Firepot-Meals from Outdoorfood

In the past, we have tested several dishes from manufacturers specialized in the outdoor market - here is our newest candidate which has already become our favourite, read why!

In the outdoor-area of the OutDoor-Trade-Fair in June of this year, we became aware of the British manufacturer Outdoorfood, who offered two different Firepot trekking meals for us to try; a vegetarian menu and one with meat.
As a committed meat eater we were delighted about the high meat content in the dishes - we are wondering for a long time about the true level of meat content in many trekking dishes and ready-made meals from the supermarket ...
So we have told the guys at Outdoorfood about our upcoming #NordkappProjekt to the geocache "Nothing but stones" and promptly sent us a trial pack which reached us just before we set off on our adventure to the North Cape. Thanks for the great support!
Firepot offers different dishes, which are pre-cooked before having any moisture removed. This makes them very light. For drying, a special in-house process is used which is different to the normal freeze drying process used by other companies. In addition they don't use preservatives and the dishes are not "over-spiced".

On the outside, each food pouch are detailed but easy to follow instructions for adding boiling water, stirring, re-sealing and waiting (10-15 minutes depending on the dish). We used our KOVEA Spider and Trangia cook-set to boil water (see separate review), and within no time, a delicious meal was ready.
We were able to walk to the "Nothing but stones" and the Ringebu-Fjell we were able to make Chilli Con Carne, Orzo Noodles with Bolognese, Dal, Rice with Spinach, Pork & Beans, and; Risotto with Celeriac. All were extremely tasty!

The Firepot dishes have decent energy content, with normal portions rated at 500 to 650 calories per pack depending on the dish.
And for those who need more than a "normal" portion, Outdoorfood offers "extra-large" portions!
We are curious to see how the Firepot dishes from Outdoorfood integrate into the German ready-to-go food for the trekking market. Firepot has our top recommendation in any case !!!
Here are a couple of tips to get the best out of your Firepot meal on the trail:

Tip1: In some dishes came out al dente after the specified preparation time. So if you prefer your pasta or noodles well done or "scotta", you can keep the pack closed for several more minutes.

Tip2: We found it is best to use a long handled spoon or fork and to eat directly from the pack, in order avoid greasy fingers. Shortened sporks and spoons favoured by ultralight backpackers are a recipe for sticky fingers! The KniSFor has proven itself with a carefully thought-out handling with an extended knife as an extended spoon handle!

You can order the full range of Firepot meals through the www.outdoorfood.com website, or from Amazon with prices starting at € 7,50 per pack.

Spider-Stove from Kovea

As specialist book authors and outdoor bloggers, one of the annual highlights for us is our visit to the #OutDoorFN in Friedrichshafen, the largest outdoor gear trade show in Europe. This year we found a lot of very interesting and innovative gear, including the KOVEA Spider stove. This is the story of how we came to discover and appreciate it:

One evening we found the person in the tent next to ours was cooking on a very compact little gas stove with a pre-heat tube. We came into conversation about the stove, and its owner, Steve explained that the preheat tube acts both as a safety device to prevent fireballs occurring, but it also enables the stove to work at very low temperatures, down to -20°C! He explained that gas stoves without this special tube cannot be used at such low temperatures. Although there are a number of other models of gas stove with the pre-heat tube, KOVEA has been the most successful at miniaturising it, so now it is so small you hardly notice it.

We continued talking stoves and travel cooking into the evening and I explained about our forthcoming seven-week-tour of Scandinavia with our favourite Trangia cook set. We really like the easy of use of the Trangia but would prefer a more powerful and controllable flame which doesn't soot up the pots. Steve told us that the KOVEA Spider, which is designed especially for cooking efficiently and with clean combustion, also fits perfectly under the windscreen of the Trangia cooker. He said that when folded up, it also fits inside the Trangia kettle.

So at last we had found the perfect gas stove for our Trangia cook set, and we set off for our #NordkappProjekt!
Seven weeks later we are back home having used the KOVEA Spider and Trangia cookset every day over the summer, including at the North Cape of Norway. We used it with the cheap aerosol-type butane gas using an adapter, which I reviewed in autumn 2015. And we used the Spider with and without the Trangia windbreak. With all this usage, we can absolutely recommend the Trangia and KOVEA Spider combination!
The Spideris now the permanent stove in our Trangia cook set!

Here a few more observations from usage over the summer:

  • The Spider is small and light (168g cooker plus 10g bag)
  • I like the technical data and detailed solutions like the foldable regulator for the gas supply.
  • The Spider consumes a maximum of 120g of gas in the hour - this information is useful to calculate how much fuel the stove will need.
  • KOVEA provides a separate piezo igniter (12g) with the Spider, which you can use to start any gas cooker. It is important to make sure that the end of the igniter is in direct contact with the metal of the burner head and that there is not too much or too little gas coming through. Once you get it right, it lights with one click every time.

And KOVEA's European supplier, MercatorGear.com, provides a really useful app on its home page.
The MercatorGear Gas Canister Calculator which enables you to work out how much fuel and how many gas canisters you will need for your trip depending on the stove, cooking time, people and days on the trail.
A very, very cool tool!