Articles · Gear Review

JetBoil Flash (Java Edition)

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!

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