There is no doubt that we as campers take our mugs very seriously. Whether it is starting our day off with morning coffee, cooling off with a mid day refreshment, or sipping something next to the campfire as the day comes to an end – mugs are probably one of the most used pieces of your kit.
All mugs are not created equal. Zach shares his love story about one specific mug: the Snow Peak Titanium 450 Double Wall.
A few years back, long before Overland Gourmet came to be, I discovered the Snow Peak Titanium 450 Double Wall. Featuring a sleek design and comfortable handles, I knew I liked them from the start. Little did I know I was holding a $50 coffee cup in my hand at the time. Yes, $50 for a one cup ($43 actually). I thought people must be crazy to buy these things. I could buy a case of some Chinese made stainless steel or blue enamelware mugs at the local outdoor mega-store for that price!
As quickly as my dreams of joining the Snow Peak Mug Club arrived, they faded. I just couldn’t image pulling the trigger on one mug when there were other pieces of gear to be had. Then something happened … I was camping with some friends, enjoying my ‘el cheapo mug, when I dropped it and it cracked. Thinking this was going to be a long trip without coffee or campfire libations, a friend quickly came to the rescue and lent me his 450 Titanium Double Wall – the same mug I had been lusting after!
I poured myself a hot cup of coffee. The first thing I noticed was that the lip of the cup didn’t burn my mouth. The double wall design not only insulates your drink keeping it hotter (or colder), it also protects your lips from being burned when sipping a hot beverage. The second thing I noticed was the weight, or lack thereof. The titanium construction provides incredible strength, yet the mug had a sense of grace as I held it in my hand. After a long weekend of using the 450, I was reluctant to return it. I REALLY like it, and I wanted one. So I went out and bought one.
Since I bought my 450, I’ve never even thought about what it cost as I use it EVERY DAY.
Recently I had to make a confession. It wasn’t easy at first. I thought my fiancé would think I was being dramatic. I confessed that I loathed the coffee cups we use every morning at home, and that when she’s not around I only use my 450. Our mugs are those cold, clunky bricks of porcelain that suck the heat right out of the coffee leaving it luke warm in a matter of minutes.
Not only did they take away from my enjoyment, the first thing they remind me of is a soulless vessel created for a certain look, but lacking in function and design. I couldn’t help but feel like I was guilty. Guilty of cheating on my 450 every time I used one. I need to confess because I wanted to use my 450, without having to hide it.
As I’m sitting here in my office and typing this, my original 450 is by my side keeping my coffee hot. The 450 and I have seen a lot of adventures together. We’ve been to the most remote of beaches in Baja, traveled the Camino Del Diablo, shared warmth while camping in the snow on Diablo Picacho, and logged countless hours traveling the country together.
You see, the 450 isn’t just a mug – it’s a reminder of the places I’ve been and the friends I’ve met along the way. Each dent and ding, scratch and scuff – those are all memories. When I’m not on the trail or out exploring, I glance at my 450 and smile. I smile because of the memories and dreaming about the adventures yet to come.