Crux and Solo Cook Set

Had a brief excursion into Newcastle to pick up some items from Mmm (more blueberry infused balsamic, some smoked sea salt, dried mushrooms and some garlic sea salt - Mmm!) and naturally was ready for a cup of tea by the time I got back. Especially as I couldn't find an X82 bus stop on the West Road, and ended up walking to Newcastle General before I eventually found one...

Anyway, seemed like a good opportunity to try out my new stove and cook set. All the kit below comes from who I can wholeheartedly recommend. Excellent service.

What you see in the shot below is the Evernew Titanium Solo Cook Set, packed in it's mesh bag, containing a 125g/225ml gas cartridge and the Crux Stove in its protective pouch. I guess the Crux pouch isn't really needed. It does stop it rattling about, but the same effect could probably be achieved by packing other kit in there too. A folding spork would easily fit, but I only have a plain spork, and am not feeling ready to cut the handle down! Not sure if I really like the idea of folding cutlery - surely it's not easy to clean? Maybe it's just me!

This combination as shown below weighs in at 490g. Not ultralight maybe - but I think it's going to suit me fine. The mesh bag is pretty important as, although snug, the mug and pot lid would not stay together without it.

Stove and Cookset (Packed)

As shown in the photo below, it unpacks to the 750ml pot, a 400ml mug, there's the gas cartridge and Crux stove, and finally the mesh bag, stove pouch and MSR Mug Mate which I pre-loaded with a level teaspoon of Keemun tea, purchased earlier in the day from the Pumphreys Tea Shop.

Stove and Cookset (Unpacked)

It all fits together nice and easy, with a brief hiss of gas as you tighten the stove - just before it locks into place - so ventilation is important, unless you feel like getting high! However, even on our fairly sheltered patio, light gusts of wind were definitely affecting the flame, so I think a windshield would have been a good idea. Having said that, half a pot boiled in just over 2 minutes and I'd gone easy on the control valve, so that the flames stayed below the base of the pot. It lit instantly with a single scrape of a Swedish FireSteel.

Stove and Cookset (Boiling)

I would like to say that a cup of tea never tasted better. But, at the end of the day, it was just another cup of tea! The Mug Mate is a fabulous contraption; weighs almost nothing. I've been using it in the house for the last few days. Very convenient access to a mug of proper tea.

Stove and Cookset (Final Product)

The pot cooled down very fast and could easily be handled after a few minutes. The stove top stayed hot for longer, but had cooled down by the time I drank the tea. It was while enjoying that first test-cuppa that I began to wonder how easy it would be to set something on fire... as you do.

Fire Steel

I collected a few dry leaves, twigs and dead grass, and scrunched them up on a piece of folded kitchen towel. Took a few strikes, but it lit easily enough. Probably not the best tinder - I guess. I'm sure I read somewhere that the fluff from a tumble dryer filter works very well. Tomorrow is washday, so the pyromanic in me will be watching the dryer and waiting for it to finish. More entertaining than the X-Factor anyway!

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