Reviews

Keith Titanium Canteen and Mug

So the Keith Titanium Canteen what is it, why’s it so expensive.  Well it’s expensive because it’s titanium and I understand there’s a challenging manufacturing process.  What’s the benefits?  It’s as light as hell, provides a means to carry water, with a mug, you can boil to clean water in the mug with it’s lid.  You can also boil water in canteen itself. 

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Here’s some details;

Canteen:

Volume 1100ml (to the bottom of the neck opening)

Width of mouth 43mm

Height without lid 185mm

Height with lid 200mm

Width (widest part) 77mm

Weight 160g

Mug:

Volume 700ml (600ml filled short of the brim)

Height (no lid) 95mm

Height (lid) 96mm

Width 75mm

Weight 128g

I first came across these via Bushcraft USA website and the Heavy Cover Canteen.  Looking for a cheaper version I found the Keith titanium canteen.  I’m pretty sure they’re the one and the same but the Heavy Cover Canteen is inscribed with the logo.  Keith do advertise on their website that they can do special logo designs and I guess that’s what Heavy Cover did. The canteen is a completely different shape to the current Brit military issue more akin to the US or NATO aluminium canteen from the 40’s or 50’s or the current military plastic 1 quart canteen.  The difference is the Keith titanium canteen is larger in most respects.  Not massively bigger but it makes it tighter when fitting it into most of the current third party canteen covers such as Maxpedition or even military issue ones.  It fits but it’s a tight fit.  The canteen I ordered came with a cheap desert digital camouflage cover but I never used it repurposing the 25mm webbing strap for other tasks.  It will fit into the current Brit military issue canteen pouch with room to spare.  In keeping with it’s primary benefit, it’s as light as hell, I made a ‘skeleton’ canteen belt holder out of some 25mm webbing.  On the other hand I also carry it in my Mother Canteen Carrier, reviewed below.

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When out and using it to collect water there is the added benefit of being able to boil water in it over a fire to purify it and make it safe for drinking.  Of course it’ll need filtering to remove any bits or mud in suspension.  I’ve done this a number of times with no bother.  The outside of the canteen is almost a stonewash effect but I’ve been able to clean off the soot from the fire easily enough but there is some residue.  The key thing to note is that the lid of the canteen is sealed with a silicon washer. 

Happy to state the obvious but you can’t boil water with the lid on because it’ll seal the unit and ‘explode’ and you’ll melt the washer, which may in fact stop the ‘explosion’.  Still take the lid off the canteen if boiling water with it.  I do have a lanyard attached to the loop on the lid that I then secure via a slip knot around the neck of the canteen.  If I’m filling up with water I won’t lose it but the slip knot allows me to remove it easily.  The mug I’ve boiled water in it over a fire and boiled water to warm a retort meal over a gas stove.  No issue whatsoever.  The lip of the mug is obviously warmed when there’s boiling water in it or when cooked over a flame of some sort.  This isn’t a big problem and after a few minutes it’s usually cool enough to drink from with no bother.  I did buy a a fish mouth spreader to try help suspend the bottle over a fire but due to it’s screw neck it doesn’t hold it securely and I’ve never tried it in anger.

The neck of the canteen is large enough to fit an ice cube into but the size by volume is a bit of a weird one.  1100ml is a tad inconvenient.  If using purifying water tablets you’ll need to pour some of the water away in order to ensure that the water has been sensibly treated.  Equally if adding a powder to flavour the water or create a drink you’ll need to pour some water out of the filled canteen.  I thought it might be more appropriate measured in fluid oz but that becomes 37.2 oz so where the sizing comes from I’ve no idea.  The mug is no bother 600ml filled to beneath the brim gives you a good sized brew when out and about.  It’s not insulated but it keeps a drink warmer than a similar aluminium or steel in my opinion.

Why would someone spend this much money on a water carrier, is the saving in weight worth the extra money.  I’ll probably say no it’s not worth it.  Is it a nice bit of kit, yes.  I will at this stage remind you that in my intro I mentioned I’m a gear hound.  You could of course use a steel or aluminium bottle, I chose titanium.  Carrying a litre of water in a bottle that can be used over a flame or stove to purify more water as well as having a mug to drink out of is a huge plus.  Obviously the weight saving  on it’s own is considerable, it’s easily carried in a variety of carriers.  Should you wish, if you chose to ignore the weight saving, you can use it as a base to create a meaningful outfit to take into the field.

I’m a fan, but, and it’s a big but, it’s a very expensive piece of kit and I daresay many will frown and shake their heads at the expense but damn it’s a nice piece of kit.

I bought mine here

Centreline Systems Mother Canteen Carrier and G2 Gear Roll


So my first gear review or gear ‘show and tell’ on my blog. Today I would like to introduce you to the Centreline Mother Canteen Carrier (MCC). This has been designed to accept a variety of water containers.  I’m using it with theKeith titanium canteen which is the same as the Heavy Cover Titanium Canteen (just not badged by Heavy Cover…I think).  I’ll save the canteen for a future piece on the rest of my titanium kit.
So the MCC available from Centreline System here; Centreline Mother Canteen Carrier at the same time I bought a G2 gear roll to complement it. Both are in Ranger Green (RG) which is flat earthy green. Yes thats the price and I paid it, would I pay it again were I to lose it, yes. What I did not do is get it shippped to the UK. Mark at Centreline was happy to ship and gave me a quote but I bought it prior to a visit to NYC and had it delivered to the hotel for my arrival. Great communications with the owner and no probs having it delivered to a hotel for my arrival. Note: I warned the hotel prior to my arrival that I had packages arriving (I made other purchases).
As i said my one is Ranger Green, Raven Black which is now an option was not when I purchased but yes I would like one. The idea of the MCC is to provide water and the maximum amount of gear in a minimalist package. It does so and does it in a well made, robust package.

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Mother Canteen Carrier and G2 Gear Roll

The outside is made of 500D cordura with front pocket two side pockets and a slide pocket to the rear of the main part of the pouch. Quality plastic buckles are used throughout, I’m unsure whether they’re duraflex or ITW.  The canteen, front and side pouches are firmly secured with 25mm webbing and have velcro across the front. The rear of the pouch has MOLLE webbing including attachments. There are additional small gear loops on the front either side of the front pouch that’ll take a pen or a cyalume. The bottom of the pouch has loops to attach additional items to and in my case used for the G2 gear roll. If you don’t want to attach the MCC via MOLLE it can be carried as a shoulder pack. The MCC comes with a bare webbing strap attached to the buckles on the flaps of the side pockets. It goes from 25mm webbing for the buckles to 40mm webbing for the main body of the strap. A seperate padded shoulder strap can be bought but this wasn’t available when I made my purchase. It’s well sewn, made with quality materials and comfortable to carry.

So what do I carry in mine;

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Front pocket contents – Cooking

Front pocket – The front pocket carries my cooking kit.  In the small green plastic pouch I have The Pocket Stove in titanium, The Pocket Stove Ti.  I got this second hand with the plastic pouch.  I have two blocks of solid Dragon fuel, a silicon hotlips cover for my mug, a small metal round tin as a burning container for the fuel, a genuine Aussie FRED and the piece in red on the MCC itself is a long K&M matchcase in aluminim with a piece of retroreflective tape around it (the grey bit). There is also a quality Suunto compass in the top of the matchcase.  This is a fair amount of kit and allows me to boil water in the canteen mug or in fact the canteen.  This is in fact the essence of my kit selection.  I wanted a means to carry water, make a brew/purify water in all environments even where I can’t have an open fire.  Not pictured is a Chinese copy storm lighter.

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Right pocket contents – Brew, food

The right hand side pouch carries brew kit and food.  I carry Clif bars or Trek bars as food.  The Trek bars are preferred because of the lack of added sugar and bits.  They’re also more filling in my opinion although I do find you need a brew to help them go down.  For brew kit I only drink tea or espresso and I’m not carrying my espresso kit with me.  I carry a few teabags, sugar (usually demerara) and some sachets of whitener but thats usually more for the look of it as they add little to the taste.  I also carry a titanium spork because you never know when you need a bit of a tool or spork.

The left hand pocket carries some paracord (just visible in the shade),

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Left pocket contents – assorted

some hand cleanser in a spray pen format, an energy drink to make up 1litre of drink and in the little yellow pouch is a titanium foil windshield.  Additional bits are the small button torch from the Bushcraft UK forum BCUK secured to the main buckle.  To the rear of the main pouch for the canteen is a small slip pocket where I keep my bottle hanger (to suspend the bottle over an open fire if needed/possible) and mug lid.  My plan for this kit was to provide me with an ability to carry water, boil it if needed in the canteen or mug, make a brew and have a bit of something to eat.  So if I’m out and about and want to do a bit of exploring I have basic kit to supplement what I have in my pockets or EDC bag.

The G2 Gear Roll from Centreline Systems is can be used on it’s own but in fact compliments the MCC beautifully.  Centreline Systems G2 Gear Roll The Gear roll is aPDP03448 pretty compact package made of 500D cordura and 25mm webbing.    The webbing goes around the roll and is tensioned with a ladderlock buckle.  A handle made of webbing is provided with a patch of loop velcro.  I have mine pretty stuffed full and it measures 14cmX10cmX27cm (HxWxL).  It could be smaller in height or width depending on how much stuff you have inside.  Again this is a quality made piece of gear and it’s loops fit nicely under the MCC as a compact but complete package.  To access the pockets you loosen the straps going around the gear roll slip them off the ends and voila.

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Further details are at the site accessed at the link above but there are different ways of carrying it or even using it as a chest rig.  If that is in fact your gig.

So what do I carry in mine.  So the right hand pocket, I carry some more paracord, an Adventure Medical Kits first aid kit ‘Medical Kit .5′(check out my products page) to which I’ve added an Israeli 4” traumaPDP03453 bandage, these are great pieces of kit and so adaptable, (I buy mine from an ebay shop 4” Israeli Bandage), a thermal blanket and an ‘AMK/SOL Pocket survival pak plus’.  I don’t know if these are still available but it’s a nice handy little package.  In addition I’ve got more Trek bars, just in case.

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The centre pocket is taken up with a military casualty blanket, essentially a proper space blanket in a vacuum packed bag.  I’ve included some small titanium tent pegs.  To be honest I’m not too sure they’ll hold at all well but the blanket can be wrapped around me if things go a bit ‘Pete Tong’.  It’s quite bulky but very light and I’m looking at this whole package as providing me with food, first aid, cutting tools and a means to holding and purifying water.

The right hand side has two pockets opening at opposing ends.  PDP03451In the top one I carry a Leatherman Signal, this is in a privately made pouch by a guy called Boris under the name of ‘Sarma’.  I’ll do a seperate review of this.  I haven’t used it much but it’s got some of the feature that I wanted. I also carry a Victorinox sharpening tool. In the bottom pocket I have a Petzl E-lite (Products page) for a head torch and yet again another Trek bar (they are good very palatable and this is my favourite flavour).

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All together ready to be carried.  It can be improved upon with a padded shoulder strap, these were not available when I purchased it but they are available on the website.  I have it adjusted so it sits nicely at my butt and carries comfortably.  I really like this as a complete package, it gives me a bit of kit to safely scout a bit.  Lightweight Goretex gear could be added but not a lot of additional clothes could be easily included.

It was expensive but great kit, well made and provides me a complete safety/survival package.  I would buy another, in black, with a padded shoulder strap but only if I was getting it posted to the US when I was over for a visit.  A great compact lightweight set of gear.

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