Sunday, 23 March 2014

Cooking system test part 2

Recently I wrote about making the move away from gas canister stoves towards other, less environmentally unfriendly fuels, at least for use outside winter. I bought a Trail Designs Sidewinder ti-tri stove, which can be used to burn wood, meths, or solid fuel cubes. I did a back garden test in wood-burning mode, which I was very pleased with. Today I wanted to try out the meths burner, but also the final piece of the jigsaw: a pot cosy.

I made the cosy from a kit from The purpose of the pot cosy is to keep the contents of the pot at a simmering temperature. The food therefore continues to cook when off the stove, saving fuel. The flame on simple meths burners can't be adjusted like a gas stove, so can't be used to simmer anyway, making a pot cosy essential if you plan on doing anything other than boiling water to add to dehydrated meals. I want to limit my use of expensive dehydrated backpacking foods on the Tay watershed walk so needed to get to grips with the pot cosy.

This was another back garden test, although it was quite cold and breezy outside today. Lighting the burner with a firesteel was no problem. The flame is almost invisible for twenty seconds or so. I waved my hand above the burner to sense the heat and confirm it was lit. After half a minute it's burning in earnest.

On with the pasta:

A few minutes later it's bubbling away nicely:

So, into the pot cosy for fifteen minutes:

So, what was the result? Having faith in your backpacking kit is important, and this was one thing I was sceptical about. However...

Voila! Perfectly cooked pasta. The pot cosy really does work. A confidence-boosting test all round.

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