About this project
Thanks for checking out my project! The Backcountry Boiler started life in an online community, so I'm particularly excited to share it with one like Kickstarter.
Over the past few years, I've spent a lot of time developing the Backcountry Boiler and here's why: it represents an utterly sensible way to make hot meals and drinks in the outdoors. As opposed to complicated contraptions that run on fossil fuels, it's simple, light, and operates on the fuels we find around us every day: paper, cardboard, pine cones, sticks. It also brings back the joy of a natural fire in a way that is much more responsible than having an open campfire.
Because I live for lists, here are the 10 reasons why I like it, and why I think you will too:
- Light: roughly the same size and only a bit heavier than a wide-mouth water bottle
- Versatile: can operate on virtually anything flammable (so no fuel to carry, but also unlimited hot water. It's basically like perpetual motion.)
- Fast: depending on fuel and operator skill, it can boil 2 cups in under 5 minutes
- Frugal: no more fuel bottles or canisters to buy
- Delicious: not only makes hot drinks, but also a wide array of boil-only meals
- Quenching: can be used as a canteen to carry water
- Sanitary: creates potable water through boiling
- Hard Core: works in almost any weather - protected combustion chamber dries wet fuel and uses wind to burn hotter
- Low Impact: burns efficiently so it requires little kindling and leaves little ash
- Awesome: seriously. Once this thing gets going, it's like the Bellows of Hades.
For number junkies, the stats:
- Weight, bare metal (Raw): approx. 8 oz (227 g)
- Weight, with all accessories (Supreme and Prime): both approx. 9.5 oz (270 g)
- Pack displacement: approx. 90 ci (1.5 l)
- Capacity, absolute: 20+ oz (591 ml), recommended max boiling: 16 oz (475 ml)
- Boiling time, with dry fuel: 4 - 8 minutes from striking a match (improves with practice)
- Fuel used to boil 16 oz (475 ml) with dry wood: approx. 1.5 oz (42.5 g), a small handful
For visual learners, here's how it works:
What I'm doing with the money being raised:
- Tooling for injection-molding the custom stopper
- Modifications to the tooling for the Boiler itself: the Boilers used in the video are from the first batch, but the new Boilers will have slightly more capacity, a bottom seam that is more efficient to manufacture, a spout that pours more cleanly, and a fire base that is made out of a more robust alloy. They will also not have the small second stopper in the video, which served no functional purpose.
Notes on the different versions available:
- All three (Raw, Supreme, and Prime) will have the logo and a warning about unplugging the stopper before use marked on the top. The Raw and Supreme versions will just use a slightly different method than was used on the Prime.
- The combination bag/sleeve on the Prime provides less protection for your hand than the neoprene sleeve on the Supreme. It is still entirely usable with care, but if this is an issue of concern, I recommend the Supreme.
- The Raw comes with no insulation with which to lift the Boiler and is intended for those who wish to fashion or improvise their own. I have used everything from spare socks to a bandana to lift a bare Boiler, but they require additional care.
For more history on this project, you can check out the BackpackingLight forum thread where it was slowly birthed, the blog that I started last year to follow its progress, or a guest article I wrote over at Hiking in Finland. For those with a shorter attention span, here is the history of the first batch in four videos: Prototyping, Testing, Manufacturing, and Releasing into the Wild.
A couple shout-outs before I go: the Backcountry Boiler logo was designed by long-time friend Mat Thorne of Sevenbay Design, and the proof I used to make the silicone mold for the prototype stopper was machined by new friend Steve Evans of Suluk46. And I of course have to thank my wonderful wife, Leslie, who is not only an all-around awesome chick, but was also a part-time model for the video.
The Backcountry Boiler is made entirely in North America. Patents Pending.
Update: Stephen Regenold (aka The Gear Junkie) got ahold of one of the first batch and called it "One of the neatest new things I've seen for camping this year"(!)
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