Rainy day, hot tea

by Devin on May 12, 2010

I try to see the open air of my shop as a “feature,” but in bad weather it sure doesn’t feel like it. So I took the opportunity of yesterday’s rain to make some tea and fire up my old prototype.

* Two notes about the video: 1. You don’t have to blow into it – I’m just fidgety. and 2. not blowing into it doesn’t really hurt performance.

For those who haven’t been following its development on BPL, here are the approximate specs of the boiler itself (without cozy):

Weight: 6-6.5 oz
Capacity: 20 oz
Dimensions: Kettle: 6.75″ x 3.75″; combined Kettle & Fire Bowl: 7″ x 4.25″
Time to boil 2 cups (when I’m paying attention and with dry twigs): 4.5 min
Fuel: Darn near anything. The drier, the better.

I plan on working up a complete “about” page once I have this first batch made so I can take average finished weights, etc.

[ 26 comments… read them below or add one ]

Michael Crosby May 14, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Not only do we get a light weight, multi fuel water boiler, we get a wood fire to play with.
Too much fun, can’t wait to get mine.

devin May 15, 2010 at 9:40 am

Thanks Mike! I can’t wait to get it to you! :)

Randy Anderson May 19, 2010 at 11:24 pm

These look great! If you’re looking for field testers, I’d love to put one to the test for you. When do you expect to start field testing them or selling them?


devin May 20, 2010 at 8:34 am

Thanks Randy! I just got your add to the mailing list. The first batch of 50 has already been reserved by those who followed the development of the boiler on the Backpackinglight forums. As soon as those are out the door (early to mid-June), I’ll start making more and setting up a proper website and online ordering. So stay tuned!

ed ostrander June 4, 2010 at 11:33 pm

finally an answer to all the heavy kettles out there! i just wish i had wind of this earlier– sign me up for the next batch. great work devin!

devin June 9, 2010 at 8:45 am

I’ve got you, Ed! Thanks!

Christopher December 25, 2010 at 7:27 am

Love it! Have the KellyKettle and find it far too bulky to bring with me on my hikes.
You should post this on youtube and tag it like crazy to get every ul-pyromanic’s attention.

Christopher December 25, 2010 at 7:31 am

Why not put a small spout on it for a drip-free poor?

devin December 27, 2010 at 11:36 am

Thanks Chris! I will be doing more to get the word out about these, just as soon as I get the current batch out the door. I really appreciate all the support!

On the spout – I like simplicity. Adding a spout adds a bit of weight, a lot of cost, and what I see as unnecessary complexity to a device that I’ve tried to make as simple and clean as possible. It pours well as it is, and any drips there are… well, they’re just water. :)

Richard Tiley June 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm

At last: a portable version of the Kelly/Thermette! I’ve signed up for one on Kickstarter and cannot wait for it to arrive. As a bushcraft instructor, this ticks a huge number of boxes for me and I just know that I’ll use it and use it and use it. If you need to know my shipping address in the U.K., please let me know.

Great product – congratulations and many thanks for taking the time and effort to develop it.

Devin June 1, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Thanks Richard! There’s no bigger reward I get than having something I made become a mainstay in someone’s pack. I’ll be collect the shipping info, etc. in a form I’ll send out when funding closes.

Thanks again!

Neal September 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm

ETA update?


James October 5, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Hey, this looks like a great boilers, how can i get my hands on one, whats the price tag on these things and do you ship to Canada? Ill be waiting patiently.

– Thanks alot.

Red Beard December 10, 2011 at 10:07 am

Amazing kettle! I love it! Wondering if I could get on the next shipment…?
Thank You

Steve Carothers December 25, 2011 at 11:26 pm


Your device is interesting to me. I design and fabricate several outdoor products of my own. One of the devices I build is a rocket stove and similar to your boiler. You might try a feed plate at the bottom of your boiler with 25% of the space left under the feed plate for oxygen to come under the fire. This way you can feed the fuel from the bottom instead of the top…less chance of getting burned. Just a suggestion…nothing more.


Crystal February 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Very cool. I’m guessing something like this couldn’t be used in a dry desert environment because it could start a wildfire?

GB March 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Would this work in the tundra where there is little fuel and if we did use lichen or such, it would degrade the environment. Would liquid fuels like alcohol work?

Darrell April 27, 2012 at 10:38 pm

How about a spark arrester? How does it work with wet stuff? Can you prime it with alcohol? As in: it’s pouring rain and all you can find is wet tinder… Prime it, get a few wet twigs to dry out and burn, then keep feeding fuel.

Ron Henshaw June 18, 2012 at 9:15 am

This is awesome! You’ve really created a great system. Can’t wait to get one.

mark June 28, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I’ve been looking allot at these types of kettle, yours being the smallest and lightest fits my bill perfectly.
Please do what you can to attract investors, your market is not the biggest but will willingly spend their scratch on a quality product.
Try looking at the sport of fishing too as they love a quick brew.

Larry F. July 10, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Hey Devin is this product a copy of the Kelly Kettle. Just the same to me only smaller with a cosy!

Devin July 10, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Hi Larry – both are chimney kettles, true. But there are a lot of chimney kettles, and the Boiler is the state-of-the-art and pretty different than anything that came before.

John Nutter August 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm

so excited! just got the email, ordered mine. forwarded email to a friend. always delighted to see brainpower at work. keep up the ideafactory!

Lance Reedy September 4, 2012 at 10:55 am

Looks fantastic. What metal is your boiler made from? Aluminum, titanium? Other? Crystal expressed concern about starting a fire in a “dry desert”. That’s a good point. Obviously the user needs to use prudence about where he/she uses the stove. Some deserts (|Mojave) will present a problem in finding enough fuel. In some areas of the Sonoran Desert there is a surprising amount of vegetation, especially the palo verde trees.

bob coslick January 30, 2013 at 7:17 pm

been playing with my backcountry boiler for awhile and feel pretty confident with it now. taking it out on the AT in VA in a week and been playing tetris with my various cookkits to choose a setup. JUST TO LET EVERYONE KNOW, THE CUP PART OF THE SNOWPEAK MINI-SOLO KIT FITS PERFECTLY OVER TOP THE BACKCOUNTRY BOILER AND TOGETHER BOTH SLIDE INTO THE SIL-NYLON STUFF SACK AS A COMPACT UNIT.

m0fo August 16, 2014 at 10:09 pm

It’s actually very complex in this busy life to listen news on TV, thus I only use
the web for that reason, and obtain the most recent news.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: