Tag Archives: Camping

Cowboy Coffee and Camping Coffee – Essential Tips

If you follow much of the advice for how to make cowboy coffee, you are likely to concoct a terribly bitter brew that is more paint remover than coffee. The reason for this is that we’ve forgotten how to make coffee without a coffee maker. Our grandparents and their parents knew how to do this. They could take a simple, enameled coffee pot and make a great cup of coffee.

Yet, somewhere along the way we’ve forgotten the recipe.

Here are 5 great tips to get you back on the right path for making a delectable cup of cowboy coffee– or camping coffee as some of you may know it.

Tip #1: Use good drinking water. If your water tastes bad, so will your coffee.

Tip #2: Do NOT boil the coffee. Doing so extracts those bitter compounds that we so love to hate. Instead, use a water temperature of 195 to 205 degrees F. For those of you without a thermometer (yours truly included), simply bring the water to a boil and then set the pot aside for 1 minute to cool. Add the coffee and let it steep. For those of you living at a high altitude, you will need to adjust the cooling time. For example, if you are living in Santa Fe, NM, where the elevation is 7,000 feet above sea level, the boiling temperature of water is already within that sweet spot. All you need to do is take the water off the burner and add coffee.

Tip #3: Let the coffee steep for 3 minutes. Okay, if you’re not using a thermometer, you’re probably not going to use a kitchen timer either. Shoot for 3 minutes. But if it’s closer to 5 minutes, don’t worry. The coffee will be fine.

Tip #4: Approximately 1 minute before serving the coffee, stir the contents of the coffee pot with a spoon and let it rest. This will sink the grounds, or nearly so. I’ve tried numerous ways to separate those stubborn, floating grounds from my drinking coffee. I’ve used eggs, egg shells, cold water, and even a floating stick. I finally stumbled upon a method that is as good and simple as any. Just stir the contents of the coffee pot and let it rest for about a minute. Even though there are many variables at play here, this method works surprisingly well.

Tip #5: Don’t drink the last sip in the cup or the last cup in the pot. That’s where all those grounds are hiding. This is an easy tip to remember. Drink that last sip and you’ll remember it for a long, long time.


Copyright © Jack McCoy 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Choosing a Camping Table

Camping tables are not one of the first things that people put on their camping pack list, but if you are going to be feeding more than just a couple of people, they can come in very handy. It’s great sitting around your campfire watching the stars, but it gets a bit complicated when you start trying to balance your drink and plate with nothing to put them on but your lap.

When you’re choosing a camping table, there are a couple of things you’ll want to keep in mind. The biggest consideration is the size and weight of the table and how that will impact the type of camping you’re going to be doing. If you’re planning on car camping – i.e., you’re going to be able to drive directly to your campsite – then the weight of your camp table won’t matter too greatly. Just pick a size that can be transported easily in your car and will be large enough to handle everything you’re going to want to put on it.

On the other hand, if you’re planning on hiking in to your campsite, then size and weight will definitely be an issue. You don’t want to try and lug a huge table through the woods. In this situation, you’ll want to find a smaller and lighter camp table that will fold small enough to fit in your pack.

The next time you go camping, consider taking along a camping table. They can make the difference at meal time between enjoying your dinner and trying to pick your supper up off of the ground.