Before I saw this little beauty in action, I thought this was a gimmick. For those who don’t know, a Kelly Kettle (or Ghillie Kettle – another brand) is simply a kettle in which you light a real fire inside the he hollow centre. This acts like a chimney, drawing the fire up along the inside and heating up the water that’s placed inside the walls. The main advantage of this is that you do not need to carry fuel and if you’re adventuring in the right sort of areas where firewood is available, then you’ll never run out. Of course, you can only heat up water (though an adapter is avaialble to heat a pot).
The firstr step is to make sure you’ve got everything ready, such as firewood and kindling. You don’t need an awful lot of wood, small twigs are ideal (even heather twigs gathered from the ground work), and the only tricky thing is to light the fire! Common sense means you need to take the usual care with lighting the fire to ensure it doesn’t spread and that the ground beneath the kettle is protected.
Step One – Collect yer wood.
Step 2 – get the fire going in the fire pan.
Step 3 – Make sure you’ve put some water in the Kettle!
Step 4 – keep feeding the fire if needed.
Step 5 – Enjoy your brew!
Verdict? If anything, it boiled the water TOO FAST! The official blurb is 3 to 5 mins, and this isn’t an idle boast. You’ll certainly need to keep an eye on the kettle and get a feel for the timing as it’s certainly one of the fastests brews I’ve had once the initial faff of lighting the fire was out of the way. Your second cuppa will not be long coming either. At 640g, it might be heavy, but a spare gas canister can set you back over 400g, and you might need a couple over a 4 day trip in a small group so that works out lighter.
So for a long trip where you’re pretty certain you’ll find fuel at lunch and for the evenings, and more importantly that you have both the skills to start a fire and it is safe to do do, then for us, the Kelly Kettle is a winner. Check out the official video below to see it in action.