Snow Peak Handle Grip Mod – Update

Handles of My Snow Peak 600 Ti Mug

Several people have asked me how well the tool-dip modification that I made to the handles of my favorite Snow Peak 600 has stood the test of time, well the answer is not so well.

It worked great for the first few months of normal use, providing a non-slip protective barrier for my fingers from the heat of the metal handles, but it all went pair-shaped in a flash. The very first time that flames from my stove – I was using a wood burning stove at the time – licked directly at the tool-dip coating on the handles, they lit up like fuses and burned rapidly until all of the material was gone leaving nothing but a black powdery residue – poof!

So, I’ve been using my SP600 ever since without any special coating on the handles and just my skeletonized pot gripper to pick it up when necessary (I know I could remove the handles if I’m not using them). However, with the receipt of several packets of heat shrink tubing for Christmas stocking stuffers, I’m kinda excited about trying a new method to apply a coating/covering to the handles.

Heat Shrink Tubing for Handles
Apply heat shrink tubing to the handles of a mug like my SP600 is relatively easy, in fact the hardest part is pulling the handles off of the mug in the first place. It just takes a little bit of effort to pull the handles wider and they’ll pop right out of the slots holding them to the body of the mug.

Heat Shrink Tubing Before Being Heated

I used pretty long lengths of tubing for my handles so that the majority of the portion I would normally hold would be covered, thereby affording my delicate fingers protection from the heat. In the photo above you can see that I have added heat shrink to one of the bare handles and not the other.

I made sure that I took the time to align both of the sections of heat shrink on the handles so that they would be in the same place. There’s nothing more frustrating to an UL OCD backpacker than uneven placement of heat shrink on your cooking vessel – trust me!

Heath Shrink Tubing Handle Grips

After giving the heat shrink a quick flash of heat from my Bic Mini so that they wouldn’t move on the handles, I then reattached them to the mug and gave them a squeeze to make sure they were back in place. Next I used my wife’s hair dryer to slowly blast the heat shrink with hot air to maximize the shrinkage. I’ve found that a slow steady supply of hot air is preferable to using an open flame.

The final results are pretty good, but time will tell how it holds up to use with my various types of stoves. I’m hoping it doesn’t go the way of my tool-dip method and flare up on me the second a flame touches it. By the way, I toyed with the idea of using bright orange or yellow heat shrink for this, but didn’t like the way it looked and figured it would get dirty and grimy pretty quickly. Black is more functional.

Heath Shrink Tubing Handle Grips

Other Uses For Heat Shrink
As is normal with most of my “little projects” I started going over-board with my use of heat shrink tubing – hard to believe right? Here is another really nifty use of heat shrink tubing in a quasi-backpacking application. You can use small lengths of heat shrink tubing to secure the ends of cordage like 550 paracord and stop it fraying.

Heat Shrink Tubing Cord Ends

The cord shown above is actually called SERE Cord and is made exclusively by OscarDelta SPD (UK) using hybrid kevlar inner strands to create a unique cord with an untested tensile strength of 1,505lbs! It’s taken over a year of research and design to develop this cord for SERE (Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape). A review on this amazing cord will be coming soon..

You should also take a look at Stick’s Blog to see how he is using heat shrink tubing to add some high-viz coloration to his titanium tent stakes. What other uses are there for this amazing stuff? If you have any ideas or suggestions please share them below.

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  • Another great post! After your last post I started searching for the Heat Shrink Tubing and saw others using it on the cord too. It looked like a pretty interesting idea, especially when replacing zipper pulls or what not. I also thought about doing the handles on my Backcountry Ti 700 ml cook pot, except I did remove them a while back and have now really grown to love it without the handles. I did keep hang on to them though, and maybe once winter is done and I am not carrying gloves with me I can apply some of the Heat Shrink and reattach the handles. I will be interested to hear how they work out in this application.

    • Thanks Stick. I’ll be firing up my stove this weekend for a day hike I have planned with my kids, so I’ll hopefully find out very soon how well the new handles hold up to the heat.

      • Thanks Don, I think I saw that one a long time ago but it never stuck in my mind for some reason. Good to see my hiking buddy Ben2World on that thread, he’s all over BPL :)

    • Joe Meyers

      Hi Chad, What I want to know is, how to remove the handles from the snow peak titanium pots. I think I might want to use a thin wire bail instead. I want to try to just muscle if off, but I don’t want to wreck the integrity of the pot. Also by the way, how would you go about drilling a tiny hole in the pot for the wire bail? Any help would be much appreciated.

      • Joe, I just pulled up on the top, slow and easy until the hook popped out. Once that was done, the bottom slipped out. IIRC, the handle did have a slight bend in it after the fact, but it was still easy to reattach them without any issues.

        As for adding a bail, I would just grab a small drill bit on a Dremel or something another, and go slow. Do your best to make sure the holes are exactly lined up with each other, otherwise the pot will not stay level when lifting it by the bail.

        Hope this helps, and good luck!

        ~Stick~

        • Joe Meyers

          Thanks for the tip, Stick! I don’t know why I didn’t think to pull the handles out the top and bottom. I was thinking you’d gotten the welds from the plate to come loose, just making it a smooth pot all the way around. Good thinking to warn me about the levelness of the holes. Another great idea! Cheers!

  • Another great post! After your last post I started searching for the Heat Shrink Tubing and saw others using it on the cord too. It looked like a pretty interesting idea, especially when replacing zipper pulls or what not. I also thought about doing the handles on my Backcountry Ti 700 ml cook pot, except I did remove them a while back and have now really grown to love it without the handles. I did keep hang on to them though, and maybe once winter is done and I am not carrying gloves with me I can apply some of the Heat Shrink and reattach the handles. I will be interested to hear how they work out in this application.

  • Don Meredith

    Brian, here’s another good way to insulate the handles on your SP600 or similar mug (silicone tubing on the handles):

    http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=14696

    Don Meredith
    lightpack.blogspot.com

  • Don Meredith

    Brian, here’s another good way to insulate the handles on your SP600 or similar mug (silicone tubing on the handles):

    http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=14696

    Don Meredith
    http://lightpack.blogspot.com

  • Thanks Stick. I’ll be firing up my stove this weekend for a day hike I have planned with my kids, so I’ll hopefully find out very soon how well the new handles hold up to the heat.

  • Thanks Don, I think I saw that one a long time ago but it never stuck in my mind for some reason. Good to see my hiking buddy Ben2World on that thread, he’s all over BPL :)

  • AbleMob

    I’ll second the method that Don refers to. I found green silicone airline tubing (used to connect air pumps for aeration) at the pet shop.  Good fit and adds grip.  Silicone is VERY heat resistant.

    • Green sounds cool. I’ll be testing the heat shrink for heat resistance this weekend. I’ve ready several posts about silicone tubing melting, if I recall Jason Klass tried this and it failed for him.

      I’ll check it out for sure if my heat shrink tubing goes up in flames! Thanks for the tip.

  • AbleMob

    I’ll second the method that Don refers to. I found green silicone airline tubing (used to connect air pumps for aeration) at the pet shop.  Good fit and adds grip.  Silicone is VERY heat resistant.

  • Green sounds cool. I’ll be testing the heat shrink for heat resistance this weekend. I’ve ready several posts about silicone tubing melting, if I recall Jason Klass tried this and it failed for him.

    I’ll check it out for sure if my heat shrink tubing goes up in flames! Thanks for the tip.

  • Stormcrowgroup

    Awesome idea! I mentioned this in my review of Snow Peak’s titanium french press. I may end up doing it for it as well. Thanks for posting!

    • No problem, let me know how it goes if you decide to do it. Titanium Frech Press eh? Sounds very fancy :)

  • Stormcrowgroup

    Awesome idea! I mentioned this in my review of Snow Peak’s titanium french press. I may end up doing it for it as well. Thanks for posting!

    http://wp.me/p254fw-v

  • No problem, let me know how it goes if you decide to do it. Titanium Frech Press eh? Sounds very fancy :)

  • stormcrowgroup

    Indeed it is, who doesn’t appreciate a little gourmet coffee in the back country? It served as my primary coffee maker for awhile as a poor college student too. :)

    • As a student? That’s cool, so it’s been well worth the initial investment!

  • stormcrowgroup

    Indeed it is, who doesn’t appreciate a little gourmet coffee in the back country? It served as my primary coffee maker for awhile as a poor college student too. :)

  • As a student? That’s cool, so it’s been well worth the initial investment!

  • JJ_Mathes

    Brian- have you tried Surgu for handle insulation? 

    • HOI

       or possibly Oogoo if you want to make your own- see http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-Your-Own-Sugru-Substitute/ comments appear to indicate good for high temp apps

      • HOI, I just looked at this instructable and it’s amazing. I doubt I’ll be making any myself as I have quite a lot of original Sugru still to use (it has a finite shel-life by the way, but it is great to see how inventive folks are.

        If anyone does try making this, please let us know how it turns out!

    • I most certainly have. The material itself is amazing and seems to work well for this application – BUT in order to get it to evenly cover the handles all the way around I had to use quite a lot of Sugru, which added a lot of weight to a titanium mug :(

      If you have time to play with rolling it very thin and wrapping the handles in a more careful way I’m sure this could be a great solution. I know what you’re going to be doing next…

      • JJ_Mathes

        hahahaha…I have Surgu on the brain, holding off on ordering for a little while

  • JJ_Mathes

    Brian- have you tried Surgu for handle insulation? 

  • HOI

     or possibly Oogoo if you want to make your own- see http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-Your-Own-Sugru-Substitute/ comments appear to indicate good for high temp apps

  • HOI, I just looked at this instructable and it’s amazing. I doubt I’ll be making any myself as I have quite a lot of original Sugru still to use (it has a finite shel-life by the way, but it is great to see how inventive folks are.

    If anyone does try making this, please let us know how it turns out!

  • I most certainly have. The material itself is amazing and seems to work well for this application – BUT in order to get it to evenly cover the handles all the way around I had to use quite a lot of Sugru, which added a lot of weight to a titanium mug :(

    If you have time to play with rolling it very thin and wrapping the handles in a more careful way I’m sure this could be a great solution. I know what you’re going to be doing next…

  • JJ_Mathes

    hahahaha…I have Surgu on the brain, holding off on ordering for a little while

  • I like snow peak products. Handle Grip Mode is very useful…

  • With a user name like Snow Peak I’d expect you to either be a huge fan or working for them :) Glad you found the mod useful and thanks for taking the time to say so. I appreciate that.

  • With a user name like Snow Peak I’d expect you to either be a huge fan or working for them :) Glad you found the mod useful and thanks for taking the time to say so. I appreciate that.

  • I like snow peak products. Handle Grip Mod is very useful……

  • This idea seems to be very useful and convenient! Thanks a lot for sharing this post, Thanks for sharing, Hope you would share further detail about it.

  • Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your website is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you have on this blog. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles.

  • The TinMan

    Try ‘silicone’ 1/4 water tubing, available from Home Depot by the foot. remove wire handles, cut tubing to length with scissors. drop a few drops of liquid dish soap inside the tubing as a lubricant. Then slide tubing over the wire handles. re-attach the wire bales to the mug…. Voila’…., heat resistant silicone handles…..

  • Joe Meyers

    Hi Brian, Really cool idea! Thanks for sharing – I could see that coming in handy. What I want to know is, how to remove the handles from the snow peak titanium pots. I think I might want to use a thin wire bail instead. I want to try to just muscle if off, but I don’t want to wreck the integrity of the pot. Also by the way, how would you go about drilling a tiny hole in the pot for the wire bail? Any help would be much appreciated.