Hiking in Finland

Climbing, bikepacking, skiing & packrafting in the north

Gear Test: BushBuddy Ultra + Tibetian Titanium 1100 Pot

Being a responsible writer I decided to go already this morning out and test the BB Ultra. The conditions were less than stellar, as it was rainy and windy. But its so much closer to the real life conditions we find ourselves so often in, so I am happy that I could do this first test in these conditions. I live 200 m from the lake and the green area, so I took the BBU + TT 1100, some matches, a 1l Nalgene Loop Top and some pulp from a empty toilet paper roll and set off. On the way I collected some small and medium-size twigs and some dry leaves, which I found close to the trees, which was no work at all and was done in less than two minutes. This will be the same on tour, which I scooped out during previous walks - there's always enough death and dry wood near the paths, so its no big effort to collect fuel.

I settled by a spot down at the waterfront, put in the tinder and leaves in the BBU and stroked a match. No two minutes later, after putting in some of the smaller twigs, I had a nice fire going.

BushBuddy Ultra + TT 1000 pot in action

Thus, fill 1l of water in the TT pot, throw in some bigger twigs and start the stopwatch.

BushBuddy Ultra + TT 1000 pot in action

As I said, it was windy and rainy, and I needed to use my Haglöfs backpack as a windscreen, which worked fine. After 10 minutes I had a boil going, so its working as advertised. I expect with using a proper windscreen and 100% dry wood I will be able to get it down to 8 minutes. Here a photo of the gas flames which come out of the inner ring holes and the boil.

BushBuddy Ultra + TT 1000 pot in action

BushBuddy Ultra + TT 1000 pot in action

I fed the BBU for another ten minutes with the rest of the wood I had, and it was a fun little undertaking. I let the fire burn down, and this is what I had over at the end:

BushBuddy Ultra + TT 1000 pot in action

And to illustrate how small the BBU + TT 1100 pot are, here a comparison photo to the 1l Nalgene bottle:

BushBuddy Ultra + TT 1000 pot in action

I cleaned up and packed the two back in the packsack, and walked home, stopping every now and then to take some photos of blossoming trees. But some opinions already:

+ extremely light
+ fun!
+ easy to operate
+ no need to carry fuel
+ fire!

- soot on your pots and hands
- the smell of smoke in your clothes
- need to search your fuel before you can start cooking
- needs constant attention to keep it going

For me some of the negative points aren't negative, but I wanted to point them out for others. If you're sensible to dirt and want your gear to look like new all the time, the BBU isn't for you as the soot will make your pots dirty. The smell of smoke might be something to consider if you're sensitive to that. And if you like to do a kazillion things besides cooking, then you also want to reconsider the BushBuddy.

However, if you like a very light and fun cooking system, and don't want to depend (and spend money) on alcohol, gas and esbit then the BushBuddy is the way to go. Its easy to use, just starting the fire might require some practice. The sound and smell of a fire can raise your spirits, and the natural light of it as well. I believe I will have many good trips with it in the future, and will report back after I was able to test it on a few trips.