The Trail Groove web site is a number of things. It is an online magazine, a blog and a forum that is open to the public which was created “to provide a unique online media experience for the backpacking, hiking, and outdoor community.” I first came across the online magazine thanks to a post over on Hike, Bike, Dale! which directed his viewers to the Trail Groove site. Curiously, I flipped through the online pages of the magazine then and was impressed. Then, a few weeks later I came across another post, this time on FaceBook and from the company Trail Designs. They were announcing a Tax Day giveaway that Trail Groove was hosting, and so again I found myself back at the Trail Groove site.
Aaron and Jen from Trail Groove had decided to host a Tax Day Giveaway in which I entered. The rules were simple: Sign up at the site, and then post in the forums. Each post counted as one entry. The winner was to be drawn on 4/17/2012 (AKA: Tax Day) via a randomly selected post. And for the goods… the package that was being given away included a 1.3L Evernew UltraLight Ti cook pot (ECA 253) and the matching Trail Designs Sidewinder Ti-Tri Caldera Cone cook system! Sweet!
In the first issue of the Trail Groove magazine is a very detailed gear review of this very system that they were giving away. (Coincidence? I think not.) And even though it is rated 4 out of 5 in the article, it is a much-loved system, and they thought so enough to give one away! Which is where I came in…
I signed up and took part in the forums on the Trail Groove website. Then, on Tax Day night, I received an email with the subject line “Sidewinder Winner!” I crossed my fingers and opened up the email…and I WON! WooHoo! Since then I have anxiously awaited its arrival ever since. But the cool thing is, I didn’t even have to wait that long… the drawing was just a few days ago, on Tuesday (17th) and here it is already in my hands, by Saturday (21st). That is impressive!
As well, Aaron had told me that the guys at Trail Designs were thinking about including a little bonus, but no guarantees. That was fine by me. Heck, from my point of view, it was all a bonus. The fact of the matter is, I had been wanting the Sidewinder for my 0.9L Evernew cook pot for a long while…well, ever since I bought the 0.9L cook pot from Trail Designs last year. And now I had won not only the Sidewinder cook system, but also the 1.3L cook pot to go with it! It was definitely all fine and dandy with me. 🙂
So, Saturday the mail lady knocked on my door with box in hand. I was so exited I tore into it like a kid at Christmas! Inside the box was everything that was listed in the prize package on the Trail Groove site, but there was also more… The guys at Trail Designs also threw in a yummy looking bar, a 4 and an 8 oz fuel bottle and the entire Inferno set with the floor! The entire package! Wow…
- Evernew 1.3L UltraLight Cook Pot w/ Lid (ECA253)
- Sidewinder Ti-Tri Caldera Cone for the 1.3L Evernew Cook Pot
- 2 Titanium Stakes
- Inferno Inverted Cone
- Stuff Sack for the 1.3L Evernew Cook Pot
- Tyvek Stuff Sack for the Inferno Grate
- Tyvek Stuff Sack Sleeve for the Cone(s) and the Inferno Floor
- Inferno Lower Grate System
- Gram Cracker Kit (Stove w/ Wings & 3 Esbit Tablets)
- 12-10 Alcohol Stove
- Olympia Granola Bar
- 5.5 oz & 8 oz Fuel Bottle Kits
- Titanium Inferno Single Piece Floor
- Instructions for use with all systems (not pictured)
So, I boxed it back up and waited to do anything more with it until I could do a video showing it off…which is here:
So, there you have it. My very first Trail Designs Caldera Cone. I just want to say a big huge thanks to Aaron and Jen from Trail Groove, and I would also like to encourage anyone that has not been to the site to head on over that way and check it out. The magazine is truly a great magazine with beautiful pictures and good information. And of course while your there, go ahead and sign up and check out the forums. (Besides, you never know when they will host another giveaway…)
As well, I would like to say a big thanks to the guys at Trail Designs. I have exchanged emails with Rand in the past when I purchased my Evernew cook pot from them and he was very helpful at that time. And by the looks of the system which I now have in my hands, well, I have got to admit that it is impressive looking, and based on the many reviews that I have read on the Caldera Cones themselves (such as the one that Aaron & Jen published in the online magazine) I have a feeling that it will work impressively too. And while I have not yet thrown it on my scales (I know, shame on me…) it does feel pretty light weight…
However, the real beauty of the entire system is that it is truly a multi-fuel system. It will work with alcohol, Esbit and even wood! This is what has drawn me to this system for so long, and is what I most look forward to when using it! If I am going to an area and it will be dry, I can leave all my alcohol behind, or I can choose to bring an Esbit or two at a fraction of the weight! Regardless, I am anxious to see how this system will change the way I not only cook, but also in the decisions I will make when packing up for a trip as well…
So, I am 99.9% sure that I have found my new 2-person cooking system for sure. I believe that it will be efficient, lightweight and enough volume for 2 (but of course I will test this out for myself though). So, as usual, once I get it out and use it a few times I will post an update to the entire system.
Until then, thanks for reading!