In order to fully illustrate the value of the GSI Halulite Ketalist minimalist backpacking cookset as an addition to a 72 hour or emergency preparedness kit, I thought I would see how the unit performed in a few less than ideal situations. It is important to note that the performance of the Ketalist as a one person ultralight cookware set is topnotch for those backcountry, off-the-grid short or long term excursions. Heading off into the wild with a set like this in your pack for a weekend, week, or longer could definitely make you consider adopting the phrase “not roughing it.”
The first thing that I noticed upon picking up the box is the comparative weightlessness for its size. Other than a subtle rattle I might have been holding a cardboard box stuffed with newspaper. Sliding the 7 piece set out of the box, I was impressed by the size and attractive styling. The black, orange and gunmetal aesthetics were quite pleasing, and the size is on par with one of the old-style Boy Scout/military mess-kits. Removing the mesh bag revealed a low-profile kettle complete with cleverly designed spout, a folding handle that locks into place for boiling, and a side illustration showing the proper nesting order. Removing the lid reveals another lid, and one begins to wonder how far this rabbit hole goes. The unit is however quickly and easily apart and ready to go with an insulated sip-it lidded cup and bowl nested set, with a low center of gravity to help eliminate spills. And I don’t want to forget my favorite bit – the Foon (sporks are for dorks), a collapsible multipurpose utensil that extends and snaps into place for meal, then easily folds back down for storage.
For National Preparedness Month I decided to push the limits of this one person unit in an attempt to provide justification for those whose spouse’s purse strings seem perpetually cinched. The set performed quite well and in an emergency could adequately serve a small family. Those with more than a couple progeny may wish to consider the previously reviewed GSI Outdoors Pinnacle cookset though. In a pinch, the Ketalist’s one liter kettle easily boils enough water for as many as 4 servings of dehydrated emergency food. With the addition of a fuel canister and pocket stove which nest easily into this wel- engineered set, you could if needed prepare a real meal to feed as many as six. Noting that the recyclable polypropylene BPA-free bowl and insulated cup won’t absorb food odors got me thinking that occasionally in an emergency there may be need to prepare your food while on the move. It was quite possible to hydrate oatmeal and noodles using both room temperature and warm tap water in the innermost container with the lid snugly in place, nested, and secured in an upright position in my pack. There was no outside spillage or extra mess and in the case of the warm water the oatmeal was still warm a couple of hours after being packed up. The cleanup was a snap inside and out, even after using a variety of heat sources, only requiring a quick wipe down with a cotton handkerchief. GSI’s Halulite material is strikingly durable without any coating, and creates maximum thermal efficiency. On our BioLite CampStove (see yesterday’s review), water boiled fast. I would expect similar results on an indoor range, alcohol, propane, or butane stove.
The manufacturer may not have suggested or approved all the uses I put it to, but come the zombie apocalypse when everyone else is having their brains eaten because they stopped to wait for water to boil, or the zombies smelled their dirty dishes, your family may just thank you for discovering the GSI Halulite Ketalist. gsioutdoors.com