Posts Tagged jetboil

The Pyromaniac’s Guide To Birthday Cake Candle Lighting

Some time ago after returning home to find a large burn mark in the middle of my new bathroom mat only to discover Cameron had been lighting candles in the house while we were out and accidently dropped one on the mat, I hid all the candles, lighters and matches in the house.

Unfortunately when it came to digging out the birthday candles and a method of lighting them I came a little unstuck because I couldn’t remember where I packed them all away to hide them from the boy.

Just when we thought he was going to have to pretend to blow out imaginary candles I managed to cobble together 10 pre-used cake candles (2 fewer than we needed) and the camping gas stove which has a self-contained ignition!

Of course I forgot one of the golden rules of using a camping gas canister

DON’T TIP IT SIDEWAYS!!!…

Just as the kitchen nearly goes up in a ball of angry sideways camping gas flames, the irony of what I’m doing suddenly sets in and herein lie the example of where that child got his firestarter ways.

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Jetboil – My Review

You NEED one of these in your life!

You NEED one of these in your life!

Having only used this product a handful of times this is not a conclusive review just my personal experience and opinions. If I find faults later on I will add them to this post.

We’ve owned 3 other types of camping stoves all of which either folded dangerously while in use, broke or became spitty and blew out in the slightest breeze. Since eating and drinking is of great importance (moreso when you do energetic sports while camping like we do we decided to invest £50 in one of these. The Jetboil. This is what Jetboil, Inc. have to say:

“At the core of Jetboil’s integrated systems is patent-pending FluxRing™ technology, capturing the burner’s heat and directing it straight into the pot. The FluxRing enables Jetboil systems to boil water twice as fast as competing stoves, while burning half as much fuel. Such outstanding efficiency saves you weight, space, and money. In addition, all Jetboil components, including fuel canisters, are designed to pack conveniently within cooking vessels.”

We took ours with us camping this weekend and were impressed! The unit is made up of the cup, burner/ignition unit, lid and smaller cup which fits over the burner when being transported.This is also a useable drinking cup or small bowl measuring 1 cup (about 8fl oz). We also found that the lid from the bigger cup fits onto the smaller bowl, useful to drink through or just as a temporary cover for food.

The Jetboil cup and burner weigh 425g (15oz) and measures 104mm x 180mm (4.1″ x 7.1″). The Jetboil website says it takes about 2 mins for boil time for 1/2 litre although we managed to achieve this in around 90 seconds.

Halfway mark in litre cup

Halfway mark in litre cup

The cup has a Max Fill mark around halfway labeled ‘2 cups’. If you added a boil in the bag camping food to water at this level I imagine the water level would be nearly at the top. We filled ours halfway with water and found that when it reached a rolling boil it began spitting water out of the top of the cup making it tricky to reach close enough to turn the gas off without putting the lid on! The outside of the cup stayed cool enough to touch thanks to the neoprene jacket and the cup was easily removed from the ignition unit without any spillage. There is also a small strap on the side of the jacket which I assume can accomodate an item of cutlery.

The whole unit is stable even when mounted onto the medium sized gas cannister we used and when it’s unscrewed from the gas it stands well on it’s own small tripod. The flame stands up admirably to the wind even while we sat on the beach with a steady gusty breeze blowing the flame was unaffected as were the boiling times. If you’ve ever hovered around a standard camping gas stove trying to use your body as a shield only to have the wind change direction and blow fire into your expensive North Face fleece you’ll know how good this is.

Bottom of ignition unit

Bottom of ignition unit

The gas knozzle is easy to turn but the ignition switch takes some pushing as you need to push it just beyond the black plastic surround before it sparks. Seems like this could be a safety feature to prevent it being pushed in too easily. My advice is to push the ignition switch repeatedly while slowly turning the gas on low so as the gas ignites before building up too much. (Our first attempt saw us turn the gas on half a turn, experience trouble pushing the button a couple of times before it finally igniting resulting in a small fireball blowing out from all sides of the cup and us rolling backwards with alarmed eyebrowless expressions). Ok, it wasn’t quite that bad, but do try the igniter a few times so you get the feel for it before trying to ignite the gas.

For transportation the ignition part fits snugly inside the cup only taking up half the depth leaving some room for packet food storage before fitting the lid on top (of course make sure the element is completely cool before placing anything on top). If you are using one of the mini gas cannisters this will fit in the extra space.

Burner stores inside the mug

Burner stores inside the mug

We used a 396ml cannister so it didn’t fit inside our cup but judging by how little fuel the Jetboil used we could easily have made several meals from a mini cannister and saved some space. Given that this unit can replace your standard camping burner, cup and potentially plate or bowl its a good space saver. It uses very little fuel and is easy to clean. The neoprene cover is removeable and washable which is good as I can’t see this being used time and time again without some sort of food, drink or dirt marking occuring. I think it’s worth the money and I’d definately recommend it. If your camping is waking up in your caravan with the Missus and three kids and laying on a full English Breakfast then it’s not going to be much good other than to get you a speedy cup of tea or coffee but Jetboil, Inc do some other systems incorporating the same technology on a larger scale. That said, I can easily see taking this with us on a day trip somewhere to make a bit of lunch or a cup of tea. Some of the biking tracks we go to are miles away and don’t have shops or refreshments nearby so this would be handy to take. Now if only the kettle in my kitchen were this fast. www.jetboil.com

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