Whoever invented the stainless steel, insulated coffee mug deserves some kind of congressional medal. How many of us rely on our mugs to keep our morning coffee hot and our mealtime water cold? If you are camper, you can go one better. Your insulated coffee mug has some camping-friendly cousins that are perfect for controlling the temperature of just about any food item.
This post will not get into any particular brands of insulated serving dishes and storage containers. However, camping-friendly options are perfect for the temperature-challenged environment that is camping. Food right off the grill can be kept hot for hours. Cold food stored in the cooler will stay cold for what seems like an eternity. That means less ice and more storage space.
Like Insulating RV Skirting
If you’ve ever been curious as to how your stainless-steel mug maintains beverage temperature for so long, note that it has everything to do with insulation. The principle of insulation is to prevent heat transfer. Do that and you can maintain temperatures for quite some time.
A typical insulated coffee mug works on the same principle as inflatable air skirting. According to Connecticut-based AirSkirts, the air inside an inflatable skirting product acts as insulation by slowing down heat conduction. Heat does not pass as easily through the walls of the skirting and the air in between, keeping the warm air under an RV warmer for longer.
An insulated coffee mug works on the same principle. Between the inner and outer layers is air. Not quite as much air as RV skirting, because insulated coffee mugs are vacuum sealed. But there is air between them, nonetheless. The air slows down heat conduction.
Stainless-Steel Reflects Heat
The other thing to note is that a stainless-steel surface reflects more heat than it absorbs. This slows down the process of radiation. When a coffee mug is filled with hot coffee, the stainless-steel reflects heat back into the coffee even as it tries to escape. This is because stainless-steel is not a particularly good heat conductor.
When you are talking about a cold drink, any exterior heat trying to work its way into the inner layer is reflected back out as well. Thus, your cold drinks stay cold longer.
We say all this to say that camping-friendly dishes and storage containers designed on the same principles as your insulated coffee mug do a phenomenal job. Imagine that same coffee mug shaped as a large serving bowl with an airtight lid.
After grilling your hot dogs and burgers, you can put them in the bowl and put the lid on. They will stay hot for quite a long time. Guess what? There is no more going back to the plate for another hot dog only to find that they are all cold. And if you like that, a second bowl will keep the potato salad cold even if it’s left out on the table.
Insulated serving dishes and storage containers are ideal for camping, where coolers and bags of ice are common kitchen items. And because they are made with stainless steel, they are as tough as your coffee mug. A good set of serving and storage dishes will last a lifetime whether you own an RV or prefer an old-fashioned tent.
Are you a camper? If so, remember that your insulated coffee mug has some camping-friendly cousins. Pick up some insulated serving dishes and storage containers before your next trip. Even better, let your family members and friends know that they would make great Christmas gifts this winter.