Sunday, March 23, 2014

product review: esbit cookset

Esbit, the company that brought you the solid fuel folding emergency cookstove, has some much nicer stuff out there. Their whole product line can be seen at and includes stoves, fuel tablets, cookware and lightweight, folding camp utensils.

I recently got the Esbit Cookset (product # CS 585 HA), which can be found online for around $35 to 40. It includes a cylidrical stove that holds one of the Esbit hexamine tablets, and a pot with lid that fits nicely on top of the stove and stays on steadily thanks to grooves in the pot.

I've used Hexamine tablets before, in the rectangular folding stove that Esbit has made for many decades and which was standard issue emergency gear for several European armies. This cylindrical stove is several steps nicer, because the windscreen goes most of the way around (except where you insert the fuel tablet) and because when not in use the stove nests inside the pot, which then slips into a mesh bag for storage.

Hexamine tablets are easy to use. Simply place on the stove surface and light with a match.

There are some health concerns and cautions to be aware of when using Hexamine tablets:
Because of their chemical composition you MUST use them outdoors in a well-ventilated area; and you should cook your food in a closed container, such as a pot with a lid. Also, the smokeless, concentrated flame of the tablet burns VERY hot so keep your fingers away from the flame once lit.

As a survival tool designed for occasional use they're totally fine. I even use mine when taking a Sub-24-Hour-Overnight bike trip, with no ill effects.

I was pleased with the stove's packability, weight and performance, and it will replace the old Swedish Army issue folding model I've used for decades.

No comments: