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Renaissance man in a state of flux, trying to absorb all the knowledge and wisdom I can while I immerse myself in the arms of Earth Mother as much as I can, and drawn to the sea always.

Maine Island Trail Association

Friday, July 4, 2014

Great Gear to Get: JETBOIL SUMO

   The world of the "camp stove" has evolved from cooking over an open fire to stoves that can now charge your electronic devices. We've used every fuel imaginable and pumped pressure into reservoirs until our arms fell off. We've had to use windscreens, and we have forgotten windscreens only to have our efforts to even have a cup of coffee foiled just when you need it most.
   However, I think those days are over, especially for me with my penchant for camping out of a kayak. Enter into my world the JetBoil line of stoves. Small, self contained, no fuel to spill and will heat a quart of water to full rolling boil before you can get your smartphone stop watch initialized.

First, let me say that I will be talking about the SUMO size of the JetBoil. Yet, despite it's name, denoting size and girth, still fits in a small dry bag along with a couple fuel canisters. Now, one of the initial "push backs" I got on this system is the empty canisters that one will have to pack out during your trip. Being a firm believer of "Leave no trace", I have no problem packing out what I carry in. In fact I think it's the only way one should camp. It helps you keep your outfitting efficient and keeps the camp site pristine for the next camper. The Sumo comes equipped with a large main 'pot', 3 cups/bowls, fuel mounting system with integrated sparking unit and flame control, folding stability legs to go on the fuel can that attaches to the base and lids for everything.
As I said earlier, everything fits easily into a small dry bag, making transport a breeze and leaving you plenty of room for the rest of your gear. Which if you are counting on your kayak to carry everything, every inch counts.
The construction is robust, I have no fears of anything breaking in transit and set up is simple and fast. Once assembled you are literally a couple of minutes from a steaming cup of a hot beverage, which can be a huge boost when paddling in less than balmy conditions. And, JetBoil fuel is available in a 'four seasons mix', making it even more ideal for year 'round excursions.

One of the things I like best about the Sumo is the fact that you have enough bowls/cups for not only yourself but another camper. Meaning, quite simply MORE ROOM in another boat for more food, water, gear, whatever will make your trip more enjoyable. For those of you who do camp out of kayaks you are well aware of how every inch is precious and can make the difference between bringing something and leaving it in the car.

Everything you see to the right came out of that one small dry bag. The parts stayed cool, the contents of the large pot stayed hot making it the ideal vessel for a one pot meal, soup, chili and the like. The JetBoil system has accessories enough to satisfy the most hardcore gear junkie (like me) including a "Crunch it" key to make the empty fuel canisters recyclable! A major plus for me...it makes the fact there is no fuel to spill and even bigger plus for the JetBoil.

I have used a lot of different camp stoves in my life, from single burner multi-fuel models to large table top models for 'car camping' and by far and away the JetBoil is the most efficient, most compact and easy to use and transport cooking system I've encountered. I have had no difficulty finding an ample supply of the fuel and do plan ahead so I know I have enough for my trip then some. So, if you like your camp cooking as easy as it can get, I heartily recommend the JetBoil, especially for paddling. I am still wowed by how small it all packs down! Thank you, JetBoil!

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