I’ve a new toy – the JetBoil Flash basically, a portable device for boiling water.
In the past, my rucksack contained a couple of flasks of juice and I would march along my route, hardly breaking stride as I reached round for a swig.
More recently I started to fill a flask. I would make up a coffee before I left home/base and it would be there when I needed it. Trouble was, I often ended up drinking cold coffee, especially in winter and much of the drink would spill or leak.
I progressed on to a meths burner. It wasn’t the easiest thing to use but it was cheap, light and usually/eventually provided enough boiling water for a drink – just add instant coffee and milk.
I did, however, have problems in winter, in the wet and when I forgot my lighter – the most likely problem!
Step forward the JetBoil Flash cooking system. It is self contained (at least it would be if I had the smaller gas canister!) and boils water in around two minutes.
Every thing except the a screw top gas canister comes straight out the box.
I packed my rucksack and headed to my usual playground – the Clwydian Range.
Initially, I noticed the sack did feel a bit heavier but after a few minutes climb didn’t notice the extra load. Needless to say, not only would the smaller gas fit in the mug, it would also reduce the weight considerably.
I had followed the first part of the walk many times before but today seemed so much more picturesque. Spring was in full force leaving a technicolour vista punctuated by the imposing, snow capped Snowdon in the distance.
I took the Offa’s Dyke path up Moel Famau and continued to the west passing Moel Dywyll before dropping down towards the road. I’d often been around this area and wondered where the track to the left hand side of the road went….so I followed it.
The path soon moved away from the road and I found a spot with lovely views to christen my JetBoil.
Setting it up was easy.
I took the orange ‘feet’ out from the mug, unfolded them then clamped on the gas canister.
Next out was the stove itself. Flip out the gas regulator on the site and screw the stove on to the gas canister.
Covering the bottom of the mug is a measuring pot which is handy for keeping dry ingredients – coffee in my case. Popping the bottom off reveals the flux ring heat exchanger. This does the clever stuff which enables the JetBoil to work so well.
Little lugs can be found on the bottom of the mug, line these up with the stove and give it a small turn to lock in place. No chance of accidentally knocking the cup over, something that happened a few times with the slightly top heavy meths burner and mug.
I removed the top from the mug and poured in enough water to reach the ‘2 cup’ mark.
I put the lid back on, turned the regulator to start the gas flow, clicked the lighter on the opposite side and it started to boil up the water.
It sounded vicious but in less than two minutes, the water had boiled.
A handy feature is the marking on the side of the mug which turns orange when the water has boiled. This takes the guess work out of the boiling and stops the urge to pop the lid to see how hot the water is getting.
The neoprene ‘cozy’ covering the mug ensures the mug is safe to lift up. Incidentally, the side strap of the ‘cozy’ can be used to store teaspoons.
Once boiled, stop the gas flow, twist the mug to unlock and brew some coffee……or tea, or cook noodles, make up dried food….there are a whole load of things you can create and JetBoil have posted some recipes on their website
After my cuppa, I continued on my walk.
I could have remained on this path right around the ‘base’ of Moel Famau, however, keen to increase my mileage for the ViewRanger challenge, I turned off on to a road to my right.
At a junction, I took another right towards the small village of Llangynhafal.
A footpath passes to the left of the Golden Lion Inn and through the campsite behind. The views from this campsite are spectacular, however (at the moment at least) the only ‘facility’ is a tap in the corner of the field.
The path crosses a road before following the base of Moel Famau, at one point I got cracking view of the Airbus Beluga aircraft taking wings from the nearby factory in Hawarden.
Near a farm, the path joins a concrete ‘road’. There is a path which continues South, however, it was impossible to tell what was the route and what was a gate in to their garden even checking against my GPS and paper OS map. I wasn’t brave enough to risk trespassing so continued along the road to a junction in Hirwaen where I took a left.
There are a number of ways back on to the original route, I took a left at Pen-y-waen, from there I headed East back to the car park.
All in all, a very enjoyable walk and I can definitely see the JetBoil getting a lot of use!