The first year we had our Palomino Pop Up Camper, we brought along our household coffee maker. The problem with that was it took up a lot of space on the limited counters, and it would trip the breaker because it would draw too much power. So I started researching new options. I saw the standard camping percolators but I honestly had no idea how they worked (until my parents showed me last summer!). Looking at the JetBoil I liked that it could function as a camp stove as well. I hemmed and hawed for a couple weeks, checking prices and weighing my options. The retail price on Amazon is $110, but I found mine in the Amazon Warehouse Deals for under $75! Oh and if you have never heard of Warehouse Deals its a steep discount section that features returns, slightly damaged, or lightly used goods. I rarely buy anything at full Amazon price….I’ll wait a minute while you go check it out…….ok back?!
What drew me to the JetBoil is that it is all in one. It uses a fuel canister that if you get the smallest one can pack nicely into the pot, or you can buy larger sizes to last longer. A small canister runs about $5 and will last us almost a full season of hiking and camping. We obviously aren’t using it as often as backpackers would be, so we can get a longer use out of a canister. Since I am not an ultralight backpacker so the weight (14oz) did not deter me. It can boil 16oz of water in just under 2.5 minutes. Now I initially bought this model because it came with the french press, and I was honestly pretty narrow minded when it came to what I was going to use it for when I bought it. I figured it would replace our coffee maker only. We would use the French Press option each morning for coffee. However after I got it and started experimenting with it, I realized it had many other uses (yes I knew that they were designed for cooking dehydrated backpacking meals, but since we car camp/camper camp we have the luxury of cooking full meals). I soon realized that the French Press is a pain in the ass. Cleaning out the grinds is a messy task. I ended up finding Folgers Coffee Single Bags, they are like a tea bag for coffee. Plop one (we use two) bags into a cup of hot water, let it steep for a couple minutes dunk it a few times and presto fresh coffee without brewing. Oh and its *real* coffee not instant.
Soon enough I realized that Easy Mac could be cooked without a microwave, by cooking it like a backpacking meal. (adding boiling water). It takes a bit longer but when you have a child who lives off Mac and Cheese being able to keep a supply of Easy Mac in the camper for any meal is nice. No need for extra butter or milk (since we don’t trust out fridge 100%). We also use it to cook oatmeal in the morning, usually we fit enough water in the JetBoil for a cup of coffee and a packet of oatmeal. I also saw on a hiking forum that people were trying out these Minute Muffins as breakfasts/desserts for backpacking. I tried on a colder hike where I felt I wanted a warm snack halfway through. I added far too much water, and I don’t think they will get to “muffin-like” not being microwaved. It was still good 🙂 I plan on experimenting with different pasta/rice sides and other foods that simply require boiling water.
Whether you are heading out backpacking for a week, or just pulling the car into a campground, add the Jetboil Flash to your gear list today!