Storm kettle

Storm kettle

A storm kettle is a device used for boiling water in the outdoors. It consists of a base, in which a fire is lit (usually with wood, paper, etc.), and a double-walled main body. The centre of the main body acts as a chimney for the fire, while the water is contained in the chimney wall. A large surface area of water is thus exposed to the heat, little heat is lost directly to the atmosphere, and the centre chimney creates a upward chimney draft of heat, maximising water heating efficiency. A typical kettle can boil 2.5 pints of water in about 5 minutes. Typically, bits of paper, twigs and other small combustible material are started in the base, the kettle is put on the base, and additional burnable material is dropped dropped the chimney as needed.

Kettles of very similar design are manufactured by the Kelly Kettle Company (Kelly Kettle or Volcano Kettle), the Eydon Kettle Company (Storm Kettle) and the Ghillie Kettle Company. They are all manufactured from aluminum. Two or three sizes are available, from 500 ml (~2 cups or 16 oz) to 1.5 L (~6 cups or 50 oz). The manufacturers also sell a cook set with a little grill and pan that fits over the base. The Kelly Kettle Company also supplies a pot support which is placed in the chimney which ensures the effective use of the cook sets. The cook sets fit into the internal chimney for transport.


The thermette, from New Zealand, is somewhat different in appearance and construction. It works on the same principle of internal upwardly narrowing chimney to create the efficient upward draught of heat, but has a different external design and use of materials. It has a cylinder shape and is flat topped (i.e., not tapered on the outside at the top), the water spout is on the flat top, it has a handle rivetted to the side for pouring instead of a chain and bail handle, and is made of copper or tin in place of aluminum.

The Thermette's history is one of an independent invention in 1929 by John Ashley Hart. It became a cultural icon of New Zealand's history during the Second World War. For New Zealand soldiers fighting the deserts of North Africa the Thermette became a standard piece of equipment and earned the nickname the "Benghazi Boiler". The Thermette is still manufactured and is available in tin plate or copper models. The basic design of the Thermette is very similar to that of the storm kettle.

Eco Billy

Australian made Eco Billy is made of stainless steel. It has a 3 cup capacity (700 mls) or 6 cup capacity (1500 mls). Based on a similar design to the Thermette, but the base cannot be removed from the kettle.

Dingo Bush Kettle

Australian made Dingo Bush Kettle looks like a typical storm kettle, but the kettle and outside of the fire base are attached and it has a round plate where the fire is made and then the kettle put on top of that.

Further similar designs

The Samovar is a similar design that predates these other kettles. It was used as a household appliance rather than camping gear. It also has a hollow fire tube and water around it which is heated. It is used to make tea.


The makers of these kettles have taken out copyrights on some of the names used to refer to these kettles.

External links

* [ Kelly Kettle Company]
* [ Eydon Kettle Company]
* [ Ghillie Kettle Company]
* [ Danish site hosting an info page on Ghillie kettles]
* [ Thermette North America]
* [ OutdoorIdiots: An article about the Kelly Kettle]
* [ A short article with a cross section of a thermette]
* [,40733,40996 Store (Lee Valley) article with cross section and photos]
* [ Dingo Bush Kettle; Australian version]

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