39° 2' 14.01'' N 104° 51' 47.79'' W

Make a Cup of Coffee Outside

Aaron McHugh

Understand one thing, your backyard is the best place to play. Years ago, I started firing up my small backpacking stove outside to brew up a cup of coffee. After a run, during a work day in the parking lot or on a short lunchtime walk, my little stove became my excuse to play.

I’ve won many suburbanites over to start brewing outside after they experience my fifteen minutes of tailgate bliss. Now I regularly receive emails, pictures and text stories about curbside adventures, coffee on the roof, brews made in the local park and java recipes in Alaska.

According to a recent snippet I received from Brene’ Brown’s book, Dare to Lead, “What’s more, according to Brown’s research, play shapes our brain, fosters empathy, helps us navigate social groups, and is at the core of creativity and innovation.”  So the next time you are stumped on a work challenge, a relational situation or need a fifteen-minute reboot, fire up a cup of coffee or hot drink outside.

Here are a few stoves that will simplify your brew.

MSR PocketRocket 2 Mini Stove Kit

This little ball of flame is simple, cheap and lightweight. This is my go-to stove for urban adventures and short overnights. REI sells the kit for under $80.

Another popular stove option is the Jetboil Flash Cooking System. Made for climbers hanging on the side of big walls originally, now suburban adventurers like us benefit from this all-in-one cook system. Selling for $99 for the whole cook system kit at REI.

Old Trusty fired up for a winter walk to warm the body and soul with a coffee and snack.
Sometimes a warm brew goes best with some good old-college style Ramen Noodles.
Starbucks Via packet are an adventurer’s dream. Portable. Strong. Light. Shown here on a rock outcropping 15 minutes from my home.
Jake having a cup of joe on the roof before work-enjoying a simple slow beginning to his day. Go Jake.
Inaugural trunk side brew fest. Thanks Chad for the pic!