Titanium cook set and Light weight gear

Eventually arrived from AliExpress,

A nod to this post Stainless steel, titanium or blue steel cookware suitable for hiking and where to buy

BRS 3000T stove
1100ml pot
300ml pan/ lid

What can I say that’s not positive?
Well that’s simple titanium transfers heat quicker than anything else on the planet. When heating, the handles are the same temperature as whatever’s inside the pot - so pouring is an issue - expect foul language when I’m making my morning coffee!
I have since tried putting “heat shrink” over the handles but I doubt that’ll help much!

I initially brought it as a back up being so small it can go in anywhere but having used it a couple of times I can see it being reliable.

For a sense of size these pics summit up perfectly the stove is absolutely tiny it weighs an advertised 25g - at sea level that works out to nearly 26g! The pot set and stove less than 200g. There’s even a handy heavy mesh net which increases the weight!

Now this thing has a rates heat power of XXX thinggy’s I can’t remember, but what I can say is that it’s an absolute bomb delivering a bucket load of heat at full blast and makes a racket (spoiler alert not good for trying to be discrete) and pumps out the flame at the pot so much so that with this small pot I need to turn the power down as it’s being wasted with no extra heating. I think that with one of those heat exchange pots it wound be magical. Ive got one but not tried it on this yet.
On the subject of turning down the power you can, and it really can simmer cook food! Wow

I was kind of worried that the support fins (feet) were going to melt and the 900ml of boiling water would spill on me so I tried to grasp the pot handles and steady it - this is where I learned about titaniums Hades-like ability to transfer heat. Scorched fingers withdrawn the fins diddnt melt or warp or bend - it all remained stable.

I’ve kept all my stoves over the last 30 years except the rusty brass pressure stove that exploded on me and those stupid solid fuel folding stoves you get on basics in the rat packs.

This gives you a sense of size - To think the Coleman 442 “feather” was the ultralight back in the 90’s - I still use that hand grenade its especially useful when camping on a motorbike as it shares fuel, Ive done never run out of fuel with it yet on up to 6day hikes, (Yes it needs some polishing!)

Left to right:

BMS 3000 T (with 1100ml and 300ml pot set.) can you see it?
Firemaple 103
Firemaple 108
Coleman 442
MSR Windburner Duo 1.8L

Must say that all have been (ab)used over the years and each has a special place.

The MSR Windburner Duo being ideal for my family or small groups.

The Petrol Coleman 442 being for the motorbike camping sharing the same fuel, I call it the hand grenade obviously much heavier and uses a liquid fuel that is pressurised but it if the fastest cooker Ive experienced so far.

The Firemaple 108 for larger pots where stability is important specifically with the GSI Silicon Heat Exchange pot. (Ive bent the supports in a bit so it fits inside the heat exchange portion) It also fits neatly under a potpie pot, and simmers, plus has its own pixie ignitor

The Firemaple 103? Well truthfully its days are numbered, if the BMS performs as I expect it will in the field then the 103 has been made redundant! (I’ve only boiled 7l of water through the BMS so far and I will take the 103 as a back up) But Im absolutely getting a spare BMS.

I will do a timed boil of 800ml of water in the same pot (excluding the MSR Windburner) to identify which boils the fastest, unfortunately I dont have a kitchen scales so cant measure the weight of gas used (which might be more important.)

On the subject of light weight and cheap - you know the very expensive Nalgene bottles that everyone swears by?
Well the “Return for Deposit” 1.5L coke bottles are simply brilliant they are not affected by boiling water, take an absolute beating and are extremely cheap - I carry two, one with a Source https://sourceoutdoor.com/product/convertube/ adapter on it and the other closed off, its a great way to ensure youre hydrating enough and to monitor how much water youve got. Plus if its cold - fill with boiling water, put into two socks and put against your sleeping bag: - toasty

Tent wise I have come across four reasonably priced ones: and settled on one (Maybe)

  1. Nature Hike Spire (Minarette) this is about 1.4kgs is a Square Flysheet Hiking pole tent, with a rectangular sleeping area, but it also has a triangular area with an access zip Pictured) that sort of curves around the pole 15D Silicon coated nylon in a rescue me Orange flysheet:
    This I’ll be using on the Kruger trail, well see how it goes!
  2. Lanshan 1 (230cm version) Rectangular space single hiking pole tent Great quality materials single entrange at under 1 kg it is the lightest, make sure you get the more recent 230cm long one. Love the Khaki flysheet
  3. Geer Top Pyramid 1 pax 1.4kg but using 2 hiking poles is significantly more stable than the Lanshan or NH Spire in any winds. Its a simple rectangle sleeping area which opens both sides, made from really high quality materials
  4. Lanshan 2 a traditional A frame style of tent using 2 hiking poles, also extremely light weight, and 2 pax is light!

On the Lanshan tents Id say avoid the [“Pro” versions]( Lanshan 2 ) which are lighter single wall tents, and use a stronger double sided silicon coated material that is not waterproof treated on the seams (you need to do it yourself) But the biggest issue is that single wall design will have much more condensation and worse - any night time predators, will be able to look under the “flysheet” through the mesh and see you clearly, I cant think of anything that would entice a leopard interest than that!

Lastly (my Cumulus XLite 300 sleeping bag arrived No I dont have big hands:

Man I’m impressed, like really properly impressed! Its made with a “Artistic” material inside and out which is apparently the lightest Down proof material at 19gm2 What I can say is that it doesn’t feel weak at all and it is silky smooth comfy!
My previous Down experience has been with 650loft, its filled with 900 loft down its remarkable how it compresses into a bag not much taller than a toilet roll! but lofted out, its ridiculously lofty. This is next level stuff!

Its also quite roomy, more-so around the shoulders than my Deuter Dreamlite 500 but noticeably tighter around the legs where the mummy shape comes in - If you cross your legs you get a bit of spread feeling! nice hood, and different types of chord for the hood closure, a nice touch for personalising how you want it fitted.
Obviously a baffle on the 3/4 length zip, that didn’t get caught, (I am babying it at the moment) Warmth factor? Pretty darn impressive, cant wait to properly test it out on a miserably cold night. I should point out that as down compresses so much, when youre lying down the compressed bottom part offers less thermal value than Synthetic bags, so a ground pad with a thermal rating is more important

All in all, aside from the weight reduction, my bag has found so much extra space with these miniaturisation’s I could get away with a significantly smaller bag, Now a 65l is feeling empty!

I will update with the boil times once Ive had an opportunity to do so. I will also feed back on the Kruger trail experiences with this stuff towards the end of May


How long did the BRS stove take to arrive from order to in your hands?

I actually got the stove locally, the tins took nearly a month free post

I have something else on its way ordered 7 April issues with 3D printing in Shanghai, posted 18 April and arrived in the country 25th
It should be another 10 days in customs clearing etc so I might get it in time for this trip - that would be exciting!

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Who is stocking it locally? Was it not cheaper to buy it from AliExpress?

Cheaper yes but not quicker it was a one off through a friend of a friend.

Lovely detailed post. I’m very keen on buying one of the Cumulus quilts. A little heavier than the XLite sleeping bags but I’m assuming that because they don’t fill them with 900FP.

Edit. Never mind, I see that 900FP is available in the configurator and the weight saving is the lining. A 300 gram fill of 900FP might be the sweet spot for most of SA’s hiking.

Have heard a lot of good things about Cumulus sleeping bags. Did you order directly from them? With the import duties would you still say it was worth it to order from overseas?

Man the bag is amazing

The taxes are difficult to justify and add to the costs unnecessarily making them not a great deal but if you know someone coming over from Europe (excluding Uk) they’re (relatively) a bargain. Certainly compared to everything else I looked at they were pre tax over $100 cheaper and lighter for the same comfort rating.

Yes ordered direct from them through their website - had payment issues but they were quick to rectify that
I’m absolutely blown away by it and I’d looked at some stupid money RAB bag 395g + stuff sack that has less down and was supposedly warmer… I very much doubt it, that was over £200 more than what I paid with tax.

I also looked at the Criterion bags, who used to be manufactured by Cumulus but they’re not as good (honestly) in the range I was looking at. Ie 0-1C comfort rated and sub 500g. Although they were keen to point out their bags were used on a Namibian expedition.
The Criterion Quantum 200 is more expensive (before tax) and heavier but if you e got someone coming from the UK you’ll save on the taxes.

I don’t believe anyone else is using the Airtastic material yes it’s lighter and probably needs being babied a bit more but it’s awesome silky smooth. I wouldn’t lay it directly in the ground, it’ll always be inside a tent on a mattress of some kind, I do however get lazy with my other bags…
For me it was a dedicated use purchase I could have gone for the lighter Xlite 200 (no hood) but I really like being cocooned

It’s worth doing a bulk shipment and bringing in a dozen to save on the shipping costs and their added taxes.

Problem is that it’s “only” 1C rated for the berg you’ll want warmer. I wouldn’t take this up Kili I’d think about it, but maybe with an outer insulated cover and decent ground sheet but at that point there are better bags

I do like their design configuration where you can effectively make your own bag that’s pretty cool - if I were into regular altitude stuff I’d do that

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Thank you I tried to convey info that’s relevant rather than scientific.

I’ve become a huge fan of the Cumulus already and I’ve not used it in anguish yet! Packing it into its stuff sack is like watching a magician in action, it just keeps going in! Then when you pull it out and it lofts out it’s amazing!

I think I’ll forgo the stuffsac and just use a small waterproof roll close bag

Playing around with customizing quilts doesn’t make the big difference that it does with sleeping bags.

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Thanks for the info, it is appreciated. I had a look at their website, awesome that you can configure your own sleeping bag. Great value if I one has a friend or family member that can bring it with from the EU. Their X-Lite range uses 900 Fill Power down and coupled with the lightweight shell makes for a very light and compact bag (great warmth to weight ratio), although the light weight shell necessitates that the bag will have to be handled with care. The amount of space that will open up in your backpack with a sleeping bag like this is truly amazing.

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Under the customized option you can select different bags and literally make one to your spec.

The Torah Airtastic material isn’t too bad but I’d imagine it would be a nightmare to work with.

Compared to my synthetic -13C 2kg snugpack bag this is ridiculously small the Snugpack took up a whole lower compartment in my rucksac, now I’ve got the entire cook set, sleeping bag first aid kit and towel! With room to spare.
Love it!

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Awesome, enjoy the sleeping bag and the extra space in your backpack!!!

On my way back from the Kruger it’s been a long time and a pretty amazing trip.

The confluence of the Letaba and Olifants rivers croc fishing… there were 4 large crocs on that sandbank as we arrived they slid off, this trip really isn’t the normal Kruger experience!

This leg 6 days from Mopani Rest camp to Olifants Rest camp was darn amazing can’t wait to download some of the night time photos of Elllies and I think a Leopard.
Some feedback:-
It got to 7C one morning and I never once zipped up the bag it was too warm I love it I love it I love it!
This was taken at the Shipandweni bird hide that you can book to sleep in - it was really awesome

The pots were great and the burner awesome I boiled in total at least 13 liters of water on one 230g can of gas and it was completely empty - I could have been more frugal…

The pots are great and theoretically perfect, But the base diameter of the pot is too small to effectively use the stoves heat - most of the heat is lost up the sides on anything other than lower heat; a wider pot would be much more fuel efficient. Can’t fault the burner, it’s a beast! I’ll be getting a heat exchange pot for the next leg but I will miss the tiny 300ml pan! I’ll probably get this
But I’ll need a plate or keep the 300ml pan. Incidentally the heat shrink of the handles dissent last.

The tent was awesome - the first time I put it up in the Restcamp I honestly thought it would be a disaster but I eventually got the recipe right and solved the condensation issues on the inner mesh with everything inside it was spacious in all but length my head just touching mesh and my feet just off. Unless I get a steal of a bargain on a Nemo Dragonfly this is it. (If you’re an eedjit and loose the hiking pole you can use wood cut to length or hang it from a tree)

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Thanks for sharing, looks amazing! Glad the bag worked like a charm. Which hiking trail was this in the Kruger?

So www.TheKrugerTrail.com is a hard thing to get onto I’ve got three more legs to go it’s absolutely epic to put it mildly over 3 years and 6 legs you walk the entire length crooks corner to Malelane bridge

3 spaces available in July…

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I have heard about this trail which you hike the length of Kruger National Park. This is one of hell of a wilderness hike. Kruger is a place close to my heart, have only done the Mphongolo trail. Will go and check it out, would love to join.