Posts

MSR PocketRocket™ & Titan™ Kettle

msr titan kettle pocket rocket

If ever there was a camping gadget essential I had to recommend to any type of outdoors enthusiast, the MSR [Mountain Safety Research] PocketRocket™  and Titan™  kettle that I bought maybe about 7 years ago is at the top of the list. Without question one of the best investments I have ever made.

I originally bought it when I used to travel Ireland a lot on my own. Put simply, it meant a cuppa whenever I felt like it and wherever. Since then the pocketrocket and titan™ kettle have been on every camping and great outdoors trip I’ve made. As a by the way, it says it’s a kettle… it’s also a big mug, a decent bowl and a small pot in one.

pocketrocket

Of recent years they were there when the electricity went and in a world gone festival where it’s a long way to your car and the coffee can be weak it’s even done Electric Picnic. For the size of it, you’d be surprised how many times it’s finished cooking the dinner when all of the shops are closed and one runs out of gas for the big stove. Of course it has also been road tested in the wilds whilst I was landscaping in Donegal when the cuppa was most welcome until the rains eased off.

The stats below tell a better story, but above all, it is tiny and pretty much unbreakable. The gas cannister fits in the kettle and the kettle fits in your pocket. I can’t remember how much they cost now – if anyone knows you might just leave a comment.

The PocketRocket stats:

  • weight: just 3 oz. (85 g),
  • dimensions: 4 x 2 x 2 in
  • output: Boils 1 liter of water < 3.5 minutes
  • Also: Tri-sectional Windclip wind shield protects flame. Glove friendly. No maintenance.

The PocketRocket stove tied with the MSR WhisperLite stove as Backpacker Magazine Readers’ choice for the best camping stove in 2005.

The Titan™ Kettle stats:

  • Ultralight titanium: Weighs just 4.2 oz. (118 g).
  • Compact: 0.85-liter capacity
  • Also: tight-fitting lid and drip-free spout for smooth, easy pouring.

Alpinist Magazine Mountain Standards pick 2005 for “the best gear available today.” Titan Cookware is so light it “feels like it’s not even in there when it’s in your pack.”

The reason why these two pieces of MSR kit are with me still today is pretty easy when you read the story of Neil Anderson, Jim Lea and John Burroughs that are Cascade Designs. There is nothing that I love more than a man who’s been there making something for a man who’s going there.

UPDATE:

I noted the video above on Facebook and tagged MSR, as one does. I got this email from MSR

Dear Peter Donegan,
I apologize, however Mountain Safety Research recently had to remove a video post that you added to our Facebook wall.  We really appreciate your enthusiasm for MSR products and for your participation, however we would remind you to review our instructions and warnings for your own safety when using any of our stove products:
All of our stoves are for outdoor use only and the PocketRocket instructions specifically state:

CARBON MONOXIDE HAZARD

  • This stove can produce carbon monoxide, which has no odor.
  • Using it in an enclosed space can kill you.
  • Never use this stove in an enclosed space such as a camper, tent, vestible, car, or home.

Thanks so much for using MSR products!

McKenzie Holden
Assistant to Corporate Counsel

CASCADE DESIGNS, INC www.cascadedesigns.com
MSR®  Therm-a-Rest®  SealLine®   Platypus®   Tracks®
INNOVATION   •   QUALITY   •   SERVICE   

msr titan kettle

Building Your Own Bar-B-Q

bbq hand made

I bought this ‘barbequick‘ bbq last year. Quick? hmmmm… €20. In December. Bargain. Left it in the shed.

my very first barbeque...

When the sun came out I built it. Did it end up looking like the image above…? not on your nelly… 😉 But for good reason….

If you do fancy building your own barbeque – here’s how.

Stone type:

  • i tried to get the same brick sizes as per the instructions – but – free bricks are much nicer
  • i wanted a ‘looks like its been there for a while…’ kinda finish – it’s also the greatest excuse if you’re not the best brick layer in the world
  • don’t use concrete blocks unless you are going to plaster the walls

Location:

  • decide where you want it. This is built from stone. Solid stuff. It hasn’t got wheels. So be darned sure it is exactly where you want it.
  • Keep it well away from walls… smoke? black? and more important timber fences… fire?
  • not right beside the patio – smoke/ guests eyes; flames & grannys new hair do

How I built mine:

  • I picked my spot.
  • Took the measurements from the instructions and layed a foundation about 4″ deep – to finish just below ground level. Left it for a few weeks day or three…

Materials:

  • 300 no. brick
  • 2 no. bags cement
  • 1 no. bag of gravel
  • 3 no. bags of sand
  • washing up liquid [substitute for mortisiser – bonds the cement better]
  • some paving slabs for the base – for you to stand on

Tools:

  • spirit level – a good long one
  • a block splitter ‘or’ a good bolster chizel and a mallet
  • a trowel
  • a wheel barrow to mix cement in

Conundrums:

  • I measured the foundation from the instructions but that was based on ‘their’ brick sizes. Mine were smaller & I needed a lot more than they suggested.
  • The clips to support the grill are ‘only’ to suit that size of block. They obviously wouldn’t fit ‘my’ barbeque.
  • I also wanted an extra, adjoining counter to the side for plates and food so I had a bit more to do.

Don’t Forget:

  • To stick a few long screws into the cement while laying to hang your implements on
  • Measure twice and cut once rule

My thoughts:

It will take about 2 days to complete. And there is nothing more rewarding than sitting back with a cup of coffee looking at a wall that you built. Sincerely. Especially if you are a man…. 😆

If one was to pay to get it built….? In my opinion, it would be cheaper to go and buy one. To approximate the costs briefly; if the bricks costs €1 each; multiplied by 300 bricks – One is already at €300 before it gets built….?

That said, I didn’t want a gas barbeque. I wanted one that I could say in years to come… that ‘I remember building that…’ I also have the ability to barter eggs for materials and so apart from my time – this really didn’t cost me whole lot.

plan[t] a herb garden

herb garden layout...

herb garden layout...

a herb is defined as both an aromatic plant that is used for flavouring in cookery & medicine and a seed-bearing plant whose parts above the ground die back a the end of the growing season.

What I have here is parsley [petroselinum crispum], mint [curley], oregano [origanum vulgaris], sorrel [broadleaf], thyme [thymus faustinii], lavender [lavandula munstead], rosemary [rosmarinus officinalis], chives, garlic [allium sativum], blackcurrant [var ‘ben nevis’], redcurrent [var ‘jonkheer van tets], gooseberry [var ‘whitesmith’] and olives [olea europea]; looking quite good against a a hedge of bay leaves [laurus nobilis].

A wise investment for a carbon conscious chap like myself.Thanks Mother Nature for delightful frightful Irish weather I don’t even have to use my harvested rainwater! have a great weekend – and as always enjoy!

slán ags beannacht – peter

free!! allium sativum

Also known as Garlic, these cloves [fresh] from China I bought in Superquinn!! Carbon footprint my tusche. The builders have destroyed my crop so I needed a fresh batch to grow from. I was surprised to discover their origin but these will be planted & not used for cooking.

To grow: Split the cloves. Plant 2″ down & 4″ apart. Plant now and lift at the end of summer when the leaves die off [as you would with most bulbs]. Let them dry and/ or replant. Free garlic!

...