Nothing is more essential for true adventure than strong coffee. (God bless all of those who have given up caffeine and who still show up for the tripor worse yet, how about those tea swillers? We'll never understand you, but we try to love you just the way you arestill, until we've had our morning fix, WE HATE YOU!)
There are many nifty solutions for brewing a good cup in the backcountry, but it must be admitted that the technology generally tends to be overbuilt and clunky. But you won't find a more minimalist and elegant solution to the morning-jolt problem than Reg Lake's plain-jane Sunrise Moonrise Brewmug. Weighing in at seven ounces it's light, I can personally certify it's idiot-proof, and it works.
Operating on the tuck-everything-inside principle of a nested Russian doll, the Brew Mug is basically a big ol' plastic 16-ounce insulated mug with a snap-on top and base. Tucked inside the cup is a small plastic canister for storing ground coffee. Tucked up inside the bottom is the brains of the Brewmug, an ultralight filter tube outfitted with a permanent cloth filter and a transparent "view port" and steam vent. The Brewmug is a stable, lucid, and cleanly engineered java-delivery system.
The final bonus is the pinch of legend that surrounds the Brewmug, thanks to its designer. Reg Lake is one of the pioneers of North American whitewater kayaking, and he owned the first true whitewater specialty store in Northern California when the sport was in its infancy. A well-known and charmingly witty teacher and guide with innumerable first descents to his credit, the Washington State-based explorer is a familiar presence at Otter Bar Kayak Lodge & School, the wilds of Chile, and the waters of Puget Sound. $15; www.brewmug.com