I like fires a lot. My activities make it fairly obvious I have a heavy weakness for pyromania,which dates back to the first time I laid my grubby little mitts on a box of matches and ignited a lifetime of happiness. I have no idea how old I was, but old enough to emulate the action my father would do every time he lit his pipe, the only thing I can remember: it was an act of opportunistic thievery...no parent willingly dishes out fire-starting materials to an infant!
Fire is without doubt the greatest discovery by man- ever, without it our ancestors would have been cold and hungry. It is such a fascinating 'element' that we are still transfixed by the flickering of a flame and camping would not be camping without the glowing centrepiece and social focal point of a campfire.
Wherever I lay my head to rest when out wild camping, a fire is essential, I don't use a tent, a homemade shelter of tarp and natural materials will suffice- so I like to have a fire for cooking, warmth and comfort. I have never been a bit fan of Gas stoves- I can see their appeal for a semi-instant cuppa at daybreak, but for anything other than boiling water, they are fairly useless. On top of that you have to carry the fuel with you which could run out in the arse end of nowhere- then what do you do? With a fire, fuel can be collected on the hoof and your backpack is a touch lighter.
Recently I built a mini Rocket stove- amazing in performance, but a bit to cumbersome to take on the road. To my relief and joy the very kind people at Vargo sent me this little puppy: A titanium hexagon backpacking wood stove. Prayers answered.
This slick piece of kit is perfect for taking out into the wild, It does the same job as a gas stove (in testing I managed to boil a mug's worth of water in exactly 5 minutes), yet packs down to nothing, weighs virtually nothing (121g) and the fuel costs nothing! If you are worried about the wider implications using gas can have on the environment in terms of the manufacture and distribution side of things- then this is the perfect product for you.
You can pick one up in the UK from www.backpackinglight.co.uk for the sum of £45.99- but my goodness is it worth every penny- after all it is made of titanium! To see a video of the stove in action and all the other fine camping gear for the intrepid adventurer within go to the Vargo website.
Saw a couple of interesting signs at the South of England Show this weekend, thought I would share them with you:
I should think this chap would be able to offer them some assistance: