An 8 Ounce Kettle Makes Boiling Water a Cinch and Takes the Gasoline Out of Camping


Image Courtesy of Devin Montgomery

The weather's getting warmer and camping season is upon us. So as you break out the tent and the sleeping bag, there's a new design coming to market that's worth a look. It's the Backcountry Boiler™, an ultralight (8 oz), miniature chimney kettle that drops fuel cannisters in favor of "indigenous fuel," meaning twigs, sticks, dry leaves: anything you find on the spot.The design is the brainchild of Devin Montgomery, a self-described outdoorsy type who has been working on the Boiler since at least 2007. To make it available to the masses, he started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000. Normally, this is were I encourage you to pledge a few dollars, but Montgomery doesn't need any help from TreeHugger: he's already raised more than double that goal.

And I'm not surprised, given the cleverness of the Backcountry Boiler. It's small and light, thus easy to carry, and you don't have to spend money and sully your green conscience buying gasoline. Here's Montgomery's breakdown of why he likes the design:


  • 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

Or, just watch the video:

That being said, it should be noted that this design is not the first of its kind: last year, Jaymi showed us BioLite, a travel stove that works pretty much like the Backcountry Boiler. It's not as light (1lb 10oz), but it packs a punch: it also uses the fire's heat to generate electricity.

But if you want the lighter version on your next camping trip, pledge now: $80 will get you your own Backcountry Boiler, which will retail for $100 when it hits stores.

For more stories like this, follow me on Twitter.
More green camping supplies:
Jetboil Makes a Camping Fuel Canister Recycling Tool
Great Green Gear for Summer Camping and Hiking (Slideshow)
Happy Camping With The Eco-Camp Kit

Tags: Alternative Fuels | Camping | Designers | Kickstarter

Best of TreeHugger