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Nerd out on camping mugs - Mountain Mornings

Nerd out on camping mugs

A behind-the-scenes look and Q&A about Mountain Mornings camping mugs.

Don’t you just love spring? I certainly do. The days are getting longer. The weather is finally starting to warm up, and our family, along with many others who live here in the Pacific Northwest, are starting to make plans for the upcoming camping season!

If you asked my kids about what they love most about camping, they would probably tell you that it’s roasting marshmallows over the campfire. But if you asked me, I’d say that my favourite part of camping is being able to enjoy my morning coffee while listening to the sound of the rustling trees and singing birds.

No matter where I am, my morning coffee ritual is a top priority. And whenever my family goes camping, I make sure to pack three important essentials: coffee beans, an aeropress coffee maker, and my favourite mug for the occasion—my Mountain Mornings enamel camping mug.

As we can all see, Mountain Mornings camping mugs look beautiful with their nature inspired images. And customers who use the mugs also know that they are ideal for outdoor activities such as camping or picnics because they are lightweight, scratch-proof and shatter-proof.

But what are some things we might NOT know about Mountain Mornings camping mugs?

Today let’s learn all about Mountain Mornings camping mugs! First we’ll check out a show-and-tell from the Mountain Mornings studio about the sublimation printing process. Then we’ll enjoy a little Camping Mug Q&A with Founder and Artist, Petra Bachron.
A hand holding an enamel mug with an illustrated whale on it in front of campfire

Mug printing show-and-tell

What is sublimation printing?

Sublimation printing involves using dye, heat and pressure to transfer an image onto a blank product. The cool thing about this process is that the dye particles go directly from solid to gas, bypassing the liquid state.
After the gas dye particles fuse into the blank product, the particles cool down and become solid again. The end result is that the transferred image becomes a permanent part of the product’s surface; therefore, it won’t scratch off.
To understand how mug printing works, take a look inside Petra’s studio to see her step-by-step process of transferring her original Pacific Northwest inspired illustrations onto enamel camping mugs.
Step 1: Preparing the transfer paper
Sublimation printer printing an illustrations of whale for mug sublimation.jpg

First, Petra prints her illustrations onto transfer paper using a special sublimation printer and sublimation dye.
Step 2: Getting the mug ready

A white camping mug during the sublimation process
After cleaning the blank mugs that are specifically manufactured for sublimation printing, Petra secures her paper images in place using thermal tape that won’t melt during the heating process.
Step 3: Transferring the images onto the mugs

Camping mug inside a heat press machine
With the transfer paper attached to the mug, Petra places it in a mug press. Once the timer on the press is set, the machine applies heat and pressure to turn the solid dye into gas that will fuse to the surface of the mug.
Step 4: Remove the paper and unveiling the image

This is the moment of truth. The dye particles revert back from gas to solid, Petra removes the transfer paper to reveal the freshly fused image. Look at how clearly the image shows up!

Camping Mugs Q&A with Petra Bachron

Ok, now that we’ve seen how the mug printing process works, it’s time to dive even deeper on the topic of camping mugs. Since taking on the sublimation printing process in-house in 2022, Petra has printed over 1500 mugs on her own so far!
Let’s learn more about Mountain Mornings camping mugs in this Q&A with Petra Bachron.
A woman holding an enamel cup with illustrated camera on it in front of her


Why did you choose to offer sublimation printed mugs?

Petra: When I first introduced camping mugs for sale several years ago, I actually drew the images onto each mug by hand. Although hand-drawing my mugs made them ultra one-of-a-kind, the downside of that method was that, in addition to being obviously very time-consuming, the images were not as durable for outdoor use. The hand-drawn mugs had to be washed by hand and could scratch off if accidentally scraped with something rough or dropped on the ground.
Since many of my customers (like myself) love to spend time in nature, I wanted to offer my customers mugs that were easy to care for and more suitable for the outdoors.
That’s why I chose sublimation printing. When you touch the surface of one of my sublimation printed mugs, you will notice that the surface is nice and smooth (unlike other printing processes that result in raised surfaces where the images appear). 
In the sublimation printing process my illustrations end becoming part of the mug’s surface and are scratch-proof and dishwasher safe.

Why did you decide to sublimate your camping mugs in-house versus out-source the printing?

Petra: In the early stages, my sublimated mugs were printed by an outside supplier, but it was hard to control the processing time, and the added cost of out-sourcing the printing prevented me from being able to sell my mugs at wholesale prices.
Sublimating all of my mugs in-house, has allowed me to keep my production cost low enough to offer a wholesale option to vendors in Canada and the United States.
And for all of my customers, sublimation printing in-house has helped me to maintain a better customer experience because I have more control over the quality and turnaround time on orders. Processing times are much quicker and I can easily catch any problems that arise in my printing process, and troubleshoot them on the spot inside my studio.

Describe your experience with sublimation printing? Was it easy to get started?

Petra: When I first decided to start sublimating my mugs in-house, I was excited and expected the process to be super fast. But I was wrong and quickly learned that as with any new craft, it takes time and patience to learn the new technique and get used to the  new equipment.
After a bit of a rocky start, trying to get the temperature and time just right on my mug press, I finally got the hang of it. Things are definitely much more efficient for me nowadays!


What do you do with imperfect mugs?

Petra: I inspect every mug that I print to make sure they meet my quality standards before shipping them out or selling them at craft markets.

If I do notice that a mug isn’t entirely perfect, but is still usable, I either offer them at half-price at my in-person craft markets (and explain that they are imperfect), or donate them to local charitable thrift stores so that they don’t go to waste.


What exactly are “enamel” camping mugs? What are they made of?

Petra: My camping mugs are made of a steel base and coated with a porcelain layer which makes up the “enamel”. Just like the enamel on your teeth, the enamel layer on the camping mug is very durable!
Mountain Mornings enamel mugs are sourced overseas from a TÜV Rheinland certified supplier. TÜV Rheinland is a globally recognized certificate that recognizes an organization’s compliance with international product safety standards, as well as fair and safe treatment of workers.

Which Mountain Mornings camping mug design is the most popular?

Petra: The mug with the Bear and Mountains illustration is my best-selling mug. It is also my personal favourite. When I go camping up in the mountains with my husband and my friends, I always look forward to enjoying that first cup of coffee in the morning—out in the fresh air, surrounded by nature.
Two camping mugs with bear and mountain design with a white background

What do you have lined up for the future of your camping mugs?

Petra: Great question! New designs are coming for the spring/summer season.
I will also be offering customization options as well so that customers can personalize their mug orders by adding text such as names or their favourite quotes to their mug orders.
If customers are shopping for Mothers or Fathers Day gifts, or party favours for the coming wedding season, now’s the time to chat with me!
I hope you enjoyed nerding out about mugs with me today!
Before you get on with your day, I’ll leave you with a few quick facts, gifting ideas, and customer reviews about Mountain Mornings camping mugs.

Camping Mug Quick Facts

  • Lightweight
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Steel base coated with enamel
  • Scratch-proof image
  • Shatter-proof steel
  • 100% Recyclable
  • Designed and sublimated in Canada 
  • Ideal for outdoor activities—camping, picnics and berry picking
  • Can use directly on a camp stove—boil water or heat up soup
Please note: Handles could get hot when used over a heat source. Remove the vinyl decorative sticker from under the mug first before using it over a heat source.
  • Great for kids—small enough for little hands, lightweight yet sturdy to prevent spills, and won’t shatter if dropped
White enamel mug with white background and information about the mug

Gifting ideas

Buying for a friend, family member, co-worker or teacher? Or planning to buy large quantities as party favours?
Here are a few ideas on what you can put inside Mountain Mornings camping mugs to make the gift-giving experience extra special for your recipient.
What to put inside when gifting:
  • Hot chocolate
  • Coffee beans
  • Tea bags
  • Candies / Espresso beans
  • Cute little hand-picked flowers
  • Mountain Mornings bookmarks

Customer Reviews 

These mugs are gorgeous! I purchased two for gifts and I will be purchasing some more for myself because I love them so much! Thank you! - Breanne, Etsy
Perfect for hiking/camping. -Jennifer, Etsy
The mug is a perfect small cup for the early mornings. The design is clear and shows well on the mug. -Tasmyn, Etsy
Not only are Petra's designs gorgeous (and enviro friendly!), she was so lovely to communicate with and accommodated my personalization request beautifully. The mug is of excellent quality and the person I gifted it to loved it, I wouldn't hesitate to buy more from her again!    -Lottie, Etsy
I LOOOVE this mug! The art is exactly what I was looking for and looks perfect in person. Highly recommend it! -Caroline, Etsy
A dog inserting his nose into a white camping mug with dog paw design on it
Choose your favourite camping mug today!
Are you a gift shop retailer looking for eye-catching outdoor themed items to serve your local and tourism customers?
A group of white camping mugs upside down with a Mountain Mornings stickers on them


Tania Reistma
Tania Reitsma, Contributor
Tania Reitsma is a freelance content and copywriter from the lovely Steveston Village of Richmond, BC, Canada. She’s a genuine fan of Mountain Mornings, and loves to support artists and business owners in her local community. sellablewords@gmail.com, website
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