About 10 minutes ago I boiled up some Chicken Korma in the funky, ultra-light Minimalist cookset from GSI Outdoors. About 30 seconds ago I burnt my tongue on the sauce, so it’s safe to say that the insulating neoprene jacket is working well. Anyone got an ice-pack?
The Minimalist set is very well named, because it’s designed almost perfectly to give you everything you need to make a meal, or cup of tea, and absolutely nothing more. The adventurous type could easily get by with just this set on a backpacking trip.
Included in the box is a 0.6 litre Halulite (GSI’s secret squirrel alloy material, which feels a lot like Titanium) pot. It’s got a thin wall section and weighs in at just 100g, which is about as much as a mouse fart. It’s finished in a matt, non-slip texture which is quite pleasing on the eye, and scratchproof (so they say).
Around the pot is a tight-fitting thin neoprene sleeve which means that as soon as you’ve boiled your lunch/tea, you can use the included silicone pot-lifter to slot the pot into the sleeve and hug your lunch to keep your hands warm. The pot lifter is in lieu of a heavy, awkward handle and works very well indeed. It’s a little warm on the knuckles if you’re holding the pot above a stove when stirring, but not too bad.
Apparently there’s a magnet inside the pot lifter so you can stick it to the side of a gas canister. Didn’t work on my canister so it must not be steel.
Neatly, you can also use the pot lifter as a utensil holder hooked on the side of the pot. And since we’re on the subject of utensils, the Minimalist set comes with a retractable spoon/fork combination device. It made me laugh to read that instead of calling it a Spork, they’ve named it a Foon. It’s very lightweight and flimsy; I honestly thought it’d be a breakable and useless thing to use, but after eating a couple of meals with it I have to admit that it’s pretty good. It’s a nightmare to clean though!
The last component included in the set is a pot lid, which flips to become a cup lid. The difference is that a pot lid ‘sits’ on the pot, whereas the cup lid is firmly engaged so you can tip it up to drink without spillage. They achieve this via a silicone gasket. It makes for a nice cup of tea.
The pot itself and all its components are designed, very cleverly, to fit perfectly with a 100g gas canister inside. That means that you can fit an entire cooking facility, with the exception of the stove head, in a package not much bigger than a tin of beans.
Summary: The GSI Outdoors Halulite Minimalist cookset (catchy name!) is a brilliant little piece of thinking. I love the challenge of catering for myself using the bare minimum of parts, and weighing in at a total of 175g – same weight as a tin of Pringles – this is perfect for ultralight enthusiasts and those who’ve filled their backpacks with heavy pairs of pants. Sometimes the simple things are all you need!
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