The Kelly Kettle

This one comes to us from across the pond, where Irish fisherman have been using the design for more than a century. Commercial fisherman used them on their boats, and they were standard issue for “ghillies” (fishing guides) to use for preparing hot drinks for their sports while they fished.


It’s a brilliant, simple design, and useful anywhere you can find a little kindling – sticks, duff, dried cow dung, whatever. Simply build a small fire in the base, fill the outer chamber of the kettle with water and set it on the base. You can continue to feed fuel through the top of the chimney till you have a boil, which in my experience is pretty quickly.


The Kelly Kettle comes in several different sizes, and in aluminum and stainless steel options. There is also an accessory kit available that includes a grill, fry pan,  small pot and a pot grip, for cooking in addition to boiling water. The smaller version is a bit bulkier than a modern backpacking stove (weight 1.3 lbs), but by the time you factor in that you don’t have to carry fuel, it’s a pretty good alternative in terms of space and weight. The larger sizes are great for basecamps, car camping, etc.

They are difficult to find in the States, but you can now get them online through Kelly Kettle USA and at Wood and Metal.


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