Sunday, 28 March 2010


I suppose sea kayakers are always looking out for that useful item of kit, that is essential or enhances the experience of paddling and wilderness camping. Occasionally there is no option and we have to replace that essential item.

The Camping Gaz stove that has served me well for over 35 years is now being put into retirement due to having only two settings now: off and on. The plastic control valve has no refinement for the flame and it has been melted in two places!! The blue coating is now dull, flaking and has accumulated years of rust and corrosion on it, and one of the arms to support the pot/kettle now regularly falls off. This little stove has never let me down and it has made me many gallons of steaming hot tea; cooked everything on it from tinned meatballs, potatoes and beans to wild brown trout/sea fish/ shellfish and sirloin steak mushrooms and onions.
It has accompanied me on many hill loch fishing trips all over the mountains of Scotland; numerous sea kayaking days /extended trips on the West Coast and Inner and Outer Hebrides. It has taken constant abuse over the years from falling into rivers and lochs; has been submerged in salt water and covered in sand; I cannot recall ever cleaning it, and it has been lost and found on several occasions. Age and abuse have given this reliable little stove CHARACTER. However, one problem I have always been aware of is the stability of the stove: it always seemed top heavy when something cooking or boiling on it. Many a meal has ended up on the ground. However, after scrapping the contents off of the ground back into the pot and removing the droppings from sheep and geese another fine meal was enjoyed.
The Camping Gaz stove will now be used for making a brew up in the garage, this will save my wife bringing me a cup of tea out every time I ring the tea bell!!!!!!! Hope she does not read this or I will be grounded again!! I am replacing it with a modern Primus MultiFuel stove. Hopefully this will be as reliable (time will tell) as the little inexpensive Camping Gaz stove: the stove with CHARACTER.

1 comment:

  1. I was looking at some old pictures the other day and realised that my tent is over 20 years old. It's still great, even if it is a bit damp sometimes.