I am sure that many of you are already aware of the IMUSA line of aluminum cookware. It is available in the Hispanic cooking section of WalMart and many of the” mom and pop” Hispanic grocery stores, at least in the “Sun Belt”.
For lightweight hikers, they make three items of particular interest: Two of these items are “mugs”, the other is a “grease dispenser”. All three of the IMUSA products are shown in the attached photo together with a Snow Peak Mini Solo cook set added to provide comparison.
From the left in the photo are the grease dispenser, the small mug , the large mug and the Mini Solo. The lid on the small mug is originally from the grease dispenser; it fits both items. The lid shown has been modified by replacing a heavy plastic lifting knob with a light 3/8” wooden version. The large mug has been modified by removing much of the handle, by adding a stiff wire bail and fabricating a lid of aluminum flashing. The capacities and weights are as follows:
Grease pot: capacity 28 fl oz; wt. w/lid 3.7 oz 28
Small mug: capacity 22 fl oz; wt. w/lid 3.2 oz 22
Large mug: capacity 32 oz; wt. w/lid 3.6 oz 32
Mini Solo w/ cup: capacities 28/10 fl oz; wt w/lid 5.5 oz
None of the IMUSA products shown costs over $5.00 at WalMart. IMUSA has a website you can visit.
All of these items have their advantages and disadvantages. The aluminum mugs and grease dispenser are light but drinking hot liquids from them is hard on the lips. I carry a light plastic cup with any aluminum pot. The handles on the grease pot and mugs can interfere somewhat with packing though I do not find the handle to be much in the way. I prefer the rigid handle to the somewhat shaky folding handle on the Ti Mini Solo. Adding a wire bail increases the utility of the aluminum containers and only adds about a gram. I use electric fence wire; it is stiff, thin and light. With a wire bail, you can cook over an open wood fire if the mood strikes you.
I have been using the large IMUSA mug with its modifications for nearly four years now and recently purchased the Mini Solo as its replacement. As it happens, I find that I prefer the aluminum mug to the much more expensive titanium pot set. I will be using the small mug with handle and with a wire bail attached in the future if I can convince myself that the ˝ oz. weight savings is worth the 10 fl. Oz difference in water capacity.