Friday, February 15, 2008

Tatonka Pots

I mentioned a while ago that when I ordered my Tentipi, I also ordered a couple of Tatonka pots. Since they are a relatively hard item to find here in the US, I figured I would show some photos of them.

There are some features about the Tatonka that I really liked. I could find similar features in other pots, but never one with all of them together. These include:

- Bail for hanging the pot.

- Nice fitting lid.

- Lid can be used as a skillet.

- Nest easy inside each other.

- Stainless steel.

- Nothing on the lid to prevent me from heaping hot coals on it.

- No non-stick coating.

- I liked the width and height dimensions of these much better than the Zebra billy cans.

So, on to the photos. Here is the kit all together. I bought the 1.6L pot, and the 1L pot. You will notice the lid for the larger pot in the photo. The lid for the smaller part is being used, and you will see why later. There is also the removable skillet handles in front. The Pepsi can is for scale.

This photo shows the skillet handle attached to the lid. Not only can this be used for using the lid as a skillet, but also for removing a hot lid from a boiling pot.

Here they are shown nesting inside each other.

Here is a photo of the Trangia alcohol stove inside the whole setup. I put the wash cloth in there purely from a noise perspective. I did not want things clanging around in my pack. I can put the lid on the small pot, put in the skillet handles, put the lid on the large pot, and then have the entire kit fit within the largest pot. Shown below:

Just a quick word about stoves; I hate them, and I don’t think they belong in the woods. I believe in keeping things as simple as possible and using resources that are easily at hand. This means that I don’t want a stove that is finicky, prone to breaking, costs near $100, requires me to carry spare parts, and causes me to worry about fuel quantities. There is nothing that will ruin a trip to the woods quicker than dragging all the trappings and headaches of daily life along with you. I go to get away from this sort of thing.

With all that being said, I have added the Trangia to kit because it is the simplest of them all, and is VERY inexpensive (about $5). The thing is a brick, with no moving parts, and pretty much nothing to go wrong with it. I will avoid using it if possible, and mainly have it in there because it fills dead space, and for emergency purposes. When I say “emergency” I don’t necessarily mean that a SAR team is looking for me. I mean it in the terms of it is nasty out, raining, and a cranky 2 year old is waiting for food : )

So, there is the kit. If it seems a bit on the large side, keep in mind that it is for a family of four. If it were just me, depending on the circumstances, I might leave it as is, or put the 1L pot out, and take just that.

The Swedish mess kit that can be purchased with the stove is also a very versatile setup. But, the things I prefer about this set are the following:

- 2 circular shaped frying pans.

- If using a lid, these are much easier to remove.

- The ability to bake.

How would I bake with these? I am glad you asked. Making something like damper bread would be a piece of cake with these. I would place 3 rocks in the bottom of the large pot. Grease (or flour) the lid from the small pot and put the damper bread in there and place that on the rocks in the larger pot. Put the large lid on. Rest the large pot on a bed of coals, and put additional coals on the lid.

Here is a photo of damper bread being cooked in the small lid. On this occasion I used the house stove because I was tweaking my bread recipe (I didn’t want too many variables in there). This damper was to accompany soup, so I added garlic and cheese to the mix. If it were for breakfast, I would have added brown sugar, raisins, dried fruit, or anything else you have with you.

Next is to try it with the coals. If it were my cast iron dutch oven, I would be able to do this with my eyes closed, as I have a lot of experience cooking with those. I am sure it will take me a couple trials getting used to the thinner, lighter and smaller stainless steel pot.

Eventually, I will post more pics of these pots in action.


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