My Cup Runneth Over

7:59 a.m. on July 4, 2019 (EDT)
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The old saying is true...I have tried to purge old gear I don't use but the photo below is only a portion of the mugs I select from depending on season etc. 

20190704_075056.jpgI'm trying to get away from plastic due to residual taste (i.e. Soup flavor from the night before ending up in the morning coffee). The range of mugs above weigh basically from 5 to 1 oz from left to right. 

The missing option I'm considering is a more expensive titanium mug but my inherent cheapness has prevented that so far.

Always interested in the collective knowledge of this forum. What do you use? Metal or plastic? Double walled or single? Winter vs summer? 

9:38 a.m. on July 4, 2019 (EDT)
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My water bottle is routinely nested in a stainless steel cup, either 8 oz or 12 oz capacity.  Stainless weighs just a bit more, but is much cheaper, and better to cook in, although that is no big deal if one is only heating water.

Basically, i think that most Ti items are overrated, and too costly

11:09 a.m. on July 4, 2019 (EDT)
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I now like to use a Sierra Club cup for the nostalgia.  It works good for soup and small meals. 

1:42 p.m. on July 4, 2019 (EDT)
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@Phil: Well I am your opposite here. The only mug I ever bring is a 475ml MLD titanium one. I have a smaller Hydro Flask double-wall, but I never thought to bring it camping. I put a silicone wrist bracelet around the lip of the MLD mug for a little insulation.

6:05 p.m. on July 4, 2019 (EDT)
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Wow.  Am I the only one using a simple plastic cup?  Lightweight.  Easy to clean.  Cheap.  Doesn't burn your lips with hot beverages.  Doesn't break, doesn't dent.

I guess I need to upgrade to something that is more expensive, heavier, and doesn't work so well ...grin

9:26 p.m. on July 4, 2019 (EDT)
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i use my stowaway cook pot for a mug most of the time, it'll go from oatmeal at breakfast to hot chocolate afterwards.

6:36 a.m. on July 5, 2019 (EDT)
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Balzaccom...thats the one on the right in my photo. I like the simplicity. Still carry it a surprising amount in the summer. 

10:17 a.m. on July 5, 2019 (EDT)
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I don't always bring the frying pan. I don't always bring the baking cups and rarely bring the drip cup any longer.

I always bring my Trailspace mug. It weighs 2oz more than my wife's GSI, I think the same one you have in your pic Phil, but I don't mind. Keeps coffee warm for a long time, even in the snow. Cleans up well even if I find it forgotten and dirty when getting ready for the next trip.

6:56 p.m. on July 6, 2019 (EDT)
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So I was gathering my thoughts to add to this post, staring at your saute, thinking how yummy it looked.  The aroma of cooking onions and veggies filled my nose, and I thought I had lost it, your photo causing me to hallucinate.  I guess a neighbor up wind was grilling some kabobs - now excuse me, but this has peeked my appetite, and it is a fine afternoon to grill a burger with all the works...


I also didn't like the residual flavors lingering in my plastic mugs. And I didn't like how how quickly my coffee chilled in single walled vessel.  Furthermore metal mugs seem to alter the taste of my coffee.  REI marketed a polycarbonate, double walled mug that solved all of these problems, but they developed cracks over time and eventually leaked.  The REI mugs were relatively low cost, so I replaced them over the decades, as needed.  REI no longer markets that mug, and similar mugs are too big/heavy.  I broke down and got me a Ti mug.  Love it!  I got the double wall version.  It keeps contents warm, doesn't carry residential flavors, and doesn't alter the taste of my coffee.  Up front it cost a bunch, but less than the total cost of all the poly mugs I have cycled through over the years.


5:33 p.m. on July 7, 2019 (EDT)
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Thanks all...good input and a range of excellent choices and methods as always. 

I am tending to bring my trusty stainless steel (16 oz capacity, 5 oz weight) less and less not due to anything beyond the Sierra cup type handle - it is a steel handle that the rim of the mug wraps around and leaves a gap for dirt to get into....tough to clean somedays.  My most common ones are the insulated GSI in winter, and the cheap plastic REI Camp cup in midsummer, lately replaced with the similar weight TGO Challenge mug that I earned in 2018. 

I still have a Sierra cup from the 80s but I slosh coffee around too much in it and it doesn't function well for my secondary mug use - a stash spot for things like a fresh tomato the first day out to keep it from getting banged up.

Pillowthread and Whomeworry haven't helped cure me of my interest in a double-walled Ti mug...will definitely have to keep it on the wish list.  Looks like MLD stopped making theirs though.  Heating evenness is an issue but I always carry a pot for heating so no problem there.  FYI - the Ti heating problem isn't bad if you use one like I have pictured behind the mugs above...years of use over a fire have added 1/4 oz but coated the outside for much more even heating!

6:35 p.m. on July 7, 2019 (EDT)
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"I can stop buying backpacking stuff anytime I want - I've done it hundreds of times!"

"Hi, my name is Eric and I'm a gearaholic."

 Yeah, "The gear is too much with me" to paraphrase an old philosophical quote.

So Phil... maybe you and I and a few others from this site should enter a 12 step "gearaholics program" and our spouses can go to GearANON meetings as well. ;o)

When I root through my gear box I am dismayed at all the old gear I have not used in ages, and may never use again. BUT WAIT - MAYBE "SOMEDAY" I WILL NEED IT. Perish the thought of discarding it, donating it to the Boy Scouts, etc.. (Then the guilt sets in.)

Eric B.

BTW, "You know you are a gearaholic if":

1. your garage is filled with 200 pounds of lightweight backpacking gear

2. you have at least 4 cooklsets - AND 5 stoves

3. you still have a Kelty or Camp Trails aluminum tube frame pack

4. upon seeing your SVEA 123 stove a kid says, "What's that?"

5. you have at least 3 pair of hiking boots/shoes in various stages of disrepair

6. you start throwing away freeze-dried food packs that you discover you bought in 2002


8:04 p.m. on July 7, 2019 (EDT)
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Why would you throw away that food? ;>)

8:14 a.m. on July 8, 2019 (EDT)
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I can't believe you are accusing me of being a gearaholic Eric.  I guess denial may be a stage! 

As I packed up this morning for an overnight work trip (office, meetings, and field reviews mixed together for two days) and chose one of my two "work" backpacks, reminded myself to check on the three backpacks I have out on loan to newbies this summer, and walked passed my regular pack hanging in the garage ready for another trip, the denial began to seep away...:)

12:45 p.m. on July 8, 2019 (EDT)
andrew f. @leadbelly2550
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i use a steel cup like the one on the left of your photo for most purposes but like an innate double-walled coffee cup for hot chocolate in the winter. 

10:16 p.m. on July 10, 2019 (EDT)
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For all hikes except for the day I use a stainless steel 350 ml mug weighing 75 g. For a day out fishing, walking etc when I have a flask with green tea or black coffee ( the only way coffee should be drunk) I have a small plastik cup. The advantage of the metal mug is it is great for setting on top of a stove to boil water and therefor saves pack weight.

11:22 p.m. on July 10, 2019 (EDT)
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Still use my trusty old Ugly mug.  Not too heavy, have never had one break, easy to clean, but not perfect it is plastic

8:06 a.m. on July 11, 2019 (EDT)
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My go-to backpacking cup is the Kupilka, made in Finland from composite biomaterial.  Not only does it look cool and function well, but was a special gift from my brother.  Highly recommend!!   


10:40 a.m. on July 11, 2019 (EDT)
Gideon McCain
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I use this old cup I got from a carpenter buddy of mine. HA!

9:00 p.m. on July 12, 2019 (EDT)
Dr. Bryan Ryles
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Wow, I salute the use of heavier mugs/cups, and love some of those pics! For me, it's the Snow Peak single wall titanium mug, in blue:  at just over 2 ounces, and on sale at Backcountry Edge for about $35, it's a super nice lightweight alternative. I don't worry about it getting too hot and burning my lips, as I don't have any...I gave them to my daughter's pet yes, folks...chickens do have lips. 

2:09 p.m. on July 15, 2019 (EDT)
andrew f. @leadbelly2550
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to quote a movie on the subject, "that's not the cup of a carpenter."

May 30, 2020
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