As we head rapidly towards winter there is nothing more enjoyable than a steaming hot cup of hot coffee at the top of your favourite mountain. Over the summer we’ve been using out Biolite burner to boil our water and fry sausages and were massively impressed with the results.
The Biolite is great in the summer bur tends to get packed away for the winter months as the wet ground brings an obvious lack of biofuel and the Biolite is a little too much to carry for the luxury of a cup of mountain tea when on a single person hike. As a result, we have redirected our focus to the brilliant little Jetboil Flash system that is not only exceptionally compact and lightweight it’s also a remarking efficient little cooker.
Convenience by Design
What I love most about the ‘Jetboil Flash’ is that it all neatly fits together for easy storage. The main kettle is designed to easily hold the gas canister, regulator, feet, and saucepan adaptor and the system weighs just under 500g and neatly packs inside our day pack without issue.
In addition the Jetboil kettle is also neoprene insulated and the lining makes it really comfortable to hold straight off the flame. The integrated heat reactive fins indicate when the water is boiling (although the steam is also a massive clue) and the drink-through lid that makes pouring easy when using the cup/bowl base; It was great to take in the view and not have to worry about my coffee getting cold quickly!
The image above shows the 3 fins indicating the pot is hot. The fins start black/clear and gradually turn a deep orange as the heat builds up in the kettle.
The real beauty of the design is the use of a flux ring on the bottom of the kettle that stores and distributes the heat resulting in rather impressive boil times. The system comes with it’s own ignition system, simply attach the fuel, open the regulator and with one or two clicks of the ignitor you are ready to cook.
The Jetboil Flash is fast and we found we had two cups of boiling water in under three minutes even on a cold windy day. The speed adds to the convenience of the system as you really don’t want to be standing around getting cold while waiting for the water to boil, the system also comes with a plastic cup attached to the base so two people can enjoy a hot drink without additional accessories.
The Jetboil is very easy to clean out and it is essential the inside of the kettle is dry before putting it all back together again. Some users may be concerned about the ‘cool down time’ but by the time we had consumed our hot coffee and green tea everything was cold and ready to pack. On arriving home after our hike we dried off any residual condensation from the lid and cup but in reality there was very little to clean and the Jetboil was ready to be packed away ready for the next trip out.
There are a number of Jetboil accessories available and I can see these being high up our shopping list, cookpot, frying pan and coffee attachment are just three additions that we will definitely be looking at going forward. The Jetboil Flash comes supplied with the saucepan attachment and the idea of taking the frying pan into the hills for some hot food really appeals. Given how quickly the Jetboil is able to boil water I suspect the frying process would be just as quick, nothing beats hot food when out on a winter hike.
The Jetboil Flash is an efficient and convenient personal cooking system ideal for one or two people trekking and camping in the mountains. The system is exceptionally well designed making it compact and clean for carrying in your rucksack. The exceptionally fast boil performance and insulated kettle make it the perfect cooking companion when out on the hills. Next stop will definitely be a flux ring frying pan!