A few months back the folks at Sistema gave me some gear to test. They make plastic wear that is mostly intended to be used for commuting from home to work. When I saw this stuff in the store I quickly saw its potential use for lightweight backpacking and day hiking. I bought a bright orange mug like the one pictured above, but it leaked. So I wrote Sistema and they replaced my orange mug plus sent me this other free stuff to test for hiking.
They sent a water bottle that twists open, a small airtight container and a set of plastic cutlery that included a fork a spoon and chop sticks. I've been using all of these items since. I use the orange mug to store my kitchen in and to drink out of. The mug actually weighs more than my cook pot but it is handy because it holds my entire kitchen and I can drink out of it without burning my lips. One problem I have found with using an airtight container to store my cook set is that it does not dry out. I have to store my lighter outside of the cook set since damp lighters don't work.
I use the water bottle on the rare occasions that I actually carry water. So far the bottle has proved to be light weight and durable. The twist opening is interesting, don't think I 've seen a bottle that opens like that before. I normally pack an old soda bottle for water since they are very light. I feel quite spoiled when I carry this bottle instead. If I need lots of water I pack a platypus.
I normally go with the lightest option of all and do not pack a water container. I hike in the rainforest, so water it usually just around every corner and I feel perfectly safe drinking right out of the rivers. The river water tastes so much better than my tap water. If I do bring tap water I always dump it out at the first creek I come to and fill my bottle with tasty creek water.
I sometimes use the small blue container to hold my mix of powdered milk, sugar, instant coffee and cocoa. A Ziploc bag would work almost as well but it is not kind to the environment or my pocket book to use and throw away Ziploc bags on every hike. The container holds enough for about 3 drink mixes and it holds the powder very securely. A Ziplock would be lighter but not as durable. I doubt I would take this backpacking, but for day hikes and short backpacking trips the little bit of extra weight is no big deal and saves me money over using Ziploc bags.
Of the cutlery set I only have used the spoon so far. It feels like luxury to have a spoon on a day hike but the spoon weighs so little and seems quite durable. I'm impressed with this spoon. I doubt I would pack the chopsticks as the woods are just full of sticks. Spoons on the other hand, are harder to find in the woods.
I don't use all of this stuff on every hike but I have been happy with it when I used it. It has proved to be durable and lightweight. I recommend it to other hikers and people who are on the go such as students.
I bought a second mug for taking my cooked oatmeal to and from school and it worked well for that. I can't eat when I first wake up, so I take my oatmeal to school at eat it right before class.
Here are a few pictures of this gear in action:
|Tea time at Bark Shanty I would have brought my blue Sistema container that|
day but I could not find it so I went with a "disposable" Ziplock screw top container.
|Just the Mug at Scatter Creek|
|Mug at Wynoochee river under the bridge with the kitchen that goes inside of it. The spoon|
handle is up near the lid the spoon top is on the lid.