How important is a container that can keep things hot or cold? It could be a lifesaver to someone on the verge of hypothermia or heat stroke.
by Leon Pantenburg
I was not paid to do this review. At the time of publication, Thermos has no advertising relationship with SurvivalCommonSense.com.
My brand new college degree from Iowa State University didn’t land me the job I wanted. Instead of traveling the world as a National Geographic photojournalist, my first job was as a construction worker in Iowa, pouring concrete foundations for the new Seed Lab at ISU.
With my first paycheck, I bought insulated coveralls and a Thermos quart bottle for coffee. November in Iowa is damned cold. To a man, all the experienced construction guys carried a Thermos full of hot coffee for quick warmups.
That Thermos got me through the winter. When I finally got a journalism job, the Thermos went on many, many assignments. It held ice water on blazing hot Mississippi summer days, sat in duck and goose blinds, stayed in the truck while I went hunting deer and elk, and was a regular on other outings. Decades later, my kids used it to carry hot chocolate on ski trips.
I never really though of the Thermos as a survival tool, until I was duck hunting one frigid December morning in a greentree reservoir along the Mississippi. While shooting at a flying mallard, I tripped over a log, and did a face plant in the ice water. I jogged back to my car, stripped off my wet clothes, put on a dry set and sat inside with the heater on, drinking hot coffee until I warmed up.
Then I headed back to the swamp. The ducks were flying, and waterfowl hunters are about half-crazy anyway.
It has never entered my mind to replace that old Thermos. It still goes on outings. It leaks around the top now, so until a replacement stopper is found, I prop it upright somewhere in the vehicle.
Currently, I have several Thermoses: That old quart bottle, an insulated hot drink mug and two of the 16 ounce food jars. All of them perform really well.
But my coffee-drinking needs have changed over the years and a smaller, more compact insulated bottle seemed like it would be handy. Besides, this more compact bottle would fit nicely in my briefcase.
So I was interested in the Thermos 24-ounce vacuum insulated bottle.
Unpacking the Thermos shows a rugged design. Finished in an attractive black matte finish, the bottle would fit in at a construction site or on an office desk.
I liked immediately:
Size: At 24 ounces, it is just small enough to be handy, but large enough to carry three mugs of hot beverage.
Double wall, stainless steel construction.
Easy access top: The top flips open easily with a button, but there is also a wire fastener to secure it against accidental opening.
Extended hours of performance: Thermos claims the 24-ounce bottle will keep hot drinks warm for 18 hours, and cold drinks cold for 24 hours.
Here’s how I tested the 24-ounce bottle.
Boiling water is 212 degrees. I pre-heated the bottle for 10 minutes with boiling water, then filled it with boiling water. I’m guessing the water was about 200 degrees by the time I got done pouring and messing around and shut the lid.
Then, I put the bottle outside at 6 p.m. on my deck during a blizzard. The outside temperature was 19 degrees, and the bottle was hit with snow, sleet and rain for three hours. At 9 p.m., I tested the water temperature – it checked out at 180 degrees.
The bottle went back outside on the deck for another 12 hours. The storm increased, the temperatures dropped to about 10 degrees overnight and the snow and sleet continued. At 9 a.m., I brought the bottle inside and checked the water temperature. It was 125 degrees.
As a reference, coffee comes out of my coffee pot at 160 degrees. I typically drink mine at about 100 degrees. That means, that after 15 hours of extreme winter storm conditions, I would till have had to cool down the liquid from the Thermos to comfortably drink it!
The bottle came inside and sat for another three hours in 70 degree temperatures. At noon, the water temp was right around 120 degrees.
I’m impressed. After 15 hours of exposure to a blizzard, then three hours on the counter, it took 18 hours total for the water to cool down to where I could almost comfortably drink it.
How does this make the bottle a survival tool? Well, suppose you
get lost in a blizzard while snowshoeing or skiing, and have to hunker down in a tree well shelter. If someone in your party is getting hypothermic, a hot beverage is available.
Or suppose you fill the bottle with a hot drink before leaving work, and get stuck overnight on the highway because of heavy snow?
Or suppose someone starts getting overheated on a desert hike? The cold water, with ice cubes could help cool them off.
In any of these scenarios, a hot or cold drink could save the day.
I think this 24-ounce Thermos is a great product that is very practical. I will be using mine alot.
(And if anyone has a #778 stopper for a classic 1.05 quart Thermos, model 2490, they’re willing to part with, let me know. There is no replacement in sight for my Old Reliable and I’d like it to quit leaking when it falls on the side!).