Whilst looking around Bob and Rose’s show last weekend, I was very taken with the Titanium Esbit Stove. It brought back memories of the emergency brewing kit that I used to carry in the 1960’s.
The following day I thought it would be interesting to sort out the old brewing kit and see if it still worked.
Now I’m a bit of a gear horder, so I was fairly sure the brewing kit would be in the loft somewhere, but finding it amongst all the junk might not be so easy. However my luck was in, the first bag I searched was my wife’s 1967 Karrimor Pinnacle rucksack, half way down there it was, tucked between an old climbing helmet and a pair of Barbour mitts.
The kit consisted of an old elasterplast tin, a collapsible metal stove, some Metafuel tablets, a few matches wrapped in plastic, a square of sandpaper to strike them on, and an aluminium mug. Total weight 219g.
The kit lived in my rucksack during the winter monthhs for about ten years, but the only time it was used in anger was on Tryfan in a snowstorm, when it produce enough boiling water for a brew. Today was the first time it been opened for over forty years. The contents were a bit battered and dusty but otherwise looked ok. I assembled the stove, placed a mug of water on top and put a match to the fuel. The tablets lit instantly and appeared to produce as much heat as when they were new.
It took eleven minuets to come to a rolling boil which thought was pretty good. At 68g the stove is heavy compared with the Esbit’s 13g, but surprisingly the aluminium mug weighed in at only 71g compared with my current titanium mugs 73g.
Having had a couple of hours fun and a trip down memory lane, I’ve also been reminded how light solid fuel is. Maybe I should consider using it rather than gas to save weight.