In the wild

by Devin on February 1, 2011

I meant to post this earlier, but as I mentioned in a previous post, I loaned out the unfinished production sample of the Boiler to the folks over at HammockForums for their Florida “hang.” All reports are that both the hang and the Boiler were resounding successes. “Islander” coordinated the appearance, and “Flackfizer” shot the above video. My thanks goes out to both of them and all the folks that gave my little widget such a warm welcome.

Like the background music? Me too – that’s Flackfizer and his wife! Their band is The Corn Family and their music is available through iTunes and sites like CDBaby. Check ‘em out!

The video shows two things worth noting. First, by using short enough twigs, you can batch-load the Boiler so it will come to a boil with no additional fuel. Cool! The other thing is that if you do that, make sure the top is resting directly on the bottom so they don’t get stuck together by sappy residue. The hangers seemed to manage just fine anyway. :)

[ 8 comments… read them below or add one ]

Flackfizer February 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Thanks for the music nod. The boiler was killer. I tried a few ways to get a good boil, not really intending to explore, or realizing I was pioneering new fuel territory. Nevertheless here is what I learned. Devin is right, I had a bit of a “glueing” partly due to fuel placement, but, blame where blame is due, the crappy Florida wood I was using. If you look closely at the clip you can see where a small stick is sitting too far into the meeting place of boiler and fire pan. That was the culprit, and the sticking was only in one place. Notice my creative new use for the lid of a SP 700 cup! We were concerned that we may have been seeing a melting of the neoprene sleeve–a concern a few less woodsy types expressed. Rest assured, there was zero burn on the sleeve. Even with the gap I inadvertently left in this boil (one of about 5 I tried) there was no damage whatsoever to the sleeve. In short, just dismiss any concerns about the seeming proximity of flame and plastic with a dismissive wave of the hand. I corrected the sticking problem in subsequent boils by being for more careful in my placement. I learned a cool trick though to share with all of you. The bottom interior of the boiler is noticeably coned–that is hard to see in the pics and perhaps unknown to those unfamiliar with these sort of boilers. What I found though was that by setting my twigs in a cone shape sized to fit with the boiler’s cone when set in place not only kept sticks clear of the fire pan lip, but also only accentuated the design’s natural updraft and made for a stronger flame and super fast boil–less than five mins for 16oz of water that had ice on its surface before i poured it in. If you cannot tell from my comments in the clip and in my comments elsewhere, I think this boiler is a major innovation in every respect in backcountry living. Smaller than a Nalgene bottle and weighing only a bit more than one, I am confident that this will be a part of every hike once it gets here. Thanks again Devin.

Devin February 1, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Thanks so much, Flackfizer! Your technique is an excellent thing to note – once I get these out there, I’d really like to compile tips like this. “A People’s Manual for the Backcountry Boiler,” if you will. :)

Flackfizer February 1, 2011 at 5:25 pm

“A People’s Manual”! And we can print hundreds in little red books and wave them at hiker rallies.

Devin February 1, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Now you see where I’m going will all of this!

Rakesh Malik February 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm

This boiler looks promising… I’ll (hopefully) get one in spring or summer when they’re in full production :)

I was curious about one thing, which would be a bonus feature rather than a critical one, have you considered the possibility of a pot stand for the boiler, so that you could put a light frying pan atop the boiler while boiling water in it? :)

Devin February 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Hi Rakesh,

Thanks! There should be plenty available by late spring. Excellent photographs, by the way.

One of the things I think is so cool about the Boiler is all the ways one can customize it, and I’ve gotten a lot of questions about add-ons: an alcohol burner, a pot-support, a whistle, even a percolator and a salt-water still. All cool ideas, and I really hope the Boiler continues to inspire creative uses.

Right now, I’m focusing on making the core components really solid, and then I’ll move on to accessories. Some I may offer for sale, and for others, that make more sense as DIY projects, I’ll post how-to instructions on the website.

Rakesh Malik February 7, 2011 at 6:17 pm

That sounds logical. :)

On the alcohol burner front, it might be worthwhile to just talk to Zelph. He makes good alcohol burners, and is already a fan of the kettle concept.

A percolator and still are interesting ideas, I must say.

I’m glad you’re getting this off the ground!

Devin February 8, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Oh, I have a plan for that alcohol burner.

I’ll make sure Zelph and a couple others know about it when it’s time… :)

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