What is this funny looking thing?

Kelly Kettle - Small
Kelly Kettle – Small
Kelly Kettle Medium
Kelly Kettle Medium
Kelly Kettle Large
Kelly Kettle Large

I don’t care where you go or what the season, you need hot water.  You need hot water for everything.  Making hot water when you are out in the brush in -35 below F or 70 above,  you will want hot water for re-hydrating food, washing a booboo, doing the dishes, etc.  When you are away from modern plumbing and if you’ve ever camped before, making hot water is not an easy task.  Using wood, requires a fireplace, some way to prop up a pot, and fuel.  In an open air fire, usually, you need a lot of wood and therein lies the difficulty.  If it’s raining, a time when you’d need the hot water more so, your available wood supply might be soaking wet.  You get around that by using smaller twigs to bigger twigs so they will dry out quickly when you set them on a flame like a match.  That’s still not that easy to do.  In northern MN from where I hail, I’d go find some birch bark because it can be peeled like an onion and the thin layers dry out and ignite quickly.  Add them to fine balsam twigs from around the dry, dead base branches of any balsam tree or assorted pines, etc., and you can make a fire with one sheltered flame.  That’s the easy part and you can’t boil water on twigs unless you have a lot of them.  Gathering a ton of twigs, while possible, takes time that could be used for something that advances your cause in a more meaningful way, plus you never get your hot water.

So, it was the Irish who developed this water jacket boiler.    With sparse fuels, they developed a way to make hot water in relatively no time and with very little fuel.  These are the coolest dang things since sliced bread as far as I’m concerned.  With mere dry grass, twigs and pine cones, you can make hot water.  Plus, you can use the focused heat out of the top to cook.  This is not som TV gimmick thing.  You put a Kelly Kettle in your pack with some fire wood up the middle, and you are set with the most essential piece of equipment in your cookware arsenal.  Plus, on top of this, you are set for a power outage in you home.  So long as you have a wooden chair in your basement that you can smash up for chips, you can boil water quickly.  Yes, I know it sounds nuts – but is it really?

My buddy Dave bought the large Kelly Kettle in stainless steel from me.  One winter day trip that he was on, he thought he’d give the new Kelly Kettle out for a try.  It was about -35 F (real temp in northern Minnesota – not that phony windchill crap that comes out of the Twin Cities so they can feel equal to the rest of the state – “cold temp envy”, I guess…).  Out in the woods, Dave quickly gathered a big pile of balsam sticks, some birch bark, and pine cones, and bigger wood.  He said he made a big stack of woods and bits so he could produce some hot water in serious temps.  He filled the kettle, lit the fire in the base with some birch bark and twigs, put a pine cone on it to help it along, and then set the water-laden jacket on the  base.   He then dropped a few pine cones down the chimney and disappeared for some more wood.  He was back in 5 minutes with another armload and the water in the Kelly Kettle was already boiling.  He set down the armload of overkill on top of the other big armload of unnecessary sticks and poured himself and the rest of the group a cup of hot chocolate.  Dave told me he could not believe how fast that thing produced hot water.  The other cool part is that it all stores in a a bag and  the sooty parts are inside.   Nothing gets dirty or grimy due to this design.

Yeah – it was that fast and essentially needed about 4 pine cones and some twigs to boil water.  That’s the WHOLE point of a Kelly Kettle.  You won’t run out of fuel making operation very cheap as well.

Now, stop and think about when something like this would be useful to you.  For some folks, that would be all the time; for others less so.   But, if that Kelly Kettle was sitting on the shelf just waiting there, not rotting or falling apart, and ready to go when you needed some boiled water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, etc., when there is no power or during a catastrophe, how happy would you be having that  one simple, particular arrow in your quiver?  I do a lot of wood working and remodeling being in the resort business with 10 cabins.  When I have that one tool that I don’t use a lot but no other tool will do and when I need to use it – it becomes the greatest thing since sliced bread.   A little bit of preparedness can go a really long way.   Now, I know this isn’t a high-speed, vegetable chopper, or a hair burner-off tool, or a polishing system that clears up the headlights on your car.   However,  if you could add one serious thing to your tool box that you really could use a lot when it’s really important, a Kelly Kettle is it.

HOW IT WORKS:  The base (bottom piece with a hole in it) separates from the tea-pot-looking part that rests on top.  The top part is a water jacket which means you poor water into it in the pour spout (where the red plug is).  You build a fire in the base and set the water-filled top part on the burning base.  The top part is build like a chimney and the smoke and flames from the fire below comes out the top after it heats the heck out of the internal walls of the water jacket on it’s way out the top.  Basically, it focuses the heat and makes FAR better use of the energy than an open campfire which takes 10 times the wood to generate the heat to boil water.  Works in extreme cold and any other time as well.

Find out more about the Kelly Kettle here


The Kelly family in Ireland pioneered the development of the Kelly Kettle camping kettle and now, for over 100 years, the unique Kelly Kettle has made boiling water in the outdoors quick and easy – even in extreme weather conditions. Any natural fuel can be used to burn and create the fire which will quickly bring the water in the kettle to a roiling boil. Since only natural fuel is used you don’t have to worry about carrying gas or batteries or other types of fuel with you. Safe and easy to use, the Kelly Kettle will be one of your most used and valued pieces of camping gear. Now with the new Hobo Stove, the Kelly Kettle is a great little camp stove, too.

Our Kelly Kettles have become popular for a variety of reasons with different groups of outdoor enthusiasts.

  • Camping: If you are camping and just want a convenient quick way to heat up your water for hydrating food, a cup of coffee or for personal use, the Base Camp Large Kelly Kettle is great. It will deliver about 7 cups of hot water in just a few minutes. Your camping gear will not be complete without a Kelly Kettle.
  • Back Packing and Hiking: Backpackers and hikers love the Trekker Small Kelly Kettle for its light weight and natural fuel burning ability. Never worry about carrying heavy fuel in your backpack again. The Trekker Kettle holds a little over 2 cups of water which is enough to hydrate your dehydrated evening meal and extra for a cup of hot chocolate or coffee. You will never go on a backpacking trip again without your Trekker Kelly Kettle.
  • Kayaking:Kayaking is another outdoor sport where you don’t want to have to carry any more than necessary. Once again, the Trekker Kelly Kettle is ideal because of its light weight, use of natural fuel and how fast it will boil water when you are exhausted from kayaking all day.
  • Scouts:Scouting is a terrific youth activity and what better way to teach scouts how to camp, cook and purify water than to teach them how to use the Kelly Kettle. The Base Camp Large Kettle and the Scout Medium Kettle are both perfect for scouting activities, competitions and campouts. A scout troop with kettles for each patrol is well set up to provide purified water for use in cooking and personal hygiene for each member of the patrol. — Not that scouts necessarily worry about the latter but at least they have the option.
  • Fishing and Hunting:The Kelly Kettle was created to quickly produce hot water for coffee and other hot drinks while fishing on the beautiful lakes of Ireland. The same is still true today. All three sizes of kettles are well suited for the fisherman or hunter depending on the size of the group and whether you are backpacking into a remote area to catch the big fish or bag the trophy deer or elk or just setting up camp for a leisurely outing.
  • Emergency Preparedness and Survival Use:The Kelly Kettles are an essential element of any emergency preparedness plan since in an emergency or disaster situation the most important part of survival is being able to obtain pure water. Without access to other types of fuel such as gas or propane, it may be difficult to get pure water. Since the Kelly Kettle uses only natural fuels, in a disaster you most likely will still have access to ample natural fuel in order to boil and purify water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene.

The Kelly Kettles are available in three (3) sizes made from aluminum or stainless steel.

  • Base Camp Large Kettle: This kettle holds 54 oz or about 7 cups of water and comes in aluminum or stainless steel.
  • Scout Medium Kettle: This kettle holds 44 oz or about 5 ½ cups and is available in aluminum or stainless steel.
  • Trekker Small Kettle: This kettle holds 17oz or about 2 cups and is available in aluminum and stainless steel.
  • Also available for use with the Kettles is the Cook Set made of stainless steel. This accessory is great for heating food over the top of the kettle and for cooking some foods over the fire in the base.