Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Simple Survival Gear - The Cup

Of all the different types of survival gear, one of the essential items is the cup. In a search for that perfect piece of gear, the cup is probably one of the most difficult items to find. When looking for that perfect piece of gear, there has been a lot of time and effort expended by a lot of people in their search for the perfect cup. It is only after many years of trying to find that ultimate piece of gear that the simple truth has come to light. Most cups have a number of good qualities in common and it is not the cup that is of major importance. It’s the manner in which you take advantage of all of its features.

Basic Features

The size and shape of most cups are fairly common and you only need one with a capacity to boil water for cooking or making a hot cup of coffee or tea. Stainless steel cups are probably your best bet with titanium a close second, if you can afford it. Your cup should also have a flat bottom in order to fit comfortably on most backpacking or hiking stoves. Your cup will also need to hold 16 to 24 ounces of liquid which will give you adequate capacity for fixing a dehydrated meal, soup or a cup of tea or coffee. The handle should fold out of the way when not in use and it should lock firmly in place when deployed. The handle is important to make sure you can securely handle your cup when it is hot. A couple of extra drinking cups that nest inside the cup are also a definite plus.

Cup Storage

The true secret to that perfect cup is how you utilize its storage capacity. Cups with canteens nested in them don’t give you much of a storage option. The majority of people carry separate water bottles and this allows you to take advantage of the storage capacity of your cup. You can add coffee filters for water filtration and a small bottle of bleach to purify it. You can add a lighter, a firesteel and some tinder to help make a fire to heat the water in your cup. You can include a small knife and a spork as well. Throw in some instant coffee packets, drink mix and a little salt and pepper and you’re good to go.

The true worth of any cup is not realized until you put something in it.

Got cup?

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

That was a great description of what features you should look for in a wilderness cup. You are correct, I think many of us probably have a drawer full of potential canidates which get switched out for something 'just my size' :^)

I started out with the ubiquitous blue speckled enameled cup. Grandma had a spare that she didn't need and the bottom loop of the handle had already been cut to fit other nested cups. Small, maybe 8 oz capacity, I just set it at side of fires to warm up a cup of coffee. The handle did get hot, even screened so the search continued.

The G.I. canteen cup - that is still darn good choice. Nests under the canteen inside canteen cover so it was always carried when you had your canteen. Good liquid capacity for the single meal (many deer stand meals were made over one of these, ramen and smaller beef stew meals - YUM!). I still keep a couple of these around - tough little guys and you can use them as a soil scoop.

The downside - their depth can be challenging to clean and you REALLY want to make sure you get those inside corners clean or risk getting stomach problems from foods left behind. Boiling water after the meal really helps a lot, but uses more fuel.

The next was a CMI cup, the 1st I had seen that nested on the bottom of a 1 qt. 'Nalgene type' water bottle. Had a bail that 'clipped' onto a bracket on side, so the handle could be configured as a bail or even a cup stand over a small fuel tab - cool! The handle was only about a 1/4" wide,so it could be tipped over - search continued.

The Oli cup works well, not as versatile as the CME but is still manufactured, which helps. The Zebra pot / cup - good capacity and you can store a few items in it as well, this is a standard among some campers.

There are a few others, but those are the highlights - sorry for being so long winded . . .

HermitJim said...

I got to thinking and this is the one thing I don't have. Better find me a good one, I reckon!

Good post and reminder!

Sunnybrook Farm said...

Someone told me that bleach actually has a shelf life, I thought the stuff would be good for years but if what I heard is true it won't. Of course they may just want you to buy more but if you have it in a survival kit it would have to be refreshed every so often.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 12:18

I too have several different cups but have found it is better for me to use one that allows me to carry a few "extras". My milsurp canteen with cup doesn't afford me this option but is still a decent combination.

The main problem I have experienced is finding a cup with a decent handle so that I don't accidentally burn myself or find myself using gloves.

This Stanley cup only weighs about a pound with the "extras" in it and is still small enough to fit in my combination hydration pack and backpack combo.

Thanks for your generous comments. It is always a pleasure to find someone willing to take the time to express their opinions.


riverwalker said...

To: Hermit Jim

It's a lot easier to drink that coffee if you have a good cup. If I'm not mistaken, I think you're pretty fond of that cup of java every once in a while. lol

Thanks Jim.


riverwalker said...

To: Sunnybrook Farm

You are correct. Bleach has a shelf life of about six months under ideal storage conditions. It will eventually deteriorate and become little more than salt water. It does work well for short term needs but sodium hypochlorite granules are better for long term storage.



Anonymous said...

A common fix to the u.s. military cup storage - a 2nd canteen cover with cup and supplies stored without the canteen. This also allows you the option of TWO cups for liquid and food warming simultaneously.

Jay West said...

I saw this post on Pintrest and couldn't help but follow the link here. I have this cup and it's by far the best $10.00 investment I've made. Please check out my video and see how I use this on my walks, camping and long rides in the car. http://youtu.be/50OcklI4Ux8

YakDriver said...

I have this same unit and carry one of the green cups inside so that I have more room for goodies inside. I had an old Nalgene bottle holster that fits it perfectly.

It fits well in my daybag or haversack. I've used in campfires, on my Emberlit and have dropped my old Trangia inside. It's a hard to beat unit.

The green cups are great because the wick just enough heat to keep your hands warm in this weird Texas weather.

Mr Aipoio said...

How to Make Pemmican The Ultimate Survival Food

People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and also look at how folks 150 years ago did it. These guys were the last generation to practice basic things-for a living-that we call survival skills now.

Click on the link bellow to find out how the early pioneers - who had a long hard journey ahead - built the Self-Feeding Fire in order to take a much needed refreshing nap (no need to add logs).

How to Start a Self-Feeding Fire That Lasts All Night Long

People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and also look at

How folks 150 years ago did it.

These guys were the last generation to practice basic things-for a living-that we call survival skills now.

Survival Things Our Great Grandfathers Did Or Built Around The House.

Remember... back in those days, there was no electricity... no refrigerators... no law enforcement... and certainly no grocery store or supermarkets...

So I really can't think of anyone more qualified in sharing real-life survival lessons than people who lived through times like these.

Survival Things Our Great Grandfathers Did Or Built Around The House.

Related Posts with Thumbnails