Most of the challenge in camp cooking is having the right tools for the job. This is definitely true when it comes to the area of camp coffee. Many solo campers or small families tend to favor the classic camp coffee tools such as the drip cone, french press, or even what I would consider a last resort – Starbucks VIA.
However, when traveling in a larger group you have to approach the morning coffee ritual a little differently. For the most part, it comes down to two things: quantity and speed. No one likes climbing out of the tent and seeing your buddies enjoy a cup of java by the campfire only to be told there isn’t any left and you’ll have to wait for the next pot.
On a couple of camping trips this year, I somehow drew the short straw and was put in charge of coffee. I think it’s because I was the most vocal about not wanting to drink some lukewarm swill, but lets save that for another story. Since we typically had a decent sized group with us, I knew I would have to bring out some big guns if we were going to make morning coffee in bulk and keep everybody happy. We needed to bring “Big Jim”!
“Big Jim” is the affectionate name I have given the larger than life GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless 36 Cup Percolator. This percolator is big, bold, and ready for some serious camp coffee brewing. It is a workhorse and built for years of field use. If you’ve ever shopped for a large percolator, you know that 36 cups is pretty stout and about as big as they come. After checking the local outfitter and coming up empty-handed, I ended up purchasing the percolator through Amazon and with a Prime membership and arrived the next day. When I looked this morning, GSI’s mammoth coffee marker appears to now even have free same-day delivery on Amazon.
After some heavy field use over the past couple of years, I’m pleased to report that the GSI Outdoors 36 Cup Percolator has performed flawlessly. It does take some time to make a pot of coffee since you’re bringing 36 cups of water to a boil, but it is well worth the wait as your entire group can enjoy coffee at the same time. There are a couple of things to keep in mind if you decided to pick up a Big Jim for yourself. The first thing to consider is that it’s big. Think about storage space in your vehicle because it measures 11″ x 9.3″ x 11.7″ and we all know that space is at a premium. Secondly, it takes a lot of water to both fill and clean afterwards. If you’re one of those types that is a little haphazard when it comes to supply planning and water rationing, Big Jim may not be for you.
If you have the room and need a large quantity of camp coffee in the morning or after dinner, definitely check out the GSI Outdoors 36 Cup Percolator and consider ordering yourself one. It’s a great product and has quickly become a staple in my camp kitchen. They run roughly $100 and free shipping is usually included with the price.