When cooking over a camping stove, the best way to save fuel and make it last much longer is to use a Pot Cosy. The modern term for a Hay Box and although the materials have changed, the principle is still the same. Simply place your hot cooking pot full of warm food, into the Pot Cosy, seal it and let the retained heat do all the simmering for you.
In this video I perform a simple experiment and show over an hour, exactly how much heat can be retained in this way. It was conducted on a chilly Spring day, however the final result is even more impressive during Winter.
I’ve been using this system for some time and I’m still amazed how many outdoors people are unaware of the practicalities. Whether you cook over gas, meths, alcohol stoves, wood stoves, solid fuel tablets or candles this item adds very little to the bulk of your pack, weighs a few grams at most and will keep your food cooking while you prepare your camp.
Listen to our Audio Podcasts No 336 and 337, where I cook up a three course full Christmas meal using one stove and a couple of cosy systems in a small tent during a December storm. Sure it took some juggling with the timing but the pleasures of the meal soon meant any stress was long forgotten.
You can make a Cosy out of most materials. An old sleeping mat, a few sheets of polystyrene even an old fleece blanket. However the modern foil encased bubble wrap is second to none, offering superior equivalent insulation properties.