Mess kit or GI canteen cup only in BOB?

My BOB is not for 72 hours but longer term. I have a few days of dehydrated food that I can pour boiling water in to eat, so I could get away without the mess kit, just the canteen cup to save weight. Thoughts?

Keep in mind I have a tent and sleeping bag and although it seems crazy to consider ditching a mess kit to save weight, the tent and sleeping bag are absolutely the most important items in the BOB in my opinion because they provide a warm shelter in the worst of conditions. Not going to live 3 hours without shelter in the PNW mountains in December...But can go several days without food, and it's not like I'd be going hungry since I could still boil water with my canteen cup.
Decades ago, when I did a lot of solo backpacking trips, I only carried one metal cook pot and a plastic measuring cup. The pot was for boiling water or cooking food. The measuring cup was useful when freeze-dried food called for a certain amount but mostly it was lightweight and I could drink from it or use it as a bowl. When food needed to be simmered, I'd heat it up on the stove then wrap the pot in a towel and put it in my sleeping bag which would slow down heat loss. If I needed to heat up two things, the first item went back into the container it was packed in, the top folded over and then into the bivy sack. Unless you like to make complicated meals, less kit is better.


One vote for a GI canteen cup so far (which I'm inclined to agree with unless a reason why I should have a regular mess kit).
That sounds like a good piece a hardware. I don't have one any more.. I mainly use a big Sierra cup hooked over my belt.
8yrs in the Army, I used the canteen cup more times than I can remember and only used the utensils from the mess kit but never used the two halves of the mess kit. Plus it was a rattling mofo unless you packed some socks (or something) in it to stifle it. The mess kit is OK if you're garrisoned, but in the field.... meh.
I don't think I ever used the mess kit, even in the field. I lived out of my steel pot and canteen cups.
I only carry a knife, a fork and spoon, and canteen cup and esbit folding stove... at least until I can source a SS canteen stove thats not gonna cost me an arm or leg :rolleyes: I could use the el cheapo aluminum one but it started to MELT under wood heat :eek: so its no good really. Never cared for mess kits. Do have a bunch of aluminum cookware from thrift store as well as a bunch of enamel cookware... which are awesome for group camping... but has no real home in a GHB for me.


Got a couple of WW2 era mess kits and sporks for me and the wifey. Works OK. It ain't the Ritz, but few places are. In shtf there ain't gonna be no Ritz. Have lifeboat emergency rations in the old BOB. No taste and they are tuff. 3500 calories a day will keep you moving. Sometimes I snack on them watching TV in my easy chair. No one asks to "have a bite" of 'em. Even the dawg ignores them. Meh? What does he know?


A GI canteen and cup is way too handy not to have around.
Add a "Esbit" stove and heat tabs and you will be good to go for heating and eating.
I also have a "canteen stove" that fits around the canteen cup ... Not sure who made it
But it works pretty good too.
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