I was contacted by Norman Reeves from Stormin Stove Systems and asked if I would be interested in being a test person for his new soak system. I have previously purchased several cones and stoves from Norman so he knew what sort of customer I was. I said yes, of course, and in July 2018 I received a package in the mail.
Please note that I have tested a prototype only. The system has now been altered with modifications to enhance it’s performance and launched in the web shop.
Here is what it says on the web shop about the new product:
Cold Soak Optional System for Alcohol or solid fuel tablets
This concept has been around a while now, the Vargo Bot Pot being the only storage/cooking vessel capable of both functions. My idea is based on two food safe aluminum screw-top cans.
The primary can has a capacity of 750ml, the secondary holds 500ml. Basically, this is ideal for people who dehydrate their own food for longer hiking/ backpacking trips, it will also work with commercial dried meals.
The kit consists of :
1.750ml screwtop aluminium can. 54.55g
1. 500ml screwtop aluminium can.42.29g
2.Wool felt cosys (one for each can.) 11.32 &8.03g
1. Titanium Pothugger windshield. 21.19g
2. Stainless steel Pot support pins. 7g
1. 20mlAluminium Burner with push fit lid. 8.35g
1. Aluminium pivotal baseplate. 7.50g
1.Titanium solid fuel burner tray. 1.5g
1. Silicone lip protector/band 8.9g
1. Aluminium pot lifter. 37g
This is my first test I did in July 2018 of the Stormin PROTOTYPE system. I always use and make my own dehydrated meals. Please read the article that I wrote on dehydrating food for lightweight backpacking here. Below I prepared my own homemade dehydrated meal of curry chicken masala with rice and vegetables.
Below I’ve emptied the contents into the 750 ml pot. There is ample room in the pot.
Below I covered the food with water and then put some more in. I know that the food will really soak up the water so I put ample in. I let it soak for one hour as I know from experience that this is ample soaking time for my food which does not have large chunks in it.
Below, preparing things ready for the heating process. Please also keep in mind that this is a prototype and not the finished manufactured product released for sale now.
Below, I’ve removed the silicone seal and inverted the lid ready.
I’ve also added more water again as after one hour of soaking the food had soaked up all the water.
Below, I put in about 6 squirts from my Vargo fuel bottle.
I’ve ignited the burner using a Mini Bic lighter.
Below, the lid is placed on in inverted position.
Below, so far so good. I’ve noted the time so I can check to see how long it will take.
Below, mixing a little and just checking that the food is not sticking to the base.
Below, it was boiling after 7 or 8 minutes or so; I didn’t record this exactly and I let it boil further for a little while before I removed it and until I was satisfied with how it looked.
The food is now removed and the pot placed in the cosy.
The pot sits nicely in my hand and it is a pleasure to eat from. Please remember that this was a prototype. I tugged a bit at the cosy because it was made slightly too small. Norman has rectified this with the released version.
I also used and tested this system on my recent The King’s Trail (Kungsleden) hike that I did in August 2018. Below is a shot from my first night on trail at Kårsavagge in Sweden. The wind really got up and I took refuge in my shelter with some nice views. I prepared my food when I arrived at camp. I placed my dehydrated food into the 750 ml canister, filled with water to just over the top of the food line, putting the lid on, and then got on with my camp chores. If you knock over this canister then there is no drama. The lid is sealed. I always seem to knock things over so this is a bonus for me as I normally use my Evernew 900 ml pot. After an hour or so it was good to go. Using this system in my vestibule and with strong Arctic winds blowing, I had no problem lighting the stove and heating my meal. When it was heated I simply removed the canister from the flame and placed it into the cosy. Like I wrote before, the canister fits nicely in my hand and dinner was served.
I used this system several nights on trail and I have to say that I don’t really have anything negative to say about it. I have of course communicated some issues to Norman that since have been rectified so it would not be fair to mention them for the finished product as I was testing the prototype. I have been assured by Norman that these items are now in order.
My prototype did not come with the additional items that you receive with the released version like the titanium solid fuel burner tray and the silicone lip protector/band.
The released version weighs 207.58 g including all the accessories. My prototype that I took to Kungsleden, which doesn’t include all accessories, weighed in at 197 g.
The system also comes with the 500 ml canister (the one on the right below). So when you are eating your evening meal or breakfast out of the 750 ml canister you can simply fill some water into the 500 ml canister and heat for your morning coffee or tea or beverage of choice. There is also a cosy for it and the lip protector, the last item of which I did not have for testing, although it was not an issue for me.
I actually had my Evernew 900 ml pot and cosy on my Kungsleden packing list. But after some thought I realized that space could be a problem because my food bag was taking up so much room in my HMG Windrider 3400. My full packing list can be seen here. So it was a no-brainer for me and the prototype was added to my list instead. I stored it in my side net pocket while hiking but not to and from the location where I had it stored protected inside my pack. So this is one big plus with this system for me; the compactness and small size and weight is a bonus when you need all the pack space you can get.
One last thing. I packed a 500 ml soda bottle with meths for this hike. With this system I used only about 200 ml over 5 days. So it seems to be very efficient too. Below you can see how much I had left over when I checked into my hotel.
- easy to use
- cheap (look at the price of a Vargo Bot Pot)
- quick service (previous experience)
- versatile with a 750 ml and 500 ml
- leave no trace with the baseplate (this is important to me)
- can be damaged easily if you don’t pack it correctly
You can see all the photos here.
UPDATE December 9, 2018
This system has now been updated with a 750ml handleless titanium pot with lid weighing 95g. It has a ventless indented lid that fits into the rim of the pot. This is then made leak proof and watertight with the addition of a wide silicone band which seals the lid to the pot. The silicone lid seal/band weighs 10.4g and there is a mesh storage bag which weighs 14.5g.