GSI Glacier14 Cup Coffee Percolator - Gear Review

Monday, June 23, 2014

This year our BWCA crew was as large as it has ever been.  We had 8 guys paddling, camping, fishing and testing all kinds of gear.  When planning for a trip of this magnitude having the right tools for the job becomes paramount.  Nothing makes rolling out of a hammock more inviting than the smell of fresh coffee cooking over the campfire and we're not talking Sanka.  Enter the Stainless Steel Glacier 14 Cup Coffee Percolator from GSI Outdoors, clearly one of the most prized pieces of gear in camp.


Boiling 12 ounces of water over a camp stove and adding instant coffee to you cup is camp coffee blasphemy.  Nothing compares to a cup of Joe that was slowly brought to a boil over the glowing orange embers of a campfire.  The GSI PERC is made completely out of their Glacier Stainless Steel, meaning it can take a beating and keeps on cranking out barista level java.  As with anything used over a campfire, soot builds up fast and thick, but cleans off with ease from the smooth stainless surface.  A little dish soap and a sponge and in seconds it was shining the way it did fresh out of the box.

Regulating the strength of the coffee takes a bit of practice, but is by no means rocket science.  For our crew the recipe was basically stuff as much grounds in the little basket as possible, while still being able to get the lid on.  One helpful hint to keep the grounds out of your coffee is to have your beans ground for a percolator style brewer.  Standard, "off the shelf" grounds will work, but tend to be small enough to slip through the holes in the basket and find their way into your mug.  The chunkier "perc" grind helps keep that to a minimum.

Being that we had as many guys on this trip as we did made hauling this large of a coffee pot more than practical, it was the only way to crank out enough coffee to keep up.  Not built for the ultralight thru-hiker, but for the base camp breakfast fit for kings. Coming in at around 9" tall and just under 9" across at the bottom and weighing a little over 2 pounds, it is a substantial piece of gear.  Stuffing your coffee inside for transport was a great way to save space in the food pack though. Breakfast burritos and a tall cup of hot coffee were the perfect way to start the day looking out over Gaskin lake.  A set-up I simply can't wait to use again soon.


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