View Full Version : Jetboil-ish hillbilly personal cooking system.

2008-08-16, 19:01
Hi there.

I have recently returned home from sunnier climes and thought I'd get some winter hiking trips in. Spent the last day or so going through my gear and making a list of the things I might chuck some coin at in the near future so I can appear to the average gentle bushwalker to be a high-speed trail warrior.

One thing I looked at was the Jetboil system. Price was OK so I got intimate with one at the camping store, but it looked a bit big and bulky.
Here's a reference photo of the jetboil:

I do like the idea though, so I gingerly picked my way through the pile of hiking gear in the man cave and rummaged around for a while. I came out with the following items:

1 x mil issue canteen cup

1 x aftermarket lid for the above

1 x MSR Pocket Rocket gas cooker and gas canister

1 x mil issue canteen cup stand/cooker

1 x neoprene stubby cooler (you know, for keeping your beer cool)

1 x roll of 100mph tape

... and dumped them onto the kitchen counter.

"There must be a way to make a hillbilly jetboil out of this stuff" thought I. And indeed there was.

Here's what I did -

1. screwed the Pocket Rocket into the canister and proceeded to regard it with a dumb expression for what felt like 20 min or so, but was probably closer to 2 or three minutes.

2. picked up the canteen cup stand and messed around with the angles until I could get it to stand on the Pocket Rocket prongs. I marked the angles with my trusty swiss army knife.

3. wrecked a pair of kitchen scissors trying to cut an inch-long slot at each of the marks.

4. I carefully wrapped the now-serrated scissors in a paper towel and concealed them in the rubbish bin under a cunningly placed empty dog food can.

5. I sighed to myself and retrieved a wood chisel and a hammer from my meagre tool kit and bashed away at the canteen cup stand until I had three nice inch-long slots where I wanted them and a badly bent out of shape cup stand.

6. cursing my own dodgy craftsmanship, I bent the stand back into shape and placed it onto the prongs on the pocket rocket. Perfect fit.

7. Thinking a head a little now after my failure with the scissors, I ripped a length of 100mph tape length-ways and wrapped it around the canteen cup - see, now I was on the ball - didn't want the cup to be too hard to get out of the stand. The tape holds it a little higher than it would usually sit therefore making it easier to extract from the stand.

8. I placed the canteen cup onto the stand and like magic, it was a perfect fit and not jammed in too tight.

9. Concerned about the stability, I picked the unit up and moved it around a bit. With the teeth on the pocket rocket prongs biting the aluminium of the canteen cup stand, and the cup sitting nicely, it was much more stable than
I thought it would be and about a million times more stable than a pot on top of a pocket rocket.

10. I filled the canteen cup with some cold water, placed the lid on the cup and lit the pocket rocket.

Voila! One hillbilly jetboil.

Boil time wasn't much less than normal with the Pocket Rocket, but the unit is much more stable than usual, so no more spills whilst stirring.

The canteen, cup, lid and stand all fit into an army issue canteen cover pouch, so it's a nice compact unit when packed. I've just got to work out how to stow the pocket rocket and the gas canister (maybe an old ammo pouch clipped onto the waistbelt of my pack like the canteen cover?)and it'll be good to go.

I'll take some pictures shortly and edit this post.


PS: The neoprene stubby cooler is going to get butchered and placed onto the outside of the canteen cup above the level of the 100mph tape. It will hopefully serve to insulate the cup a little more and speed boil times if it doesn't melt.

2008-08-16, 23:32
I'll take some pictures shortly and edit this post.

Or... just add a reply.

I'll apologise in advance for the poor image quality - I'm between cameras at the moment.

Here are the main components - the Canteen cup and stand, the Pocket Rocket, the gas canister and the canteen cup lid:

Detail showing the chisel marks in the (inverted) canteen cup stand:

God shot of showing the chisel marks in relation to the pocket rocket prongs and burner:

The finished product. All hail the Hillbilly Jetboil. Yee Haaa!:

2008-08-18, 09:03
pretty cool idea.

2008-08-18, 10:49
Just curious, how does one get "intimate" with a Jetboil? :biggrin::biggrin:

2008-08-18, 12:00
Very carefully when it's on.

So moving away from the hillbilly version and back to the actual, I daresay there are many here who own a jetboil and swear by them.

The reason I chose the various hillbilly components is because that's what I usually take out bush anyway. The canteen cup stand doesn't usually get much use, but I have it as an emergency measure because it weighs hardly anything, but can be used on a twig fire when the three trioxane bars run out.

Here are some weights if anyone's interested:

Hillbilly components (canteen cup, stand, lid, pocket rocket, canister - and a mini bic lighter for good measure to make up for the jetboil's piezo ignition): 605g (21.34 ounces)

Jetboil (basic system plus canister): 615g (21.69 ounces)

With the "under development" canteen cup insulator factored in, they are probably the same weight.

However, the Jetboil cup cannot be placed on an open fire after the fuel runs out. Similarly, you can't partially disassemble the jetboil and place a small frypan or kettle on top (well, not effectively anyway) without expensive add on components. You can't run the jetboil on a little altoids tin alcohol burner or solid fuel like hexamine or trioxane.

The jetboil retails here for A$170, plus A$7 for a canister - total: A$177

The hillbilly components would retail for: canteen cup - A$10, canteen cup stand - A$7, canteen cup lid - A$10, Pocket Rocket - A$75, canister - A$5.50, mini-bic lighter - A$1.50 - total: A$109

But... the jetboil is cool-guy gear so I think I'll get one regardless.

Jim Henderson
2008-08-18, 12:13
Independant testing shows the jetboil is about even in speed with a normal boiling setup. Some tests have shown the jet boil to be slower.

Theory is that the fins(looks like typical heat sink/radiators for electronic stuff to me) actually help dissipate the heat of the stove more than they help concentrate it. Other similar contraptions for sale with other stoves also have tested with similar poor results. More of a Geewhiz than a useful tool.

Jim Henderson

SGT Rock
2008-08-18, 14:54
It is a cool idea - but I don't know that it is really needed. I've often wondered why add 6 ounces of material to a stove to save 3 grams of fuel per boil.

2008-08-18, 15:37
Great point Rock. The JetBoil looks like a ton of over kill to me. I use a MSR pocket rocket and a lil Ti pot, but this looks pretty cool due to the stability of it.

Wise Old Owl
2008-09-06, 23:06
I don't care ------I am impressed. I think even on Jay Leno's show, Ed Asner would be impressed!

2008-09-08, 21:10
You said you were still trying to find a place to put the stove and fuel. Do they fit inside the canteen cup? Obviosly you couldn't cary a canteen then, but whatever you carried instead would probably leave the water tasting much MUCH better.

I seem to customize every little bit of gear I come across, and the most important thing I've learned it the usefulness of a Dremel tool. If you used one with a cut off wheel it could have saved you a pair of scissors, and probably a wood chisel, at the very least you wouldn't have bent the thing out of shape (I know Dremel brand is expensive :s:, you do get what you pay for, but if you use it rarely you can pick up a cheap generic for as low as $20 on sale)

Using a pot cozy seems like a good idea to me. Heat is obviously lost when a hot pot, made out of conductive metal, contacts cooler air... Raising cooking time, and requiring more fuel. But my guess is that a beer can cooler will melt especially down lower closer to the flames (Haven't tested it, just my guess. I assume Jet boil uses some fancy ultra modern insulator), but my thought is more multi-purpose and/or light-weight:

The honest to goodness Mylar is incredibly resistant to the transfer of thermal energy. (The reason I say real Mylar, is because it has an incredibly high melting temperature, and I'm not sure if all the other kinds of 'space blankets' out there necessarily would.) You could cut a really long strip, or a couple of strips of Mylar to make a really light-weight insulator, or... (If you have your Junior Woodchucks Map Folding merit badge) you could probably take that nifty Mylar space blanket and fold it down to the right shape to wrap it around your pot while you are cooking.

I know a lot of people use their space blanket for other purposes, but this does make it multi purpose equipment for those of us that don't yet. (The only reason mine has ever been out of it's original store folded shape was so some one could wear it as a cape :angel:)

Over all I like that your system is more stable, and if you already carry all the gear then it costs you no weight (But seriously, who carries military stuff anymore… Says the guy that has never slept on anything softer than an ISOmat) I really like that you are trying to incorporate an insulator sleeve. Over all I give the venture a thumbs up.:gob_beer

2008-09-08, 23:34
Funny you should mention the mighty Dremel tool... I picked one up on the weekend.

As for the insulator, the beer cooler has a few melting issues, so I will give the mylar a go as well as my other idea of "Thermal hardening" the beer cooler join with fibreglass exhaust repair tape. This stuff shrink wraps itself onto the exhaust tube under heat. The only issue I may have is that with all of this crap hanging off the canteen cup, the stove/stand may not fit on it for storage. I just dispense with the cozy altogether.

Storage wise, unfortunately, the gas canister and pocket rocket won't fit securely in the cup. It will however, fit in a surplus SDS MOLLE II canteen pouch so long as a canteen is not carried in the pouch at the same time.

I just don't like relying totally on the camelbak - eggs in one basket and all that. I always carry at least one canteen.

Thanks for the great feedback everyone. I'll try and incorporate it in the Hillbilly Jetboil Version 2.0.


2008-09-09, 21:58
The jetboil retails here for A$170, plus A$7 for a canister - total: A$177

The hillbilly components would retail for: canteen cup - A$10, canteen cup stand - A$7, canteen cup lid - A$10, Pocket Rocket - A$75, canister - A$5.50, mini-bic lighter - A$1.50 - total: A$109

But... the jetboil is cool-guy gear so I think I'll get one regardless.

If you still have your hear set on your "Cool Guy Gear" Then I would check out the Reactor (http://www.msrgear.com/stoves/reactor.asp), It looks like MSRs answer to the JetBoil, and (assuming one manufacturure misrepresents their product as much as the next) the MSR seems to be better in every catagory, Price is less, Boils more water per ounce of fuel, Boils water faster, and Still manages to weigh less.

Plus I like MSR better.

The reactor is still out of my price range (Or atleast I would have to save up), but for the moment It has given me some ideas about improving thermal efficiency on my own. So :aetsch: to JetBoil

2008-09-09, 23:06
I was just reading on that site that they say the Simmerlite is the "lightest liquid fuel stove". I think that someone needs to introduce them to the ION.