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Spastic
04-07-2008, 17:18
Who here uses the so called "Sierra Cup?" i know they were a lot more popular a few decades ago, but does anyone still use them and what have your experiences been? I've been considering doing an ultralight trek through the Big Sur backcountry without bringing a stove, and figure a Sierra Cup would be good to use with a campfire due to the long handle. REI has a titanium version which weighs an ounce. Thoughts?

sofaking
04-07-2008, 17:22
this is always good for spectating...

Captn
04-07-2008, 17:22
Who here uses the so called "Sierra Cup?" i know they were a lot more popular a few decades ago, but does anyone still use them and what have your experiences been? I've been considering doing an ultralight trek through the Big Sur backcountry without bringing a stove, and figure a Sierra Cup would be good to use with a campfire due to the long handle. REI has a titanium version which weighs an ounce. Thoughts?

A normal Sierra cup only holds .3 liters ..... and they spill easy from my experience. The larger one would be of more use, but I haven't found them made of Ti as yet.

Other than that ... it's just a matter of preference.

big_muddy
04-07-2008, 17:23
I don't like them, I find that they tend to tip over. I can recall seeing a number of friends pour into them and they fall over in the process. I'm not sure why they ever became popular.

mudhead
04-07-2008, 17:27
Pretty slick dude that carried one probably has something to do with the popularity. That, and limited choices at the time.

10-K
04-07-2008, 17:28
but I haven't found them made of Ti as yet.



Tadaaa... http://www.basegear.com/vargo-titanium-ti-lite-sierra-cup.html

budforester
04-07-2008, 18:04
Tadaaa... http://www.basegear.com/vargo-titanium-ti-lite-sierra-cup.html

That one appears to have no wire in the rim. I think, with hot liquids, the wire draws heat from the rim so you can drink from it without scorching lips. Those new- fangled titanium things might behave differently from aluminum and enameled cups that I have tried, however. I've not liked sierra cups on the campfire... direct heat on rim and handle make them hot. Over a heat tab or other center- burner stove, you can boil a cup of water, but I need more volume. Sierra cups are tipsy, and I'm clumsy enough that they slosh my coffee over the rim too often.

chknfngrs
04-07-2008, 18:40
I used to have one and actually enjoyed it. I don't remember having problems as a result drinking out of it, nor did I have any cooking problems. It was multi-use and easy to clean. Paired with an alcohol stove you'd have a pretty light setup. You couldn't cook much in it, but if you did freezerbag you'd have something then. Do what you want! Let'em laugh at you if they want to.

PS- those cups make excellent swillers for your booze.

4eyedbuzzard
04-07-2008, 18:41
Had one years ago, they were a good shape for scooping water from shallow flows and springs which I think was the original intent. Then came the water filtering craze and hydration bladders, etc. which I think spelled their doom along with plastics becoming more popular. I must admit I filtered water for a few trips and i didn't think it was was worth the hassle. Cross contamination is so easy, I figured I'd just wind up getting sick anyway by storing the hose wrong or getting some "dirty" water on the "clean" side of something.

I use an insulated plastic mug with lid now. I can still use it to scoop water and it keeps the coffee and/or soup warm longer.

NICKTHEGREEK
04-07-2008, 18:53
That one appears to have no wire in the rim. I think, with hot liquids, the wire draws heat from the rim so you can drink from it without scorching lips. Those new- fangled titanium things might behave differently from aluminum and enameled cups that I have tried, however. I've not liked sierra cups on the campfire... direct heat on rim and handle make them hot. Over a heat tab or other center- burner stove, you can boil a cup of water, but I need more volume. Sierra cups are tipsy, and I'm clumsy enough that they slosh my coffee over the rim too often.
There's a similar variation called a cascade cup. Same folding handle as the vargo but well over 10 oz capacity. Careful of that hot rim!!!

Lyle
04-07-2008, 22:22
I don't like them, I find that they tend to tip over. I can recall seeing a number of friends pour into them and they fall over in the process. I'm not sure why they ever became popular.


Never had any problem with them tipping over, they are very low and broad. This is both a pro and con. They are great for dipping water from shallow pools and they fit well on most any stove. The con part is that any beverage in them cools down quickly due to their shape. The real early models did burn your lips if you didn't allow it to cool down some before drinking. Later models used a combination of stainless steel and some other type of alloy around the rim which solved the burned lip problem for the most part.

I still have one, don't carry it often now since it doesn't heat enough water for me at one time. It was nice when you made a pot of dinner and wanted a hot drink to go with it. Perhaps the larger size would be suitable as a solo cook pot and the TI version would be worth a look-see.

They were popular because of their versatility and indestructibility. Their very functional handle could be hooked into a lash point on your pack, or hooked under your belt and be always handy for dipping a cool drink from a stream or spring - didn't even need to remove your pack. Kinda like the hydration system of yesterday. :)

Montego
04-07-2008, 22:42
Ahhh = the Sierra Cup. Does that bring back the memories. They were great for dippin' & sippin' and easy to hang outside your pack, but the ones I had did tend to burn your lips a bit and allowed the hot drink to cool down too fast. Plus, always seemed to tip drinks on myself and the ground too easily (shape, I guess).

Good thing is that they were indestructable and fairly light. Even though the Ti sounds interesting, I now use a SS hot drink cup w/sipper lid which is spill proof and keeps the drinks hot longer without burning my lips.

For the RETRO look, can't beat the Sierra Cup though IMO.

warren doyle
04-07-2008, 23:58
Since I very rarely carry water when I hike, a Sierra cup is an essential part of my hiking 'gear'. It is a great water filter too!

Bob S
04-08-2008, 00:39
It’s a compromise between a cup and a bowl, not filling either roll that well.

The transmit heat to your lips very well. (That means you get burnt if you are not careful.)

They seemed to never sit well on my stove and would easily spill whatever I was heating up.

I think the handle was designed to transmit heat to your hand. For it excelled at doing this.

And they do seem to give lots of people problems as far as spilling. I don’t like them, but they don’t cost much so you are not out much if you don’t like it. . Give it a try, you may find you are one of the people that like them.

In the 1980s they were very popular; it was hard to find a person that didn’t have one, but not so much the case today.


Now I use a stainless steel double insulated (with a plastic handle on it) 8-oz coffee mug. I don’t put it on my stoves, so no worry about the handle melting and it also doesn’t burn my lips off when I take a sip. The handle being plastic stays cool to the touch.

It retains the heat of the liquid in it for a good while (sierra cups with all that surface area on top cooled off quick.)

mkmangold
04-08-2008, 00:43
I think, like internal frame packs in the late '70s and early '80's, having a Sierra Cup was the "in thing." Honestly, I remember being rebuked because I used a collapisible plastic cup instead of a Sierra Cup. But then again, I used wool gloves and other old-fashioned things at the time.

Alligator
04-08-2008, 08:47
I have a ti one. If you go to the trouble of making hot drinks (tea, coffee, cocoa, cider) it is useful. You can cook a few side dishes in it, like instant rice or couscous. The ones from REI weigh I think 1.6 oz. I've never had mine tip over, but it will splash if you are not careful. It is metal and you should wait a little to let it cool before drinking;). The base is small, so it may not fit on some stoves. It's a cup that can do a few pot things not a pot that serves as a cup:-?.

Summit
04-08-2008, 17:46
Never owned one . . . never will. Not my style! The new light-weight ones would at least fix that downfall of the original version, but I don't like getting my lips burned so I don't sip coffee from anything metal. ;)

Tipi Walter
04-08-2008, 19:09
I carried a Sierra Cup for years, it became part of my standard load on all backpacking trips as a cup to hold whatever part of a pot of food I was eating. Oatmeal, lentils, mac and cheese, rice, you name it. I even took it out all by itself for a few trips as it would easily sit atop the old Svea 123 stove for a quick meal of oats or tea.

On group trips it came in handy for portion servings and at all Rainbow Gatherings a meal cup is vital and the sierra cup worked well in that setting.

There were several different kind of sierra cups, I have the "original" made from stainless steel and very stout. The knockoffs were cheaper and thinner. There was also a large version though not the original. Here's some fotogs of my old sierra cup from 1980(taken today):

Tipi Walter
04-12-2008, 21:34
BTW, I thought mine was fairly original, but check this out:

http://www.oregonphotos.com/Sierra-Cup.html

weary
04-12-2008, 21:59
The Sierra Club Cup, was origninally the AMC cup. It's just that AMC never established a brand. For them it was just a better than average hiking and camping cup.

The Sierra Club wisely promoted the design. And it eventually became associated with that orgnanization.

It's a great design, incidentally. A metal cup, that could be used to heat stuff on a Svea, without then becoming too hot to drink from. The cup is as great now as it was in the beginning.

Use it or not, but there are few trail implements so well suited for multiple use, scooping water, heating footd sipping hot drinks. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't know what they are talking about.

BTW. I've used one for many decades. None ever tipped over. Well once, when I had an extra beer and kicked it with my foot.

Weary

Philippe
04-12-2008, 22:35
There was barely a hiker without one in the 70's. It was useful to carry under the waist band and always handy to use. IMO they were too small to be satisfactory to cook in. When I tried something hot in it, I always burned my lips. I admit it was a cheap import with the wire in the rim.

shelterbuilder
04-12-2008, 23:17
I still have - and use - two of them: a standard size, and the large version, which IS usable for cooking soups and noodles and such. They even made a lid for the bigger one, and I have that, too.

The smaller one made a great dual-purpose lid for the little coffee pot that I used to boil my water in, and if you were REALLY ambitous in the camp-kitchen, you could have used it as a double-boiler. (Yes, for me, it was all about the food in camp!)

Tinker
04-12-2008, 23:23
Who here uses the so called "Sierra Cup?" i know they were a lot more popular a few decades ago, but does anyone still use them and what have your experiences been? I've been considering doing an ultralight trek through the Big Sur backcountry without bringing a stove, and figure a Sierra Cup would be good to use with a campfire due to the long handle. REI has a titanium version which weighs an ounce. Thoughts?
The shape of the cup lends itself to creating waves when the cup is moved laterally (sort of like a gold prospector's pan or a wok) - makes for easy spilling :p.
I still have one, probably will keep it for the memories. You're better off with a cup or small pot.

Hikes in Rain
04-13-2008, 08:25
I have one, and I've used it every time I go out since the early 70's, for all the reasons given earlier. I have to admit, though, since I generally use it for coffee in the morning, harvesting water, and the occasional tiny extra pot (pretty rarely), I'm considering retiring it for something lighter. (It does weigh some).

The pictures of the ancient cups were cool!

Creepy Uncle
04-14-2008, 01:14
A normal Sierra cup only holds .3 liters ..... and they spill easy from my experience. The larger one would be of more use, but I haven't found them made of Ti as yet.

Other than that ... it's just a matter of preference.

just stumbled on a 420 mL model in Ti.

http://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=40&p_id=1124514 (http://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=40&p_id=1124514)

if it's your cup of tea, enjoy it

Captn
04-15-2008, 15:29
Great find

atraildreamer
04-16-2008, 13:50
Wally World sells a metal cup under the Ozark Trails brand name. It is straight sided, holds about 12 ounces, and can be used as a pot (make a cover out of foil). One of my Goya stoves will fit inside of the cup for compact storage. I picked up 2 of these cups on closeout for $1 each. :clap