Tuesday, June 29, 2010

First impression: Ti Caldera Keg-H

I'm a huge fan of the Caldera Cone system from Traildesigns and own several of their setups. The lightest is probably the Keg-H, shown below in an illustration from their website.

The Keg-H has worked great for me, but the cone itself is in bad shape, particularly the dovetail which has lost some of its shape, making it hard to assemble the cone. For that reason I contacted Rand from Traildesigns to ask if he could make me a custom titanium version so that I would get a lighter and more durable cone, as well as the ability to use it as a wood stove. I was not surprised when he told me they could make it happen, as they have been very helpful in the past and always offered great service.

I got the setup last week and got to play with it a little bit during the weekend. The following is as short description and first impression.

Below is a picture showing the different parts that are needed to use it in wood burning mode.

From the left: the cone, the two halves that make up the floor, the grates, the pot and two ti stakes.

To assemble you first put the two floor halves on the ground, and then the grates go on top (the fire is built on top of them - Rand told me that the extra air flow provided makes it a much better wood stove, a "poor man's Inferno").

The next step is to assemble the cone and put it on top, and then finally the two ti stakes are inserted into holes close to the top of the cone to form a base for the pot. Below is a picture of the completed setup. After taking this picture I moved the rubber band higher to protect it from the flames.

I found that it worked well as a wood stove, but it is a bit more smoky compared to a stove like the Bushbuddy which burns off much of the smoke through the secondary combustion. The pot got pretty sooty, but that is to be expected.

I also tried it in alcohol mode and not surprisingly it performed similarly to the aluminium cone, getting two cups to a boil in around 8 minutes using close to 20ml of alcohol. I was a bit apprehensive that the flames that came out of the fuel port and sometimes licked the rubber band would melt it, but it didn't affect it all. Below is how it looks assembled for alcohol burning - as you can see, only the cone and stove is needed, and the pot is inserted deeper into the cone to get a more snug fit and more heat transfer and retention.

Some stats to conlude this short review:

Pot 48g (ca 700ml capacity)
Grate top 12g
Cone 26g
Grate stand 3g
2 sheperd ti stakes 15g
Floor, 2 parts 15g
Total: 119g/4.2oz

(Alcohol stove is 14g )

Btw, Titanium Goat has a similar looking setup now called Ti-Microtus.


  1. Wow, that's a very light multi-fuel system you've got there Thomas! My pot and Four Dog LT1 in multi-fuel mode runs in at 176g but only has 3 pieces which someone like me is less likely to lose!

  2. Takk for this nice first look at an interesting system. It is not as light as alcohol systems (which can be as low as 48 g for the complete system!) but that is to be expected. I think when it comes to woodburning stoves, it does not get much lighter than this - for the moment!