Posts Tagged ‘burning man coffee’

Size DOES matter!

July 15, 2011

How to get the most crap into the smallest spaces…esp. coats and crinolines. My silver crinoline, just alone, would fill up my carry-on suitcase. SpaceBags as I’ve posted about suck. Assuming they hold the compression, which they rarely do, there’s no way to re-suck it to repack. While looking for river stuff at REI I found this compression dry sack. Several of the reviews highlight how well it smashes down stuff.

“It takes in my sleeping bag, warm clothes and socks and compresses down to the size of a big cantaloupe.”

“Oh yeah, I take one in my suitcase when traveling. Put all the compressable stuff in socks, underwear, towels, fleece, etc. then just sit on it and pull the straps tight. It saves a ton of space. And when you are going home do the same thing with all your dirty clothes and presto – you have enough room for all the new stuff you just bought! Its a vacuum Space Bag without the vacuum!!!”

 I find your ideas interesting…but don’t know if I can afford to subscribe to your newsletter. It’s got a perfect rating on both Amazon and REI. REI is doing free shipping on orders over $50 (until October). I’m also looking at this towel. So much space saving! The one thing I really like to keep clean is my face, otherwise it’s break-out city. I had one of the cheap-o ones

It worked well enough for the price but was too small for showering (too small for just my hair alone). The REI one comes in a pouch with a pocket, too, so I could stick everything in this compact little bag. It’s the smallest one for it’s size that I’m finding.

This tent is also intriguing. No poles.

“When properly inflated, NEMO’s airbeams are considerably stronger than traditional aluminum tent poles. In one test, the Morpho airbeam withstood more than twice the downward force of a standard tent pole. In addition, the airbeam springs back into shape even after you bend it all the way to the ground. More significantly from a backpacker’s perspective, NEMO’s AST is capable of withstanding a wide range of temperatures. At its recommended inflation pressure of 7 psi, the Morpho AR withstands dramatic temperature swings between freezing (32 degrees F) and searing heat (120 degrees F), with only a minor change in air pressure (up to 8.2 psi)–not even close to the 20 psi minimum burst pressure. If you start in intense heat (120 degrees F) and drop to the freezing point, the pressure drops to 5.9 psi, a small enough difference that you probably won’t even notice.”

If you have $500 to spare on a tiny tent. They have some pretty neat ones, this one could work as a small shade area. I like this barn.

Camping, community area, play space.

Perusing CampSaver’s outlet…pretty sweet deals. Camelbak from $150 to $90. Mostly serious hiking and rocking climbing stuff, $500 parkas down to $200, $265 women’s hoodie down to $155…here’s a Kelty shadehouse I haven’t seen before, from $225 to $135. And check this out,

Toothpaste tablets. Not much of a space saver over a small tub of regular paste (unless you just tossed in a few).

These coffee slings are kinda fun. I can imagine in a small tent situation that it’d be very handy. Even just to store an empty cup up and out of the way, or your water bottle. This ultralite towel boasts you can filter your coffee through it.

Still thinking about the compression bag and towel. It’s my birthday soon, treat myself, right? I did get some

SPF 30. I knew a guy, on our mission trip to Africa, who sunburned his lips. They were swollen and he had to slather zinc oxide on them. Poor guy, he was already unpopular and mocked without the creamy white clown mouth. I also paused at the small little travel umbrellas, thinking, “Hey….maybe I should get one of these for adventuring…”

It sucks to be stuck out at temple or wherever in the sun sun sun…stick a little umbrella on my belt and I could have shade whenever I needed it. I like this metallic one.

 

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Coffee and Booze

April 1, 2011

The first two things on your packing list, non? I actually felt all 90-year old complainy (seriously, I HATE LIVING IN A COLLEGE TOWN. I want to take a blow torch to every stupid boy in a polo shirt and flip-flops*, smirking under this oh-so “worn” baseball cap) but let’s talk about coffee, instead. I got that French press for Christmas, then the boyf gave me a grinder for our 6 mos. anniversary. At first I was all, “…oh, um, cool.” Being neither a coffee snob (no, seriously – I like it thick and with a splash of cream, but that’s about it) nor a gadgethead – and being someone with a teeny tiny to the point I’ve cried kitchen – I didn’t quite get it. I used to buy cheap coffee, because I was poor. And a French press helps shitty coffee taste better. At the flea market I traded two god-awful couch pillows for a  

and it’s just fine. Also useful for nuts and grinding other similar things. But it’s not really a grinder:

However, the blade “grinder” actually is not a grinder at all! To grind something means to reduce it to small particles by pounding or crushing, where the blade “grinder” is simply spinning its blade to chop the coffee into bits.

So? Still makes coffee, don’t it? My more well-informed lovah read this review and decided it just wasn’t good enough for his flower (that’s ME!). So now I have a HARIO!

In Japanese, HARIO means “The King of Glass”. Since its founding in 1921, this Japanese company has been manufacturing glassware of the highest quality for general consumers and for industrial uses. This hand grinder has been designed by Hario to provide coffee lovers with an inexpensive means to have freshly-ground coffee, even while traveling with a light load. Small, lightweight, and portable, the Skerton is the ideal hand grinder for the traveling coffee enthusiast, or the home enthusiast on a limited budget.

He’d printed out the above-linked review which explains how the Hario has ceramic burrs and is basically what anybody who gives half a shit about coffee should be using.

Viva la diffronce!

…a coffee’s grind, or particle size, is one of the more important parts in brewing good coffee. How quickly coffee will be extracted by hot water is completely contingent on the particle size. Meaning, small coffee particles extract quickly, and begin to over-extract, while a large particle may never fully extract in the given time.

Translation: coffee made with Hario tastes like a basket of kittens, while grinder coffee is “Not entirely undrinkable, this great coffee was masked by harsh metallic flavors, like wet pennies green with rust! That bangin’ citrus had all become too sour, like unripe fruit, and the stewed tomatoes had turned to gamy meat.”

Some other remarks:

You cannot buy a better grinder for espresso. ZERO grind retention, very low static, and the glass catch bin fits a portafilter perfectly for mess free dosing.

I’m from Washington (State not D.C.) and I believe that life is to short to drink bad coffee. This little grinder made it possible to grind up the super-kind organic, fair-trade, humanely treated, shade-massaged beans that I love, while on a two week road trip to the sw desert. If you want good coffee when the power goes out, when camping out, or at home. Just spend a few minutes twisting this fine machine and you won’t be dissapointed.

Pros: Even my gosh-darned plebian palate can tell the difference; is somewhat meditative/offers a brief repaste from the drudgery of life  – except the drudgery of having to grind your own coffee; small and simple enough to toss in your camping gear, requires no washing or electricity

Cons: takes longer; requires you to stand there and grind coffee; occupies space

Speaking of non-electricity and ways to make coffee (this is a blog about Burning Man and camping, I swear) Gimme! Coffee also recommends the Clever Coffee Brewer:

“…put your filter and coffee in the Clever and pour the water over it. When the timer dings, just set the Clever on top of your mug and voila! The valve opens and lets your coffee out.”

From what I can tell it’s a one-cupper, like my travel French press. You wouldn’t have to wash the Clever, like you would the French press screen. And you’d just toss the filter+grounds in the fire, instead of having to dump them in the trash and then wash the mug (though by “wash” I mean wipe with a paper towel that gets burned, or wiped out with my finger. I don’t do much washing with water when I camp.). So for a single-camper it might be a nifty thing. Me, I camp with a coffee whore and her cuckold sparkle mule of a husband cowers over the coffee pot all day, making sure she doesn’t run out, so I’m set.

*sorry boyf, but it’s true.

coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee

June 9, 2010

I find myself without my partner-in-crime, this summer.

She of the stove, and French press.

I’ve never camped with a stove, I bring food that doesn’t involve cooking. I wander the fields, in search of a decent cup of coffee. However, I’ve been spoiled, my last few excursions, by having neighbors who bring such luxuries as “coffee” and “stoves.” Sitting around camp in one’s skivvies, without having to put in contacts or on shoes and drink coffee until cognizance ain’t so bad.

So, then, I need a camp stove and a French press.

Less dishes to wash. I am all about not washing any dishes.

“Soto OD-1R Micro Regulator Stove”

2.6 oz, 4.5 out of 5 stars at REI, not a con listed.

OR

Jetboil.

Jetboil, jetgoil…I’m gonna take you ’round the world…if you’re singing along, we should hang out.

It has a little loop on the handle, you could beaner it to something. And it comes in colors, ooo, shiny! And with a coozie

…a translucent drink-though lid that lets you check on the contents of the cup so you’ll know precisely when your water begins to boil

  • Translucent measuring cup with easy-to-read lines unsnaps from the bottom of the cooking cup, giving you a convenient tool for preparing meals and hot drinks (sweet! I had this problem with some powdered eggs, not thinking I’d need to measure how much water to add)
  • … integrates the personal cooking cup and stove for fast setup and compact storage (so no stove, pot and cup, just this thing)
  • And did I mention

    Fuel = “Butane/propane canister”

    Not sure what that means. At $100 it’d be the most indulgent camping purchase I’ve ever made (tents included). But self-suffiency is priceless n’ junk. There’s a “personal” version, I’m thinking it’s just bigger (holds 1L). No, they both hold 1L. I guess the Flash just has the fancy stripes on the side, indicating when it’s boiling.

    I dig the idea of being able to hang it in a tree. This kit is the flash cup stuff, plus the french presser and a little coffee sampler. Jetboil even has a recipe’s page. I’m always more inclined to go with products made for the people, by the people (who saw a need, made the product, and made it good).

    What y’all think?