Product – Wood-burning kettle

Manufacturer – Kelly Kettle

Model – Trekker / Aluminum

Included: Multiple accessories added


The Kelly Kettle is something I have wanted to test drive for some time now. 

The Kelly family in Ireland pioneered the Kelly Kettle camping kettle over 100 years ago. The unique Kettle has made boiling water the outdoors easy using only natural fuel. 

So old school, yet very relevant today for environmentally conscience campers.


Plus… since only natural fuel is used, you don’t have to worry about carrying fuel or spare environmentally questionable canisters. 


The construction is solid.  Quality design and construction that works perfectly in today’s world. At first blush, the unaware would ask… what the heck it is?  Not me… I had been tracking these puppies for years now.  After my recent test drive… the only regret I had was not getting one earlier.


The kettle comes in 3 sizes and in either aluminum or stainless steel. Choosing which one was easy for me, I prefer the smallest and lightest… so I  selected the aluminum trekker model. 

I also choose the Ultimate Kit. It seemed like the best deal. It included a small cook set, camp mugs, a grill, a carrying bag and a solar light.

Kelly Kettle 3
Kelly Kettle – Simple yet efficient design in either stainless or aluminum

When I told some fellow campers that I was testing the “famous” Kelly Kettle… many had no idea what I was talking about.  It got even weirder when I tried to describe it. 

I believe it would be best described as a water kettle with a chimney in the centre. Within this chimney is where you create a mini fire that heats and boils the water.  This may still sound confusing I know.  So I still think pictures are better than words when trying to describe the Kelly Kettle.

Test Drive

Loved it.  It exceeded my expectations. 


I have to admit it took me a little practice, and some patient trial and error until I was able to master building the “micro campfire” required. The skill is different than the full-size fires I’m used to building.

Kelly Kettle 2
Kelly Kettle – Silicon or Cork plug to keep the water warm after boiling.

Be patient, because once you get the handle of building a “micro campfire”, it is fast, easy and efficient. 

Gathering fuel is super easy. Low dry scrub, pine cones, grass, bark and lint… all that is needed. No saws, axes or tools of any kind are required. If you can’t break the wood with 2 fingers… then it’s too big. Ultra-light fire-starter is a cheat, however a nice shortcut (consider wet-fire or other similar product)

Once the fire building is mastered and roarin’ … the water will boil in minutes.  So easy. 

I was testing the trekker model. The 500 ml plus capacity was perfect for the typical dehydrated dinner pack. Once the boiled water filled my Backpacker’s Pantry bag… I refilled the kettle and boiled up another 500 ml for tea. 

Kelly Kettle 8
Kelly Kettle – Perfect option for those who drink hot beverages and enjoy dehydrated food.

Easy peasy…. and no panicky thoughts rattling around in my busy head about using too much fuel. There is always loads of “natural” fuel wherever I camp. The propane, butane, white gas… etc can stay at home and those empty canisters out of the landfills 🙂

Compare with Stove

My favourite all-around cook-set/stove combo is the Primus ETA Solo. It’s light, fuel efficient, easy and fast.  So how does it compare to the Kelly Kettle Aluminum Trekker?

This can be a bit confusing. The ETA requires a butane/propane canister while the Trekker uses only “natural fuel” you harvest. The ETA will require additional canisters on longer trips or the more you cook etc. While the Trekker is a fixed weight… remaining the same at the beginning, middle and end of the trip. 

Let’s compare at the beginning of a 5-day trip. The ETA is extremely fuel efficient and boils up to 20 x 500ml of water on a single 110-gram canister.

  • ETA – stove and cook-set + 110gram canister = 550 grams
  • Trekker = 550 grams
  • ETA – requires propane/butane canisters. 
  • Trekker – uses sticks, pine cones, bark and any other burnable thing you can find on the trail. 
Cook time
  • ETA – boils 500 ml of water in 90 seconds.
  • Trekker – boils 500 ml of water in 180 seconds and a few minutes to gather “natural fuel”.
Kelly Kettle 6
Kelly Kettle – Mini campfire with chimney
  • Both are high-quality construction.
  • ETA – starts fast and the temperature adjusts from simmer to hot.  Includes 500ml pot for cooking, boiling, and simmering. 
  • Trekker – takes a few minutes to gather wood and get the fire burning enough to boil water. Only one temperature – hot. Only boils water.
Kelly Kettle 5
Kelly Kettle – The base can double as a “mini stove” with the accessory grill
  • ETA – can manage field maintenance very easily if you have the knowledge and carry the accessory repair kit – adding both weight and grief.
  • Trekker – no repairs nor kits required. Maintenance and worry-free!
  • ETA – uses environmentally questionable fuel canisters. The recycling programs for these canisters are few and far between.
  • Trekker – uses naturally harvested material.
  • ETA uses canisters at $5.00 for 20 boils.
  • Trekker uses natural fuel – FREE forever!


If you are the type of camper that only boils water for instant food or requires hot water for a cup of tea or soup on a cold camping day. The Kelly  Kettle is a no-brainer.  It’s lighter, maintenance-free, fuel-free and environmentally responsible. 

The Kelly Kettle will now be the first cook-set I reach for when I pack for my next camping trip. 

I haven’t even talked about the other cooking options available with the Kelly Kettle, including the accessories grills, and the Hobo™ stove. Bonus features we can talk about another day. 

I’m a Kelly Kettle fan!


  • Height ……. 12 inches 
  • Diameter… 5.5 inches
  • Capacity…..17 fl.oz., 2 cups, .5 Liters
  • Weight…….1.3 lbs.
Kelly Kettle 7
Kelly Kettle – Twigs, leaves, bark, and pinecones are your fuel sources.

The History of the Kelly Kettle® …

The tradition of using the kettle as a method of boiling water at lunchtime, goes back to the 1890’s on the West Coast of Ireland. The design has changed little since it was first introduced.

Lough Conn is famous for its free rising brown trout and fresh run Salmon from the River Moy system. The lake provided (and still provides) ample fuel for use in the Kelly Kettle, where washed up twigs, sticks and dried grass were easily available. On wet & stormy days, the local angling guides would keep watch for the small pillar of smoke on the lake shore which indicated that a colleague already had a ‘brew’ on! A hot cup of tea or soup awaited anyone who landed and the kettle would be repeatedly boiled as additional boats laden with anglers arrived.Tradition dictates that both the angling guide (Ghillie) and his guests (usually 2 anglers to his boat) together would gather dry tinder for the kettle from the lake shore.

Then, the Ghillie will set about boiling up the kettle which always amazed guests as it works even in the height of a storm! The Anglers will then be offered their fresh tea from the Kettle and in return for his hospitality, the Ghillie received lunch and perhaps a drop of whiskey from the anglers.The Kelly family still provide a Boat Hire Ghillie service on Lough Conn.

Visiting anglers are as intrigued today as they were some hundred years ago with the speed at which the water can be boiled and through word of mouth, these anglers have spread word about the kettles worldwide.

To this day, the Kelly-Kettle / Volcano-Kettle is still the centerpiece in any campsite. If you have seen one in action, you will understand why! Increasingly gaining in popularity, our company now sells our Kettles all over the world from the USA, Canada, UK, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Germany and as far away as Zambia & Australia.

Once exclusively used by anglers, Kelly kettles are now been used by all types of outdoor enthusiasts such as explorers, kayakers, hill walkers, car campers, scouts, gardeners or as a vital item in wilderness survival kits.

Proud of our history, we are always on the look out for interesting stories from the past and present regarding our Kettles and look forward to receiving them from you, our valued customers.

What Kelly Kettle says … 

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 rolling 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.

Includes the Aluminum Trekker small kettle, Storage Bag, Small Cookset, Pot Support and Camp Cups. Also includes 1 Solar Nokero light for FREE (Batteries NOT included).  The Trekker Kelly Kettle holds 17fl. oz. of water. Kettle only weighs 1.3 lbs.

Ultimate Kits are absolutely the best value when purchasing Kelly Kettle products! Fire Base & Drawstring carrying bag are included as Standard Equipment with each Kelly Kettle.

A Highly Efficient Outdoor Camp Kettle, this Kelly Kettle is suitable for Trekkers, Hikers, Kayakers, Backpackers, Bikers, and all outdoors enthusiasts who need to keep their pack light. This lightweight Kelly Kettle is also suitable for Car Camping, Wilderness Survival Kits and Emergency Disaster Kits. / Because there is no need to carry fuel, this Kelly Kettle will keep your pack light and save you money at the same time – never worry about running out of fuel again!  Using any naturally occurring solid fuel such as sticks, pine cones, dry grass and even dry animal dung; this  Kelly Kettle will operate perfectly, even in stormy conditions and will bring 2 cups (.5L or 17oz) of water to a rolling boil within a matter of minutes.

If more hot water is required, this Kelly Kettle will easily boil water quickly for a party of 4-6 people, simply refill the kettle and place it back on the fire base and refuel the chimney again. The kettle will boil again within a matter of minutes where water can be used for more hot drinks, bathing, and washing up.

Fits Perfectly in any Backpack. Lighten your load with the Aluminum Kelly Kettle Trekker.

Note: The fire bases invert partially up into the bottom of your Kelly Kettle to make the unit as compact as possible for transporting and storage.


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