The Preston Mess Kit
The Preston Mess Kit is a vintage WWI mess kit, the same kit mentioned by Horace Kephart, and a perfect piece of gear for your classic camping gear.
I have always enjoyed reading the book “Woodcraft and Camping” by Horace Kephart. To me, the book never gets old and each and every time I read it I find a new piece of information that I find interesting. That interest normally leads me on a search for more information and sometimes on a hunt for the actual item that Kephart was talking about.
The History Behind The Preston Mess Kit
For a long time I have been looking for the mess kit that Kephart describes as “ a light weight cooking kit option for the woodsman” Finally, last year I came across the kit and purchased it to add to my classic camping kit. The Preston mess kit was original designed in 1895 by Guy II. Preston, hence the name, and retailed by Abercombie and Fitch.
Preston Mess Kit Details
It consists of a steel canteen, two aluminum fry-pans, an aluminum cup (that nests the canteen) and a fork. Some research shows that the kits also came with a knife and spoon, unfortunately this one did not. The two fry pans can also lock together to create a baking vessel or can be fit over the sides of the canteen for storage.
The canteen has a removable felt lined jacket to keep water cool or warm while holding the entire kit in one convenient package. The kit itself measures 9 1/2 x 6 x 4 and weights approximately 2.5lbs. This specific kit is the version with the half water bottle. This was done specifically to allow room in the cup to store food. In 1895-1900 this kit sold for $6.00.