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The humble camping mug may not be at the top of your gear list, but it does have the power to make or break your adventure. I will admit to having more than six but less than a dozen camping mugs that I use for various purposes. There’s the morning hike mug, the car camping mug, the cute camping mug that I use as a windowsill planter, and the ultralight backpacking mug. Oh, and the french press camping mug. Maybe I’m a little crazy!
Anyway, if having the perfect hot drink in hand is a priority when camping, you’ve come to the right place. No matter what outdoor adventures you’ve got lined up, we’ve got the perfect camping mug to go with it.
Choosing a Camping Mug
First things first, let’s talk a bit about choosing the perfect camping mug. The main things you want to consider are weight, material, portability, and ease of use/cleaning, followed by color and design. For your backpacking mug, you will want to choose a lightweight material like titanium or BPA-free plastic.
For car camping, weight won’t matter as much as using an insulated mug that will keep your drink hot. Finally, there are all kinds of cool novelty mugs that are suitable for car camping, picnics, and gifts. If you are a minimalist and only want a single camping mug that you can use for everything, go with lightweight and portable. Our top choice for the camping mug we’d bring to a deserted island? This 2.7-ounce titanium mug from TOAKS. Fortunately, we don’t have to pick just one! Here’s an overview of all of our favorite camping m
There are a million things we love about this mug. First, the colors are gorgeous and brighten the most dreary days. Choose from bright pink, turquoise, olive, grey, or black. Second, the Hydro Flask mugs keep our drinks hotter than any other insulated camping mug we've tried.
Finally, we love that the stainless steel interior doesn't affect the taste of your drink and that the Hydro Flask mug feels so go in our hands. At 11.2 oz., it's a hefty mug and not suitable for backpacking or hiking.
We've been using Contigo travel mugs for years and years, and while they don't keep beverages as hot as the Hydro Flask mugs, they have one very significant benefit. They are spill-proof!
At 11.2 oz., they are on the heavy side, so we use these for day hikes, dog walks, and photo shoots in cool weather. The other downside to these is that the lid is a bit harder to clean and retains the flavor of the last thing you drank. We like to use our Contigos for adventures close to home so we can wash them in hot, soapy water.
This lightweight mug is made from nylon-wrapped polypropylene. It comes with an easy-to-clean sipping lid and holds 17 ounces, which means it can double as a soup bowl. Use the nylon strap to attach it to your bag and remove the cozy to wash when you get home from your adventure.
This is a great little insulated mug for short backpacking treks, and the nylon cozy keeps beverages warm, but not hot. The cozy does get dirty on longer trips, and the plastic tends to retain flavors, so your coffee may taste like soup if your mug is doing double duty. Still, there's a place in our gear closet for this, especially because it weighs just 3.5 oz.
Best Metal Camping Mugs
Metal camping mugs can be really useful! They don't retain flavors, are relatively lightweight, and incredibly easy to clean. Most metal camping mugs do not insulate well, so they are great for adventures in warmer weather.
Titanium is super lightweight, strong, and easy to care for, so it's no wonder we chose this backpacking mug from TOAKS as our desert island camping mug!
It weighs just 2.7 ounces and includes a folding handle for easy packing. It also includes ounce and milliliter marks so it can double as a measuring cup, holding a total of 15.2 oz. The downside? Beverages cool off quickly. You can offset this by pouring hot water into the mug before adding your tea or coffee.
This beauty costs the same as the TOAKS mug mentioned above. The main difference is that it is double-walled stainless steel so it will keep your beverage warmer while adding some weight.
It's 10 oz. and comes with a sturdy handle, making it perfectly rugged for camping with kids. You can heat your drink right over the fire. You can have soup for dinner and coffee for breakfast with no taste transfer. I do wish this had a lid, but we can't have everything we want, and that's why we collect camping mugs.
Best Enamelware Camping Mugs
You can get plain old enamelware camping mugs, but what would be the fun in that? There are so many novelty camping mugs, that it's hard to pick favorites.
These make great gifts and are good for car camping and family camping. We also use novelty camping mugs to plant succulents in on our windowsill. The downside to enamelware mugs is they are heavy and they will sometimes rust, depending on the quality. They're pretty sturdy, but sometimes the enamelware will chip off if you drop them. Again, it depends on the quality.
I'm adding these boring but colorful mugs to my list because we've found them to be of decent quality. They haven't rusted in 2+ years, the rims are smooth, and they are super easy to clean. Because they are affordable, they are perfect for those crazy camping weekends and family reunions. We use them for summer car camping and canoe trips too. The insulating value is pretty low, but the bright colors and durability make them indispensable.
I love the colors and the artwork in this one, which is part of the Gentlemen's Hardware Collection by Wild and Wolf. This heavy-duty enamel-coated stainless steel camping mug holds 11 oz. and great for road trippers and other wanderlusters.
In case you didn’t know, we take our hot drinks quite seriously. If you feel the same way, we’ve got a few more posts for you to read:
Back Road Ramblers shares travel tips, road-trip destinations, and outdoor adventures for the wanderer in everyone. We help people connect with the world and each other by stepping out their front door and embarking on journeys big and small.