The WRT has moved. If you're looking for info, entries or anything else bikepacking related try Bear Bones Bikepacking, the Bear Bones blog or the Bear Bones forum - ta.

Yea, yea, yea, but what is it?

The WRT is a 3 day and perhaps more importantly 2 night ride through and around mid Wales. You'll be expected to be self sufficient, carrying everything you need and sleeping out in or under whatever you think best. It's not elitist, entry is open to anyone who wants to try it. All the money raised by the WRT goes to the Wales Air Ambulance charity ... an organisation I hope you'll never need.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

*Come on baby light my fire.

I introduced the MKettle a few weeks ago and have finally got round to testing it out ... read on and see how it turned out.

MKettle in full swing

Here we go then, a semi scientific MKettle test. Firstly I'd like to point out that it was windy and rainy but I stuck with it and did it out side rather than sneaking off in to the barn.

The first job was obviously finding something to burn. I hunted about and collected a small handfull of dead twigs. I didn't get them off the floor as they'd be fairly wet so I collected ones that had fallen in to some bushes ... surprisingly given the amount of rain we've had over the last few weeks they were still pretty dry. Next up I needed to get the twigs going, luckily the contents of my pockets never cease to amaze me ... 2 mini Haribo packets and an old route card later and we were ready.

I started the stop watch as I lit the fire. Once I could see that my assorted rubbish was alight I placed the kettle on to the fire pot and waited. It took about a minute for the fire to catch and I started to hear the twigs crackling. Looking down the centre of the kettle (or chimney as it is) revealed some nice flames, so I dropped a few more twigs down there and sat back.

View down the chimney after a couple of minutes

I'd filled the kettle with cold water taking care not to overfill it ... it held just under a pint, certainly enough for 2 proper sized brews or a brew and a dehydrated meal. At exactly 6 minutes and 30 seconds from putting a match to it I had a steady rolling boil. The neoprene sleeve on the kettle meant I could just lift it straight off with my bare hand, without the usual swearing that sometimes accompanies tea making.

The amount of wood required was surprising ... as it required very little, literally what you could bend down and pick up in one hand. I believe dead leaves, pine cones, bracken and pretty much anything else will work too.

I imagine pack size and weight will be the main concern for many ... so, my trusty scales and tape tell me that the kettle ready to go and including its rather smart bag weighs 375g. When you consider that a small gas cartridge when full weighs nearly 250g, then add the weight of the gas stove itself, plus a pan, the MKettle starts to look like a real contender. A really nice design touch is the fact that the fire pot sits inside the kettle when you're storing/transporting it but still leaves room for other bits and pieces in there too, important stuff like, tea bags. The overall dimensions when packed are 170mm x 110mm (or 6 3/4" x 7 3/4").

Something which may or may not concern you, is the fact that the entire kettle is made in the UK, every last bit, the bag, neoprene sleeve, even the medical grade stopper are all produced on home soil. If you fancy the idea of free fuel then follow the link over there > and get yourself a kettle or if you believe you're lucky then you might just win one at the WRT.

*Sorry for any Jim Morrison fans (see that I said for and not to)

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