Mess Kit, Crusader Cup, and Sierra Cup Guide

A good mess kit or a sierra cup is a vital part of any good survival kit. Armies worldwide have adopted the mess tins for cooking in and eating out of. Mess tins are a favourite with backpackers, Military’s, and civilian campers because they are robust, lightweight, portable and have a simple and easy to use design.

Normally rectangular and made from aluminium or stainless steel, British army Mess tins (personally my favourite) Usually come in pairs with one being slightly smaller than the other (Normally 1.5 litre and 1.3 litre), British army style mess tins also have folding handles, allowing the smaller tin to fit neatly inside the larger tin. Stacking the tins in this way saves a lot of space when packing equipment into a backpack or rucksack.

Mess Kit, Crusader Cup, and Sierra Cup Guide

A good mess tin design allows it to be used over any camp fire or hexamine stove outdoors where no standard cooking facilities exist.

The design of the mess tin is still as effective today as it was in World War II. Its simple yet effective design allows the user to boil liquids or to fry foods, while also enabling the user to cook and eat out of the same apparatus.

The definition of “Mess” in military terms means a medium or large sized dining room where military personnel can eat, socialise, and relax.

The design of the Mess Tin varies slightly from country to country, but they all have the same function and still remain the best outdoor equipment to Cook and eat out of.

Some people prefer a sierra cup over mess tins. Normally aluminium or stainless steel, the sierra cup is used for the same purpose as a mess tin but is cone shaped. These can be placed directly over a heat source (Campfire or Stove) to boil liquids, soups, foods, and hot drinks. Personally I prefer the original British army mess tin over a sierra cup because you have two of them.