Monthly Archives: February 2010

Australian Kelly Kettle: The "Dingo Bush Kettle"

This is another variation on the Kelly Kettle (Volcano Kettle), STORM Kettle (Eydon Kettle) and Ghillie Kettle: used in Australian bush camping the “Dingo Bush Kettle” look fantastic – slightly different to our northern hemisphere variations, this one has no separate fire base meaning you light a small fire on the ground directly beneath it, perhaps surrounded by a few rocks to limit any spread – this perhaps points to our different climates – lighting a fire direct on the invariably wet ground in the west coast of Ireland where the Kelly Kettle hails from isn’t going to work very well! It does however come with instead a small “metho tray” for liquid fuel cooking.

It looks very nice and the vertical handle would work very well for lifting off the flames and pouring. As a result of this kind of handle rather than the overhead ones of the Kelly/Eydon Kettles using it as a water carrier is not an option. The pouring spout is a lot narrower too, which is great for pouring, but not so good for re-filling. The capacity is 1.2 litres, so just a bit more than the smallest kelly kettle and enough for just 2 cups really, by the time you’ve spilled a bit! But still a great piece of gear and by all accounts a very authentic piece of Australian bushcraft gear – perfect for use with Australian-style swag camping! (See our swag stories for more on this great way to Get Out & Stay Out). We’ll see if we can get one imported and test it out here in our wetter, windier climate!
dingo bush kettle 400pix

More info at or Camping With Hill Billy.

For larger capacity, the Aussies have their “Eco Billy” kettle, more like a large Kelly Kettle, and also from that part of the world is the “Thermette” from New Zealand.

Deer Grazing

Well as it’s still early in Feb, any canoe trips are still a few weeks off for us, but I’ve been out and about a bit and saw these deer today grazing by the local lake – looking forward to getting off the road and onto the river soon though… won’t be long now: I’m hearing the Song Of The Paddle strongly now and can’t wait to get out there.

Winter – Fieldfares & Foxes

Winter brought massed groups of Fieldfares to our countryside – beautiful big thrushes that arrive here only when it’s a really cold winter, like we’ve just had. Look out for their strange “group-hopping” behaviour, perhaps there to confuse predators – something was exciting these foxes anyway!

Canoe-Camp Boots

I’m needing some new boots after getting many years good use from my previous pair – and these are currently getting my vote – not cheap at £70-ish, but they do have the “TNF” logo on so that’s always going to involve a premium… but lets get down to basics – what do I need from Canoe-Camp boots? Why this style?


Well Bill Mason said way back that the rubber and hide boot was his preferred boot for canoe-camping expeditions, and I’ve used that style boot for many years and also find them to be better than either full leather ‘hiking boot” style, full rubber ‘wellington’ type boots or other kinds of canoe-shoes such as those made of wet-suit material (definitely not suitable in winter!).

My current pair… working hard around the camp!


The rubber means trapsing around in mud at the waters edge, or an inch of water in your boat, or the inevitable getting in and out won’t be a problem. It provides good ankle support for feet squashed in the bottom of an open canoe where your ankles can get into some pretty weird positions, but also allows some movement. And the hide part above the foot is also very flexible of course, where you need it.

In the past and representing a cheaper alternative, we’ve used these at £30 from Groundworks, not bad for the money, but not very comfortable or supportive when walking, and not really a long-term option – your boots should be your 2 best friends when out and about!


Bill Mason wore his with native American style moccasins inside, pointing out that at the camp you can just throw off the outer, and leave them at the door, and this does sound ideal. More important in extreme cold weather where you need to get your feet out of boots, into the dry and let them breathe more. I don’t have the real need for that route (although it’s sub-zero here in the west country as I write this!) and so the PrimaLoft insulation layer on these boots will do the same job generally – these boots will apparently get you out in up to minus-25 degrees! The other features look useful:

* Fabric: Waterproof Nubuck and Suede combination leather upper / 200g PrimaLoft® Eco (insulation)
* Double-adhesive latex, seam-sealed upper construction
* Dri-Lex fleece collar and tongue lining
* Anatomically engineered, injection-moulded waterproof TPU shell with forefoot flex grooves
* Rustproof hardware
* Gaiter compatible D-ring
* Injection-moulded shank plate

They’re called TNF “Chilkats” and are on sale online at Taunton Leisure currently with 10% off, which is needed frankly – that way you’re not paying quite so much for that sought-after TNF logo!

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