The Lowly Army Canteen, Canteen Cup, Carrier and Stove

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The Lowly Army Canteen, Canteen Cup, Carrier and Stove

New postby dilligaf2u2 on Wed 20 Feb 2008 06:37

I have carried the army canteen, cup, carrier and heater for years. I started doing this back about 1970 and have had the setup with me ever sense. The canteen sets I have now are over 50 years old. Metal canteens are Pre WWII. The canvas covers from before WWII and the late 1960’s. The cookers are surplus from the late 60’s. The cups are pre WWII.

In my travels I started caring heavy-duty aluminum foil wrapped around my canteen in my carrier as a means of covering my cup when cooking and for foil cooking.

The Army issued me my first canteen, cup and carrier. The cup was used mostly when I went into the field. Bug Juice with my field dinner from the mess tent. I did not start using the cup for heating drinks and meals till over a year later.

I visited the local army surplus and was talked into getting some of the trox bars and a heater. Now this heater is tapered in a way so the canteen cup fit in for carrying and turn it over and the cup fits snuggly giving you an area for the trox bar to burn under the cup and heats the cup and its contents.

Back then noodles needed time to cook. Back packing food was tasteless, never enough and expensive. My cup was used mostly for drinks, soups and canned foods.

Now I do not know how many of you have stood on a hilltop overlooking miles and miles of more miles and miles? Chilled to the bone with a wind that cuts threw you like a hot knife threw soft butter. Waiting for the sound of the night to change or the thin line of morning’s light to make an appearance. This is when something hot and wet is most welcome.

No longer are we limited with our choices. Sense those days’ things have changed. Freeze dried foods can be acquired almost anywhere. Rimeon noodles cook in minutes. Dry, instant soups come in more then the 3 cube flavors I started with. And canned meats come in pouches, in sizes for one meal. Instant noodles, rice and stuffing can be made, with little effort, eatable. I still take my can of Bean and Bacon soup out with me. Now I can take a better variety of foods and I have even use wood sticks for fuel to do my cooking.

I carry 2 heaters. One kept with each canteen. The heater (stove) can use a small Andies tin with alcohol as the fuel. Wood sticks can be used and trox bars are found in more sporting goods places then they ever were. I cut the fuel feed hole larger on one so I can feed sticks in easier.

I chose metal canteens for 2 reasons. First : durability. I have had the plastic ones break under a fall. Second : If needed, I can heat water in the canteen itself. There is also the cool factor of having a piece of history with me.

I am sure you could find a lighter outfit that will do what my canteen set up does. I do not think you will find a more durable or dependable set up.

Ideas :
All are add water as needed. *** = If you choose (add dried mixed veg’s).
When using Bullion cubes put them in water and heat before adding the other ingredients.

Instant mushroom soup, Dehydrated mushroom slices, for soup. Over Egg Noodles with a pack of diced dried beef (Summer Sausage or Pepperoni works too) for stroganoff.

½ Pack or can of chicken, ½ pack of stuffing mix, hand full ***. Add a bullion cube or two.

½ box of mac & cheese. ½ can or pack of tuna, ***.

Pack or can of roast beef, add instant mashed potatoes. Cook together.

Pack of flavored rice or noodles and what ever meat you happen to have.

2 hands full of egg noodles. Drain most of the water when cooked. Add ½ can of beef stew.

My favorite hot meal when it gets cold. One can of Bean & Bacon or Split Pea Soup. Add one can water. Heat and eat.

Instant Oats or instant Cream of Wheat. Instant refried pinto beans. Instant everything.

The meals are only limited by your ability to cook in one pot and your wild imagination.

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Re: The Lowly Army Canteen, Canteen Cup, Carrier and Stove

New postby LD on Thu 21 Feb 2008 19:53

The age old setup, with all its variations.

Some want the plastic, others aluminum, some SS.

Aluminum cup or steel, some prefer one over the other.

You forgot the all important cover! WWII type hanger flopping against your butt, slide clips on cotton canvas from the latter era or the Namn era nylon.

I never knew there was a heater while I was in the army. We just scraped an inch wide trench in the ground and lit up a sugar cube sized peice of C-4 under the cup, or usually the c-rat can. (Never try to stomp that stuff out once it is burning!)

You always saved the fruit can from supper for use as a coffee cooker/cup the next AM. That instant was horrid!

Issue canteens did have their drawbacks. They were hard to fill, espically in combat situations where water was brought up in 5 gallon containers without spouts, and the caps were prone to leaking. The plastic models could not be thawed over heat if they were frozen and you could not boil in them to purify the water while in the canteen. sometimes they split when they froze.

I have heard that there are some SS and titanium cups made to fit over the nagline wide mouth water bottles. The modern bottles are easier to fill and drink from, and you can see what kind of trash is floating in your water.

As a side comment, I have found that a Campbells Chunky soup can is an exact slip fit over 20 oz comercial water bottles. It serves the same purpose as a canteen cup with modern cheap and ubiquitous waterbottles.

Going one step farther; Lipton makes a 1.5 liter bottle of green tea. The bottle is perfect for slipping into the famous one pound "coffee can billy".
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Re: The Lowly Army Canteen, Canteen Cup, Carrier and Stove

New postby geargeek on Thu 28 Feb 2008 06:05

This thread made me go get the canteen cup and head to the kitchen... I know the stove is cheating... :B

I'm amazed at how the handles stay cool with the burner at full blast and a rolling boil.

Ramen time. 15¢ worth of high sodium bliss.

Throw in some bagel chips and enjoy.
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