Initial Report April 16th
Long Term Report due August 2009
Name: Andrew Preece
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight: 188 lb (85 kg)
Waist: 39 in (100 cm)
Sleeve Length: 20 in(53 cm)
Chest: 42.5 in (108 cm)
Neck: 16 in (40 cm)
I have done a lot of hiking over the years but now carry a hammock and
gear for over night stays of one to two nights. I normally carry
approximately 35 lb (16 kg) which includes food and water. My trips are
usually between one to two days duration mainly over weekends. I hike
all seasons with winter temperatures ranging from 39 F (4 C) to 64 F (18
C) including periods of heavy rain at times to summer conditions with
the temperature ranging from 68 F (20 C) to 95 F (35 C) and very dry.
Bibbulmun Track: Sea level to 1,920 ft (585 m). Within this region I
backpack along old forestry roads, sandy tracks, and purpose built
walking tracks. The south-west of Western Australia allows for hiking
and backpacking from coastal plains to forested ranges. I hike in
varying conditions from forestry tracks, to sandy tracks to single
purpose walking trails, from rock hopping, to beach walking to
completely off-track through open and dense bush country.
It is now the start of our winter. Though we are still experiencing some
unseasonably warm days, and yet some mornings with lows of 50 F (10
highs of 88 F (31 C). In another few months it will be middle of winter and the
cold will set in. Daytime temperatures will range during the testing
period, from a minimum of 57 F (14 C) to 79 F (26 C) during April, to
46 F (8 C) to 64 F (18 C) in July 2008. The average rainfall for this time
of year is, 1 3/4 in (44 mm) in April to 6 in (175 mm) in July.
April 16th 2009
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Place of Manufacture: USA
MSRP: US $15.00
Height: varies, 7 in to 9.5 in (178 mm-241 mm)
Height 8 in (200
Diameter: 4 in (100 mm)
Diameter: 4 in (100 mm)
Weight: 1.5 oz (42 g)
1.5 oz (42 g)
The Caldera Caddy Sack is an addition to
the Trail Designs Caldera
Cone system and Caldera Caddy. This system adds an insulation layer
around the caddy so that food will be kept warm.
This system works perfectly with the freezer bag style of cooking or
rehydrating food within the food grade plastic container. I see it also
useful if I have heated some food in my pot and I need to put that aside
while cooking something else. I would pour the first item into the caddy
and seal it up knowing that it will keep warm whilst I continue cooking.
The photo above shows the food grade
container next to the cozy, the cozy is made from extremely efficient
reflective insulator material.
The caddy is held within the cozy and
sil-nylon stuff sack
as shown above. The stuff sack closes with a cord and cord lock.
It is simply used by removing the cozy and caddy from the stuff sack.
Then remove the top smaller section of cozy, then unscrew the top
smaller section of caddy. Once this has been done it is simply a matter
of adding dry food or heated, (adding hot water if dry food is used) to
the bottom section and replacing the top caddy and cozy sections. Then
when ready just open the whole thing and enjoy.
Do not expose to flame or direct stove heat.
The cozy is only an insulator and will melt if put near heat or a flame.
Protect from abrasion and sharp objects.
When I opened the package and first felt the weight of the cozy I could
not believe just how light it felt. I also noted just how slippery the
stuff sack was. At home the other night I prepared some powdered potato
mash just as I would when in the bush.
I added the just the right amount of mash to a zip lock bag and placed
this into the bottom of the caddy. I then added boiling water while
stirring until I thought the consistency was right.
I then waited a couple of minutes for things to cook. I then opened it
all up and added some meat to the mix and eat it all up. It had stayed
quite warm and the potato was cooked just right.
I look forward to using
this more on my next trip to the bush in one weeks time. I will be out
for four, maybe five nights and enjoying lots of hot meals.
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Long Term Report
I have been using the cozy/caddy combination now for a few months and
during this time I have used it on a three night hiking trip along the
Bibbulmun Track. On this trip I used it for my breakfast coffee and for
my evening meals. I hiked this section with a good friend of mine and at
times I was cooking for two. I have used it on a couple of one night
trips were I used it for my evening meal mainly and also my morning
coffee. And on numerous day trips where I used it for some lunches and
for hot drinks.
I have a couple of different packs and use one or the other depending on
the amount of nights I would be out but my use of the caddy was always
the same. I found I am able to fit my MSR Pocket Rocket stove inside the
caddy along with a lighter, some small items of food and other gear.
This was then just placed into the pack in the best spot I could find
between some soft clothing. Perhaps I was being overly careful with the
cozy because I felt it would puncture, but so far it has not sustained
damage at all.
A typical meal on the
When I was out for the
multi day hike along the Bibbulmun Track I took meals that I had
dehydrated at home and rehydrated out on the trail. Because I was
cooking for two most nights I found the cozy to be invaluable. I would
prepare and heat one dish in my pot and when it was nice and hot I would
place it into the cozy, then while that was staying hot I would heat the
other dish in my pot and when that was ready I could serve both dishes
One thing I did notice was that once I had finished eating from the
caddy, the cozy was very hard to remove for cleaning. I think what
happens is the air inside the cozy becomes hot and expands. Once it
cools I am able to remove it easily.
In the mornings I would have a cup of coffee and made it up in the top
section of the caddy. The coffee stays nice and hot for what seemed the
whole cup rather than getting too cool as I drink it. The caddy does not
hold any food flavours or smells, and so when I had coffee in the
morning it did not smell of last night’s beef stroganoff.
While I heat my curry, my
noodles are cooking and staying hot in the cozy.
The main trouble I have
found while hiking and using this cozy is that when I have finished
using it, and cleaned it out in the morning prior to putting it away in
my pack, the inside stays damp. The inside of the lid and in the bottom
of the larger section always have some moisture left behind no matter
how hard I try to dry it. On trail I use a small section of chamois to
dry my cooking gear but try as I may the inside of the caddy was always
slightly damp. This means that when I pack all of the gear that fits
into the caddy in the morning. When I open the caddy to remove my gear
the following night it is all damp inside. The three in one coffee packs
I use for example come out very damp and soggy.
I have found a small problem that does annoy me and that is the sack
that wraps around the whole thing. It really is a work of art it and is
made to fit very snugly over the cozy but I wish it was not so snug a
fit. I have found that when I replace the caddy/cozy back into the sack, as I slide the sack up from the bottom the draw cord always catches
at the point where the two sections meet. The draw cord slides into the
slight gap at this point and I have to fiddle around to remove it from
the gap. It would have been better if the sack was just that little big
bigger in diameter.
The rounded edges of the
Typical items I carry inside the caddy while it is in my pack.
The worn joint between the two sections.
I have noticed also that
the top and bottom edges of the cozy and the edges where the two
sections join are showing signs of use. The top and bottom edges are
getting a lot more rounded, the corners are getting worn through being
packed away in my back pack and the middle edge is getting worn by the
draw cord issue.
After using the cozy very successfully while out camping I wondered just
how hot the food stayed while in the cozy. I decided to run some tests
under controlled conditions where I could measure the temperature of the
food inside the caddy. I decided to use two minute noodles (Raman
noodles) as the food, and bought six packets to use. The test involved
heating noodles in my pot over my camp stove until boiling, and then
once they had boiled for a while I poured them into the caddy. I took
the temperature at that point to make sure every batch started at the
same temperature 85 C (185 F) and I took measurements every three
minutes for twenty minutes. The outside air temperature was between 10 C
and 14 C (50 F and 57 F). I created a chart of my findings which is
shown below. This test really shows just how hot food stays when in the
cozy and I think I would not go without it now.
Plus the noodles did not go to waste, my wife made a pile of noodle
patties with them for my son and daughter. Email me for the recipe.
My test equipment.
Morning coffee while
testing a new stove setup.
The chart showing how hot
food stays within the cozy.
I thought at first the cozy would be just a nice toy to play with and
would be a bit of a novelty while in camp. I also thought that it would
not last very long being carried about in my pack and taken in and out
to use, but I was wrong. This cozy/caddy combination is one that works
very well, is quite tough, and is still working as it should even with a
little bit rounding of the edges. It keeps my food very warm and is
great to use if I am preparing more than one item at a time for dinner.
I can see I will be using this cozy for a long time to come and I hope
that it holds up as it has done so far.
So, would I recommend this
item to a friend? Yes I would. It is well worth using.
I must say a thank you to
Antigravitygear and backpackgeartest.org for this opportunity to be
surprised and happy to keep using a product after the testing is over.
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