Category Archives: It’s Alimentary

Keeping Your Food to Yourself in the Backcountry Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are

Keeping Your Food to Yourself in the Backcountry

It’s summertime, and the wilderness is calling. Soon campsites in popular parks will be filled to overflowing, as paddlers and hikers make themselves at home where the wild things are. And with the crowds comes conflict. We want to keep our food to ourselves. But our involuntary hosts have other ideas, and the resulting differences of opinion can get messy. Is there an alternative? There is.

by Tamia Nelson | June 6, 2015

Backcountry wanderers and campers walk a thin line in our dealings with the furred and feathered natives on whose doorsteps we camp. We want to be accepted by them, but we also want them to know their place and keep their distance. This is pretty presumptuous of us, really. Since when do house guests get to lay down rules for their hosts? Be that as it may, however, it’s much harder to strike the right balance than it used to be. Truly wild things treat infrequent blow-ins with appropriate caution and circumspection. But tens of millions of us now invade the natives’ wilderness homes, and such familiarity inevitably breeds contempt. The natives have learned … Read more »

Java Jive: The Ch’i of Coffee

Java Jive

The Ch’i of Coffee

Coffee. For some of us, breakfast’s not worth the bother without it, and a campfire without a coffeepot on the boil is incomplete. But while we’ll all agree on coffee’s allure, we can still fall out over the best way to brew it.

by Tamia Nelson | July 19, 2005

A Tamia Nelson Article on

What’s the most evocative aroma? The pungent perfume given off by the forest floor after a gentle rain? The spicy mist that swirls around a falls on sultry summer evenings? The sharp tang of a salt flat at low tide? The electric rasp of ozone hanging in the air after a lightning strike? Or is it the fragrance of fresh-brewed coffee, rising from a fireside pot as tendrils of fog drift across the cool waters of a mountain lake at daybreak?

I know which one gets my vote. Of course, many paddlers begin their day with a hot cup of tea. Others favor orange or grapefruit juice — or at least a reasonable facsimile. And a dissipated minority crave something cold and cloying and carbonated. No matter. Each to his own, I say. But I remain adamant. Until I have a mug of coffee in … Read more »