I received a new (large size) Kelly Kettle at the back end of 2008. We just missed out on taking this on our October 2008 trip down the Wye (see the trip report for more info on this!). Anyway, itching to use the Kelly Kettle, I decided that the garden in January, with plenty of snow, was the right place to give it a good test For fuel I had a small amount of card (and I mean small), a few twigs (mostly dry) and a bit of kindling that I chopped up with a hatchet.
Firstly, lighting the Kelly Kettle with a fire steel is straightforward, the base protects your spark from wind and lets you build the fire a little. I used a small cotton pad to take the spark, and added the card and twigs on top. After about a minute I added a few small bits of kindling and put the top kettle onto the base. This is the crucial point, if you don’t keep enough air going into the fuel/air hole on the side then there’s a chance the flame will go out. Solve this by either blowing into the hole or turning the hole to face into the wind. Once properly alight there is little chance of it going out.
Some people use barbecue lighters/fuel but I prefer to keep it as natural as possible and will only use pure cotton wool as a tinder to help start the fire. Extra fuel is added through the top chimney, or the side hole – but make sure you only drop small pieces in.
The water boils in minutes – honestly, our house kettle is slower! I was surprised too as there was enough water for 3 large cups easily, probably 4. As far as gear goes this is a must have for any trip (for us anyway!).
Also check out our March 2009 4 day trip (being added real soon), where the Kelly Kettle was not only used for water boiling but also cooking. Enjoy the pictures. We are also thinking of doing a Kelly Kettle video review soon – watch this space!