Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Lifeventure Ti Mug

Titanium (Ti) is good. FACT.

Well in my eyes it is. For most uses I reckon titanium is the best material for the lightweight backpacker. Yes you can get aluminium pots that for the same size are lighter, but try drinking freshly brewed tea from them. Actually don’t if you value your lips. Also aluminium pots compared to Ti pots are relatively fragile. Easily crushed and dented and there’s alleged health risks from using aluminium pans.

Ti is strong, thermally clever in that the top of the pot remains relatively cool compared to the part that’s in direct contact with the hot liquid/food and light.

Webtogs asked me to have a look at the Lifeventure Ti Mug. I already own a similar size Ti Mug and wondered what benefit the Lifeventure would bring to me. 10g that’s what. Now that seems a small amount to most people, but for a bit of kit that weighs less than 100g, 10g is a big deal. I like it when similar kit weighs substantially less with no downsides. This is the case with the Lifeventure Mug.

You may remember the stove that I made in a previous blog post. I made another one for the mug. With the stove and the mug and a lid you have a perfect little system for having brews either for day trips.

But you may say the mug doesn’t come with a lid? What about boil times and fuel efficiency? Are you mad? Well make one that weighs nothing, 0g! Actually it may be my scales but at most it’ll weigh 1g.

That 1g makes a big difference to boil times, it also means that with an elastic band or the little draw string bag provided you can keep all your brew kit in the mug. You will also need to keep the whole set up in a bag of some sort as solid fuel tablets can leave a sticky residue on the pot itself.

Back to the lid the series of photos below hopefully explains the very simple process of making a gravity defying lid.

Basically get a tin foil roasting tray. You can pick up two large ones from most pound shops for a £1. Smooth the foil out with the end of a rolling pin to make it perfectly flat. Roughly cut a piece at least 2” bigger than the mug’s top. Get another mug which just fits inside the Ti Mug and with a series of pushes and gentle taps push the foil 3-4mm into the Ti mug. Whilst holding the top mug in place fold down the foil around the lip of the Ti mug, then when it’s folded down go over the lip of the foil covering the Ti Mug with a rolling pin and flatten out all the creases as best you can. Then remove and trim the edge leaving 5mm or so overhanging.

Now as the lid has a rim it also has rigidity. It also clips in place over the mug and won’t blow off in the wind.

As you can see the finished item looks home-made but is functional and under controlled experimental conditions (my kitchen) boil times were a lot faster with a tight fitting lid rather than a piece of foil sitting on top of the mug.

There’s a lot of Ti Mugs out there, but the Lifeventure one stands out as one of the lighter options with handles. I think that they are a pleasure to drink from, not only hot drinks but the occasional mug of wine of whisky too. My other Ti mug of a similar size and design’s not going to get a look in now.


Jonathan Craddock said...

Looks great and love the lid. Found myself wondering if it's easy to get the lid off when hot? I probably just need harder fingers! ;-)

Shed Dweller said...

It is a tight fit. A quick flick off with a spoon, stone, twig helps. Or asbestos fingers.

Anonymous said...

You could make ´a handle´ on top of the lid. Take a piece of aluminium tape you can use for fixing exhaust pipes, fold half of it double and the remaining part on top of the lid on each side of the double part. Works as a charm with me.
Kind regards, Mariann

Shed Dweller said...

That's a great idea Mariann. Thanks for that I'll give it a go.

Adam Thomas said...

good techniqe....

Anonymous said...

Could you please shed (pun intended) some light on the true parameters of this mug? The official 75x75x85mm 450ml specs don't add up!