Back off bivvy bags, not every adventure includes sleeping out.
Jog on jackets, a jumper will do in a pinch.
But there's no way my little chaps are heading into the hills without a good and sure supply of hot chocolate!
While the gear to prepare this in the field, or carry it in a flask are important to Daddy, it turns out my greedy little tykes are solely interested in the steaming mug of sweet-scented goodness they hold in their little hands... Fair enough, I guess.
And so the humble hot chocolate mug becomes the first bit of kit to be selected in a new series of "Ultimate Adventure Equipment" gear reviews.
We've been through a few, and started, as I suggest you do, with whatever non-breakable kiddy-cups you have lying around. In our case, a set of plastic, Charlie Brown / Peanuts themed plastic cups.
Conical, stacking, simple. I was happy with these. A bit of heft in the hand, perhaps, but this wasn't a deal breaker. However, it turned out they had a nasty habit of slipping through gloved hands, and no matter how we packed them, they had an uncanny knack of gunking up our bags. And so the search continued...
Next stop, Quartermaster's Stores (Daddy's camping cupboard). We dug around a bit and came up with an in-its-time-rather-swish Snow Peak titanium cup. Tiny, ultralight, dented, but still serviceable, albeit with its non-folding handle bent upward at an unnatural swoop in order to cram it inside a larger cookpot.
Oh ho, thought Daddy, here we go! But no.
Gloves on, it stayed in the hand (despite bodged handle), but half of the audience has probably already guessed what came next - a Yelp! Sensitive lips against hot titanium is simply not a good combo. Queue sharp cry, spat chocolate and a new-found suspicion of inanimate objects that may bear a grudge.
Back to the drawing board, but not for long - a rubber charity wrist band (Ovarian Cancer Research, since you ask) around the top of the cup, and hey presto.
Next outing, field test repeats. Suspicious looks. Wary silence. The once bitten, twice shy child is slowly won over by the lure of the liquid gold... He removes gloves, moves in for the kill... And yup, you've guessed it, drops the thin walled cup, which has now burned his fingers too, and very nearly starts stamping on it in revenge. Hmmm...
An enamel cup came next, and was a major improvement. Chunky, but reliable. Hot on lips, but wrist-band solution was in place. Less hotter-than-the-sun on little fingers. A classic. And not one to be sniffed at. But while fine with one, the weight quickly added up with 4. And they still leaked gunk on the way home.
Having cut weight from sleeping bags in a previous weight-cull, I was now carrying around half a kilo of crockery on every walk...
This called for deep thinking. With the finest analysis and research tools available to humanity (Google), I retreated to the Bat-Cave.
And this, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the answer: possibly the finest Adventure Chocolate Receptacle known to humanity, I present, the WILDO ORIGINAL FOLD-A-CUP!
This beauty, this ergonomically designed, space minimising, no drip, no slip, and (to Henry's great and everlasting relief) no-sting cup weighs a scant 22g on the scales of truth, and costs an even scanter £2.95 from Pedal + Tread.
We rather like it.
It comes in many colours (guess who chose "titanium" grey? ahem) and it turns out to be rather supernaturally brilliant at keeping the leftover hot-chocolate / other residue consistently inside the cup, all the way home. Which, unless you like the lid pocket of your rucksack to turn into a 3-dimensional petri-dish, is not to be sniffed at.
It has strong heritage, with clear design roots in the Scandinavian wood-carved cup, the Kukla, and you can see the influence in the ergonomic shape, and the finger-and-thumb handle.
The finest thing for a tribe of #dadventurers, though, is quite how versatile it is. The kiddies won't turn their little noses up at eating beans out of it, which was an issue with our earlier cups. Curry and rice portions are spot on come evening. And it's the perfect size for Hector's morning bowl of porridge too!
Whats not to like?