Giant Stainless Thermette: Wood-Fired Water Heater

Put this under the heading “gear I’ve wanted for years.” After reading my friend Oblio13’s post in 2008, I’ve wanted a large Thermette boiler that would handle a few gallons at a time. I’ve had a 2 quart model for 15 years, but it just isn’t enough water for camp chores.

If you’ve never heard of them, a Thermette (a more common brand is the Kelly Kettle) is a water container that’s open in the middle and on top, and stores water on the sides. You build a small fire to heat the water. They’re very fast and efficient, and have a long history. You can even cook on top of them. For more on how they work, read this post: “Gear that works: wood burning outdoor water heaters.” 

After emailing around, I finally heard back from New Zealand that yes, they still make these, and yes, they’ll ship to the USA. They have 6, 10, 30 and 50 liter models. I’ll be pulling the trigger on one this winter. Here’s the link:

Stainless Steel Thermettes from Spiroloc Tubing (New Zealand)

To see the concept in action, check out our youtube video from 2007.  Scroll to 2:35 to see the Thermette vs Kelly Kettle side by side comparison.


Gear, General



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