Forum Index » GEAR » Sierra Cup


Display Avatars Sort By:
Jason Johnson
(etex9799)
Sierra Cup on 09/27/2013 11:36:37 MDT Print View

thinking bout getting one...has anyone sipped coffee out of one? +1 or -1 on the Sierra Cup?

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - F

Locale: Grand Canyon State
RE: Sierra Cup on 09/27/2013 11:40:01 MDT Print View

-1 on that:

(a) heavy for the size
(b) makes coffee go cold faster (wide top aids cooling, as does the uninsulated metal)

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Sierra Cup on 09/27/2013 11:49:52 MDT Print View

Years ago all we had were the stainless steel Sierra cups. Now we have the titanium version.

Yes, the wide top causes the hot liquid to cool somewhat. That is exactly what it is intended to do, to avoid burning your lips. Also, in an emergency, any metal cup like that can serve as a small cook pot or water boiler.

Deep down inside my winter daypack, there is a titanium Sierra cup packed with two Esbit tablets, matches, and a foil packet of coffee.

Each winter on the first field trip to the snow, I practice my skills by melting snow and making hot coffee. In fact, if I can find dry wood twigs, I can skip the Esbit.

--B.G.--

Ken Miller
(Powderpiggy) - F

Locale: Colorado
Styrofoam on 09/27/2013 12:23:47 MDT Print View

Ah yes, the old sierra cup. Still got burn marks on my lower lip.

I started using a heavy duty, large Styrofoam cup, weights in at .125 oz and will last for a week if treated with care.

Jason Johnson
(etex9799)
CUP on 09/27/2013 12:38:35 MDT Print View

What about its other positives? I was lookin at one knowing I could use it as a cup to drink out of or a bowl to eat of? is that the intention of the Sierra Cup?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: CUP on 09/27/2013 12:49:55 MDT Print View

In a winter snow emergency, you can also use it as an emergency shovel to dig out a snow trench.

One friend of mine got his car stuck in snow and used a Sierra cup to dig it out, because that was the only tool he had.

With black bears wandering around in camp, the Sierra cup makes a good noisemaker. Either hit it with a metal spoon or else hit the cup against a metal pot.

In some backpacking circles when there is a group meal cooked, the chef portions the food out by a Sierra cup.

The problem is that it does not make a very large plate for meals. Pancakes don't fit.

--B.G.--

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Other use for a sierra cup on 09/27/2013 13:05:59 MDT Print View

When I'm feeling like having a better meal out there, I might stir up some gravy or Knorr's 4-cheese sauce (pre-mixed and vacuum sealed portions) in my sierra cup/titanium foil lid. A bit more trail weight, but a lot more tastiness.

sierra cup and lid

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Other use for a sierra cup on 09/27/2013 13:08:05 MDT Print View

Wasn't that cute how Gary got the titanium wire grill showing up in the background?

--B.G.--

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Re: Other use for a sierra cup on 09/27/2013 13:21:01 MDT Print View

Nah, I was really just trying to push my beaded leather drink coasters, Bob. That one has the Big and Little Dippers on it, but it's hard to tell from that angle. The gravy packet was just for deception. And with it raining here again, the only dry spot to take a photo was at my patio gear testing table. And I wasn't about to clear the table just for one measily photo.

And you can quit doing your rain dances for us now, Bob--Boulder's good.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Sierra Cup -1 on 09/27/2013 13:33:57 MDT Print View

-1 for all the reasons Valerie and Bob gave. And, yeah, you can multipurpose them as others have described, but they aren't very good at any of those tasks. Back in the day (when people used Sierra Cups and Bob and I were killing mammoths), I preferred what Dutch friends called an "Alps Cup"

Alps Cup photo

While you couldn't use it as a cooking pot it made a much better cup - steeper sides for less sloshing, more insulated so you could warm but not burn hands with hot liquids.

Now, I cut the bottom off an HDPE food container I find at the recycling center of a height and width that nests with my other gear. greater volume at 10-20% of the weight. And free.

Or buy a Cup of Noodles (about 24 cents) and save the styrofoam cup.

Edited by DavidinKenai on 09/27/2013 13:34:51 MDT.

Katy Anderson
(KatyAnderson) - F
Dip and sip on 09/27/2013 13:47:39 MDT Print View

Somewhere up the thread Jason asks:
I was lookin at one knowing I could use it as a cup to drink out of or a bowl to eat of? is that the intention of the Sierra Cup?

The original Sierra cup was a "dip and sip." Its use as a coffee cup, bowl, or extra pot was secondary. This was before the time of hydration bladders and water filtration systems. Now almost nobody uses one, as water systems are different and there are far better cups, bowls and pots.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Sierra Cup -1 on 09/27/2013 13:57:16 MDT Print View

"Back in the day (when people used Sierra Cups and Bob and I were killing mammoths),"

David is far too modest.

In the 1981 movie Quest For Fire, David appeared as an extra as an Ice Age mammoth slayer.

In contrast, my cameo performance was as the mammoth.

--B.G.--

doug thomas
(sparky52804) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Iowa
For coffee on 09/27/2013 17:14:15 MDT Print View

I use the snow peak 450 insulated cup. Sure it's a bit heavy, but with the lid, it keeps it hot.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Sierra cup - other uses on 09/27/2013 18:26:25 MDT Print View

A Sierra cup makes a decent but very small gold pan.

Don Morris
(hikermor) - F
SierraCup on 09/27/2013 18:26:48 MDT Print View

Works quite well when digging for water in a dry desert wash - something you generally don't have to bother with in the high Sierra.I have set up a folding handle model with esbit and tea bags as a sort of emergency cooker that can ride around in my day pack. i looked at the titanium version for this use,but finally went with good ol' SS at half the price, with an increase in weight of less than one ounce. The smaller the utensil, the less the weight differential in the finished product.

You could even use one as a last ditch signal mirror.......

John Gilbert
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Sierra cup on 09/28/2013 06:56:09 MDT Print View

It's wide mouth works better for eating oatmeal and is easier to clean than narrower, straight sided cups. Drinking out of it is tricky, and liquid sloshes out easily. I like how liquids cool from simmering to drinkable faster than in narrow double wall cups too.

Personally, I bring a small aluminum pot, plastic cup, and plastic bowl. The combo works well (I can eat, drink, and boil more water at the same time), and the plastic cup and bowl weigh less than a titanium mug.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Sierra cup. Or not. on 09/28/2013 08:38:45 MDT Print View

>" I bring a small aluminum pot, plastic cup, and plastic bowl. "

+1

Doing two or three immediately sequential boils is a little to a fair bit more efficient and I also like to be drinking / eating hot food while heating the next pot of water. While it adds 0.5 ounces for an additional tupperware bowl or repurposed cup, I often use those containers during the day to protect fragile objects* in my pack, scoop water, collect drips from a snowfield or rain water off a tarp all of which are little efficiencies of my time and energy.

*Triscuits and Wheat Thins aren't the healthiest food around town, but they're tasty, salty, completely dry, and fairly caloric on the trail. You can also find them in any food store. If I keep them in my tupperware bowl, they're still actually crackers a few days later (although I do try to use them early in the trip). I prefer eating the PB off the cracker than spreading the PB on my palm, sprinkling cracker crumbs on top and licking it all off.

Christopher Chupka
(FatTexan) - M

Locale: NTX
Sierra Cup on 09/28/2013 12:55:14 MDT Print View

Next best thing to a soaking wet pair of Levi's in the backcountry.

Designed to be able to make all hot drinks
Cold and still have the ability to burn your face when you try to have a drink.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Sierra Cup on 09/29/2013 19:07:03 MDT Print View

Easier to make a "caldera cone" stand for a Sierra cup, since it can be a cylinder.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Sierra Cup on 09/29/2013 22:22:50 MDT Print View

+1 to Chris' comment:

Designed to be able to make all hot drinks Cold and still have the ability to burn your face when you try to have a drink.

When I started backpacking in the 1970s we all had sierra cups. I have noticed that no one I backpack with today still uses one. I stopped using a sierra cup after a couple of years because I experienced what Chris described. Over the years I have periodically attempted to switch back because it *seems* like such a multi-function option. Eventually I decided that for me, it does a very poor job for each of those function and it's better to use something that gets the job done well.

--Mark