gear: mason jars


About 10 years ago (married and living in the suburbs) I got tired of washing difficult glasses. I decided to standardize on one type of drinking glass that was:

  • tough

  • easy to clean / can fit hand inside

  • dishwasher safe

  • stacked well in the cabinet

I settled on the 16oz bar pint glass. I picked up several from thrift stores for cheeeep. This worked out very well, no regrets.


A couple years ago when I started thinking about vandwelling I reconsidered my drinking glass standard. There would be

no dishwasher, very little room, and might exist in a non-level setting where narrow-bottomed pint glasses might easily spill.

I test drove several candidates including pint mason jars I already had on hand for pressure canning and for sprouting. I noticed several advantages right away:

  • can be used for both hot and cold stuff – accepts boiling water without complaint

  • can be closed with a lid

  • can be used for canning, their original purpose

  • can be used for leftover storage in the fridge or dry storage on the shelf

  • widely available at thrift stores

There were also some disadvantages to the standard mason jar:

  • can’t get hand in the jar for cleaning

  • the neck makes removal of frozen, congealed, or bushy sprouts difficult

So I standardized on the wide mouth mason jar.

I carry 3 pint jars and 2 quart jars. The pints are my go-to. Quarts are used for food storage (like quarts of menudo from Vlentine’s Bakey!) and for making cold-brewed coffee in the fridge. The quarts just fit in the microFridge but do not fit in the pressure cooker.

The remaining challenge is how to hold a pint of hot coffee. Right now I let it cool a few mins then pick it up by the threads. Maybe there is such a thing as a pint jar coozie. I might have to make one.

{edit:  they do exist)