Hungarian mess kit, surplus
Used for decades, this classic aluminium mess kit is just like all the others - not to say it's a bad thing! Very likely Hungarian surplus.
The German pattern of making a mess tin is very smart. First of all it's a good bowl for eating whatever grub the Cookie of your garrison has come up with. Once the soup is in the bowl, you can sprint towards shelter without spilling anything. It also can be used as a kettle when cooking, and the carrying handle can be used to hang it over open fire. The lid has a handle for use as a frying pan - though you may want to insulate it with something first.
The material is aluminium, so it doesn't weigh much and rust won't be an issue. The carrying handle and lid handle are usually steel and might show some rust, but these aren't parts that touch your food.
When carried, the lid handle closes the package together. The handle has a steel loop and slot for a carrying strap to secure the thing on your pack or belt. The inside has enough space to pack something else you might need when eating, but be sure to pack it so it doesn't rattle!
The rough spots
These are East-Bloc surplus, most likely of Hungarian origin. The finish is as crude as you might expect, but these still get the job done. In some cases the steel wire handle is a bit out of shape and might be attached poorly, but it's nothing you couldn't fix with pliers and one minute of your time.
Used army surplus
Apart from the occasionally poor attachment of the wire handle, these are good to go. Just wash it before eating, unless you plan on growing unknown organisms inside you.
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does not recommend
Jeffrey M. 16.10.2017
Kari K. 03.07.2018 (Edited 03.07.2018)
When you buy a surpus - u get a surplus. (and surprice present) One that I got had) no dents, no outside sraches (who hell has these and don't scrath it). The cap hinge was stuck about 5 min and vaseline took care off it.." Washed it and will see how it takes winter cooking.
Pete S. 22.09.2018 (Edited 22.09.2018)
I left mine hanging on a tree at the confluence of the Keele and Tsichu rivers, high up in the MacKenzie mountains with a pencil and notepad inside. It should make a great cache so I'm still giving it 1 1/2 stars.
Get the Czech one instead, those are great.
Edited to add... the one they sent me was in better shape than the one in the picture, the Varusteleka folks don't bullshit you with pretty pictures. Great people.
Jussi E. 03.01.2019 (Edited 16.02.2019)
Jussi E. 21.01.2019
Osta tai ole ostamatta, mutta suosittelen lämpimästi pakin pesemistä, sekä veden kiehauttamista pariin kertaan ennen käyttöön ottoa.
Eric A. 06.08.2019