You know me. Lightweight is all about being there out there, my feet treading lightly on the ground snow, watching the sun set and rise on a distant horizon from a high camp. I hate fannying about, gear I’ve got to work with, coax and adjust. If I started that shite it would become all about the gear and not where I am, looking at my titanium pindörst and not the view. Nightmare.
So, when Bob the Pod asked if I wanted to trial one of his new self designed and manufactured Honey Stoves, my first reaction was “Jings, you’re joking, aye?”. But there’s no point in having any kind of opinion without constantly updating your data. Things change, hey, people change. So I said: Alright!
There will be others in internet land giving greater detail I’m sure, but basically it’s a Meccano set. There’s 9 flat sections made from 0.7mm stainless steel that slot together to make a hexagonal shell. There’s three horizontal inner trays which you can mix and match depending on what fuel you’re using. It’s fiddly and a little tight to put together, cold fingers and tired eyes will suffer here, but once together it’s rock solid.
It comes in a wee case, with an ashtray to sit it on if you’re burning solid fuel, and this’ll help reflect heat as well, so I’d pack it all the time as it’s weightless. They whole thing does pack almost flat, but it does weigh 351g.
I’ll be testing this with ready made fuels, there’s not much to burn on the snow covered tops, so I’ve got a Greenheat tin under it in the photie, which works okay but getting the lid back on to put the flame out is awkward. I’ll try other stuff as I go.
The pot there is an Optimus Terra Weekend which is a good fit, my first attemept with my old MSR Titan Kettle was abandoned as the kettle handles sit on the edges of the side sections and you can’t sit it flat. Bummer.
I’m sitting on the fence here. I’ll land on one side or the other soon enough, maybe even later. On my arse or feet, we shall see. If I can get the boil time down, I’ve got a flat-packing cooker as well as a radiator in my tent for heating hands, feet, socks?
If I slice a finger on it when I’m putting it together at 2200hrs, 1000m, below freezing, tired and hungry in my tent, then someone one day will find a trig point which looks like one of the cast of Hellraiser, what with all the stainless steel pieces protruding from its body.
This is good stuff for me to be doing. Is this finely made piece of lightweight backpacking kit all about the geeks gratification of spending time with the mechanics of it’s operation, or is it going to be as simple and unobtrusive as I’m used to?