Thursday, 17 January 2013

BCB Crusader Cup - Putting A Lid On It

Many of you involved with bushcraft, camping or backpacking will be familiar with the BCB Crusader Cook Set. Which consists of a selection of components, like the cooker/windshield, water bottle, plastic cup, metal cup and lid, making up the entire cookset.

For those people who own a Crusader Cookset, you will no doubt have your own comments and reservations about the clear plastic lid that comes with the set. And in today's post I am going to discuss the various "lid" options that are available for the BCB metal cup, along with their individual pro's and con's.

Based on personal experience, I have broken down my findings into four different categories :

(1) Budget Lid
(2) DIY or Homemade Lid
(3) BCB Plastic Lid
(4) Heavy Duty Nato Crusader Cup Boil Cover

Each of these lid types, has it's place and have their own specific advantages or disadvantages, depending on application, budget or availability.

Using any of these lids in conjunction with your BCB Crusader Mug, will improve boil times, save fuel, keep your hot drink of choice warmer for longer, whilst also keeping debris and insects from taking an early bath in your hard earned brew.

(1) Budget Lid :

This, as the name suggests is the cheapest of the four options, is readily available in most households and is very easy to manufacture. We are of course talking about the Bushcrafters, Campers and Backpackers friend, tin foil or alluminium foil.

Not only is this stuff great for use as a lid on your BCB cup, but it can also be used for a multitude of other uses, like cooking for example.

But as a lid, it is both lightweight and efficient in reducing boil times. As well as keeping your drink warm afterwards. I used a tin foil lid for quite some time on a Pattern 44 army cup, before upgrading to a BCB metal cup.

Pros : Cheap & Lightweight
Cons : Disintigrate or degrade after prolonged use, Not very robust

(2) DIY or Homemade Lid :

If after using a tin foil lid, you would like to upgrade to something a little more substantial, you could always have a go at making your own lid out of some old offcuts of aluminium or similar sheet metals.

I was lucky enough to be sent a partly made lid from one of my Youtube subscribers, which I then finished off, by shaping and cutting to size, then adding a small wooden handle.

This worked brilliantly and I got some good use out of it.

Pros : Cheap & Robust
Cons : None Really, Other Than Having To Source Materials To Make It

(3) BCB Plastic Lid :

If you purchased the BCB Cookset, this plastic lid would have come as part of the kit. Or you may have purchased the lid seperately, to accompany your current BCB metal cup.

Either way, if you have used this lid, you will no doubt have your own opinions on its good or bad points. Many points have been raised about this lid, mostly regarding how useless it is when boiling your water in the cup.

Having done this for the first time myself, I came to a similar conclusion, as the lid began to melt during boil time almost welding itself to the rim of the metal cup.

But on reflection, I think this particular design of lid is for keeping your drink warm afterwards, whilst allowing you to drink the contents of your metal cup, with the lid still in place. A little bit like the coffee cups you get from the well known outlets.

And for this reason, the BCB Crusader Cup Lid serves its purpose.

Pros : Lightweight, Robust & Custom Fit. Contents Can Be Consumed With Lid In Situ
Cons : Not Suitable For Use During Boiling Process, Prone To Melting or Cracking

(4) Heavy Duty Nato Crusader Cup Boil Cover :

Without doubt, the best custom fit lid for the metal BCB Crusader Cup is the Heavy Duty Nato Crusader Cup Boil Cover, available from Ray Mears Bushcraft.

This quality made, durable and multi purpose lid is a great addition to your BCB Crusader Cup and cookset and will give you a lifetime of use.

And with the addition of the strainer, it will assist in additional cooking capabilities, like straining pine needles or nettles when making tea etc. Plus the highly polished underside which could be used for signalling or even shaving.

Pros : Very Durable (Will last a lifetime), Built In Strainer, Polished Underside For Signalling (or shaving)
Cons : Price (although, you are only ever going to buy one of these)

Watch Demo's Of These Lids In Use Out In The Field :

Tin or Alluminium Foil Lid
DIY or Homemade Lid
BCB Plastic Lid

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