Camping dishes like cups, bowls and plates are much more versatile and durable than the ones we use at home. They're designed to save space and serve multiple purposes, all while surviving the rigors of the great outdoors. Cups have a number of convenient uses. They're great for drinking beverages that are too hot for regular water bottles, and some campers even boil water directly in them. Cups can also be used to measure food or liquid, and backpackers looking to save weight may even eat out of them. Those who prefer a more traditional container from which to eat may pack a bowl. While most are nothing out of the ordinary, some are collapsible and have a bottom that doubles as a cutting board. Camping plates are great for those who stay near the car, but most backpackers see them as a luxury and leave them at home.
Like pots and pans, dishes are made with a variety of different materials. Cups and bowls cast from a plastic like polypropylene typically weigh about 2.5 ounces (71 grams) and cost around $3. Stainless steel dishes are a little heavier, measuring 2.5 to 3.5 ounces (71 to 99 grams), and a bit more expensive at $7 to $10. The lightest cups and bowls are made of titanium, weighing less than 2 ounces (57 gram), but they're also the most expensive, costing about $15 for a bowl and $40 for a cup. After a few hiking trips, you'll quickly determine what combination of camping dishes you prefer.