In our bug out bag we (My husband and I) both had a mess kit which as you know, takes up a lot of room in a bug out bag. I set out looking for something a little better that didn’t cost an arm and a leg, but would work for all of us. We came across this Stanley Stainless Steel cup that stored two smaller cups inside of it and took up less room in our bag. This was perfect for us because we also have two children so by purchasing two of these (one for each bag) we had four cups all together. Lightweight, the entire set weighs in at 14.1 ounce and the actual Steel Cup holds more than 20 oz of water should you need to heat more than the two green cups. (Measures 1 cup each)
We considered the typical tin camp cup, but carrying four of them was no different than having a mess kit. It took up a lot of room in our bag. Hooking them to the outside of our bag seemed risky and I was worried about losing them somewhere along the way. (That might just be me being paranoid, but I am not willing to take the chance.)
In making this decision I tried to keep in mind that this was for a bug out situation and not just a camping/hiking trip. If we had to bug out chances are that we would be using our pocket stove to heat water, so heating up enough for two at one time seemed to make more sense than the traditional one cup tin.
One of my favorite ways to heat water without building a full fire is Coghlan’ss Emergency Pocket Stove. It is very light weight (10 ounces) and comes with 24 fuel tabs. (Extra fuel tabs are cheap.) Each fuel tab burns approximately 10 minutes. You can use more than one tab at a time if you would like to heat water faster, but we like to preserve our fuel. With the pocket stove you do not have to worry about carrying liquid fuel, wicks or priming anything. The fuel burns very clean with no fumes or mess to clean up, no fire to put out or giving away your location to a potential threat.
Alternative fuel tabs that we prefer to use are produced by Esbit. Each tablet will burn approximately 12 minutes depending upon conditions, this is usually sufficient to boil 16 ounces of water in roughly 8 minutes. Esbit fuel is virtually smokeless and residue-free; it does not liquefy when burning and leaves almost no ash. They are right about the same cost as Coghlan’s fuel tabs but you only get 12 tabs vs 24.
I give both the Stanley Camp cup and the Coghlan’s Pocket stove two thumbs up! Very efficient, lightweight, and easy to use. They take up very little room in a bug out bag and save a lot of time when you need to heat up water quickly for a hot beverage or a quick dehydrated meal.