It’s been a few weeks now since my Kissimmee River backpacking trip. As happens in my busy life, I dumped the contents of my pack on the living room couch, dealt with the ones I need to throw away or clean, and ignored the rest. Now that I’m planning the next trek, I saw my new Jetboil stove sitting there, a reminder that I haven’t clued you in on it yet. I’d hoped Santa would bring me one, but since he didn’t, I went out and picked one up myself.
Now, I’ve never been fond of cooking in the woods. Or contents under pressure. My first backpacking stove, some 12 years ago, was a Whisperlite, and the danged thing leaked and flashed back on me after just a few trips, almost igniting me and my gear. I’ve gone through a parade of stoves since then. A friend gave me a Zip Stove (add twigs and start a tiny fire!), but it’s heavy. My brother made me a soda can alcohol stove, which was nice and light, but I didn’t like how it flared up when lit. I won an Esbit stove, and I liked the light weight but hated the probably poisonous stink of the fuel tabs. I settled into using a Primus stove, a medium weight option that my pot could sit on just fine.
And then I saw the Jetboil last year at Brasington’s. I almost jumped on it right away, but knew I had no trips planned in the immediate future. The “Personal Cooking System” model was compact and didn’t need a windscreen (a real plus in Florida). It’s essentially a giant mug instead of a pot, wrapped in a cozy, and the fuel can fits inside it for storage. No matches or lighter are needed. Just inspect, assemble, and click! you’re cooking with gas.
I didn’t time how quick it came to a boil. However, I turned my back for a moment and it boiled over. Oops! Shut that off with some difficulty. I watched it the next time, and it indeed took two minutes or less. Hot food quick is wonderful on a cold evening. I’m thrilled. Here’s the specs on it if you’re curious about it yourself, at the Jetboil website.