Dutch army mess tins

The Dutch army mess tins are almost identical (just a little smaller) as the British army mess tins. It is a two-piece set of a smaller pan nesting in a bigger pan. Both pans have a fold out handle. The design dates back to the days of the 2nd world war. Armies around the world are still using this style of mess tins. Modern outdoor equipment suppliers as Highlander, Bo-Camp and BCB are still producing this design for the civilian market. That says something about the quality and practical usage of this type of mess tins.

Dutch army mess tins 04

The big advantage of these mess tins are the long and relatively thin handles. This assures that heat can not build up in the handles. The heat is easily transferred into the air. Same principle as cooling ribs on a combustion engine. The result is that you can take the mess tin from your heat source without burning your hands or using a glove.

Other advantages are that they are super strong. You can use them to dig a hole in the ground if you forgot to bring your field spade. They can serve as a frying pan, cooking pot for MRE’s, and can serve as a plate to eat your meal from.

The official NSN number for the set of two pans is 7350-17-108-3075. On the packaging when first issued there is the marking RVS. This stands for Roest Vrij Staal; Dutch for Stainless Steel. In earlier days the mess tins where made from aluminium.

The difference between the aluminium and the Stainless steel variants are: The stainless steel ones have a bended finishing on the upper edges. Most likely this is done to give it extra strength since the plate material is much thinner than that of the aluminium pans. The Stainless steel ones have the handles attached to the pan through spot welding. The Aluminium ones have the handles attached by using rivets. The Aluminium pans are lighter but more vulnerable for deep scratching.

Dutch army mess tins 05c

Both the Aluminium and the Stainless steel versions have the same dimensions:
Small Pan = 16,5 x 12,5 x 5,5cm
Big Pan = 18,5 x 13 x 6,5cm

That you can easily touch the pot handles with your bare hands is shown in the video below. The guy who prepares a meal can touch it even when it is on a full flame and filled with boiling water.

Cleaning of these mess tins can be done quick and dirty; just use water, sand, mud and a piece of cloth to scrape our all food residues from the inside and the soot build up from the outside. A more advanced method is by applying Bar Keepers Friend (main ingredient Oxalic Acid) followed with vinegar.

A nice addition to this mess tins would be a cover lid so you can retain more heat inside the pan. They were never issued or commercially available. So you have to make one by yourself. On YouTube you can find several instruction movies about how to construct a cover lid. Also on Ebay these home made cover lids are sold.

Comparable designs:
The German company Esbit sells a mess tin with a cover and a pot stand. The item number of this set is CS1100HA. YouTube channel TheOutdoorGearReview made a extensive review about this kit.

Esbit cookset CS1100HA (messtin)

More info:

Available at:
www.militarybasics.de (German website)

And our very own webshop

Published by dreweszuur


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