Monday, 14 March 2016
WANTING WHAT YOU HAVEN'T GOT AND THEN GETTING IT
650 ml Mytimug titanium Mug.
Sometimes a trip tests the bit of kit you haven't got but wish you did have. For the past five years i've been using a 400ml titanium mug day in, day out. I've drunk my coffee out of it in tens maybe hundreds of different places, brewed that same coffee in it over fires and stoves and cookers, eaten meals out of it, boiled water in it. It's been great. It was the only piece of cooking kit, bar a titanium spoon, that i took on my 500 mile winter walk from Munich to Paris, when i was bivvy camping, and cooking out each night .
It was good, that mug, but it was just too small. Meant boiling water twice in the morning to make enough coffee, meant boiling water for rice or soup or whatever twice in the evening to have a hot meal out in the woods. Yep, just too small. I mean, i survived...but i did think that a bigger but not too bigger mug i could cook in would be just dandy.
I've got several long walks coming - when i want to travel as light or lighter than on the winter walk - but wouldn't mind just a bit more comfort. More coffee mainly. So, I've just bought myself an Alpkit 650 ml titanium mug. I've already boiled water in it, made soup in and drunk tea and coffee from it. Darn, wish i'd had that last winter. It's the right size! 650 ml? That's a lot of coffee, which is the right amount of coffee. That's big enough to cook up and eat a proper survival meal in/from. It's light, strong. And it comes with a lid, which is another thing i wanted for my smaller mug. So, as a one-piece camp kitchen a 600 ml mug is about perfect. (i've got a litre titanium pot, too, and nice it is, but too big for ultralight simple trips, and too big to drink out of as mug).
So to sum up, a bigger mug with a lid saves fuel - one brew up is more efficient that two obviously (important when you're using my tiny home-made alcohol stove constructed out of two baby mixer drink cans) - and means one can eat more for less effort and fiddle.
Finally, there's a number of different makes of titanium mugs in many different sizes, out there; i bought the mug from Alpkit because i used one of their torches on the Munich to Paris walk when i was moving at night in thick forest, open country and across mountains for a lot of time, and it did everything i wanted - (which was to provide all the different lights needed, including high beam white, low beam white, red for keeping night vision, green for map reading). And you've got to respect a company who are in the business of selling well designed, tough simple kit for lightweight trips, but who still suggest on their website that to travel lighter one should just take less. Respect indeed.
And as bonus - if i want to get fancy and have an actual batterie de cuisine, the smaller mug fits exactly inside the bigger mug. Two course meals on the menu, then.
You can find the mug and other kit here:
- jasper winn
- I'm an independent writer on wilderness activities, slow adventures, traditional horsemanship and odd stuff. I'm the author of Paddle; A long way around Ireland (Sort Of Books), and i was the story consultant on the IMAX documentary on cowboy cultures across the globe, Ride Around The Word. The Slow Adventure sends reports back from the front-line of a slow and simple life; horses, kayaks, guitars, long walks, travel, books, simplicity, trains, travel, wildlife and the occasional thrill.