Ol’ Reliable

“I don’t recollect I’ve ever told you about Ol’ Reliable before?”

Quote from “Trusty.” He’s on the right.

Just because you go to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) in the summer doesn’t mean you will have summer weather. Any day it can be hot and humid, asking for bare skin and cool dips in the lake, or frigid and damp pushing you into a sleeping bag all day long. I’ve been to the BWCA and seen each of these scenarios and everything in between. The one thing I always hoped for, was a breeze. A nice breeze means fewer bugs. Even with perfect weather, biting black flies, horse flies, and mosquitos can challenge what would have otherwise been a perfect trip. All of these things, the bugs, the elements, the hard work paddling to your campsite, drain you. You feel tired in a good way, but tired none-the-less. But for some reason, when you are that exhausted, a warm meal is all it takes to fuel you for another long day.

Every morning and night of those trips we had that green, metal, Coleman 2-burner stove that everyone is so familiar with, wind guards flapped, ready to boil water for anything from hot chocolate to cheese tortellini. The stove was a dependable companion that I never doubted for a second. At the time, I suppose I took it for granted.

That stove we used in the BWCA was a good friend’s. My parents had one as well. They provided us with many a hearty meal. As I have grown and began camping on my own, I started to pick up my own gear. A sleeping bag here, water bottles there, eventually a tent, and finally a cook set. When I was deciding on a stove, I spent a long time trying to figure out which one I wanted. What was most important to me was dependability. I wanted to know, when camping any month of the year, I could count on my stove to heat up some tea, soup, or tuna helper with out any issues.

My “Trusty” – That’s a good boy.

Eating while camping can be a second thought or a show stealer. I don’t want my cook stove to stop me from having an awesome meal. As such, it is no coincidence Coleman stoves have been a mainstay in my campsite cooking. Truth to be told, I can’t imagine that changing any time soon.

“Sponsored by Coleman and hosted by the Outdoor Blogger Network, this is my submission for the Coleman Camping Heritage Essay Contest.”