The design of the military mess kit was influenced by 2 factors. First, it was meant to serve men and women waiting in a food line. Second, it was never designed for hunting and foraging for food and then cooking, although, certainly that can be done. But even in the field of combat it was designed for mainly reheating and serving rations. 

The mess kit is perfect for campers,hunters,boy scouts,preppers,survivalist, as well as the military because of its size and versatility. One side of the 2 piece kit has the handle which also serves to lock the other side down. This handle side swings open to help form a skillet of sorts so that you can warm or heat food on a fire and keep your hand away from the heat. The other side is divided in 2 sections to help separate side dishes. 

One of the best parts about a real military issue messkits is how easy they are to clean. The side dish tray has a ring that can be slid over the handle on the skillet side and the whole kit can be dunked into a pot of boiling water for sterilization. This is very efficient for large groups of people to clean their food trays quickly.  after wiping clean of big food particles, each man could walk by the giant pot of boiling water to dip and sterilize. Most of the later issue kits after 1942 are made from stainless steel, rather than galvanized, or aluminum like the early predecessors. The canteen cup along with the three piece chowset is a  perfect complement to the messkit, as it can be used to boil water for coffee or cocoa.

Omahas has all three types of the US mess kits for sale on our website. They include m-1926,m-1936, and m-1942 style kits.

Most of the ones we have available are used, but we also have the later 1990's dated kits new in the box.old mess kits mountain cook set