Last year I wrote about the Kelly Kettle. It's a clever device to quickly heat water using a handful of twigs. I've done many trips with no cooking gear and on other trips I've used a small alcohol stove made from a Pepsi can, but I've concluded that while I really don't cook that much, I do like having the ability to have a hot beverage when the mood strikes me. Friends have had good things to say about Zip stoves and the Jetboil, but the classic Kelly Kettle just seemed right to me.
Last week I finally ordered the Mini (20 oz) kettle and today it arrived. The kettle is about five inches in diameter and sitting on the fire base it's about a foot tall, but the whole thing is aluminum and it's mostly a hollow so it's pretty light. It's a classic old design, used by Irish fishermen for at least 100 years and it's the kind of thing you could picture Jack Eason using to brew up a spot of tea to ward off the cold on some steep and damp section of some brevet in the Pennines.
So far I've only run one quick test of the kettle. It's really true -- a handful of twigs, a single match and in under five minutes the water is boiling.
My racing days may be behind me, but I've got a lot of places yet to go and I'll probably be going there at twelve miles per hour. And I'll probably be stopping here and there, in some cozy patch of shade or beside some particularly scenic brook to make myself a spot of tea.