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What types of fuel can I use in my kettle?

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If it burns...you can use it!  

We use:

  • Sticks - work best as they create an inferno in the chimney which rapidly heats the large chimney wall and boils the water very quickly. You really want to see the flames licking around and up the chimney walls ;-) Typically, one chimney full of sticks will go a long way to boiling the kettle.
  • Pine Cones - a personal favourite. Burn great and are also excellent fuel for cooking with the Hobo Stove later ;-)
  • Dry grass - best used as tinder as it burns off very fast. For best results, bunch it together, twist it tight to slow down the burn rate and make it last longer.
  • Dried peat - or 'Turf' as we call it in Ireland. Needs good kindling to get it lit, but is a great fuel, burns hot and slow. Again, great for cooking on.
  • Dried Animal Dung - burns similar to peat above. But stand upwind of the kettle!!
  • Paper - twist to tighten like grass above.
  • Cardboard - will burn fast so keep feeding the fire.
  • Spirit burner or Alcohol Stove. Typically these are small and the flames/heat would be concentrated to the centre of the kettle - causing much of the heat to escape straight up the chimney. Covering most of the chimney top (with a flat rock, etc.) may help speed up the boil time a little bit or place something onto the spirit burner to throw the flames wider and out against the chimney walls.
  • Fuel tablets - as with Spirit burner above. Boil time will be much slower than sticks/pine cones.
  • A fistful of sand in the firebase with a little bit of petrol over it. Surprising it will burn slowly and not erupt in a big ball of flames. The slow burn will allow you to introduce larger fuel like sticks, etc. Obviously never, ever, ever, try and add petrol to an already lit fire!
  • Bean Can with petrol in it. As above, the top will light and not erupt into a ball of flame. But be careful not to spill the remaining petrol after, as flames could easily spread on the ground.
  • Your mates shirt or even and old underpants! Will needs good kindling to get it lit - and again....stand upwind!!

We would recommend using a firelighter of sorts, but then use sticks/wood as fuel.

Top Tip if sticks are damp or wet:  You can basically use anything to light a fire and then start feeding long sticks (leave them sticking high out the top) into the chimney.  The heat from the smaller fire below will dry the sticks as they gravity feed down into the fire below. It can be very difficult to find dry fuel at times so, we use anything we can to start a small fire, then feed longer (usually damp) stick into the chimney using this trick. Try it out ..... it works!