Thru-Hiking 101: Measuring Cup Hacks

5 Ways to Save Fuel

Convert your Cooking Pot into an Accurate Measuring Device

When cooking, it is important to be measuring cup accurate. Using the right measurements is critical for almost any recipe. But you don’t need to carry a set of measuring devices on the trail if you have a cooking pot. I mark the outside of my backpacking pot in 1 cup increments with a permanent Sharpie™ marker. This makes it easy to get about the right amount of water into the pot for cooking.

The Best Ultralight Backpacking Spoons

Step 1:

Measure out exactly 1 cup of water and pour it into your cooking pot. You can also weigh out 8 ounces of water and that will be exactly 1 cup.

a measuring cup being filled with water
Water being poured into a titanium pot from a 1 cup measuring cup

Step 2:

See where 1 cup of water measures in your cooking pot. Then carefully mark a line on the outside of your pot with a Sharpie™ marker. 

two titanium pots showing 1 cup markings

Hack: Mark the Handle of Your Spoon

For more precise measurements you can mark the handle of your spoon with a Sharpie™ marker. So instead of approximating your measurement you will get an exact reading. Be prepared for the markings on the handle of the spoon to wear off. Markings on the side of the pot are much more durable. The markings on the side of the cooking pot should last an entire 5 month hike. I suggest using both spoon and pot measuring methods.

Marking 1 cup increments on the handle of the spoon

Mark your spoon at 1/2 cup and 1 cup

Mark your spoon at 2 cups, 3 cups, etc.