The Vargo BOT-700 and my custom made Pothugger titanium windshield 175 g including burner and baseplate

I published a review about the Vargo BOT-700 back in February 2019. The review was based on using the Vargo BOT-700 together with a gas stove. I have used the Vargo BOT-700 since September 2018. However, after expressing concerns about issues with burning food, I decided to contact Norman at Stormin Stove Systems to help me find a solution. I asked him to manufacturer a new custom titanium windshield with an integrated pot support for my Vargo BOT-700 so that I could use it with an alcohol burner.

Please note that I paid for this pot and windshield with my own money and I do not work for or receive payment from Stormin Stove Systems. I will only write the truth from my own experiences and none of my reports are biased or influenced in any way or form from a manufacturer or gear shop.

Skåneleden SL5 Sections 5, 6, 7 & 8
Vargo BOT-700

Features of the Vargo BOT–700:

  • watertight screw-top lid
  • lid doubles as cooking lid
  • Temperature resistant O-ring
  • Graduated measurements in metric
  • Fold-away handles
  • stove-less
  • multi-use product
  • hydrate while you hike pre-soaking your dehydrated and freeze-dried meals decreasing cooking and waiting times
  • decrease fuel usage
  • weight 132 grams including lid (my pot controlled weight)
Skåneleden SL5 Sections 9, 12, 13 & 14
Stormin Stove Systems custom made titanium Pothugger Windshield

It did not take Norman long to make me a new custom made Pothugger titanium windshield for the Vargo BOT-700. In March 2019 I began to use the new system. A standard kit is manufactured using aluminium and includes the 2 support pins and a burner but does not include a baseplate. I ordered my custom kit which included the baseplate because leave no trace is important for me. My kit includes:

  • Pothugger titanium windshield including 2 support pins 26 grams
  • 20 ml screw UTD burner 7 grams
  • reflective baseplate in aluminium 10 grams

I have also made my own DIY pot cozy which weighs 33 grams. See the bottom of this article for directions on how to make your own.

DIY cozy for the Vargo BOT - 700
DIY pot cozy

Here are the basic specs without the cozy for those of you that want to see the weights. You can always use something else in your kit for a cozy. Total weight is 175 grams for a completely flexible cold-soak and hot-food system including the baseplate to practice leave no trace.

  • Vargo BOT-700 132 grams
  • Pothugger titanium windshield including 2 support pins 26 grams
  • 20 ml screw UTD burner 7 grams
  • reflective baseplate in aluminium 10 grams

Since the conversion to an alcohol based fuel and wind protection system I have not burnt one single meal using the Vargo BOT-700. The 20 ml UTD burner is very fuel efficient and together with the pre-soaking routine and the simmering process in the pot cozy fuel consumption is reduced to an absolute minimum. I really have no gripes about this system; no negatives at all. Yes, I’m a happy boy!

Vargo BOT–700 & Stormin Stove Systems Pothugger Windshield

My whole kit including the windshield, support pins, burner, baseplate, lighter, folding knife and folding cup (shown above) all store away inside the Vargo BOT-700. This is a very compact, lightweight and very flexible system and when I pack it away it sits nicely protected in my DIY pot cozy.

DIY cozy for the Vargo BOT - 700
my DIY pot cozy

If you frequently read my trip reports then you will know already that I make my own dehydrayed food. Lately I have been trying out some newly purchased expedition meals as well alternating between different assorted brands brands. I still use my own meals but I was becoming a little tired of eating the same type of food all the time. For example now I’ll mix between my own meals and purchased food if I’m going on a 3 or 4 day hike. The brands that I have tried lately are:

Everyone knows about or has tried Real Turmat’s high quality and good tasting meals. The problem is that you have to buy them when they are on a deal because they are so damn expensive. Blå Band taste pretty good and are reasonably priced. I used them on my hike in Swedish Lapland last September. Only issue there was that I started to lack fibre in my diet after 5 days of eating them. When I only ate my own homemade meals on a week-long hike I never experienced this issue. So on my next long hike I will take a mix between my own food and purchased meals.

IMG_1163
Blå Band expedition meal

Of the 3 brands the Tent Meals has really surprised me the most. High energy food packed in small lightweight packages that are of the same size and weight of my own homemade dehydrated meals. The meals taste very good and are packed with healthy natural ingredients. The meals have no preservatives, no colourants and none of those nasty “E” additives. There is a downside of all this goodness however; the use by dates are only for 6-12 months. But if you are out in the woods as much as I am (not in these Coronavirus COVID-19 times though) then this should not present a problem. What excites me the most is that the Tent Meals can also be prepared by cold soaking. I’ve written before about my interest in this area of stove-less meal preparation so now I’m willing to try this method with my Vargo BOT-700 and still have the luxury of being able to make a hot drink.

DIY cozy for the Vargo BOT - 700

Make your own pot cozy

I receive a lot of questions firstly about where I purchased the material for my cozy and secondly how to make one. You can use one of those sun screens that they use in a car. I’ve done that a couple of times or you can buy also some reflectix insulation from a hardware store. Some years ago I ordered a 2 meter roll of Astro foil from a camping shop in Denmark. It’s a bit more heavy duty and a little heavier but it does the job well. They use it to insulate under the carpet in outdoors areas for example a caravan annex. Then you need some aluminium tape to keep it all together of which you can also purchase from the hardware store. Joe Brewer has done a really nice video on how to make a cozy here so I won’t try to re-invent the wheel and bore you with one of mine.

Conclusion

If you haven’t much room in your pack and you want some flexibility in your food preparation processes being able to switch between cold soaking and hot food + warm drinks then I can highly recommend this system. It works for me!

Update October, 2020

Stormin Stove Systems are no longer available for purchase


Disclosure:
Product(s) discussed in this article were purchased by myself from a retailer or manufacturer. I do not accept compensation or donated product in exchange for guaranteed media placement or product review coverage without clearly denoting such coverage as an “ADVERTISEMENT” or “SPONSORED CONTENT.”

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