TD Sidewinder Caldera Cone & the 0.9L Evernew “UL” Ti Cook Pot

P1010071As usual, I have been playing with more cook kit combinations. I have a number of cook pots in my arsenal, ranging from as little as 475 ml to 1.8L, made from titanium to hard anodized aluminum, and of course, a number of beer can cook pots. However, the one that I have been tinkering around with lately has been my 0.9L “UL” Evernew titanium cook pot. This is a short, squat pot which does not have a nonstick coating inside it (hence, “UL”), and obviously has a 900 ml (or ~ 31 fluid oz) capacity. The pot (w/ handles) & lid weigh in at 4 oz, sans stuff sack.

I actually like this cook pot for a number of reasons. Being that it is short and squat (larger diameter), this cook pot does a great job at maximizing fuel efficiency. And of course being made from titanium, it is a rather durable cook pot. Last, but definitely not least, it has a large enough capacity so that I can boil all the water I need for both a meal and a hot drink at the same time! Some other nice features about this pot is that it does have handles which are capable of supporting the weight of a full pot, and it has graduated markings stamped into the side that does well to serve as a point-of-reference. As a bonus (for me), there is no lining inside the cook pot to scrape off over time or to add extra weight… it’s just plain old titanium baby! As far as weight is concerned, considering the feature-set of this pot, it is a respectable weight, although, I was still able to cut a nice chunk of weight from the cook pot…

So, the first thing I decided to do with this cook pot was to drop the heavy lid, which accounted for a whopping 1.1 oz of the total weight. (For those mathematicians, that is just over 25% of the total weight!) To replace it, I pulled out a scrap piece of titanium foil which I had purchased a while back and simply traced around the stock lid right onto the titanium foil. Then I simply cut it out (slowly) with a pair of household scissors, trying my best to keep a circle… Once I cut the lid out, I grabbed a hole punch and punched a single hole (for pressure relief) and then used a short strip of aluminum tape to make a pull tab on top.

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Believe it or not, I managed to drop 0.8 oz from the weight of the lid simply by doing this! The newer (granted, less durable) lid comes in at only 0.3 oz, as compared to 1.1 oz for the stock lid. Now, the cook pot (still w/ handles) and the new lid comes in at a total weight of 3.2 oz as compared to 4 oz (still sans stuff sack). However, as I mentioned, this did come at a price. The new lid is less durable than the stock lid, and while I think that the new lid fits quite nicely (due to my fine scissor-cutting skills) the stock lid does have a more secure fit. To be fair though, I feel that this is because the stock lid does not flex like the ti foil lid. But, don’t count the ti foil lid as being weak. This lid is made from 0.005″ thick titanium foil, which is a thin piece of metal, but is surprisingly strong for its size. It does a great job at holding it’s shape, and doesn’t get all bent out of shape like aluminum foil does at the slightest touch. While this foil can suffer from bends, it will take a considerately larger amount of effort to do so.

The next thing I did to drop some weight was to change out the stuff sack that was supplied with the cook pot. To be fair, I cannot remember the exact weight of the stuff sack, but it was at least 0.7 oz, or maybe more. So, I decided to use my ZPacks cuben fiber stuff sack that is made specifically for the 0.9L Evernew cook pot. Luckily, I already had this on hand since I also have the same cook pot, but the lined version. I purchased the stuff sack for it a while back, but since the pots are the same size, it will work with either. The weight of the stuff sack is 0.1 oz, which is much lighter than the stock stuff sack, and brings the weight of the cook pot, lid and stuff sack to a total of 3.3 oz. Not to shabby in my opinion…

Once I had made these simple, easy changes, I decided to worry about the rest of the cook kit. I also happened to have a roll of hardware cloth, as well as some more of the tooling (aluminum) foil on hand, so I made a pot stand from the hardware cloth and a windscreen from the foil. The combined weight of both items (including a tyvek sleeve which I wrap the pot stand in) came to a total of 1.2 oz. And of course, I was sure to make these items so that they could all pack inside the cook pot. Easy, and done.

Next I dug through the overflowing box of stoves in my gear closet and tried a few of them. Of course they all worked, but to be honest, I had grown interested in the Starlyte alcohol stove which Zelph sells, and so I ordered one. (At only $14, it was an easy decision.) What drew me to this stove the most was that it did not need to be primed, unlike so many of my other alcohol stoves. However, this stove also offered a few other interesting features, namely that it came with a lid which can help contain any unused fuel (although, I am still leery about that) and that it is so compact.

Once the Starlyte stove arrived, I gave it a try, and was impressed. So, I started playing around with different amounts of water, as well as with different amounts of fuel. This of course made me start thinking about another piece of gear that I found interesting… the Sidewinder Caldera Cone for this cook pot… Needless to say, it didn’t take me long and I had also ordered the Sidewinder cone…

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Once the cone arrived, I was like kid at Christmas. I filled up my Nalgene, grabbed the cook kit and my new cone, some fuel and took off outside! To be honest, I even forgot about weighing it before heading out to use it…

Since then, I have used it about 6 times (in the yard obviously), and each time it has worked beautifully. I am very happy with this set-up, and it will definitely be going with me later this month on my Foothills Trail thru hike.

Anyway, here is a video of me using the set-up this morning to boil water for coffee:

Also, here are the weights of the entire system:

  • 0.9L Evernew “UL” Ti Cook Pot w/ DIY Ti Foil Lid: 3.2 oz
  • ZPacks Cuben Fiber Stuff Sack: 0.1 oz
  • Trail Designs Sidewinder Caldera Cone & Foil Ground Protector: 1.3 oz
  • Zelph’s Starlyte Alcohol Stove w/ Lid: 0.6 oz
  • Lightload Towel, Measuring Cup & Mini Bic: 0.6 oz

This is a total weight of 5.8 oz (although, when everything is set on my scale it will rock back and forth between 5.8 & 5.9 oz). As I said before, this is pretty lightweight, however, it is not the lightest. For example, I have an entire cook kit (counting spoon and cup) that comes in at only 2.9 oz, however, when comparing them, this cook kit is much more durable. Is it worth double the weight? Well…

As far as the Caldera Cones, I love them. As can be seen in the photo above (and below) these are beautiful pieces of kit. But, it doesn’t stop with just looking good, they also perform just as beautifully. They block wind better than any other windscreen I have made, functions as both the windscreen and the pot stand, and are simple to use. No real parts to break on these things, just slide the 2 ends together and done. Of course, depending on what sort of fuel is being used, a pair of stakes may have to be inserted through the cone, but this is simple as well. And oh yeah… being that it is made from titanium, it can withstand the heat from even a wood fire (which aluminum cannot). Also, being made from titanium, it will keep its shape, rather than fold up and crease like aluminum. And as a bonus, this entire cone will simply roll up and fit inside my cook pot, and still allow me to have room for everything else I have listed, and more if need be… Need I say more?

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This is my second cone, my first one is for the 1.3L Evernew “UL” cook pot, and I love it just as much. And I gotta say, I also have the 600 ml “UL” Evernew cook pot, and can you guess what will very, very likely be in its future???

So, this is my newest cook kit, and as you may can tell, I am pretty excited about it. I know that I will be using this thing more and more in the next few weeks, and then as I said, on my next hike. Also, considering the entire feature-set, it has a lot of potential to becoming one of my go-to cooking kits…

Thanks for reading everyone!

~Stick~

Disclaimer: Other than the 0.9L Evernew “UL” cook pot, I paid for all items in this write-up with my own money. The cook pot was won in a drawing last year. I am not affiliated with any of the companies represented in this write-up, and am under no obligation to write about any of their products. I just like them enough to do so.

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About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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19 Responses to TD Sidewinder Caldera Cone & the 0.9L Evernew “UL” Ti Cook Pot

  1. Pingback: Post Hike Gear Talk: March 2015 – Carver’s Gap to Kincora Hostel (Dennis Cove Rd) | Stick's Blog

  2. Lukabrazi says:

    Do you think you could use this setup with Epicurien stove and Fat Dadios aluminum pan and bake with it the way Jon is always doing over at Flat Cat? I’m trying to decide between the Caldera and Bobcat Jr. and this got me wondering if I could combine the things I like from both setups.

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    • Stick says:

      I don’t see why not, but I am not sure about it either. I would suggest to ask Jon about this… I don’t know if the Epicurean stove will burn hotter since the space under the 0.9L pot will be smaller than that of the 1.3L… I wouldn’t think that whether you were using the Bobcat Jr or the Caldera Cone would matter though… I just used my 1.3L Evernew pot with the Fat Dadio’s pot to bake muffins on my Sidewinder Caldera Cone using the Epicurean stove, however, I did shim the stove up about 1/4″ from the ground. If I had a Fat Dadio’s pot that fit inside my 0.9L pot I would try it, but I don’t have one…

      ~Stick~

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  3. MW says:

    Stick, very nice writeup, photos and video. What’s the rolled up length of the Sidewinder for your 1.3L pot (the shortest you can get it)? Just trying to figure out if something will fit around it inside the pot.

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  4. Joe says:

    What are your thoughts between the Sidewinder (looking at the 600ml pot) and the Lite Trails 550ml? I have the Lite Trails right now and looking to buy another setup for my wife to have her own but torn between the two options. The 50ml is not a big part of my decision but i suppose it comes down to weight and cook time. Can you speak to either of those catagories?

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    • Stick says:

      Joe,

      My thoughts on them both are that they are both great kits, and it just depends on what you want in specific. However, being that these pots are so close in size, it really does narrow them down a bit… I think the biggest thing to consider concerning the size is do you plan to use the pot as both pot and mug?

      As for me, I have just been stuck on my LiteTrail kit. For my needs, it has been working out very well for me. But that is not to say that I won’t use my 600 ml pot sometime… although, I do need to get a cone for it… I only have cones for my .9L and my 1.3L Evernew pots…

      Either way though, they are both great kits, and I would feel comfortable recommending either set-up…

      Good luck with your decision.

      ~Stick~

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  5. Jeffrey Sims says:

    I made my base the same size as the lid,then shaved it just a tiny bit, but since it has no “tab” to to stick up it sits flat just under the lid in the top of the pot for storage. if that makes sense. When all is set up there is still open ground between the edges of the base and sides of the cone but I do not plan on wood fires unless it’s an absolute emergency.

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  6. Jeffrey Sims says:

    Stick, it looks like we are running the same set up here. This is the exact combination I have put together for my JMT this year. mine is just a touch heavier as i used the same ti foil to make the base for the stove to sit on. and I made it the same diameter as the base of the pot. The modified StarLyte takes a bit longer to boil than the 12/10 but is seems more efficient at home. I am heading up on the 23rd to field test everything 1 ml per bil over time + a free boil or 2 over the 10 days on the trail

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    • Stick says:

      Jeffery,

      The next time I order some more of the ti foil, I also plan to replace the aluminum ground protector with one made from the ti. Nothing to do with weight, but more so for durability, and the fact that it would stand up to a wood fire better than the aluminum. However, I am having a hard time figuring out how it would pack inside the cook pot if it is the same diameter as the base of the cone (not the pot). When cut to this size, it would be too big to lay inside the cook pot as I have done with the one I am using now, and if rolled up it would then be too big to fit inside the pot with the cone. I would imagine it would just have to be layered in between something, which shouldn’t be an issue considering it is so thin it would slide anywhere… or I could just stick to the same size I have now I guess… or I could make it in 2 pieces the way Trail Designs does I guess…

      ~Stick~

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  7. John C says:

    Hi Stick. I have the same stove set-up with the exception of the DIY lid, stuff sack and fuel bottle. I know you don’t like to put your fuel bottle in the stove kit, but Trail Designs sells a 5.5 oz. fuel bottle with a rubber o-ring for $2.95 that I have had good luck with. It fits inside the rolled up cone and hasn’t leaked yet, although I put it inside a freezer bag just in case. It would suck to have it leak inside the pot though. Also Zelph recommends raising the modified Starlyte about 3/4 inch inside the cone, so I use two pieces of carbon felt to set the stove on inside the cone. There was a big thread on this at BackPackingLight a while back.

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    • Stick says:

      John,

      I actually have some of those bottles from TD. They are ok bottles, but in my experience, the little o ring is a bit tedious to deal with. It seems to fall out rather easy and on occasion it also seems to twist up in the lid when tightening the lid down. The cap is also a bit of a hassle to remove to refill. I have simply bent the end of a paper clip over to form a hook to pull it out, but that is one more thing to keep up with on the trail should I ever need to refill (although, 5.5 oz will get a lot of water to a boil…) I also find that the squirt top dribbles when I am trying to squirt just a little out. I don’t mind using these around the house, but rarely take them out with me when backpacking.

      Do you have a link to the specific thread about elevating the Starlyte stove up just a bit? I have read a lot of info on this stove with a cone on BPL, which is actually what made me finally get this little stove. However, most all that I read dealt with the kegs rather than the short, wide Evernew pots. I will check some more…

      However, I do bring the cook pot all the way down in the cone when using it with this stove. I don’t use the stakes so the pot sits farther down in the cone, closing in the stove to pot distance. I haven’t shimmed the stove yet, but I am pretty happy with the results. I get 2 cup boils off of 15 ml of fuel (if one can believe the graduated marks on the measuring cups) and 3 cups to boil with 25 ml of fuel. Each of these amounts will not only bring the water to boil, but will also continue to boil for a couple of extra minutes when using cold tap water, or just to a boil with ice water.

      Also, my boil times are a bit slower than with other stoves, which also tells me that the distance between the pot and stove must be pretty close already. By bringing the 2 closer together I would imagine longer boil times.

      This is the “modified” Starlyte too, which does burn slower. I would like to get the regular Starlyte and see if there is a difference…

      ~Stick~

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  8. Steve says:

    Stick…excellent video…I sure enjoy them. Can you pour left over fuel conveniently back into the fuel bottle with that stove and does it come with a snuffing cap?
    Steve

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    • Stick says:

      Steve,

      No, you cannot recollect the unused fuel from the stove. He uses some sort of filler inside the stove that actually absorbs the fuel, similar to carbon felt but I believe it is another material. However, with a good hard POOF the stove can be blown out, then once it cools, the lid can be put back on. Supposedly, between the lid and the material inside the stove, the remaining fuel will not leak out. I see how this works, however, I would rather just use the right amount of fuel to begin with and let all the fuel burn out. So far this has been working well.

      Hope this helps, and thanks for stopping by!

      ~Stick~

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  9. Hendrik says:

    Really like the new photos and video quality, Chad. Oh, and the Sidewinder, too =)

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  10. MW says:

    Thank you for the excellent tips. Planning to make the same Ti foil lids for my cook pots. Just curious, is it possible to fit a 110g gas canister in the 1.3L wide Evernew Ti pot on the side of the Caldera Cone (which I would use sometimes with the Kovea Spider remote stove)?

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    • Stick says:

      MW,

      I cannot make a canister fit inside the 1.3L pot with the cone inside too. I imagine that if I rolled the cone up super, super tight, I could make it fit but then the lid very likely wouldn’t sit down all the way.

      ~Stick~

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  11. Evan Klein says:

    Thank you for your wonderful hiking advice and tips. Any thoughts on the Black Diamond First Light Tent.

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