Wednesday, 1 July 2009
New Cooking System
I managed to shave a few more grams by changing my cooking system again. I had been using an Alpkit Mitymug mk2 which looks identical to the Tibetan titanium 700ml mug and is marginally lighter than the mk1 version which is similar to the Vargo ti-lite mug. I used it as my cooking pot and carried a 450ml Tibetan ti mug. I'd toyed with the idea a while back of simply using the 450ml mug as I rarely need to boil more than 500ml of water at a time but in the end I decided against it.
My next experiment was using a 330ml Heinie can as a mug and to complement it I ordered a 24oz Heinie can from Tinny at MBD to use as a pot. I found that when using the 330ml can as a mug it was too hot to hold even if it hadn't been used on the stove so I ordered some wick from Tinny to wrap both pot and mug. It has to be said that the Heinie can are nowhere near as robust as the titanium pots and once you wrap then with wick much of the weight advantage is lost.
I had been browsing a few e-shops and on Ultralight Outdoor Gear I found a Tibetan ti 550ml version of the Mitymug and on ebay 'Treklite' were selling a mug to match, a Tibetan ti 375ml. I ordered both and used them when I took the Hike-Lite tent out for a trial and everything is fine. I always liked a metal mug as it gave me an extra option for cooking even if a plastic mug would probably be lighter however the next change to my system means I can't actually use the 375ml mug so maybe a plastic cup will be fine............ if I can get one that fits the 550ml pot.
The item in question is similar to the Caldera Cone. A guy on Outdoors magic, Captain Paranoia, came up with a program/script that allows you to print a template matched to your own pot/burner combination and also allows you to decide how many vents you want and what size you want them. All you need to do is download 2 programs off the net (GSview & Ghostscript) to use the template file. The template supplied suits a Mitymug but by opening the file in something like wordpad you can change the parameters, Pot height/diameter, burner height, distance between burner and pot etc. Once done the file is saved with the suffix .ps and it then opens automatically using the downloaded programs. Then all you do is print off the template, tape it to a sheet of aluminium foil and cut it out. I used 0.20mm alufoil but you could use heavier or lighter.
I haven't tried it out in the field but have tested it outside and it seems to work fine, I'm pretty confidant that efficiency is improved but regardless it combine windshield and potstand in one unit and improves stability. Obviously it only works with one size of pot so I can't use the 375ml mug on it. Storage is a slight problem although the Capt Paranoia suggests using 2 x 500ml meths bottles cut to fit inside each other as a caddy. I'm not sure if I'll use that method, I'm going to simply roll it inside my Closed Cell sleeping mat which seems to work fine.
My cooking system now comprises;
Tibetan ti 550ml pot & lid - 88g
Tibetan ti 375ml Mug - 57g
EK Alcohol Burner & Measuring Cup - 23g
Cone Windshield/Potstand - 27g
Total (inc Stuff Sack) 214g
My Cutlery comprises a GSI Long Spoon at 12g and a plastic disposable teaspoon at 2g so my complete cooking System weighs in at 228g. If I wanted to include a woodstove an Ultralight version of the EK750 based on ones built for a customer in Sweden adds an additional 89g.
For the record the 2 Heinie pots wrapped with wick and including lids weigh 104g, only about 40g difference, not as tough as the titanium set but still an option if I'm really desperate but I'd need to make another cone to suit.