I wish I had thought of that

measuring cupOver the weekend I joined some Boy Scouts and a couple other leaders on an easy and relaxing backpacking trip in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.

At dinner time I was confronted by a problem I’ve faced many times: Trying to estimate the amount of water needed for my dinner.

The obvious way to do that is to use a measuring cup. Ah, but that requires carrying a measuring cup.

My double-walled titanium mug doesn’t have measuring marks, but I’m not about to give up that. And I don’t want to add the weight of a second cup just for the purpose of measuring water.

So what’s a gram weenie to do?

Jason Klass came up with a great idea. He says, make a measuring stick.

It’s nothing more than a strip of paper with measurements for different volumes of water in my pot. To make it waterproof, I simply sandwiched it between 2 pieces of packing tape but if you want to get fancy, you can laminate it.

Brilliant! You just stand the stick up in your mug and pour water to the correct mark.

But then I had a better idea. I’ll etch those markings on the handle of my spork. Then, I won’t have to carry (and lose) the measuring stick. And the sporkto hot water.

That’s not only one of those why-didn’t-I think-of-that-before ideas, it’s a why-didn’t some-backpacking-gear-company-come-up-with-that idea.

UPDATE: Chris at A reader named Chris pointed out to me that purebound.com demonstrates the idea here.

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4 Responses to I wish I had thought of that

  1. […] guess at how much water I need to add to my Mary Jane Farm Veggies. Tom at Two-Heel Drive found this blog that points to the obvious option of marking off a spork with measuring marks for your trusty […]

  2. Brett says:

    The reason a backpacking gear company did not already do this is because the measuring marks on the spoon would only be good for one diameter mug, and incorrect for all others. You can take an engraving dremel or diamond marker and put small measuring lines in your mugs.

  3. cutter says:

    Yes, of course, Brett. I didn’t think all the way through on that, but you’re right.

    On the other hand, there’s an upsell opportunity being missed here. Mate a spork to a mug and sell them as a set!

  4. billy says:

    1. measure desired volume in measuring cup.
    2. pour in trail mug.
    3. scratch line in mug with knife.

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