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foldable favorite: collapsible tea kettle

Airstream camping with the collapsible tea kettle


This rubbery silicone kettle has a stainless steel bottom and stands 5 3/4 inches high—until you squash it to a nice flat 2 1/2 inches.


For use in your galley (not on the campfire), it has a detachable handle and a little silicone lid. The packaging states one obvious instruction— “do not press down on the lid when the kettle is filled” (thanks, Captain Obvious)—and another, more ominous one that I think I understand: “Secure lid the kettle must be fully open with the lid in place before placing on the stove gently close the lid to prevent from collapsing while in use.”


The kettle performed as advertised right out of the box by swiftly boiling five cups of water for my mug of instant Via (another flat favorite for the trailer).


Unfortunately, the detachable handle might be detached for good; a screw is missing, or it was defective from the outset. I’d tinker with it, but something strange has happened since morphing from tent camping to trailering: where did all the spare time go? 


I remember the car camping daily routine: roll out of the sleeping bag, fry some eggs, sit around in captain’s chairs. Hike? Probably. Fish? Maybe. The day lolled before me, empty hours with nothing to do but relax. What happened? With the DWR we’re always busy busy busy. Dishes need doing, the bed needs making, the floor needs sweeping and meals don’t cook themselves. Unlike a tent, the civilized Airstream environment demands to be lived in—and cared for—like a home. Now pile on all the hitching and unhitching and hitching and most of all DRIVING (with the trailer, the urge to move is overwhelming, we can’t stay put), and gone is one more day we’ll never get back. The Airstream has certainly brought more color and texture and adventure to life—but at the expense of relaxation.


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