A Simple, Ubiquitous Solution to Keeping Hot Drinks Hot

By , December 23, 2013

Michelle has an idea for repurposing an item that is guaranteed to be found in every single home in the U.S., if not the world.

Michelle often carries hot tea in a to-go mug across the ridge to work. Generally, she stows it in the outside webbing of her pack, where it’s ready at hand after scraping snow or ice off the car. On colder winter days, low temperatures overwhelm her mug’s excellent thermal properties, and her tea cools before she can drink it. Lately, she’s found a simple solution to this problem: single socks.

Michelle's single sock cozy poses with a Christmas season breakfast (Photo: Michelle L. Zeiger).

Michelle’s single sock cozy poses with a Christmas season breakfast (Photo: Michelle L. Zeiger).

Man has long struggled with the baffling question of what happens to socks in the laundry—how and why do we lose one sock from pairs? Toward the end of the last century, Mr. Science finally solved the riddle for us: “Demons take them.”

We are not immune to those demons here on the “homestead,” nor are we able to wear our socks evenly, so that both socks in an undarnable pair give out at the same time. We thus have our fair share of single socks around the place.

Michelle has started using the nicer woolen singles as a mug cozy. She’s never had to drink less-than-hot tea since.

Incidentally, we use Contigo™ to-go mugs. We got them from Costco years ago, because they were inexpensive, and featured stainless steel inside, rather than plastic. A few years ago I found a Consumer Reports article that rated to-go mugs. Contigos™ rated best by far, including passing the group’s stress test, which involved running over the mugs with an SUV, then checking for leaks!

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