follow us:
Adventure / September 25, 2017

This camp kitchen weighs less than one pound

Written by: Jan Bennett

Editor’s note: All three of the items reviewed in this article are available in our online shop. Just click the links in the article to put them in your cart.

Few things are as satisfying as finishing a day of exploration by sitting down to prepare a solid, delicious meal. Good food and the outdoors simply just go hand in hand. But a worthwhile stove set-up can add both bulk and weight to your kit, so many ultra-light travelers often opt to go without hot food at all.

I’ve done that myself. I didn’t like it. So over the course of many backcountry adventures, I’ve tested out a wide array of cooking techniques. Relying on campfires isn’t the best tactic, as good wood isn’t always available. Canister stoves are more reliable, but the extra bulk and weight of the canister can become a real pain (this is especially true on bikepacking trips, where space is at an absolute premium).

As an alternative, I’ve turned to Vargo stoves and pots. The Vargo Titanium Converter alcohol/gel tab stove, Vargo Titanium Hexagon wood stove, and Vargo Titanium Ti-Boiler two-piece kettle set have come to find a place in my kit for nearly every adventure.

 

The Vargo Titanium Hexagon wood-fired stove.

The Vargo Converter multi-fuel stove.

The Vargo Titanium Ti-Boilder pot/kettle set.

The Vargo Titanium Ti-boiler kettle set weighs in at only 6.6 ounces (187 g) and goes with me on every single adventure, stove or not. The two-part system allows me to boil water quickly thanks to the smaller pan acting as a lid. Additionally, I can utilize the pot for my meal while boiling water in the lid for tea or coffee. (If you are like me, morning caffeine isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity.)

Weighing in at a scant 4.1 ounces (116 grams), the Vargo Titanium Hexagon backpacking wood stove packs completely flat, fitting in my frame bag while taking up virtually no space. If I find myself in a place where a small wood fire is all I need to prepare my meals, I can easily and quickly gather the necessary fuel and have my food cooking in no time.

Additionally, the stove keeps embers contained for those high wind instances where a stone fire ring just might not cut it. Being able to start and maintain a small fire from twigs rather than larger sticks, or even logs, makes it great for stealth camping as well.

 

The Hexagon is a simple machine: it basically serves as a windscreen for a twiggy fire.

The Hexgon / Ti-boiler combo in action. Its not flashy, but it works great.

One of my favorite features of Vargo’s Hexagon stove is that it will hold the pocket sized Vargo Converter Titanium multi-fuel stove thanks to the ingenious cradle design.

If you are going to be in an area where you might not be able to rely on organic matter for fire, then this 1.3-ounce (39 g) converter is a great solution. It drops right into the Hexagon, and can burn alcohol or fuel tabs. If you don’t have the Hexagon, it can function as its own free-standing stove.

The Converter’s burner and cradle pack down small enough that I can store them inside my pot set, along with my pot holder, seasonings and oil, fire starters, and even some alcohol for fuel (alcohol burns invisibly, which is great for incognito camping).

Boiling two cups of room temperature water requires less than two ounces of alcohol, which makes for a pretty lightweight fuel solution. If you’re in the states, you can find suitable alcohol in nearly every convenience store, unlike canister fuel. Sometimes I will even carry the alcohol in a small collapsible flask rather than a fuel canister like the MSR liquid fuel bottles. This way, as I use the alcohol, my pack size shrinks.

The Vargo Converter fits snugly into the Hexagon to provide an alternate fuel option.

I am able to pack the Converter, fuel, UCO Stormproof matches (also in our shop), and seasonings within the Ti-boiler pot.

I’ve grown to love this set-up and its ease of use so much that I have branched out from the typical dehydrated backpacking meal to some delicious campfire meals. It’s allowed to me pack food that doesn’t just nourish my body, but also my soul.

 

Do you have questions or comments about this feature? Email them to [email protected]

share
about the author

Jan Bennett

An adventure seeker at her core, Jan Bennett has always been drawn to the outdoors and being active. Completing three different wilderness expeditions before graduating high school, Jan has always been at home in the wilderness. Even though she has a degree in Technology Management and a minor in Business, Jan took the leap and left corporate America in 2015 in order to persue her cycling passions. On any given day, you can find Jan in Dallas, Texas preparing her mind and body for the next outdoor adventure.

read more

related products

Quickview more details
Vargo: Hexagon Wood Stove

Got wood and basic fire skills? If so, you'll never need to carry stove fuel again with the Hexagon Wood Stove.

$59.95
Quickview more details
Vargo: Titanium Ti-Boiler

This ultra-light double boiler system allows you to cook two items at once to save both time and fuel.

$69.95
Quickview more details
Vargo: Titanium Converter Stove

This compact stove converts the Hexagon Wood Stove in a multi-fuel cook system. It can burn alcohol, fuel tabs, and fuel gels, and it can serve as a standalone stove.

$39.95
hit the outdoors

Sign up for the inside scoop on new products, member discounts and inspiration from our giants.