I’ve been happily cooking food on a camp stove since I was allowed to light a match. I have a vivid memory of cooking Chicken supreme with rice and peas on a single gas ring at a camp at around aged ten, juggling two different pans, boiling water, ending up with everything in a mess, but having a great tasting (and hot!) meal for me and my friend. Success! While these days I might prefer to pay the local pub to cook my dinner when camping, I still love the idea of being self sufficient and taking everything I need when heading off on an adventure.
On the West Highland Way this was going to be even more important. Hiking in October would be great timing for a number of reasons, but we needed to make sure we had the means to cook a hot meal in the evenings. There would be at least two days when we would not be camping close to a pub, the evenings and mornings would be dark and therefore chilly, and so hot food and water would be very important for recovery and morale. My simple bistro stove is great when we camp by car, but it would be no good for this trip or the next time we camp by motorbike. I needed small and lightweight stove that I could carry in my pack.
Naturally, I turned to social media and blogs to help me decide which stove to buy. and I instantly got a huge number of recommendations for the Jetboil Flash cooking system; it’s the big adventure brand system that the cool kids use, with it’s flux ring and super impressive boil times. But it costs nearly £100 (well, just under £90), and so is a big investment when you consider I paid less than that for my tent! But here it is, on display on my blog, because it did actually make it into my kit bag for the West Highland Way. I admit quite happily and readily that I didn’t buy it. I wanted to, but I couldn’t. If I hadn’t been sent one by my good friends at Simply Hike, I would have had a very simple pocket rocket style stove with a gas canister costing around £20, which I know would have done the job I needed it to do, but it wouldn’t been a Jetboil would it?!