Outdoor gear for vanlifers

The Perfect Camp Stove for the Van Life


I am so amazed by the amount of Van Lifers out there. People brave enough to take a huge step to freedom – living in a van, traveling the world, going where ever their van takes them! Now I’m not saying the van life is for everyone, but all the van lifers I see on Instagram look pretty relaxed and happy! We have some pretty cool equipment for vanlifers; so wanted to share the Kelly Kettle – perfect outdoor gear for the van life.

The Basic Needs of a Van Lifer

The Kelly Kettle is ideal outdoor gear for the van life – #homeonwheels crew. The most important supplies one needs on the road are fire and water. So we asked the team @irietoaurora (Dustin and Naomi) to test out a Kelly Kettle – the re-known camp kettle and camp stove, as well as the Sagan AquaBrick™ Water Filtration System to get their feel for how they work on their home on wheels. View their opinion of the Aquabrick™.  

Thumbs Up for the Kelly Kettle

We sent them the Ultimate Base Camp Kit which includes the largest Kelly Kettle and all the accessories. If you’re going to purchase a Kettle, I recommend getting the kit. If you just get the basic kettle, you will regret not having some of the cool accessories which the kits include.


Best little camp stove – the Hobo Stove.

Kelly Kettle Review: The Ultimate Base Camp Kit

“My husband and I live and travel in our VW Camper full time, so we pretty much live outdoors. Our campsite is our kitchen and we spend most of our time in National Parks and Forests.

The Ultimate Base Camp Kit is perfect for our lifestyle and it has replaced our propane stove for most meals, especially breakfast. Each morning we collect a few twigs and pine cones for our hobo stove and boil water for coffee and tea in minutes, much faster than any propane fire.

We make breakfast (bacon, eggs, hash, oatmeal) using the cook set over the same fire, sometimes while simultaneously boiling water. On days when we want to cook outside without pulling out our propane stove and large pots and pans we use our Hobo Stove and this saves us from messy clean ups and wasteful propane cylinders.

Space in our camper is premium and one thing we love about this kit is it’s compatibility, everything fits inside the base of the kettle and it takes up barely any space in the camper. We will certainly recommend this kit to anyone living on the road (full-time or part-time), and anyone who enjoys camping and the outdoors. It’s a must have! We are also backpackers and will be investing in the Trekker Kit for our backpacking trips.

The only critique with the Kettle is that the chimney fills with soot and we have not yet figured out how to properly clean it.”

How to Clean the Kelly Kettle

How to clean the Kelly Kettle

How to take a 20 year old Kelly Kettle and make it look brand new.

So, since Dustin and Naomi are not sure how to clean the kettle, I am borrowing some advice from @broadsword_calling_danny_boy (Twm Gwilym) He posted photos of a Kelly Kettle that had not been used for 20 years. Yes – the Kelly Kettle has been around for over 100 years – and they do last a lifetime!

Here’s his advice on how he cleaned up the kettle after 20 years.

“I used the Kelly Kettle to boil water to make sure it was sound after being unused for so long. I then put that water in a bucket with quite a lot of dish soap. I let it soak until it was cool enough to touch and then scrubbed it with scouring pads – those metal wool things with the pink soap in the middle. Even the carbon inside the chimney has come off. Once it was dry I wiped it down with a thin layer of dish soap, so the next time it’s used it should only need a rinse and a wipe. Pretty simple, really. ”

Thanks for your advice @broadsword_calling_danny_boy. #CleanKettle #KellyKettleslastforever

Thanks for Recommending the Kelly Kettle

We appreciate @irietoaurora trying out what we think is the best outdoor gear for van life, camping, hiking, and especially survival. We keep a Kelly Kettle in our garage and one in each car – just because you never know what’s around the corner.

The fact that the kettle does not require anything but natural fuel to work gives it a huge edge over other outdoor camping stoves and kettles.  Anything will burn in the fire base – twigs, brush, dry grass, pine cones, even (so gross) animal dung.

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