What if I told you there was an aluminum mug/cook pot that rivaled titanium cups for weight, performed better than Ti for cooking, and costs less than half of a similarly sized Ti cup? That cup is the Olicamp Hard Anodized Aluminum Space Saver Cup and it is one of my favorite pieces of gear.
Olicamp’s Space Saver mug has been around for a long time in various forms. It is so called because of its ability to nest on the bottom of wide mouth Nalgene bottles (and other bottles of similar size). I have used (and still use) a stainless steel version for years. Olicamp also offers a bare aluminum version but the pick of the litter is the Hard Anodized Aluminum version.
Most 24oz/750ml single wall Ti mugs weigh in at around 3.2 – 3.3 ounces and cost $35 or more. The Olicamp Hard Anodized Aluminum Space Saver Mugs weighs in at 3.6 ounces and costs less than $15. Best of all, you actually get some functionality for that extra 3/10ths of an ounce so the slight weight increase can be justified.
Aluminum cookware transfers heat more readily and heats more evenly than Ti cookware. The hard anodized finish is durable and relatively non-stick (not quite like a true non-stick finish but better than bare metal). Finally, the Olicamp Space Saver has longer and larger butterfly handles than most Ti cups. These handles are handy when you are heating with a fuel source like wood or solid fuel tablets that often allow the flame to lick up around the sides of the cup.
This cup can obviously serve as well… a cup, but it is actually an excellent cook pot complete with volume markings which are handy for cook dehydrated foods. It can be paired with lightweight stoves or solid fuel burners to make a truly compact and lightweight hiking mess kit. I can fit my ultralight Esbit burner, foil for a windscreen and ground sheet, and few solid fuel tabs inside the cup for a sub 7 ounce 3 season cookset.
You’ll want a lid to maximize the usefulness of this cup for cooking. Olicamp offers a lid for this cup at a reasonably price but you can also pick up aftermarket lids. One very reasonable option is the lid from the Stanley Adventure Camp Cookset (on Amazon) which is another great bargain in its own right. Finally, you can easily make your own lid with heavy duty aluminum foil, a pie tin, or any other suitable material.
This is an excellent piece of gear. Check out the Olicamp Hard Anodized Aluminum Space Saver Cup on Amazon.
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