Outdoors 347

Published on April 4th, 2009 | by Greg


More Great Outdoors: JetBoil’s Easy, Light Camping Stove/Coffee Press

Don’t worry- despite appearances, we’re not roughing it. Despite our new focus on the world outside of our computers, we still prefer to take the comforts of home with us. And since Starbucks still hasn’t managed to extend their tentacles to every campground yet, and parks tend to not have food courts, we need to handle some cooking and coffee-making duties without our fancy grinders and gadgets.

That’s where JetBoil comes in. They offer a few models, including some aimed at large groups. But we’re not bringing a large group along, so have been trying out the Personal Cooking System, which comes with the handy acronym PCS. Able to boil 1 liter of water at a time, it works quick- about two minutes from click of the button to ready-for-coffee. The unit itself is fairly light (6 oz, 15 for the complete system), insulated, and quite sturdy- made for hiking and getting banged around, it still should be packed carefully. It is quite a bit heavier than some other water heaters, but serves with attachments as an well-insulated pot, mug, and measuring cup unlike others. The spout really helps, and the whole package feels well-designed.

You’ll need fuel as well- but the efficiency and speed of the Jetboil system (with FluxRing) means that you won’t need much. You can get about 12 or 13 liters of water from one can of their 100g fuel canisters (~$5), enough for several meals. We haven’t tried melting snow with it, but tried the PCS out in a few conditions, and it performed quite well. It offers a more limited range of options than a normal camp stove, of course, but heats water (for rehydrating meals or drinks) amazingly well. You can use the companion cup option for when you want to have coffee and a meal, and they offer an easy maintenance kit as well.

A quick word about an attachment we tried and liked- the coffee press. It wasn’t as nice as some presses (plastic weighs less, but feels and looks worse)- but it got the job done, and was easy to carry, store, and use. It also works well for loose leaf tea. The price- $20- seems a bit steep, but likely worth it for a no-hassle cup of java. The Jetboil PCS itself sells for around $100, and is available online and in most camping/hiking stores.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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