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Fuel Up: Caffeinated Camp-Out

Can’t abide the great outdoors without a decent cup of coffee? We have a few idea.

Do you think twice about making that overnight camp-out if it means no fresh brew? You have plenty of company. Just ask Mike Glavin. “Guys want to experience the outdoors,” says Glavin, a former Boy Scout and the director of marketing for GSI, an international supplier of outdoor cooking equipment based in Spokane, Wash. “But they refuse to give up their coffee.” Those who don’t mind expending a bit of extra effort to get rich flavor can find plenty of ways to produce the perfect jolt of java. So here’s our select list of some modern-day products that will keep Scouts and Scouters up and at ’em from morning till night.

Fast-track your brew with Starbucks’ new Via instant coffee. These little packs are perfect for backpacks. To make, just add hot water. It won’t replace freshly made coffee, but it’ll certainly do in a pinch. We liked the Colombian more than the Italian Roast. Find Via at Starbucks stores, $2.95 for 3 packets.


You won’t, when you have the 1-cup stainless GSI Mini Expresso. This small, stove-top espresso maker brews a double-shot (2.5 ounces) in just 90 seconds. Pack it with finely ground espresso beans, heat on the stove, and, as they say in Italy, tutto bene. Your espresso is ready., $34.95.


Talk about a lightweight! The MSR Mugmate Coffee/Tea Filter weighs under an ounce and operates in an ingeniously simple way. Fill it with coarse ground coffee (or tea leaves), place it into a cup or mug, and pour in hot water. Cover and let steep. The longer it steeps, the stronger the coffee. Two side tabs keep it suspended., $16.95.


Coffee connoisseurs love the smooth flavor produced by the French press. Here’s how it works: The coffee grounds steep in hot water, then the plunger presses the grounds to the bottom—leaving just the coffee to enjoy. For one of the best portable presses for camping, try the insulated Big Sky Bistro mug. Made from hard plastic with a wide bottom for stability, this mug is both durable and lightweight (about 7 ounces). Makes 16 ounces of hot, fresh coffee in four minutes., $16.99.


Do it with the GSI H2JO!. It’s lightweight, easy-to-pack, and inexpensive. This twist-on filter weighs less than 2 ounces and fits most standard, wide-mouth water bottles like Nalgene. Fill your bottle with hot water, screw on the filter, add coarse-ground (not fine) coffee beans, and let steep. Biggest drawback: Screw it on tightly, or it will leak when you pour., $9.95.