Category Archives: coffee

The Appalachian Trail Eleventh Essential – Coffee!

coffee Let me be clear: no coffee – no hike!  Over and beyond the “Ten Essentials” of backpacking, there is an Eleventh Essential — coffee.  There may be a Twelfth, but that’s a post for another day.

Instants have come and gone, though I think Trader Joe’s Columbian instant would do in a pinch.  I’ve tried funnels and gadgets of various sorts.  I will not take an espresso maker; too much to fidget with.

A few years ago I found a lightweight, convenient method of taking fresh-ground coffee on the trail and brewing it with as little fanfare and difficulty as possible.

Enter – the coffee sock.  No, it’s not a “recycled” tube sock (ack!)  It’s a wooden handled gadget with a muslin “basket” which holds grounds through which hot water if poured.  Quick on the brew, good on the palate.  I can amp the coffee with as many grounds as I like and cleanup is a simple rinse.  Occasionally I will use some soap and water to wash out the oils which accumulate.

Viola!  Easy, fast, and most of all – effective!

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Filed under Adventure, Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, Camping, coffee, Food, Hiking, outdoors, The Appalachian Trail

The risks and rewards of hiking solo as a woman

Aislinn gives an interesting perspective about backpacking solo.Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 11.21.26 AM

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Filed under Achievements, Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, challenge, coffee, Courage, Hiking, risk, Walking, wilderness

A tale of hiking shame from Anonymous Well

Courtesy Debbie @ Flickr

Courtesy Debbie @ Flickr

My good friend Anonymous Well shared with me today, and the story was. not. pretty.

Regaling me over coffee, he bent over, voice low, and muttered this confession:

“I had one friend that climbed Rainier in jeans. It was his first climb ever. He started with another buddy after a ranger lent them ice axes and crampons because they didn’t have either! They submitted (sans rope). That must have been in the 1970s or so.

“Another friend used to carry an iron skillet, and never carried a sleeping pad — until he froze his ass off on San Gorgonio sleeping on snow! “Something must be wrong,” he thought. Haha.

“Then there’s me, on my first ever hike, Mt. Whitney. Picked up a used suitcase at REI (it has shoulder straps, looks good to me I thought), and carried that thing into camp. Well, I wheeled it the last few hundred feet…

“We summited, but boy was I clueless. I won’t even mention the gear we carried. It was early season, and there were only two or three other parties on the mountain. A pair of older guys came over and gave us a few pointers. At the time I thought they were just nice guys, but looking back on it I bet they thought we were gonna die. We had a great time, and I learned quickly after that.

“For those that grew up hiking and/or climbing, I imagine it may seem impossible to be so naive, but some of us had no outdoor mentor, picked up a pack (or suitcase) and went for it.

“Somebody please come up with something more embarrassing…”

I ask you.

Who does this?

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Filed under Adversity, Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, Climbing, clueless, coffee, confession, dying, Hiking, outdoors