Monday, 7 November 2011

caldera cone system - first look

The set up with a Snow Peak 900 pot

What do you get a backpacker who has everything? Another stove, of course.

Despite owning a number of different systems the one I go back to is my trusty Coleman F1 Lite gas stove. It's simple, quick, convenient and works in most conditions, however the cartridges are expensive and end up as landfill. And invariably on trips I always seem to be carrying a part used cartridge and a full one. Another disadvantage of the F1 Lite system is that as a couple somebody has to wait for one mug to boil before the next one is put on the stove. (I should mention that Penny always gets the first brew/hot water for cooking).

No doubt someone might ask why we just don't use the larger pot with the F1 but I did try using my Snow Peak 900 pot and a mug but there's something disheartening about staring into a pot that size when drinking 350ml of coffee.

All packed away

The Caldera Cone systems
now come with a caddy, handily the caddy that ships with the cone for the Snow Peak 900 pot is one that unscrews in to similar sized bits, and these can be used to eat or drink out off. The immediate advantage is that one pot boils enough water for two and no one needs wait. And with the caddy doubling as bowls or mugs there's no need to carry additional items.

Of course the biggest advantage of meths based systems is that you can tailor how much fuel you need to carry for a trip; no need to carry part used cartridges, and no enviromental impact.

The system comprises of windshield cum pot stand, fuel bottle, caddy, and a recycled drinks can stove with attached primer plate; all in weight 177g. And it all packs neatly into the caddy, although I did have to roll and re-roll the cone so that it would go back in again. I'd prefer to pack the fuel elsewhere because I wouldn't want the caddy to get contaminated should the bottle leak. there's also room for a couple of GSI lexan desert spoons and a lighter.

In use

I did a quick test this morning (slight breeze, air temp circa 12C, no lid) and 15ml of meths brought 500ml of water close to boil. On that basis I figure I'd need about 30ml to bring enough water for two up to a boil. The supplied fuel bottle holds 5.5fl oz roughly equal to 160ml enough for five brews, not quite enough for two for a weekend trip unfortunately. No matter I have a 250ml that will do the trick.

Now all I need is to plan a trip out so that I can get to use it other than in the garden or local park or woods.



Bob Andrews said...

I have a home made Caldera and I am very pleased with its performance and weight. Thought I would never go back to meths.

I suppose Trangia had a good idea years ago, but compared to the Caldera, a bit on the heavy side

baz carter said...

I still use a Trangia when car camping; bombproof and little tat can go wrong.

The Caldera as you state is like a lighter version of the same. And they make cones to fit Trangia pans too.

Tapp said...

I have the CC for MSR's titan kettle (bought it used - would otherwise have gone with something cheaper from alpkit). The only complaints I have is the tendency for the pot to stick to the cone when trying to lift the pot out of it, and also that the cone is not fully stable on flat ground but a bit wobbly, but flat ground isn't that common out in the wilderness anyway.

baz carter said...

It is a tight fit. And the backpacking equivelent of the golden challis is a flat campsite :)

Tapp said...


Yasmine said...

After using a trangia for ages I upgraded to a Caldera stove last year. We went for the ti tri system - meths, solid fuel and wood all in one. It's ultra ultra light but the woodburner takes a lot of practice (it's fun once you get the hang of it). The meths burner is ace (I guess similar to yours) but the cone is so light it would blow away if not weighted down by the pot.

baz carter said...

I already own a Bush Buddy and a couple of hex/meths burning stoves. The Ti Tri is a great all-rounder; on routes where wood is good for some stretches but you need hex or meths for other bit it would be a good choice.