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Streamside Traveler Grill Review
Submitted by elmcreek
Product Type:Ultralight Cooking Grill
I'm new to this site and this is my first post, so I hope I'm not bending rules by starting with a gear review. I've been reading articles, reviews, and forum posts here for a while and am impressed with the amount of information you folks share with each other. I leave Monday for my first AZ desert mule deer hunt, thanks to an article I read by Eric and a trip we'd already planned to visit family in the area. Glad to be here, hope to offer something of value.
When camping, I have always wrestled with wanting to carry as little as possible while having enough gear along to enjoy the trip. I have an ultralight pack, sleeping bag, pad, and tent, but one area that I often make compromises in is food. I like to cook over an open fire and eat real food - especially when hiking or paddling a canoe for a good part of the day - but cooking gear can be heavy and bulky to carry. There are loads of outdoor cooksets on the market, but no one kit ever seems to have everything I'm looking for and if you try to pick and choose components, they rarely nest together very well. In addition, most of these kits are designed to sit on top of backpacking stoves, not hung over a fire.
This past summer, I think I may have found a solution in the form of an ultralight cooking grill made by Purcell Trench Manufacturing. Mine is a Streamside Traveler. It cost $60, measures 5.5x17", weighs under 6 ounces, and the stainless steel tubular frame is filled with expanded metal mesh (also stainless) for grilling burgers, fish, or vegetables that might fall through the bars of the regular Traveler grill. This one piece of equipment allows me to boil water in any pot, fry in a pan, or grill directly over coals. The grill is easily supported by things you find on site (rocks, small logs) or it can span a small trench with your fire built below. The grill has a half inch of taper (it's not perfectly rectangular, one end is 5.5" wide the other is 5" wide) to help find a suitable rest on natural materials. I usually carry an ultralight, frameless backpack with my sleeping pad rolled up inside the pack to give it structure. The grill slips in between layers of my pad and takes up no noticeable space. It could also be slipped into a pack's hydration bladder sleeve. We don't have the standard Weber or gas grill at home, so the grill sees plenty of use there, too. Nothing tastes better after a good day hunting, fishing, or paddling than fresh food grilled over an open fire shared with friends and family.
Purcell Trench grills are lightweight, durable, packable and available in several sizes, styles, and materials to suit different needs. Grills range in size from 5x17" to 8x17" with or without the expanded mesh, weigh from 1.9 to 9.7 ounces, and come with a storage sack. Prices run from $26-$78. They are made in the USA from American materials. The owner, Don Tryon, is an outdoorsman and a pleasure to deal with. His company doesn't advertise and I am happy to praise a good product made by good people.