A Camping Problem

Of the 41 nights we will be gone, 6 of them will be spent in a tent. 10 of them will be in Kimptons, so I know I am winning. But I am quite scared about those 6 camping nights. We did camp last fall one night and we’re doing another night this weekend. Both include dinner out right before driving into the campsite and breakfast at a cute diner in in the morning. And with that diner comes hot, fresh coffee. This is where I admit my problem. I have an addiction. An addiction to coffee. I have tried stopping a handful of times throughout the years, but always find myself right back into the same routine. I simply tell myself that it could be a heroin addiction instead and coffee is better than heroin. #truth

To be honest, I have quite the system set up at home. Each evening Zak resets my coffee maker, fresh beans, new filter, and cool water. When I roll out of bed, I scatter downstairs while brushing my teeth and simply press one button on the machine. The coffee brews while I shower and then Ellie pours my first cup, adding the perfect amount of milk and sugar. She carefully brings me the hot cup, just as I am starting to apply make-up. It is a magical routine. Before we walk out the door to school I add some milk and sugar to the pot itself and take the whole pot to school. Throughout the morning I pour myself several cups of hot, perfect coffee. I come home each afternoon with an empty pot and the whole process starts over. I have got it made!

As much as I know I need my coffee, it is the girls who REALLY know it. On those rare days that I don’t get my cup until too long after the day has started I hear them whisper, “Mom’s crabby, she needs coffee her now.” Hence, you can see the concern about coffee while camping.

We decided a long time ago that we are not bringing along any cooking equipment. If we can’t find a local bar in a nearby town for dinner we can survive on pb&j and Cheetos. And the main reason we are camping at all is so we can start hiking really early (so we can get to the top of mountains and back below treeline by the time afternoon thunderstorms roll through.) No time to find a cute diner for a hot cup of joe and I don’t think there will be any Starbucks in the camps.

We explored many options and kept coming up to no really solid solution. We thought about canned cold coffee or the bottles of Frappuccinos, but I want hot coffee. We found a small company that makes granola bars with the same amount of caffeine as a full cup. But that’s not really what I’m looking for either, I don’t want to chew my coffee.

That’s when Zak came to the rescue again and read some trucker blogs and found a devise you plug into the cigarette lighter of your car and in 4 minutes you have boiling water. To that we’ll add Starbuck’s instant Via. And then a bit of sugar and splash of milk that we’ll keep in our cooler and I will be one happy camper!


We took it out of the package the other night when we were working on the packing table and I was surprised to see it didn’t come with any instructions. Like none at all. I figured I should hand wash it and try it out prior to encountering a situation where we absolutely need it then find out it doesn’t work. Come to think of it, maybe we should do that with the bear spray too.

After washing it, I filled it with room temperature water and carefully took it out to the car. I plugged it in, invited the girls in to the car for a 90s on 9 jam session.

We waited the suggested 4 minutes and then the girls got bored and embarrassed of my obnoxious Britney karaoke in front of all the neighbors, so left me alone with the pot. Although the water was warmish it was not near boiling.

I continued to wait and sing along to some Toni Braxton. 12.5 minutes after plugging the pot in I had hot water with small bubbles. I wouldn’t call it boiling, maybe almost simmering.


Regardless, I knew the devise worked and the car was getting really hot and humid so I called the test run successful. Now I’ll get my hot coffee each morning of camping and everyone will be happy.

2 thoughts on “A Camping Problem

    1. Another great piece of advice from trucker forums…bring a crockpot along. I’m thinking we’ll have cartinatas and homemade beef stew every few days. Imagine the smell and stuffiness of the car.

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