Cups and mugs

A cup is an important piece of equipment, much like a spoon, as it allows you to hold and move liquid around easily, something that nature doesn’t easily provide for in the wild.  It is perfectly possible to carve something with a ‘crook knife’ given a little time and patience, but for every-day exploration a simple cup or mug is an essential piece of equipment for handling and consuming hot liquids.


Features to look for:

  • Robust and unbreakable
  • Comfortable holding hot liquids
  • Potential for heating liquids directly
  • Able to be sterilised in the field (by direct heat)
  • Fits snugly or nests with other equipment such as water bottles

Features to avoid:

  • Anything ceramic or glass
  • Thin-walled metal which tends to allow liquids to cool quickly and burn hands
  • Unstable or unusable handles
  • Cannot handle boiling liquids

Tatonka Steel Mug 500ml

  • Very sturdy
  • Packs down to a small profile
  • Fits a Nalgene bottle so takes up less space
  • Can be heated directly
  • Relatively heavy
  • Relatively expensive
  • Not insulated: looses heat quite quickly and can burn unprotected hands.
Stockists and Price
Can be bought from Amazon for around £10, few shops seem to sell it in the high-street.

Enamel mug 400ml

  • Sturdy
  • Can be heated directly if not too fierce a heat
  • Good sturdy handle, comfortable to drink from
  • Very good value
  • Not insulated: looses heat and can burn unprotected hands
  • Susceptible to the enamel chipping
  • Handle sticks out into pack space
Stockists and Price

Generic versions can be bought from all good camping shops for around £2, especially good versions found in Go Outdoors.

Insulated Mug

  • Fully insulated, keeps drinks hot longer and hands protected
  • Made from lightweight, durable plastic
  • Smooth inner surface, very easy to keep clean
  • BPA Free
  • Plastic, cannot be heated directly
  • Bulky handle
  • Relatively expensive
  • Not as long-lasting as metal
Stockists and Price
The Lifeventure brand is an excellent choice and can be bought from all the major outdoor shops such as Blacks, Go Outdoors and Millets for under £10.

Terry’s favourite

“I like the Tatonka best as it packs down and fits neatly around my Nalgene bottle… I don’t like packing air in my kit-bag!”

Adrian’s favourite

“The Tatonka for me every time.  The handles come off quite easily which means it packs into my billy-can.  It takes a lot of punishment and can be heated directly over the coals.”