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.

Gear Talk: BushBuddy Ultra + Tibetian Titanium 1100 Pot

On Monday my BushBuddy Ultra arrived, after only 9 working days in the mail. I drove by bike to the customs to pick it up, and after I paid a
16,50€ customs-fee I was back on my bike. However, I was already a happy backpacker as I couldn't wait to weight it, so I borrowed the scale at the customs office, and my BushBuddy Ultra is 134 gr!

The box it comes in:
BushBuddy Ultra

Unpacked in front of the lovely wooden box and the instructions leaflet:
BushBuddy Ultra

I ordered a Tibetian Titanium 1100 Pot from Ultralight Outdoor Gear on the same day I ordered the BB Ultra, and it was within five working days delivered to my door. Its beautiful, but I won't feel bad about the soot it will collect - its an item I will use, and not an item I put on the shelve to look at. But here it is in its pristine glory:

Tibetian Titanium 1100 Pot

The BB fits perfectly in there, and together the two are a beautiful couple:
Photobucket

And here in "cooking simulation":
BushBuddy + 1100 Titanium Pot

Both go in the packsack the TT 1100 Pot came in:
Photobucket

Finally, a comparison photo of my old system versus the new system. Trangia 25-3 UL + the Alcohol bottle on the left, BushBuddy Ultra + Tibetian Titanium 1100 Pot in packsack on the right.
Old vs. New

The cold hard facts for the number guys out there:

BB Ultra: 134 grams
TT Pot + Lid: 141 grams
TT packsack: 18 grams

Makes for a total of 293 grams. I will be adding a LMF Swedish FireSteel Mini and some tinder in there, as well as my Spork for cooking. Also a Pot cozy and a wind screen are in the making, so I guess it will increase a bit. But in comparisons to the old system I shaved off around 1700 grams (that includes 1l of Alcohol), so its a lot and a good first step towards a lighter load.

On the price side, I paid 75€ incl. shipping for the BB Ultra + 16,50€ for customs, that's 91,50€, or about the same as the Trangia 25-3 UL set costs. For the TT 1100 Pot I paid about 43€ incl. shipping.

Pictures of the system in action including boiling times will follow during the weekend.

Seitseminen Trip

I left on Saturday morning as I wasn't able to leave on Friday. I arrived punctually at the bus station and as soon as I entered the bus it started to rain, and it shouldn't stop till six in the evening. The bus arrived in Parkano, from where I started to walk the 19 km to the National Park. After about three kilometers a car on the opposite lane stopped and asked me where I am going. I told the driver, and he told me to get in. He turned around, and the driver told me he saw me walking from the crossroad up ahead, and thought I could need a ride - lucky me! He dropped me off at the Visitor Centre and wished me a good trip. I quickly jumped in the Visitor Centre and asked about the lean-to shelter at Rysäslammi. The time was now 11.30 and I started walking, walking in the rain.

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

Seiseminen consists of extensive forests, bogs and esker ridges, and there was also an old croft at Kovero on my path. I met one person during the whole trip in the park. It was peaceful, and only the rain and wind were accompanying me.

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

I was making good speed on the park's trails, and enjoyed the ups and downs and the walks over the planks, though they were slippery. A cuckoo was calling in the distance. I was still quite dry, walking mainly on broader paths under forest cover.

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

The landscape changed every kilometer, and I saw moss (or do you call it dosh?) in many different shades of green.

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

The path continued and I was in good spirit. I liked the fresh smell of the wet forest, and the silence. It was clean here. It was pristine nature.

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

After about two hours I arrived at Koverolampi, where there is a campsite and a short walk of 200 meters to the croft. I put my backpack down under a fir and walked to shore of the small lake. It was swampy, and blueberry shrubs were all around. This will be a good place in the autumn to come and collect them.

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

I shouldered my backpack and continued to the croft, where I met the only person during this trip, a daytripper. The old croft is a cultural heritage site, and I looked into the old stables and buildings before I continued my trip to Jokiristi. Part of the path was now a nature path, and some explanatory signs were standing at the side of the path.

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

The anthill was as tall as me, 175 cm. I was amazed, it must be a old one. On that stretch of the path, there were another three right next to the path. The ants, however, were "inside" and waiting for the rain to stop. Smart ones, as the rain increased and the drops grew bigger. So big actually, that after about four hours I was rather wet. My spirit went down, and I decided to have a break and drink a hot chocolate. At Jokiristi they were building a new shelter, and I stopped in the not finished shelter to cook my hot cacao.

Seitseminen

Yes, that helped. With fresh energy I continued, as did the rain. I reached the old mill, which was very pretty and would make a good emergency shelter.

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

Seitseminen

Shortly after the battery died, and I didn't have an extra pack with me. But my spirits were again high, and after passing Liesijärvi which had a great camping place I arrived at 18.00 o'clock at the Rysäslammin lean-to shelter. The fire in front of it was burning, and I suspect that the car which passed me five minutes earlier had the guys within it which lighted it. I was wet to the bone after six and half hours in the rain, and needed a break. After cleaning the shelter - those guys had their beer cans and garbage thrown in the landscape - I set up the trusty Trangia and cooked me a delicious dinner. About half past seven the sun decided to show itself, and while I ate I enjoyed the view on the lake where a goose was swimming its circles.

Not feeling comfortable with the shelter being so close to the forest-road, I decided to continue another 8 km to the next shelter. I arrived at it at 22 o'clock and made a fire to dry my cloths, before I slipped into the sleeping bag and was quickly asleep.

At six in the morning the sun shone in my face, as my shelter was on top of a hill and facing slightly east. It was a beautiful morning, with a clear blue sky and no cloud to be seen. After breakfast I broke camp and continued the last 8 km to the town of Kuru, where I had a coffee and cake. The bus would leave in two hours, so I went down to the road to try to hitch a ride. After ten minutes I was on my way back home!

All in all it where 35,5 km, of which the majority was the Pirkan-Taival trail. Its an European long distance trail, connecting Seitseminen NP to Helvetinjärvi NP and its well marked with good possibilities to camp. I think I will need to check it out during the summer, as its bound to have a route which starts or ends in Tampere!