As fall approaches, my thoughts drift toward the open space in Tahoe, left by the tourists who are now back in school, at work and less interested in cooler temperatures. This is perfect for me because fall is perhaps my favorite time of year around here. The anticipation of winter is about as good as winter itself! The sun is low, and it sets the golden grass ablaze in the mornings, and makes stained-glass out of aspen trees; the perfect backdrop for a bike ride, an afternoon climb or a morning cup of camp coffee.
There are so many options in our shop for brewing coffee in the backcountry that I can hardly keep track. I had been simply pouring hot water through a handheld filter for years, until I discovered the other gadgets available to me.
If you are a press-loving purist, we have camping coffee press for you! Try the double-walled, GSI Stainless Java Press or the more utilitarian X-Press, which can be put right on your stove to heat your water. The Jetboil Java Kit is a third option, including a removable press screen and shaft with the Jetboil personal cooking system. Your press, fuel canister and stove element all stash inside the cup too!
If you like your coffee without sediment at the bottom of your cup, the GSI Java Drip is an awesome way to go. Available in both 30 ozand 50 oz carafes, it comes with a silicone drip cone and a re-usable cloth filter. Simply pack it all inside the carafe along with your grounds and stuff it into your pack.
Tahoe Mountain Sports also carries the GSI Glacier Percolater, a six-cup percolator (yes percolators are still a legitimate way of brewing coffee). And if you can’t get away from your Euro-roots, check out the GSI Mini Espresso Set, which drips espresso right on top of your stove, directly into the provided sierra cup.
Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you tea lovers either. The backcountry needs your class and taste for finer things! To steep your leaves, we carry the MSR Titan Kettle, which doubles as a titanium pot with a collapsible handle, and the Snow Peak Trek 700 Ti also works great as a kettle because of the pour spout on the lid. The Snow Peak Stackable Titanium Cups will round out your setup. These mugs are reminiscent of Japanese tea cups, and therefore probably the best looking camp mugs in production. They are double walled to keep your tea hot, and a 450 ml and 300 ml will nest perfectly inside the Trek 700, while still allowing room for a bag full of tea.
So, amidst the autumn climbing and backpacking, spend your fall anticipating the coming winter season, and remembering the celebrations of summer. Enjoy the low light, and the long shadows. Make a toast to Ullr, the god of the coming winter, with hot, campfire-brewed libations.
Kevin is Tahoe Mountain Sports‘ hard goods manager. He’s often the first face you see in our Kings Beach shop, and one of the friendly voices on our customer service line. He takes his camp coffee black.