Just to reassure you I thought I should point out that all of our recommended gifts in our 12 Gifts of Christmas are all items that we own and use – a lot. They haven’t been given to us by brands to include, they really are our own choices. We only discovered the Lifeventure Thermal Mugs this year, but they get used over and over again – we each have at least two of them…we’ll come onto the reasons for that in a little bit.
These mugs keep your drink hot for 4 hours. And I mean hot. The type of hot where you take the lid off, have a sip, blow on it, then leave it to sit for a minute or two before you take another sip. Because it is hot. They hold 300ml which is a decent sized cup of tea, and they don’t leak.
The opening is big enough to get a washing up brush into, which makes them easier to clean than others I’ve used in the past.
You can get them in all sorts of colours – and this is an important point. BECAUSE WE DON’T JUST PUT TEA IN THEM. I know, radical right? I cook my pasta in mine, and Michael cooks noodles in his. When we’re away camping we eat all sorts of foods that we might not eat normally. And my comfort food of choice is Mugshot’s Creamy Cheese Pasta. I’ve tried the version that comes in a pot that you pour the water in and wait for it to rehydrate, but they don’t travel well in a rucksack (they tend to get all squashed and burst), and after waiting the required 5 or so minutes, they’re not overly hot, and not fully cooked. Solution? Buy the sachet instead of the pot, put it into the Lifeventure Thermal Mug, top up to near the top with boiling water and put the lid on. Wait 10 minutes and dig in. It’s perfectly cooked through, piping hot (I’ve actually burnt my mouth on it once or twice) and if something happens that I need to help out with, I can just put the lid back on and come back to it later. Before you ask, Michael’s Mugshot of choice is Sweet and Sour Noodles.
And this is why we have more than one mug each. Boil the water, make the pasta, and use the rest of the water to make a hot chocolate / tea / chai latte in your other mug. Because we’re camping and things tend to just get rinsed out rather than washed properly (we’re not talking campsites with washing up facilities here), I have my pink one for chai latte and tea, and a green one for pasta. Colour coding is important. That way there are no nasty taste surprises or ruined meals. Michael has light grey for noodles and black for tea. And we stick with those colours, so camp is organised and we know what’s what.
I read somewhere that you can cook eggs in a flask and I’ve been working on it with this thermal mug. Boil the water, put two medium eggs into the flask then fill it with the boiling water and pop the lid on for 10 minutes. This takes the chill off the flask and the eggs. Then pour out that water and top up with fresh boiling water, lid on and leave for 7 minutes for hard boiled. If you prefer soft then maybe 5 or 6 minutes will be enough. Then you should have perfectly cooked boiled eggs. The really cute thing is that if you take the lid off and unscrew the top (the lid divides into two parts) and turn it upside down, it’s the perfect size to use as an egg cup!
I thought it might make sense to boil the eggs in this way because you’re not continuously boiling the water so you won’t use as much gas as if you boiled them in the pan in the conventional way…but obviously it does take longer overall. I guess you could be using that time to be doing something else though – tell me what you think!
Finally, the other reason I love these mugs is because I spend a fair bit of time driving long distances. I have a couple of travel mugs that theoretically you could drink from on the move (but I don’t advocate that) but the drink quickly cools down so unless you’re stopping to drink within an hour, they’re not much use. Because this one keeps it hot for four hours, I can drive for a couple of hours, stop at a service station and save myself £3+ on a chain store coffee/tea and the cake that I wouldn’t be able to resist and would then feel guilty for eating. And there’s no throwaway cup to impact on the environment.
When you wash these mugs up, make sure you take the silicone seal and the little plug in the lid out and give them a good go with the washing up liquid – that’ll stop a build up of nasties around them. You can order replacements at a decent price if you need to though.
I think it’s a great gift for anyone who travels, explores outdoors, and generally likes a hot drink! Most outdoor retailers have them between £10 and £12 just now.
What’s your favourite hot drink when you’re out on your Adventures? Or do you use yours to cook food too? Share in the comments below.
Find all of our gift recommendations here;
Day 1 – The Buff
Day 2 – The Lifeventure Thermal Mug
Day 3 – The Silva Expedition 4 Compass
Day 4 – The MSR Pocket Rocket Stove
Day 5 – The Alpkit MytiStax
Day 6 – The Satmap Active 12 GPS
Day 7 – Icebreaker Merino Tshirts
Day 8 – Leki Walking Poles
Day 9 – Alpkit Viper 2 Headtorch