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When the going gets tough, the tough need coffee

A camping-friendly coffee maker you can use even when the power's out.

A week and a half ago, Hurricane Ike slammed into my city and left nearly everyone without power. Not an easy situation, to be sure. For me, the worst of it was having no access to my beloved cappuccino maker. So, after 36 hours, my family and I hightailed it out of town and began our Trek across Texas, ostensibly "for the sake of the children," but you and I know better.

Because coffee is life. Coleman

Coleman understands that the need for good coffee is more urgent than rational. The company makes a host of appliances you can run off a car battery, which are useful for camping, but even those are only so useful when you have a limited supply of gas for your car. So I was happy to see that Coleman also has a camping coffeemaker that doesn't need to plug into anything.

Even when the power is out, you can usually still use a gas stove, so this coffeemaker sits directly on the burner. Simply fill the basket with your grounds, add water to the reservoir, and set the decanter back in place. Turn on your burner, and wait. The water heats up inside the metal reservoir and is forced through the grounds, delivering home-brewed coffee to the waiting carafe.

I hear this coffeemaker is a hit on camping trips, although that's not something I could possibly verify, because my idea of camping is using my credit card points to cover my hotel costs. I'm just saying, if you have to deal with a massive power outage and the fallout from a hurricane, you may as well be caffeinated while you do it.