Taking a small sip of whiskey on your adventures is a ritual as old as time. Why wouldn’t you take a sip when topping out on a summit peak?
Nevertheless, is your hip flask ultralight and durable? Does the flask material affect the taste of your favorite tipple when it's kept in there for a while?
With these questions kept in mind, let's begin our exploration following the below list:
1. The History of hip flasks.
2. The best material for a hip flask.
3. Why is titanium such a good material for your hip flask?
4. What to look for in a titanium hip flask?
5. How to best use the titanium hip flask?
6. The best cocktail recipes for your flask while in the backcountry?
7. How to maintain and care for your titanium hip flask.
The History of Hip Flasks
Hip flasks have been widely used among crusaders since the Middle Ages. The current shape first appeared in the 18th Century as a companion of the high societies. Through the Victorian era, the popularity of hip flasks only increased.
In the 20th century, particularly in 1919 with the passage of the Prohibition amendment to the US constitution, sales of liquor were prohibited across the whole country. It was during this time that hip flasks became even more popular.
Through World War I and World War II, a hip flask became a must-have for soldiers. Especially in the German-Soviet War, how could you survive without a tipple in the desperate winter? During the Battle of Moscow, a soldier named Vasily was luckily saved by his hip flask when the bullet struck the flask rather than him!
Nowadays, hip flasks are considered EDC items. Worldwide people carry them to large sporting events, nights out, or on their outdoor adventures.
The best material for a hip flask
Hip flasks through the ages have been made with gold, silver, copper, pewter, stainless steel, glass, plastic, and titanium. During the Victorian era, it was quite common to see a hip flask made of gold, silver, pewter, copper, and sometimes glass. However, they were often for display purposes and not practical use. After all, no one wants to sit on a glass container or carry a gold brick around.
A big advance for hip flasks was when plastic and stainless steel became more readily available. But these two materials both have disadvantages. Stainless steel is a bit heavy and plastic isn’t durable. Both materials also risk flavor impairment with chemicals leaching.
So let's go further into the ideal specification for your hip flask.
So which material weighs the least? Copper is around 559 lbs per cubic feet, stainless steel is 484 lbs, and titanium is 281.3 lbs. Titanium is only around half the weight of copper or stainless steel for the same volume. Titanium truly is ultralight and for a hip flask the perfect material when every gram matters!
When searching online an average 8oz stainless steel hip flask weighs 165g and the best-selling plastic hip flask weighs 131g. SilverAnt’s 8.73 fl oz titanium hip flask weighs only 92g.
“Durability is the ability to withstand wear, pressure, or damage”, source Oxford.
Tensile strength is the maximum stress that a structure can sustain (MPa, short for MegaPascal - A basic unit of pressure or tension measurement in the International System of Weights and Measures). The Mohs scale measures mineral hardness, ranging from 1 to 10. 10 being very hard. A diamond ranks 10 on the Mohs scale.
Titanium's tensile strength is 480 MPa, while copper is 434 MPa and stainless steel is 485MPa. The hardness of titanium on the Mohs scale is 6.0, while copper is 3.5 and stainless steel is 4. So although titanium has a slightly lower tensile strength than stainless steel it is much lighter and has a greater mineral hardness.
From the comparison of weight and durability, titanium is the superior choice. When you hold a titanium hip flask in your hand and take a sip, you know it will accompany you on a lifetime of adventures.
The purpose of a titanium hip flask isn’t to only carry alcohol. You can use them to store vinegar, oil, water, or any other cooking liquids too. When SilverAnt first built our hip flask range we were thinking of premium single malts, little did we know.
When thru-hiking, camping, or backpacking use the titanium hip flask to suit your own needs. With the product's strength, durability, and design it is a versatile tool for your adventures. Whether storing olive oil for cooking or whiskey for toasting the flask won't leak.
Why is titanium such a good material for your hip flask?
Titanium is anti-corrosive
Weak acidic liquids can discolor stainless steel flasks. But titanium is anti-corrosive even with the most acidic liquids inside. The titanium hip flask is protected from corrosion and rust.
With other hip flask materials after a couple of years of use, you might have a metallic taste while sipping your drink. This is never going to happen with a titanium hip flask.
For example, if you were to use a stainless steel flask to store vinegar this would corrode the inner surface of the flask leading to strange tastes and chemicals leaching. This indeed happens to flasks of other materials but never titanium.
Titanium is biocompatible
Biocompatible means "not harmful to living tissue", source Oxford.
Titanium has low electrical conductivity and magnetism. Because of these natural properties as well as corrosion resistance, titanium is considered to be the most biocompatible metal. This is why titanium is used commonly in medicine and dentistry.
But what does this mean for my titanium hip flask?
It means you will never need to worry about chemical leaching issues with a titanium hip flask. On the contrary, over time Stainless Steel leaches Nickel and Chromium, and plastic leaches BPA’s which are all harmful to our bodies. By using titanium you are improving eliminating health concerns and ensuring great-tasting alcohol.
Titanium is hypoallergenic
"Hypoallergenic, meaning "below average" or "slightly" allergenic, is a term meaning that something (usually cosmetics, pets, textiles, food, etc.) causes fewer allergic reactions." Source Wikipedia
What makes titanium completely allergy-friendly is that it's nickel-free. Nickel is the culprit causing the majority of allergic reactions that people suffer.
This is truly great news if you suffer from any allergies. You can choose a hip flask made of titanium without worrying about metal allergy.
Titanium Screw-Top Lid
When buying a titanium hip flask you need to make sure it has an accompanying titanium screw top lid. You want all the health benefits of titanium and to achieve this you need a securely tightening titanium lid.
Leakproof Silicon Seal
With the titanium flask lid, you also want to check it has a silicon food-grade seal. You want a completely leakproof hip flask and silicon seals are perfect for this. Titanium lasts a lifetime but silicon seals will need replacing after a few years. So make sure the company offers replacement seals.
Note: SilverAnt does - just send our customer support a message.
What's worse than losing your hip flask lid? Perhaps not having a titanium hip flask...
The SilverAnt titanium hip flask range all have a lid housing mechanism to make sure you never lose the lid. Whether you are toasting with your climbing partner or just enjoying your favorite bourbon around the campfire. Never misplace your lid again.
Hip flasks nowadays have many more shapes, sizes, and color options. Nevertheless, most of them don't fit well in your pocket or pack. Hunt for flasks with an anatomical curve, which means they will blend in comfortably with the leg or hip without an ugly bulge.
After losing your hip flask lid the second worst thing is spilling your favorite alcohol. This is what a pouring funnel is for. With a titanium pouring funnel, you won't waste a drop. Every SilverAnt hip flask comes with a titanium funnel. Not a plastic or steel one, just high-quality titanium.
How to best use the titanium hip flask?
In this section, we will give you details on how best to care for your titanium hip flask as well as a couple of tasty drinks you can try on your next adventure.
How long can you store liquids in a titanium hip flask?
This is a super common ask by customers and there is no single answer I am afraid. However, there are some factors you definitely want to think about.
From our customers, we have had people store their favorite alcohol inside the titanium hip flask for a month or more. This is absolutely possible and there will be no flavor impairment.
The key thing to think about is the environment.
Direct sunlight will warm the liquid in the flask and this can affect the quality. Also if you live in a humid or temperate climate then it's better to not store liquids in the hip flask for too long. Keeping the flask in a cool place will have a big impact on the quality of the liquid taste inside. If you live in hot or humid climates SilverAnt advises keeping liquids in there for 3-7 days. Water and vinegar will have a shorter time, whereas cooking/olive oil can stay inside the flask for longer.
As an extra precaution check the storage solutions on your bottle of alcohol to best ensure that great taste.
When the titanium hip flask isn’t in your pocket or gear bag it's best to keep it in a cool dry place.
Best Flask Cocktails
When you think of a hip flask you often think of just drinking neat spirits. You know single-malt whiskey, bourbon, or vodka. Nevertheless, you can become a mixologist and add a classic cocktail inside too. What's better than being outdoors and sharing a drink with friends and family?
Each recipe is based on the SilverAnt 8.73 fl oz titanium hip flask.
A classic with your favorite Bourbon
Start with 2oz Bourbon or Rye Whisky
Add 1/4 ounce syrup or brown sugar
Add 3-5 dashes of Angostura bitters
Instead of the orange peel add a little orange juice to your required taste.
This cocktail is perfect for winter backpackers and is sure to make you cozy.
Start with 5 oz rye whiskey
Add 2.5 oz sweet vermouth
Add 5 dashes of Angostura bitters and stir thoroughly
Optional: 2 dashes of pepper bitter
How to clean a titanium hip flask
Cleaning a titanium hip flask after use is extremely important. This ensures that the hip flask has a long life and is especially key with the leakproof silicon seal. Even though titanium has antibacterial properties the silicon seal will still need a good cleaning. This not only means your flask will last longer but also that it is hygienic. After a few years, the silicon seal might need replacing. So when choosing your new titanium hip flask make sure the company offers replacement seals.
There are many ways out there to clean a titanium hip flask. Below are the steps the team at SilverAnt takes to clean their own hip flasks:
1. Rinse the flask out with warm water and assure no leftover liquor remains.
2. Fill it 2/3 with soap and water, shaking for at least 20 seconds with the cap on.
3. Clean the lid thoroughly paying attention to the seal and wiping with a cloth.
4. Rinse the flask thoroughly with warm water to remove all the soap.
5. Dry the outside with a towel and air-dry the inside with the cap off.
Can you put a hip flask in the dishwasher?
NO! Even though a dishwasher won't damage your flask, the high prolonged temperature can affect the silicon seal. This makes your hip flask leak and you don’t want to waste top-shelf liquor. Please just hand wash and dry thoroughly.
There are many flask options out there but a titanium hip flask is absolutely the most durable, and lightweight.
Whether you are using yours to hold your favorite alcoholic tipple or olive oil for camp cooking, a hip flask is a small convenient carry item. With 1000 years of history for this everyday carry item, I am certain of at least another 1000 more.
Thanks for reading, if you liked this article and are considering a titanium hip flask check out our below collection.