The Kelly Kettle, also commonly known as the volcano kettle, storm kettle, bush kettle, ghillie kettle, angler's kettle, and Benghazi Boiler, was first produced by the Kelly Kettle Company four generations ago in Ireland in the early 1900s. More than a century later, it remains a favorite with anglers, ghillies, hunters, and all outdoorsmen because it is as fun to use as it is effective.
For an excellent review of the Kelly Kettle by someone who actually understands the product, we recommend you re-read the article "Classic Kit: The Volcano Kettle" by Jonathan Hanson in the premier issue of Overland Journal.
The Kelly Kettle has a very elegant design that can't really be improved upon. There is no corrugated insulating jacket or other "modular" add-on with the Kelly Kettle. It doesn't need it. The Kelly Kettle doesn't transform into something else. It doesn't need to. There is no fuel reservoir or thread-on fuel canister, as the Kelly Kettle uses paper, twigs, leaves, pine cones, or whatever other fuel happens to be lying around. The Kelly Kettle's fuel supply is infinite and free.
The Kelly Kettle Company makes different variants made from either stainless steel or aluminum, but we prefer the original and traditional aluminum variant,
with the wooden handle,
and cork stopper with noisy chain tether. One of the things that makes the Kelly Kettle so appealing is that its design and construction have remained unchanged from the day it first went into production more than a century ago. This original construction offers much appeal has greater longevity than would having the latest/greatest titanium Kelly Kettle with silicone stopper and carbon fiber handle. Trust us on this. You want the original.
You also want the genuine Kelly Kettle and not a Kopy Kettle.
The Kelly Kettle is very easy to use. More importantly, it is fun to use. Fun lasts longer than Function.
The Kelly Kettle fills from the angled mouth. The hole at the very top is the exhaust.
The hollow center of the Kelly Kettle acts as a chimney. Fresh air is sucked through the base's intake to feed the fire, and hot air is exhausted out of the top of the chimney. The flow of the air through the Kelly Kettle makes the fire very intense and hot. The high surface area of the Kelly Kettle's fire chamber conducts heat to the water very effectively and water boils in just a few minutes. When you require more fuel, just drop it in through the chimney.
The Kelly Kettle stores and transports compactly because the fire base nests within the body of the Kelly Kettle. Even with the fire base nested within the Kelly Kettle, there is still more room for other items such as mess kits, matches, tinder, mugs, and so on.
A nylon carry case is included.
The small Trekker Kelly Kettle is especially suitable for lightweight applications such as backpacking and cyclo-touring. The Trekker does not require liquid or canister fuel, so the effective weight and space savings are substantial. The Trekker also operates free of fuel costs as well as fuel weight, and works in all altitudes, temperatures, and atmospheric conditions. There is also no worry of running out of fuel with the Trekker. The Trekker may seem large at first when compared to other backpacking-sized cook systems, but remember that the Trekker is hollow and lots of things like mugs, pots, and other gear will nest inside the Trekker and very little cargo space is actually consumed. The Trekker is already smaller and lighter than a system that uses liquid or canister fuel, but if you are into shaving ounces, you can make the Trekker even lighter by eliminating the cork or wood handle, shortening the chain, cutting out the bottom of the fire base (this would also increase the nesting possibilities), grinding away the flared rim of the fire base, or even eliminating the fire base entirely and setting the Trekker down on campsite rocks during use. Get experience with a Trekker and many ideas will occur to you. Parts like the cork, chain, handle, and base are readily replaced if you should change your mind, so it's worth experimenting.
Once you own and use a Kelly Kettle, it becomes an old friend and you never want to replace it. Replacement parts like corks are available for all sizes of the Kelly Kettle. Kelly Kettle also makes a rubber stopper, but we prefer the traditional cork. Rubber stoppers may not wear out like cork, but will never give the beauty and lasting appeal of the original and traditional cork.
The Trekker Kelly Kettle takes the small replacement cork.
The large replacement cork fits both the large Base Camp and medium Scout Kelly Kettles.
Replacement handles are also available.
The small replacement handle fits the small Trekker Kelly Kettle.
The large replacement handle fits both the Large Base Camp and medium Scout Kelly Kettles.
Replacement bases are also available. Kelly Kettle has both steel and aluminum bases available, but we prefer the original and traditional aluminum.
The small base with two holes fits the small Trekker Kelly Kettle.
The large base with one hole fits both the large Base Camp and medium Scout sizes of the Kelly Kettle.
Use these replacement parts whenever required to keep your Kelly Kettle working. Make it last. When your Kelly Kettle gets dented from use, accept the dents rather than replacing your Kelly Kettle. When your Kelly Kettle gets charred from burning wood, accept the char rather than sanding or scouring the Kelly Kettle to make it look new again. Don't trash your Kelly Kettle to prove that you're "hard on your gear". That's for dopes. Just accept the inevitable dents and scrapes that come with time and use. Repair your Kelly Kettle whenever it requires repair. Use your Kelly Kettle for many years and it will become an old friend.
We like products that last (by "last" we don't mean "not wear out"). Many believe that the severest test a product can undergo is war or an editor's choice gear test or scientific testing or endurance testing or destructive testing or whatever else is fashionable nowadays. We disagree. We opine the most probative test of all is the test of time. Products that stand the test of time tend to be the best. For example, we like Land Rovers. And we like our Land Rovers the way they were before thug styling, keyless entry, big stereos, phone integration, or any of the other gimmicks fashionable nowadays on newer Land Rover vehicles. These older Land Rovers last. The gimmicky new Land Rovers won't. Neither will the other vehicles that the Function People claim are "just as good" as Land Rovers or "even better" than Land Rovers because they have more "features" that they claim to "need". All of these vehicles are quickly superseded by new technology or new fashion and just as quickly replaced by the people who claimed to "love" them. These people don't last either and seem to come and go with the vehicles in fashion at the time. Photo by Sinuhe Xavier.
Ballistol (ballistic oil) is over 100 years old and yet it remains the best product of its kind. Ballistol cleans, lubricates, and protects both blackpowder and smokeless firearms. Ballistol is biodegradable, safe on wood and leather, and non-toxic. You might think that a non-toxic CLP like Ballistol would not clean as well as dedicated cleaners, lubricate as well as dedicated lubricants, or protect as well as dedicated protectants, but you would be wrong. Ballistol works as well or better than all of these dedicated products, and it has not harmed any material we have put it on. Ballistol is the last gun cleaner, lubricant, or protectant you will ever use, but it is so much more. We use it on nearly everything and so will you once you try it and see how well it works.
A product does not have to be old to be lasting. The Kermit Chair is relatively new, but it was an instant classic the day it hit the market. It was originally designed for motorcycle touring, but its beauty, light weight, compact size, and comfort have made it popular and loved by non-motorcyclists the world over. Photo by Sinuhe Xavier.
"Flight-qualified by NASA for all manned space missions", the OMEGA Speedmaster Professional has the most impressive history of any watch in the world. After exhaustive testing, NASA issued the Speedmaster Professional to its Gemini and Apollo flight crews because of the Speedmaster Professional's reliability in all atmospheric conditions. The Speedmaster was the first watch to survive the temperature extremes of an EVA. The Speedmaster was the first watch worn on the Moon. This legendary timepiece will endure forever. Digital timing that resolves to 1/1000th of a second will last only until a timer that resolves to 1/10,000th of a second appears.
Although originally designed for field shooting, the elegance, performance, and great versatility of Barbour Waterproof and Protective Clothing have made it popular for all town and country pursuits by non-shooters as well as shooters. Like most high-quality items, Barbour clothing wears in rather than wears out and gets better with age and use.