Like many backpackers, I have an MSR Titan Kettle in my cooking arsenal that I take when I need more capacity than my Snow Peak 600 will handle. I've always thought that the Titan Kettle was one of the best titanium pots ever designed. It's the perfect size to boil a significant amount of water yet still remain functional as a multi-purpose mug and bowl. Plus, it's durable, has a tight-fitting lid, spout, and the lid handle is insulated and stays upright so you can grab the lid without burning your fingers. However, like all titanium pots, it has one Achilles heel: the handles get HOT!
Many people use a pot grabber of some sort--anything from a bandanna to a folded silicone disc to protect their fingers from the hot handles but I find that it actually makes it awkward and harder to get a good grip on your pot full of boiling water. If you look at the picture above, you'll see a more clever solution which involves removing the handles and sliding silicone tubing onto them to provide built-in insulation.
This might not be a new idea to you but look at the picture again (specifically, at the MSR Titan Kettle). Notice anything strange? The handles are upside down!
Gear Talk reader Judd Swanson came up with the brilliant idea of not just adding the silicone tubing, but also inverting the handles so there is less surface area near the stove to absorb heat. This not only keeps the handles cooler, but also makes them more comfortable and secure to hold. Kudos to Judd on an excellent idea! I already have the tubing and will be inverting the handles of my Titan Kettle tonight.
If you want to insulate your handles, Judd got his Du-Bro 222 3/32" x 2' Medium Super Blue Silicone Tubing for $1.80 on Amazon.
Do the rest of you have any pot handle insulation tips or tricks?