This isn't intended to outdo those titanium wonders out there, but it is a far cry better than some of the kits they want to try and sell you at your local China-mart. If you are willing to raid your recycling bin and invest just a little time in collecting things around your house, you too can have a very respectable mess kit as the reward.
Step 1: Empty, Clean, Cut
Start with a large can of your favorite food, preferably 20 oz to 30 oz in size. The 20 oz most know is the classic Bush’s Baked Beans. I prefer the 30 oz can often used for bean and canned fruit. For my kit I use both.
When opening the cans, cut the cans on the side. Most modern openers do this normally, but if you have a “classic” opener, turn it 90 degrees and twist on top of the can. Cutting on the side will create a lid for your pots, if you want the option.
Empty the contents of the cans, preferably in a manner that makes your stomach happy.
Then remove the labels and wash the cans out.
Once the cans are clean, use a nail or a good tool knife to make small holes close to the top of each can, on opposite sides of each other. Take a piece of coat hanger or other wire and cut to fit handles for each can.
At this point you have a Billy Can, the tried and true basics of any mess kit. If you make both types you have 2 cans that can nest together. Now at first, one may wonder why 2? But if you think of meal time you can have two pots of water going, one for dinner like soup or noodles, and a second for your drink, like cocoa or coffee.