In Praise of a Cup


It’s better to not even go into Wal-Mart because I start thinking I need things.

First I decided I needed a tablecloth, but the super flimsy plastic one for $2 was torn by the wind almost immediately. The next time I was in Wal-Mart, I looked for a stronger one. Once I found a design I liked, I decided I needed the clamps made to hold a tablecloth on a picnic table. There you go, three purchases I really didn’t need to make. (I did use the second cloth for at least four months, making its cost about a quarter a week. The clamps were too small for the thick Forest Service table, and I ended up returning them. My point is, browsing often leads to buying, often of things I don’t even need.)


Cup with handles unfolded for use.

I thought long and hard before I bought the cup. I looked at it in the camping aisle during several shopping trips and asked myself if I really needed it. Well, no, I didn’t really need it. I was currently boiling water in my glass sauce pan, and I could continue to boil water that way. But it was a (minor) hassle to haul out the glass saucepan any time I needed to heat a cup or two of water for tea or cocoa or instant mashed potatoes. Being able to boil small amounts of water in a cup that fit in the tote with my bowl, plates, utensils, and cast iron skillet would make my life easier, right?

Many times in my life as a consumer, I’ve bought something to make my life easier, only to find, not so much. In the case of the cup, it really has helped.

Having folding handles means it fits easily in the tote with my kitchen items. (The glass saucepan is kept in a

Cup with handles folded for easy storage.

Cup with handles folded for easy storage.

special padded bag which hangs at the back of the van, making it just a bit of a pain in my neck to pull it out every time I want to heat a cup of water.) Since the cup is stored in the tote with the cooking supplies I use most, it’s convenient to get to when I want to use it.

I like the size of the cup. It has an 18 ounce capacity, meaning I can get two cups (16 ounces) of liquid in it without filling it to the rim. Unless I’m heating enough water to fill my thermos or serve tea to a group, I don’t need more than two cups of hot water at a time.

My cup is made of stainless steel, which I appreciate. I don’t trust aluminum cookware, but I feel safe boiling water in stainless steel. The cup is easy to clean if I heat something (milk, butter, olive oil,) instead of or in water in the cup.

I find the use I’ve already gotten from the cup has made for money well spent. While I wouldn’t say the cup is a must have item just because I like it, I do think a camp cup with a folding handle is a useful item to have, especially for someone traveling light who doesn’t want to haul around a saucepan. I’ve you got a few extra bucks in your kitchen budget, you might want to invest in one.

I took the photos above of the cup with folding handles I bought at Wal-Mart. sells similar cups in a variety of sizes at a variety of prices. The photos below is a  link to a cup available on Amazon. If you buy anything from Amazon after clicking through links on my blog, I get an advertising fee.

[amazon template=image&asin=B003LDKNZ0]

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now I have a little travel trailer parked in a small RV park in a small desert town. I also have a minivan to travel in. When it gets too hot for me in my desert, I get in my minivan and move up in elevation to find cooler temperatures or I house sit in town in a place with air conditioning I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

3 Responses »

  1. Much of the stuff at Walmart (esp their own brand) is crap, so you have to be careful. I also hate how they keep shuffling stuff around, so you have to spend more time in the store, which they hope encourages you to buy more.

    Those folding handles are handy. I used to have a small stainless steel frying pan with handles like that, but I left it on the picnic table overnight, and I think a raccoon ran off with it. I hope he figures out how the folding handles work…..

  2. I have this cup also. It’s great when camping as you can heat soup, beans, whatever, in it and do so either on the charcoal grill or over the fire in the fire pit.

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