Bushwalking Equipment | Boiling Water on a Wood Fire

Want to quickly boil water on an open wood fire? Tried a traditional Stockman’s Quart Pot yet?


Boiling water on an open fire is a tradition that is fast disappearing as “Stoves Only” signs become more common in our parks and campgrounds. While the opportunity remains, why not try a traditional method that has been around for well over a 100 years and was used by the cavalry in the Boer War and by our early drovers and stock men?

Traditional tin
Modern stainless steel

On my last few bushwalks to the Flinders Ranges, I have used one of these traditional pots and found it to be excellent. I have listed some advantages and disadvantages to help you decide.


  • Steeped in history
  • No wire bail (handle): fold away handles make it easier to pack
  • Fast boil, as it can be placed directly in the coals
  • Dual purpose, as it includes a cup, which also acts as a firmly fitting lid to keep out ash
  • Space saving, with matches, gripper, tea bags, sugar inside
  • High efficiency, as flames surround the pot without any possibility of melting the handles
  • Easy to hold, as wire handles cool quickly
  • Maintains shape and packs easily, due to strength and oval shape
  • Easy to remove from fire with a stick placed through the wire loop on the lid and wire loops on main container (not shown)
  • Large size (1.1L): large drink (500ml) and water for freeze dried pack (400ml)


  • Weight: heavier than titanium
  • Cools rapidly, compared to a plastic mug
  • Rusts, if you don’t dry before packing, unless you buy the stainless steel version
  • Dangers: don’t let it boil dry or the solder will melt on tin versions (stainless steel versions available)
  • Health Risk: traditional tin version has lead solder


There are a variety of titanium kettles available but they either lack the bail to lift from a fire, have no integrated cup or have plastic coated handles. They are also much easier to damage while packing.

Some Links


Related posts

Campfire or stove?

What do you use in your campfire?

  Creative Commons LicenseThis article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


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