Sunday, August 4, 2013

JET BOIL STOVE Review (Plus EZ Prep-Cook-Cleanup Omelet idea)

First I want to state I am in no way affiliated with Jet Boil.  This article is personal opinions only.  With years of experience and experience with inferior products I have to give Jet Boil a high rating in both their product and customer service.

I no longer remember when Jet Boil first came on the market?  But I have one of their original PCS units.  At the time I thought it was "cutting edge".  I don't own just one, but several.  I normally end up "outfitting" friends and family that occasionally fly into my area to accompany me on outdoor adventures.  As an avid backpacker since way before Jet Boil.  I have to tell you, my original Jet Boil stove has traveled with me on a section of the Pacific Crest Trail in Ansel Adams Wolderness, to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  It has trekked to Havasu Falls, and Mooney Falls, Glacier NP, Yellowstone NP, Zion NP and many others too numerous to list here.

As a Kayaker (Yakpacker) my stove has also traveled some remote regions of the Green River out of Moab, Utah.  It has also logged many miles floating numerous times on sections of the mighty Colorado River.

I am never without it.  It rides in the back of my vehicle everywhere I go.  Transferred to the Backpack or Kayak when needed.  Used along side of the road at picnic tables, the back of a tailgate, and much more.  It's amazing how many times it has been put to use. Though not a doom and gloom end of the world type of mentality, I do carry this stove and a (10) pack box of Mountain House Meals in my vehicle at all times.  The food packs are rotated annually.  I use the rotated stock while camping.  (Costco usually has this 10 pack available in the spring/summer with a price tag of around $40.  You can't beat the price.  Kind of off subject, but nice to know.

The stove has been banged around, dropped, and rattled around in a backpack, traveled on pack horses, and in the back of trailers piled with gear bags and paddling equipment.

The stove never fails to perform.  The only maintenance I have ever had to do was replace the igniter.  When the igniter stopped after years of abuse, the stove still operated when lit with a match.  I feel the igniter is a wear item and fully understand it won't last forever.  They are readily available and easy to replace.

I found Jet Boil is one of the few companies that only offer their product through approved dealers.  They are hard to find through dealers that doesn't have your traditional "brick and mortar" establishment.  This is because the dealer is required to carry a full line of product including repair parts.

You won't find too many of these on some sort of "on-line auction" site at a reduced price unless the unit is used or the person is not an approved dealer.  At least that is what I have been told. Seems all the prices at legitimate businesses are sold at the same retail price, no matter where you  find them.  Is this a subtle form of price fixing?  I don't know....but have found the units are well worth what you pay for them.

I have used the PCS as well as the larger group sized unit.  I have even purchased some of the accessories over the years such as the coffee press.  But I like things simple, so rarely use anything but the stove.  Since Backpacking and Yakpacking allows you only limited space and weight, I normally only carry the basic PCS and fuel.  Some of the other items remain in my vehicle for "car Camping".

I normally never cook anything directly in the unit.  Water is boiled and poured into dehydrated food packs, extra hot water reserved to be poured over coffee bags, or tea bags.

One of my favorite breakfasts for Yakpacking trips (When a soft cooler can be taken) is to brown bacon or sausage with some peppers and onions, salt & pepper.  Then scramble a couple eggs (keep raw).  Pour into a qt size freezer zip lock bag and freeze prior to your trip. (Note: Use "Food grade Boilbags" if you are concerned about your health boiling water with a regular zip lock stuck in it....then drinking the water in coffee or tea.  I figure it doesn't happen often and I have never noticed any ill affect from it.

During your trip, in the Jet Boil,  bring some water to boil. Kind of roll the zip lock bag with raw egg mixture, so you can insert it in the boiling water.  After 20 seconds pull the bag out, knead the egg mixture, and reinsert the bag into the boiling water.  Repeat as needed until the eggs are cooked to your liking.  I use the hot water to then pour over a individual coffee bag that is waiting in a mug.  Flour tortilla's are an option.  Perfect omelet.  A couple of ketchup single serving packs and Breakfast is served!  And you can eat right out of the zip lock bag for easy cleanup.

For those of you not into this high tech stove, or the price your own.  We will be showing you a step by step process to build your own alcohol stove from a soda or beer can.

Happy Trails!

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