Personally, when it comes to camping I am more interested in the gear than the outdoors. I remember going on trips as a kid and seeing my dad make breakfast on our (his) Coleman grill. It was a memorable moment because the green-metal grill is such a cool piece of machinery, and well, because Dad doesn’t make breakfast too often. Kansas based Coleman has been turning out all sorts of iconic American products (like grills, lanterns and coolers) since 1901. Some of my most-liked Coleman products after the jump.
The company doesn’t just make goods for gentleman campers like myself. Throughout WWII, GIs carried a special “Pocket Stove” that was specifically designed and manufactured by Coleman. From the company’s history: “During WWII, its Wichita plants cranked out projectiles for the Navy and parts for B-17 and B-29 bombers. But their most valuable contribution to the war effort was the development of the GI Pocket Stove. The specifications seemed impossible.
“The stove had to be lightweight, no larger than a quart thermos, burn any kind of fuel, and operate in weather from -60º to 125º F. Fewer than 60 days after work commenced, Coleman demonstrated a working prototype. And in November 1942, 5,000 of Coleman’s little stoves went into battle when U.S. forces invaded North Africa. The stoves burned for two hours on a cup of fuel from a jeep or plane. They were carried across every battlefield in Europe and the Pacific. They showed up in tents, foxholes and bombers.” Those specs do seem impossible, but Coleman got it done and the stove remains today as one of my favorite pieces of WWII equipment.
*Fact: Coleman introduced its first all-metal insulated cooler in 1954, adapting tools and processes developed while manufacturing ammunition chests during World War II. (Take that Valet!)