As some may recall I've occasionally been posting on my cooking exploits. The background is that I'm out quite a lot and so eat a lot of meals "in the field" in a year (maybe 150) so it isn't long until you get fed up with sandwiches. With this in mind I have a range of solutions for cooking in the field and thought to post on a new one.
Previously I've done a quick review of my Crusader and Dragonfly stoves and recently I acquired a little Alpkit Kraku Stove:
Alpkit - Kraku - Micro titanium stove
To be honest calling it a stove is overselling it a little bit and it is really just a nozzle that fits onto a gas canister. The advantage with this is that it is small and light and so virtually all the weight in your cooking gear is actually in the fuel. This is the stove folded up beside a Blue Elver and a Connemara Black. I think the Connemara Black is a size 12
and this is what it is like once you extend the little pot stand legs and get it ready for action:
The gas is available in canisters of various sizes with the 100g being the smallest, this is the stove fixed to a 230g canister ready for action:
Over the last few days I've been out and about a little bit and have been using the 230g canister and it has done me two breakfasts (heating my milk for breakfast as I don't like to slum it), maybe 5 - 6 cups of tea plus 2 "boil in the bag" type lunches where I was keeping the water boiling for around 15 minutes each time. I've no real idea how full, or empty, the canister is now but there still seems to be a goodly amount of fuel left in it based purely on shaking it about a bit. The canisters are £5 for the 230g ones and £4 for the 100g ones.
The windshield I have is a little too short to be ideal for the 230g canister but will, I suspect, be ideal for the 100g one which is not so tall. I did have some concerns about putting a wind shield around a gas canister but I monitored the temperatures at the top of the canister carefully and found that it wasn't getting hot at all. Something to look out for but it certainly doesn't look like it will be a problem for me:
Despite what you might think I have, so far, found that even with a full pot on top the whole setup is relatively stable though, clearly, you need to use your brain a little and pick a firm and level footing for it. There are "legs" available for the gas canisters which make the whole thing even more stable should this be of concern.
The whole setup of the 100g canister and stove comes in around the half pound mark which makes it somewhat lighter and considerably smaller in terms of volume when compared to my Dragonfly stove so it would be ideal for lightweight backpacking and in fact you could even carry the small canister and stove in a pocket though clearly it isn't so easy to do this with the required pot.
The flame and heat is pretty controllable but will not go low enough to prevent burning milk onto the bottom of the pot when heating it for breakfast, with light and thin pots and a breeze meaning that the flame can't go to the absolute minimum I've never seen an "in the field" cooking solution that could effectively heat milk without sticking a small amount to the bottom of the pot.
This cooking system probably lacks the flexibility of a liquid fuel stove like the Dragonfly which will, almost, burn anything you can pour into the fuel bottle. However the tiny Alpkit stove does a great job, heats water fast, is relatively controllable when compared with some stoves and is relatively inexpensive to buy. The big selling point is that it takes up very little space and is very light. Fuel, however, is quite costly plus it is hard to judge how much burn time you have left in a canister. I'm also told that performance can suffer greatly in extreme cold or when the fuel canister is almost empty.