Hexi Blocks / Burners

Hexi Blocks / Burners In or Out. Last directive I had a few years ago, only Hexi was allowed for ATC cadets. Is this still the case??

Heck has been replaced by a new fuel the name of which I have currently forgotten. It comes with the ration packs of you order them through the system.

I can’t imagine that Hexi is still the only fuel allowed considering you can’t get it anymore.

Can we use Gas? Which is much safer?

It was about 5 years since I did the Fieldcraft course.

Hexi is the only fuel permitted for fieldcraft - in practice that’s generally accepted to mean that the issued ration heater of whatever variety.

ACFTI 5 refers.

1 Like

Dragon fuel?


Dragon fuel from BCB or Hexi. ORPs are now supplied with the new fuel and cookers.

Gas is not permitted for FT (but that never seems to stop the staff from taking Jetboils, MSRs, etc and I’ve got a feeling JLs are overlooked…

1 Like

Nope. JL only use the issued cookers.

Operational Ration Heater fueled by Dragon Gel Fuel made by BCB is the Hexi replacement that has been standard issue for approx 2 years now. Supplied free with Ration Packs from your parent Station Catering Sqn.
As already stated ORH/Dragon Gel cookers are the only ones allowed on Fieldcraft but are not allowed as far as I know on AT.
The Gel fuel lights far easier than Hexi did but dosent burn as long.

No raging infernos from breaking them up and adding multiples either…

It also doesn’t turn a mess tin into a sticky black mess.


I’ve never really understood the quibbles over cookers…

We must ONLY use issued hexi/DF cookers for fieldcraft… Because, obviously, nobody in the real world uses jet boils in the field.

Hexi/DF is VERBOTEN for DofE/AT… Why? It can’t be a safety issue.

I used to use hexi exclusively for all camping, because I had a shed load. Now I use my Trangia. The Trangia is potentially more dangerous than the hexi but it’s perfectly fine for cadets to use.

It all seems like unnecessary nonsense to me.

Just the same way they started telling us that, having boiled our rat pack meals, we musn’t then use the water to make a brew. The reason they gave? “Because the meal pouches are made from aluminium and the water could become contaminated”.

RUBBISH! The water on the outside could become deadly… But not the food inside? And what about the fact that the mess tins are made from aluminium? Aside from which I’d wager that the old pouches were made from mylar.

Where do they come up with this stuff?


I’d heard several times anecdotal claims that rubbing some washing up liquid on the outside of the tin before cooking helped to prevent that. I never tried it myself.
I would occasionally wrap them with a bit of tin foil if I could be bothered to think of it in advance.

Never seen it written, so never enacted!

1 Like

I’m not aware of any policy against hexi/ORH in DofE. (Although I can see why some Assessors look at the 20 Conditions and ask how you are going to cook a substantial meal in a Mess tin on Hexi).

Likewise. I Pooh-poohed it as the absolute toss it is and continued making a warm brew. I’m still going…

See, that’s the irritating thing… Nor am I. Just individuals claiming that it’s not allowed. Pish to them!


Sounds like a ‘purist’ attitude to doing DofE a certain way. ‘Why carry a compact, lightweight and efficient cooker and fuel, when you can carry this massive set of pots and pans, fuelled by burning death liquid?’


Yes that works. And you can then wipe the mess tin clean with grass or leaves

Why anyone is using Meths these days makes zero sense to me. I ban it on my Expeditions from a safety perspective. Has Trangia for the win!

(I find most who oppose using Hexi are actually concerned about boil in the bag meals, as it’s debateable as to whether they comply with the 20 conditions).

Yep. I hear it too. It’s often from the type of people who then try to claim things like “the team’s navigation wasn’t quite up to scratch in my opinion” - despite the fact that navigation skill isn’t actually one of the conditions.

I fail to see the issue with boil in the bag.

I know that some people take a very purist view towards “cooking a substantial meal” but I’m somewhat more “modern” in my approach.
As far as I’m concerned the point is that they prepare suitable food for an expedition. Have they considered the choice with regards to content (sufficient calories, carbs/fat/protein) and suitability (size, weight, ease of cooking, etc)? If they have, and what they choose gives them the required sustenance for the exped then that should be satisfactory.

Those who get in a tiss about it tend to be hung up on semantics and their own idea of what “cook” and “substantial” mean.
If I “cook” a “substantial” meal that’s a Sunday roast; when I go out on exped I take boil in the bag, noodles, smash… Things which take up little space and can be prepared quickly.

I keep hearing things like “Reheating isn’t cooking”, to which I roundly think “oh, get a life”.
There’s a world of difference between pouring boiling water into a pot noodle and thinking that’s suitable to go walking on, and heating a boil in the bag beef stew.
It should be about safety (in a loose sense) i.e. are they taking in sufficient food to keep them going; not about demonstrating their skill in some ITVesque “Junior Masterchef - Ray Mears special”.

It’s not the 1970s anymore. We don’t go out with cotton canvas ridge tents, wearing a PVC anorak, carrying a big round pot to cook new potatoes over an open fire. But sadly there are some who don’t appear to have realised.