How can I incorporate the luxury of hot java into my light-hiking routine?
I love to go on light hikes (carrying only a hydration bladder) with my dog. But being a java junkie, I would like to know the best way to have hot coffee at my destination without adding too much weight. I have thought of using a dog pack, but my super-active pointer just wont have it. Christopher Brooklyn, New York
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Now, let me get this straight. You want to go hiking. You want to have a cup of hot coffee at the turnaround point. All very understandable. But if I read your question correctly, you want the dog to carry the coffee equipment! Do I understand this correctly?
Gaz Turbo StoveGaz Turbo Stove
Fortunately, it appears the pointer has the upper hand and has thus far foiled your scheme. So the question becomes: What are YOU going to carry so you have hot coffee? Well, theres always an insulated Thermos-type bottle. The Zojirushi Tuff Slim Vacuum half-liter bottle ($36; rei.com) would do nicely, holding a couple of cups. Total weight, with coffee, would be about two pounds. I believe you can manage that.
The alternative is to make coffee on location. That gets a little more complex but is do-able. I prefer the GSI Lexan Coffee Press ($18; gsioutdoors.com), which weights 6.9 ounces and holds ten ounces of coffee. Its a French-style press and works fabulously wellI wouldnt go on a bike tour without one, and it gets serious consideration even when backpacking. Of course, then you have to heat the water. The Gaz Turbo is light, reliable, and inexpensive ($28; rei.com). MSRs 475ml Stowaway Pot ($16; msrcorp.com) would probably hold the whole thing.
If you can shell out a bit more dough, check out MSRs PocketRocket/Titan Kettle Kit ($80). The kit includes the ultralight PocketRocket canister stove, which fits inside the kettle (also included), which doubles as a mug (but itll be hot). All for only 7.3 ounces. Either way you go, youll have hot java in no time.
The Gear Guy reports from 2007 Winter Outdoor Retailer, the bi-annual gearapalooza in Salt Lake City. Check out his top picks for gear to watch in 2007.