alcohol stoves: Swedish mess kit

Recently I’ve had been hearing a lot of positive buzz about the Swedish military mess kit.  It includes a small and large oval pot , an oval windscreen, and a military Trangia alcohol burner.  I think it is also supposed to come with a plastic fuel bottle and sometimes I see a small plastic cup or utensils.  Dunno if they are standard issue.

Swedish mess kit flash

The design and execution is quite nice.  When stored the pots seat fully down into the windscreen for compact storage (and the burner/fuel can be stored inside the pots).  Before use steel bails inside the windscreen are flipped up to support the pot above the Trangia.  The fit is good and very little heat is wasted by traveling up the sides of the pot, a problem with many non-pressure stoves with their longer, less orderly flame patterns.
Some things to know about the kit:
  • They have gone up in price lately.  Reportedly available in the $10 range a few years ago they are now $50 or more.  I assembled mine out of pieces I found on eBay and at a local army/navy store for ~$27.
  • The pots (and maybe the windscreen) come in stainless or aluminum.    Alum is lighter (duh) but stainless appears to be the most sought after for whatever reason.  You can tell the difference in auction pictures if the two pots are separated;  the stainless has one indented ring around the top and the aluminum has two indented rings.   It also appears the latch on the smaller pot is riveted on the aluminum model and welded on the steel model.
  • The cutout in the windscreen makes room for the latch/handle so the pots can slide down into place.  It also means that…
  • either pot can be used down on the burner because the cutout lets the handled small pot fit down in there.
  • The small pot fits on the big pot two ways:  upside down to enclose (and latch) the two pots; and upside up to make a snugly fitting lid.  
  • The two loops on the latch/handle allow one to use a stick or pole as an extended handle.  Would be most useful when used over a campfire.
  • The larger pot’s bail has a hook for suspending over a fire or stove.  There is a centered notch in the bail so it doesn’t slide around.
  • The bail has a second, off-centered, notch.  This makes it easy to trap the bail in place and pour from the large pot.  It’s a little hard to describe but here’s a video that illustrates one approach.  I tend to slide the hook in further and use two hands, but it’s a matter of personal preference.

Very happy with this bit of gear.

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