Cookset Woes:

Some people seem to think it is fashionable to lug around the kitchen sink and a range simply to warm a couple of evening snacks, so you see people all the time with a food prep setup which weighs maybe a kg – or more. The empty canisters of such systems typically weigh more than my ultralight pot and Caldera Cone system together – and I need carry no fuel! Evernew deep pot with frypan lid = 123 grams plus Caldera Cone and two titanium tent pegs @ 44 grams = 167 grams. I think people need to seriously reprise their cooking/cookset options.

caldera toaks

The lightest fuel option is a wood burner, followed by an Esbit, followed by metho (for short trips) with canisters coming a poor last. I carry a few bits of esbit as fire starters, a small metho stove and some metho for lazy meals and for long simmers which can be tedious with a wood burner.

You can balance a pot on three tent pegs (a variation of the three stone fire), the triangular ones work best, but you are quite likely to lose your meal if you aren’t very careful. You do learn to be more careful.

I progressed to the Bushbuddy stove which I still think is great at about 150 grams and C$120. It burns cleanly, without scarring the earth or the danger of starting a bushfire. You only need a handful of dry twigs to boil a billy of water. These can even be found in Fiordland most times!


I was lucky enough that Della bought me the Rolls Royce knock off of this stove, the Suluk TDW which weighs only 86 grams:


If you don’t mind a tiny bit of scorched earth the Caldera Cone (with two tent pegs) usually weighs about 44 grams altogether See my post:



My favourite for an alcohol stove is the Brasslite which weighs 47 grams, because you can simmer/fry with it – so important if you plan to catch fish.



If you want a simple boiler, either make your own (eg the Supercat or Garlington or ) or maybe buy one from Minibull Designs (I have used their Elite @ 7 grams for many years) or get one with your Caldera Cone from Trail Designs (above) – theirs also have simmer rings.

minibull elite

If you are going to burn wood, you need a fixed blade knife so you can split wood to get at the dry heart wood and make ‘exelcior’ for fire lighting. Actually this is something you need to be able to do anyway if you are to survive in the woods if things turn very nasty – and they can! See: &

Of course, you also need a lightweight cook pot. If you are on a budget, an aluminium billy from a disposals store is hard to beat. Otherwise: Don’t forget the importance of windscreens: See also: &

This is a useful product to prevent your burning your lips:

hot lips

You might also give serious thought to adding a desalinator to your cookset so you never run out of water:

This site is the encyclopedia of DIY stoves; many hours of fun and enjoyment here:

What to cook is yet another issue eg:

Some Other Hunting Related Posts (there are many more):







Hiking Gear:












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