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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Look Ma, I'm Self Heating! - Drinks Without External Heat.

Not Much RV Stuff Going On!
    It used to be, when you had no propane nor electric power and you wanted a hot meal or beverage you were out of luck. Well, you could build a fire, but that's not usually feasible or desired inside your RV, or outside, if it's raining. Believe it or not, there is a solution. I found self-heating beverages and meals! No kidding, they really work. Taste, on the other hand... well you'll have to try them and be the judge. They aren't all that inexpensive. Usually a dozen cans cost around $40.00, so figure around $3.00 a can. Not bad once in a while or in an emergency, but too expensive for regular use.

One Brand Of Beverages

First I found self heating beverages, these are 7.1 ounce cup/cans. Let me explain. Wrapped in a nice foam label is a metal can with a pull tab on one end and a plastic housing on the other. The plastic end has a foil cover. The way it works is relatively simple. First you give the beverage a shake. Then flip it over so the plastic side is "up." next you pull off the foil and press down on the plastic "button" underneath. Flip the can back over and set it down on a handy horizontal surface. I gave it a couple of extra shakes to get things going. Probably doesn't need it... but who knows! Now wait about 8 Minutes. After that, pull open the can "pop-top" just like the ones on a can of soda. There you go, instant hot beverage! It's pretty cool, and surprises everyone who sees it.

See What's Inside
The beverages come in a few different flavors. I've found Coffee with milk and sugar, Hot Cocoa, Chicken soup and Tomato soup. The Coffee (probably the most important test!) was OK. Not great, but would do in a pinch. the Hot Cocoa... ummm... was "different." It sort of tasted like a traditional hot chocolate, but had some weird chemical taste. Not a favorite. The Chicken soup was simply awful. I am a bit spoiled, my Mom will make home-made Chicken soup once in a while when I go over to her house, so comparing it to that isn't really fair. The Tomato soup tasted like, well... tomato soup! It would have gone well with a grilled cheese... hmmm... maybe someone makes a self heating grilled cheese??



How does this work? It's really simple chemistry. The plastic side of the housing contains water. Just above that is Calcium oxide also known as quicklime in solid form. When mixed, you get an exothermic reaction. That's just a fancy way of saying it heats up. There are other chemicals that can be used, but this seems to be the most common. Pretty cool use of basic science!

Speaking about meals. There are a couple of varieties of self heating meals on the market. In a later article I'll try a few and let you know the results! I may not be the best judge of flavor. After all, I like airline meals and MRE's! (Meals, Ready to Eat... courtesy of the US Military).

Be Seeing You...Down the Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"
www.thewanderman.com

12 comments:

  1. $3 for canned hot cocoa or tomato soup? I'll pass. Interesting gimmick but I don't think this is going to 'catch on'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tommy,
      While I agree it's a bit pricey. There are times when having a hot beverage handy (emergencies, etc.) would justify the cost. Besides...when people see them work, they are in a serious "gee-whiz!" moment. What's that worth???

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
    2. As mentioned, a hot drink or meal in areas where firewood may be wet or non-existent, could well be worth a bit higher cost, considering you wouldn't need another heating container, as well. Something like this could be a GREAT item when you have major power outages, such as has happened in the north and east areas this winter!

      Delete
    3. mogul,
      Being in the Northeast myself....I couldn't agree more!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  2. Where would a person find such a thing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,
      Search online for self-heating beverages. There are various companies that sell them. Singly or in Dozens
      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  3. WOLFGANG PUCK made coffee in a self-heating container years ago and I loved the taste ! Then they disappeared off the grocery shelves. I miss them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,
      Wow...celebrity chef self heating drinks! I guess at some point SOMEONE else thought it was cool!

      Maybe the ones I found are made by the same company??

      Worth a try.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  4. Self heating cans are not a 'new' thing and have been around for some years now.. Wolfgang puck's coffees were actually decent and when you're at a dog show where the vendor wants $5.00 for a so so coffee that $3.00 can was well worth it :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. BlackFyre,
    When you look at it that way...seems like a true bargain!

    Rich "The Wanderman"

    ReplyDelete
  6. When I was overseas in the 60's e could by cans of stuff like beans and weenie with a small can attached to the bottom you opened the can of food tore a tab off the heater can lit it up in a few minutes you food was hot

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,
      Stay tuned...I am working on an article about self heating foods and meals!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete

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