Expedition kit – Kelly Kettle

The Kelly Kettle remains one of my favourite bits of expedition kit for its pure simplicity of design where form beautifully follows function as wistfully as Hilton’s little lap dog.

It can be fuelled with heather and twigs, saving weight on heavy bottled gases, and takes water to boiling point quicker than any camping cooker on the market.

Designed like a chimney, the flame travels up through the centre of the polished steel water holding container to heat it from the centre using the form’s large heat-conducting surface. As a result it uses a fifth of the fuel and water is brought to the boil in a fraction of the time.

Kelly Kettle minimises the use of or requirement for heavy, bulky and carbon emitting gas canisters. However, when wild camping, especially on remote Hebridean islands, there is often no wood fuel available but this is no problem for the Kelly Kettle which is at home in such windswept and exposed environments.

So efficient is its conduction of heat that the process of making tea can be done with fine sprigs of heather and small twigs. The fire that heats the water within the kettle is sheltered from the wind by the tube shape of the kettle itself and after water has been boiled the hot embers can, if required, be used to start a campfire using beach driftwood.

Kelly Kettle comes in a few sizes  ranging from the single user to the largest of which suits expedition groups. I choose the smallest as its best suited to the confines and limited access of a sea kayak leaving more room for other camping equipment.

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