Tom Osman: Jetboil Flash 2.0 Camo Stove
My wife and I both have happy childhood memories of camping; listening to the rain patter on the canvas whilst snug in your sleeping bags, cooked breakfasts (largely cold!) eaten off plastic plates and running barefoot around campsites with new-found friends. As a former teacher, my wife was constantly surprised by the sheer number of families (adults included!) who have never slept outdoors. As parents, we were keen for our daughter to experience all that camping had to offer, and so bought our first ‘family tent’ in 2018. Since then, we have made many happy memories – as a three and with friends – in Norfolk, Weymouth, the Isle of Wight and the New Forest. Given the new COVID travel restrictions and the advent of the UK ‘staycation’, we are now particularly pleased with this purchase!
Anyone who has been camping with children appreciates that, as soon as the sun comes up, its light has the ability to rouse any child sleeping under a thin sheet of canvas! Coffee is therefore the imperative to the success of every family camping expedition. During our first few trips, we were reliant on heating up water over a camping stove set over, what can best be described as a questionable flame. Add in any amount of wind or rain and, during the time it takes to boil the kettle, we could have driven home to make it. Throw in the task of attempting to cook a full English for an inpatient child at the same time, and the competition for the stove rings becomes perilous!
Enter: The Jetboil - Flash 2.0 Camo Stove
The Flash Camo Gas Burner from Jetboil is a compact and efficient gas burner that allows you to make scoldingly hot drinks quickly when you are out in nature – 100 seconds to be precise. The Flash is designed specifically for boiling, rather than cooking, prioritising speed and power to decrease the boil time. The burner is made of stainless steel and has a compact design with everything, canister and all, fitting nicely inside the cup (critical when packing up the car for that family trip!) It weighs in at 426g for the full set (burner head, cooking cup, insulated cosy with handle, measuring cup and canister stand). The Flash 2.0 Camo Stove also comes with stabilizer so that the burner is fixed.
Part of the ingenuity of this product is its ease of use. There’s no fiddling about getting it set up. The push button igniter is a winner and one of the things other similar stoves are missing. Without doubt my favourite feature is the colour-changing indicator on the Jetboil symbol surrounding the cup. Just having the insulated cosy with a good handle on the cup is helpful enough, but the heat indicator displayed through the Jetboil symbol was fantastic. If you’ve ever spent time hunkered over a conventional camping kettle in the rain waiting for it to boil, you’ll understand why this feature is so clever. Rather than constantly trying to see through a steamy lid or lifting up the lid to see if it’s started to boil or alternatively, waiting too long and seeing it boil over, this handy, well-designed colour-changing feature allows you to sit back and watch the colour change to orange. It is such a simple idea but it a little stroke of genius at the same time – one of those ideas that make you wonder why all pots don’t have this on them.
Put simply, this product is one of my favourites. It represents a brilliant example of engineering applied in equal measure to efficiently solve an everyday problem; which is what good design should always be about.