Monday, September 16, 2013

Tin Mugs

There is something special about drinking out of a tin mug.  That something just shouts "OUTDOORS!" almost as much as the smell of wood smoke on a flannel shirt.

Since the 1920's these white mugs with the classic blue rim have been a staple piece of kit for anybody who is spending a night sleeping outside, for whatever reason.  Made by fusing porcelain onto steel at over 750ºC, enamel mugs (and other plates and cookware) are pretty sturdy bits of kit that are not only durable but chemical resistant and you can put them straight onto a heat source.  You can even use them to make pies.  Typically these things get knocked around alot; hung off the sides of kit bags or balanced precariously on rocks, but the worst that usually happens if they get a big knock is that some of the porcelain chips off and the exposed steel underneath goes a bit rusty.  But that's adding character right?
It's lucky that these simple tin mugs evoke such strong loyalties from people who have the twin passions of hot caffeinated drinks and getting out into nature, because they don't half burn your lips when you try to drink from them too soon, and your tea goes cold kind of fast.  But trying to strike the perfect balance between drinkability and not scorching yourself is a pleasant challenge to try and master (an outdoor skill right up there with building a fire and gutting a fish) and at least you can be safe in the knowledge that when you're drinking from a tin mug you're more than likely out in the fresh air, and celebrate that fact.

Top image:  Kate's Cornish coastpath coffee break, August 2013.
Bottom image:  What an Otter Surfboards tea break looks like - the image that's been heading up the wooden surfboard company's blog page and, until recently, monthly newsletters. 

Oh, and one last thing:  this past week I finally went and hit the "publish" button on the Mat Arney Photography facebook page. I'd be super grateful if you'd head on over and click the "like" button to get updates on blogs and other photographic work every now and then.  Many thanks, Mat.

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