about them-till I came to the same conclusion, that it is, essentially, a single use item, as scafool points out. I lean more towards carrying multiuse items where I can-a stove/pot combo should be able to cook food, not just boil water...I like to mix my meals in the pot, so that pretty much killed this for me. That, and it looks impossible to pack.
my adventures

#187494 - 11/04/09 10:00 PM Re: Kettles - I keep thinking I should get one [Re: oldsoldier]
comms Offline

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
I use a mainstream kettle with my white box stove. Perfect, it does 3C of water. I have never seen those kettles listed above. I have some bigger kettles for the house, that I can use on the stove or with my propane grills in a power outage.

When your off the grid, in house or backcountry, kettles are really great for hot water.
Don't just survive. Thrive.

#187499 - 11/04/09 10:57 PM Re: Kettles - I keep thinking I should get one [Re: comms]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
When your off the grid, in house or backcountry, kettles are really great for hot water.

The Primus tea kettle is also a classic design for use out it the wilderness, being lightweight and tough.


For long term use the Simplex No4 Copper Kettle is a classic and has the quick boil heat exchanger base for LPG stove use, which reduces fuel consumption and improves the boil time for domestic use.


I seem to remember seeing the Simplex kettle being used for Antarctic Expedition use back in the 1980s despite its weight.

The Thermette and Kelly Kettle would definitely be useful for those occasions when access to more conventional fuels is limited although there is nothing to stop any conventional kettles being used with a wood gasifier type stove.

Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (11/04/09 10:59 PM)

#187500 - 11/04/09 11:01 PM Re: Kettles - I keep thinking I should get one [Re: comms]
dweste Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Why I think about adding a kettle to my gear:

virtually unlimited fuel
virtually free fuel
fuel that can gathered rather than transported
efficient use of fuel
potential: not have to carry fuel bottles or cylinders, and spares, redundancy in any event

boiling purifies water directly and by generating steam for “stills”
water filtration will fail when its filters are used up or suffers mechanical breakdown
UV water sterilization system will fail when its batteries die
water treatment pills will run out
potential: not have to carry water filter system, spare filters, UV system, spare batteries, pills; redundancy in any event

much fresh, dried, and freeze-dried food and drink is “cooked” by just adding hot water
much cleaning and some wild-crafting is based on hot water
there isn't much other food that cannot be cooked on / in / around an open fire

I believe I can modify a kettle to securely carry water / tea / soup by adding a threaded cap
potential: not have to carry another water bottle

the “chimney” of a kettle can carry fire-starting gear and supplies
kettle setup inherently protects fire in harsh weather

Personal quirk: I usually carry a wide-mouth vacuum bottle or multiple layered freezer bags wrapped in some insulation used to carry slow-cooking food in liquid as I hike or journey to avoid having to sit around waiting at my next stop. Boiling water is by far the most frequent job I ask of my stoves.

Edited by dweste (11/04/09 11:02 PM)

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