When all you really want to do is boil water, the GSI Ketalist is a great piece of gear for outdoor adventures. Here is a Ketalist perched atop a Vargo titanium wood stove and alcohol burner, surrounded by an MSR windscreen.
If you need to boil some water in the woods for tea or instant coffee, you can get your Bilbo Baggins on with the GSI Halulite Ketalist– a lightweight tea kettle built for adventurers. Here is your handle. Here is your spout.
The GSI Halulite Ketalist cook kit (around $35) includes the anodized aluminum tea kettle (a simple, good-looking little unit) with a nesting polymer cup/bowl. There is also a less-than-impressive telescoping polymer spork (they call it a “foon”). The whole business weighs 11.1 ounces.
A Trangia alcohol burner fits conveniently inside the cup and bowl inside the kettle. Other small stoves might as well, particularly if you enjoy the taste of burnt naptha in your tea water. The whole shebang fits inside a GSI drawstring bag provided with the kit.
Obviously, the kettle system also works well for instant oatmeal, traditional tea bags, dehydrated soups and, of course, backpacker boil-in-the-bag meals. It is possible to actually use the kettle for actual cooking, but due to its shape it is less than ideal for that function. It works best as a dedicated water boiler.
For those with more advanced culinary ambitions, the Halulite Ketalist is light enough that a small cooking pot or pan can be added to the overall kit without suffering much of a weight penalty.
The coated handle of the kettle is notched to allow the kettle to be suspended by a pot hook over a camp fire. Some users have reported the handle coating melting when so deployed, an issue which can be addressed by using the kettle on hot coals instead of an open flame. Others have circumvented the problem entirely by removing the coating or by fashioning a different wire handle and replacing the factory original.
No disrespect meant to the classic Billy Can, but the GSI Ketalist offers the wilderness adventurer a more precise and civilized alternative to slopping scalding water into a bowl or a cup.