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Sub 2-ounce kitchen
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Mat Tallman
(wehtaM) - F

Locale: Midwest
Sub 2-ounce kitchen on 05/25/2010 11:27:53 MDT Print View

I wanted to wait to make a thread on my new MYOG cook kit until I trail tested it. After a few days on the trail, having ridden nearly 60 miles in my pack, I figure it's passed the test, and I'd share.

The "stove" if you can call it that is an aluminum tea light container. I measured its' capacity at an absolute maximum of 17 ml of fuel, but that's only possible on a dead-level base. It will hold 15 mL (0.5 oz) without a problem, and without having to worry about it spilling. I generally only use about 14 mL for each burn, so it's got plenty of capacity.

The windscreen for the kit is homemade from roof flashing. It's a good deal more sturdy than necessary, but I'm ok with that. It's a caldera-cone type system that's 5" diameter at the base, and just wide enough around the top for the lip of the pot to sit for support. There's a decent youtube video regarding how to make your own cone, based upon the dimensions you want, and I used that as a basis for this.

The pot is the bottom 3/4 or so of a foster's can. After cutting the top off about .75" above the 2-cup level, I rolled a lip with my fingers and a pair of pliers to strengthen the top edge. The lip was rolled over on itself 3 times, so it's essentially 4 times the wall thickness. This added a really nice amount of strength to the pot.

The lid is simply the bottom of a pie-pan cut a little large, and formed to fit. It's probably the weakest link of this system, and would be too flimsy for a thru-hiker, but for week long trips or so, it's substantial enough. For as easy as it was to make, I don't mind replacing it periodically.

Below are a few pics. I didn't want to have to budget extra weight for a container to carry the cone, or the pot, as it defeated the purpose of the lightness in my mind. The solution was to wrap the windscreen/cone around the sack into which I stuff my extra open-cell foam torso pad (used to supplement my CCF sleep pad) No extra weight, less the piece of tape, and offers enough protection for the screen not to get bent up.

The scale is difficult to read, but it says 1.784, just over an ounce and three quarters. Paired with my styrofoam drinking cup that nests inside, it's just over 1.9 oz.

Kitchen Components

Components set-up
pot covered and sitting on the windscreen/support/cone

storage of cone windscreen

On the scale

Lest anyone think that performance is compromised with such a setup, I've done a decent amount of testing with this kit, both in the kitchen, and in the field.

Fuel efficiency was a primary concern of mine, and boil times were of secondary importance. I've been able to consistently obtain 2-cup boil times of 8 to 8.5 minutes on 13 ml of fuel (under .5 oz). I usually boil 2 cups in the morning, and 2 more in the evening, so I budget 1 fl oz of fuel per day (0.78 oz by weight).

Fuel efficiency is slightly worse in windy conditions. In 20 mph winds, it required a fuel load of 15 ml, and a burn time of just over 10 minutes to boil 2 cups. A boil, and stove burn-out occurred nearly simultaneously. Where I hike, 20 mph winds with no protection are fairly rare, but I still think this performance is admirable.

There are probably setups that are, to a degree, lighter. There are probably a few that are more fuel efficient, though I've not seen any in person. Many are more robust, and possibly a bit less finicky, but I feel I've obtained a great balance of all of those things, while being able to enjoy something I made myself!

edit: apparently normal forum image embedding code doesn't work here? I just left the images in link form...

Edited by wehtaM on 05/25/2010 16:19:40 MDT.

Trevor Wilson
(trevor83) - MLife

Locale: ATL -- Zurich -- SF Bay Area
Sub 2-ounce kitchen on 05/25/2010 15:20:03 MDT Print View

Hey Mat - Thanks for posting! Your set up sounds quite interesting and very light. Image links are not working for me though and it would be very helpful for me so see them to envision the setup better.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Sub 2-ounce kitchen on 05/25/2010 15:30:50 MDT Print View

Mat, I am not clear on how you rolled the top edge three times, using only fingers and pliers. Can you explain?


Mat Tallman
(wehtaM) - F

Locale: Midwest
re on 05/25/2010 15:40:03 MDT Print View

Hopefully the pics are fixed, any insight on how to properly embed pics rather than just linking them?

As for rolling the lip, it's sort of tough to explain. I began by carefully forming a 1/16" inch lip with a fingernail, slowly working my way around the can. Once you've bent the lip down about 45 degrees all the way around the circumference, you can set the pot down on a level surface, and apply pressure to the bottom to bring the lip to 90 degrees angle. From there, you can either use pliers or your fingernail again to bend the lip all the way to 180 degrees (flush) with the side of the pot.

From there, you can make the next roll/fold with pliers, slowly working around the can. Go slowly and bend in about 10 degree increments.

On the last fold/roll, once you've gotten the lip to 90 degrees, you leave it, as it will be strongest in this form.

It's probably wise to experiment on a soda can, or other throw-away can before trying it for real on a big beer can. My explanation might not make much sense, but if you mess around with a few cans, it should become more clear.

If I get a chance, I might try to do it again on another can and take some pics as I go, so it would be more obvious how I did it.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Sub 2-ounce kitchen on 05/25/2010 15:46:01 MDT Print View

In the edit window, look at the up and right for the Insert Image button. Browse on your computer to the image, give it some text, and click Upload.(be patient) It will insert code into your text box linking to the uploaded image.

edit: You'll need to add a few line feeds to neaten things up.

Edited by greg23 on 05/25/2010 15:53:24 MDT.

Mat Tallman
(wehtaM) - F

Locale: Midwest
images fixed on 05/25/2010 16:21:14 MDT Print View

Alright, thanks for the tips....not sure how I missed the image upload button, but they should be all set now.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Sub 2-ounce kitchen on 05/25/2010 20:02:32 MDT Print View


Very clean setup!

Question: How much distance between the bottom of the pot and the top of the tealight?


Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Sub 2-ounce kitchen on 05/26/2010 07:49:51 MDT Print View

When the water is ready, how do you get the pot off the cone?

Mat Tallman
(wehtaM) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Sub 2-ounce kitchen on 05/26/2010 08:15:28 MDT Print View

If you're quick about it, you can do it by hand without getting burned, but throwing on the gloves I already take for cool weather makes it pretty easy to do without being burned.

When it's warm enough that I don't need to take gloves, I have the tips from 3 fingers of some nitrile coated work gloves that I take along as pot grabbers, they work very well, and are very grippy. Weight of the glove finger tips is under a quarter ounce for all three.

Kevin Beeden
(captain_paranoia) - F

Locale: UK
re: rolled lip on 05/26/2010 12:26:43 MDT Print View

Nicely done. I'll have to have a play with your technique for forming a rolled lip; looks useful.

I've made lids out of can side wall, just as your pie tray lid. Marginally heavier, but also more robust.

Now, if you made a Flissure clone, the cone would fit inside the pot...

Mat Tallman
(wehtaM) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: re: rolled lip on 05/26/2010 18:31:13 MDT Print View

regarding the fissure, I suppose I could have gone that way, but as is, I have my hot drinks cup nesting inside, along with the container I keep sugar in. The sugar container fits really snugly, and to an extent, keeps the pot from collapsing inside the pack. Stove and flint/striker thingy fit inside the cup, napkin/towel wraps around the cup, and also nests inside.

Pretty neat and tidy little package...I guess I should have grabbed a few pics of that as well.