All I can say is, they're doing it wrong.
I also like to camp solo, so my goal was to find a small 4-cup or less percolator, preferably in stainless steel. And I found it in the Tops Rapid Brew 2-3 cup model 403. It didn't take long (being a bit of a coffee snob my own self) to brew (what I found to be) the "perfect" cup. (Disclaimer: Individual tastes vary, so tweak this guide as you like).
Seems all reviews agree (as do I) that your stuff must be clean. So, first thing I did when I received my Rapid Brew was to give it a thorough washing with hot, soapy water. Another "must have" is a coarse grind of good beans. I used a blend of Columbian and Ethiopean whole bean, and set the store's grinder one step finer than French press. (Note: I have a Zassenhaus I use for my Braun drip machine, but it's locked to the finest setting, too fine for the percolator's basket.) I've read differing suggestions as to the amount of coffee to use...some say two teaspoons per 6 ounces of water, others use one table spoon. The bags in my store say two tablespoons per 8 ounce cup. I found that 3 level tablespoons coffee, used with 10 ounces water, makes one decent 8 ounce cup. Now, for the important stuff...
Timing. Percolators must be watched. The directions that came with the Rapid Brew say that the "strength of coffee can be gauged approximately by observing color of brew in the glass knob". Some reviews I'd read say 6-8 minutes. Well, one thing we can all agree on is: Over-brewed coffee sucks. Think Starbucks. With my measurements, 7 minutes even on a low flame produced the best results. (Another note: The Rapid Brew 2-3 cup is 3 7/8" diameter. The burner on my gas range is 3 1/4". I have to start and finish on low, or risk getting the handle hot. Just sayin'.)
Once the allotted time has been reached, turn off the heat. This will stop the percolating. Next, *carefully* (as everything is hot hot hot) remove the filter and pump assembly. This prevents steam from continuing to brew the grounds. I set it in the sink so it will cool. I then let the percolator sit undisturbed for a minute or two, to allow sediment to settle. Pour slowly into cup, and whatever it is you add to your coffee (one teaspoon sugar and some French vanilla works for me). There's very little sediment (no more than what I get from my Braun and a mesh filter), and no gritty last gulp.
So, if you camp where there are no power sources, or just like the old-school way of doing things, there's no reason not to use stove top percolator. Once you've found a formula that suits your tastes, you'll be able to brew just as good a cup (if not better) as you could from a drip machine.