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Drink Up: 11 Old-School Enamel Mugs for Camp

by Mac Misseldine

good enamel mugs

Anyone who’s broken a mug while camping or hiking can appreciate the value of an enamel camp mug. Treat it as an investment and buy the right one, and a good camp mug can serve your drinks by the campfire for decades. Our favorite options come from United by Blue.

Why are enamel camp mugs so dependable? It starts with a heavy-gauge steel base. Next, the manufacturer dips the steel mug in porcelain to fuse the enamel to the steel. The result is a sturdy cup that can take and hold heat without cracking, whether it’s in the oven, on a stove, or directly over a campfire.

The cup may chip if you drop it, but the cup itself won’t break. In fact, the revealed steel will naturally oxidize after a chip, which will keep your cup drinkable and even add some rugged character.

Once you narrow the list of enamel mugs down to those properly crafted and hardened, choosing the right mug simply becomes a style decision. After all, this cup will be your loyal drinking buddy for a long time, so you want to pick one that matches your sense of style.

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite enamel camp mugs based on experience and reviews. Take a look at our picks and find the one that you can see cradled in your hands by the campfire.

Lights Out

Lights Out enamel mug from United by Blue

We love to support companies committed to making the world a better place, so including the Lights Out enamel mug from United by Blue is a no-brainer. For every product sold, United by Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways around the world.

These guys don’t just cut checks for cleanups — they organize and lead the projects. As you’re sipping black coffee out of your Lights Out mug on your next trip to the lake, you can feel a little warmer inside knowing your purchase did some good.

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Happy Camper

Happy Camper from Camp Brand Goods

If you’re looking for a larger enamel mug, check out the Happy Camper from Camp Brand Goods. This mug is 33% bigger with a 16-ounce capacity, and it’s a piece of cake to clean in the dishwasher — unlike many enamel mugs that need to be hand washed.

It’s ultra-durable with a cast iron base hand-dipped in enamel, with a double coating of enamel on the lip and handle for extended use. Feel free to warm up your drink of choice over an open fire, too, whether you’ve got a smoky fireside cocktail, toasty hot chocolate, or a cup of Joe to get you out of the sack in the morning.

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Falcon Enamelware Mug

Falcon Enamelware Mug

Falcon Enamelware has been an icon in British homes and kitchens since the 1920s. Anytime you see a classic enamel mug with an ice-white base and blue rim, you can trace the roots back to these guys. They wrote the book on enamelware, and they continue to pioneer improvements with products in more than 50 countries around the world.

Falcon Enamelware’s flagship mug keeps things simple. High-gauge heavyweight steel and thicker enamel add the durability to withstand temperatures of up to 530F in the oven, on the stove, or over the fire. You can even stick this mug in the freezer, though you’ll want to let it thaw before you try to heat it back up.

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Open Roads

Woods Coffee Open Roads Mug

Woods Coffee is a family-owned business out of Lynden, Washington. In 2002, the family pooled their talents and resources to open their first coffee shop—a lifelong dream. Now they have coffee shops throughout the Pacific Northwest, and they ship quality coffee, drinkware, and apparel all across the United States.

The Woods Coffee Open Roads enamel mug is part of the company’s adventure series. It’s hand-dipped in enamel, and boasts custom artwork that’s guaranteed to be unique when you’re comparing cups around the campfire. Try using their coffee beans, too, for the perfect pairing.

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Slumber Mug

slumber mug

Poler Stuff is another fun outdoors brand from the Pacific Northwest. Based out of Portland, Oregon, these guys specialize in camping gear built to stand up to wet and dreary weather. They offer top-quality tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, apparel, and of course drinkware.

A camp mug crafted from enamel steel, the Poler Slumber Mug is great for hot beverages and cold brews. It’s hand-wash-only, so you’ll want to keep this mug out of the dishwasher to preserve the finish.

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Stranger Places

stranger things places enamel mug

The story behind Parks Project is inspiring: when two guys from the iconic footwear company TOMS volunteered for a service project in the Santa Monica Mountains, they were disappointed with the public support shown for our National Parks.

With poor turnout for the project, they were dismayed to learn about the mountain of backlogged National Park projects. In response, they started an outdoor-products company with proceeds directly funding projects with the National Park Service.

As you browse their website, you’ll notice that each collection contributes to different projects. The Stranger Places enamel mug — part of the Trail Crew and All Parks Collections — directly contributes to the National Park Foundation’s Open Outdoors for Kids Program.

For every 10 products sold from these two collections, Parks Project donates $10 to help a kid experience a national park through the Open Outdoors for Kids Program. The program creates opportunities for kids to enjoy, understand, and connect with nature through experiential learning, outdoor activities, and cultural heritage exercises.

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Red Marble

red marble mug

We’ve aptly nicknamed this enamel mug the Dexter Morgan (if you haven’t seen the Showtime series, just trust us — it’s a fitting nickname). The intern tried calling it the Red Cow, but we didn’t think that was as catchy.

Of course, the actual product name from Mast General Store is an accurate description, too. Like marble, every enamel mug in this collection has a slightly different grain and pattern thanks to the hand-dipping process. Every mug is guaranteed to be distinctive, unique, and durable.

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Mountain Lovin’

enamel camp mugs

The Mountain Lovin’ enamel mug is the perfect choice for your sweetheart. Every mug is handmade in Europe using a unique, age-old technique that ensures a smooth, lasting finish.

The mugs are double-dipped with a second coat of enamel to reinforce the handle and rim, so it’s guaranteed to last. They’re also surprisingly lightweight, so they won’t weight down your day pack like some heavier enamel mugs.

Buying this mug is almost like getting two gifts—one for your sweetheart, and one for the environment. With every purchase, The Parks Apparel makes a donation to the Cerro Amay Project to protect 100 square yards of rainforest for endangered wildlife.

As one of the few remaining pristine cloud forests in the world, the Cerro Amay forest in Guatemala is considered one of the highest-priority conservation projects in the world.

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Seamless & Steadfast

best made camping mugs

The Best Made Company asserts that these are the best enamel steel mugs on the market, and we’re inclined to believe them. Since World War II, a legendary European manufacturer has crafted the Seamless & Steadfast mugs.

The decal and writing are baked directly to the cup for a smooth, seamless, long-lasting finish, and the handle and rim are double-dipped in enamel for a reinforced finish.

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Home on the Range

home on the range

If you’re a Southwest native, we highly recommend the Home on the Range enamel mug by Lost Lust. It’s not just a top-notch enamel mug—it’s art. We love the desert vista with the mountains and Saguaro cacti, and we wholeheartedly approve of the golden color palette.

Don’t be surprised if this becomes your go-to mug at home, because you won’t want to leave something this neat in your camping stash.

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Red Enamel Camp Mug

sanborn canoe

Sanborn Canoe Company claims this is the last camping mug you’ll ever need to purchase, and the customer reviews back that up.

It’s built to last generations with an ultra-sturdy steel base and a thick enamel coating, and the artwork is baked onto the side for a smooth finish. Each mug is handcrafted by enamelware craftsmen in Poland, where they’ve been manufacturing enamelware for over a century.

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Looking for more camping goods? Check out our favorite backpacking cookware sets and the best camping pillows for backcountry R & R.

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