If you’re heading out camping in the near future, perhaps to one of these exciting spots we have profiled, you’re not going to want to forget your coffee! There’s nothing like the feeling of a piping hot cup of coffee in the morning while you’re camping. It’s a familiar taste of home in a new place. It provides a caffeinated boost to get you up and going. And it warms you inside and out on a chilly morning!
You don’t have to sacrifice your usual cup of joe just because you’re not at home.
How to Make Coffee While Camping
Even though you may not have access to electricity to make your java the way you do at home, there are several methods for making coffee while camping. You may even find your camp coffee rivals your favorite barista’s.
One quick packing tip – if you buy coffee in large containers, measure out how much you’ll need for your trip, plus a little extra, and pack it in a sealed bag or container so you’re not lugging along extra bulk. If you’re headed for bear country, be sure to secure your coffee in a bear-proof container at night because they’ll smell that from quite a distance!
10 Ways to Make Coffee While Camping
1.) Make instant coffee
Time needed: 30 seconds once your water is boiling
Supplies: Instant coffee packet, measuring spoon, kettle or pot, clean water, mug
Instant coffee has come a long way in the last few years! You still have the classic Folgers, if that’s your favorite. However, a lot of specialty coffee makers have gotten into instant coffee as well. Starbucks is perhaps the best known of the fancier instant coffee options, but brands like Alpine Start, Voila Instant Coffee, and Laird SuperFood Instant Coffee make some gourmet options that still just require boiling water.
To make instant coffee, simply pour a cup of boiling water, measure your coffee granules into the cup, and stir! Flavor with creamer or sugar if desired.
2.) Make pour over coffee
Time needed: About 5 minutes once your water is boiling
Supplies: Pour-over dripper, 2-cup cone filter, kettle or pot, coffee grounds, clean water, mug
If you make coffee in a standard coffee maker at home, this method most closely replicates the taste of home. Boil water in your pot or kettle. Set the pour-over device on top of your mug and add the cone filter. Add your favorite ground coffee to the filter, then pour boiling water over the grounds. It does take a few minutes to complete because you have to wait for the water to seep through the filter before adding more – continue adding boiling water until your mug is full. If you’re making coffee for a large group, this method can be time-consuming since you have to wait for each individual cup to brew.
Pour-over drippers range from fancy-looking ceramic devices to cheap plastic cones. For camping, I’d nab a plastic pour-over cup, toss it in with the camping gear, and not worry about it getting broken.
3.) Make cowboy coffee
Time needed: About 5 minutes once the water is boiling
Supplies: Coffee grounds, kettle, clean water, mug
Cowboy coffee is a way to make coffee from real coffee beans with very limited resources. Simply boil water, remove it from heat and dump the coffee grounds in. Return the kettle to low heat and simmer. After a few minutes, the grounds will begin to sink to the bottom of the kettle – if they don’t, you can add a little bit of cold water to the kettle to get them to sink. Pour carefully into a cup. This is a simple way to make coffee for a larger group of people by simply increasing the ingredients you use.
4.) Make coffee in a bag
Time needed: About 5 minutes once water is boiling
Supplies: Coffee bag, kettle or pot, clean water, mug
Just as tea can come in tiny bags, so can coffee! Brew your coffee the same way you would a cup of tea – boil water, add the coffee bag, and allow to steep until you have the desired strength. Just like instant coffee, coffee bags used to be made just by Folgers, but in the past few years more gourmet brands have gotten in on the action. Try Steeped Coffee, or High Side’s brew bags.
5.) Use a percolator
Time needed: The time to get water boiling
Supplies: Coffee percolator, coffee grounds, clean water, mug
Coffee percolators are easy to use and cut down on the amount of grounds that sneak their way into your mug via the cowboy method. Fill the bottom of the percolator with water, add ground coffee to the top chamber, and heat over a camp stove or fire until the coffee is percolating. This is probably the best option for quickly brewing coffee for more than one person. This sturdy 12-cup enamelware percolator is unfussy and will last a long time.
6.) Use an AeroPress
Time needed: About 3 minutes once water is hot
Supplies: AeroPress & filter, kettle, clean water, coffee grounds (people say fine espresso grounds are even better), sturdy mug
If you take your coffee more seriously, this is your method right here. The AeroPress is part pour-over, part French press, and part pneumatic press. Users say it makes a deliciously rich, smooth coffee, and because it compresses grounds into a small puck, it’s easy to clean afterward. You insert the filter into the AeroPress, place the base over your mug, dump coffee grounds into the base, and drizzle a little bit of hot water over the grounds. Then fill to the top with hot water. The water will begin to drip slowly out of the bottom into the mug. After 10-15 seconds, depress the plunger to press the grounds and fill your mug. You can find an AeroPress set here, with all the parts to get you started.
7.) Use a Moka Pot
Time needed: About 8 minutes
Supplies: Moka pot, Coffee grounds, clean water, mug
The Moka pot, otherwise known as a stovetop espresso maker, is another great option for serious coffee connoisseurs. Fill the bottom compartment of the Moka pot with water and the middle compartment with coffee grounds. Put the serving pot on top. When the water is boiling, the brewed coffee will go up into the serving container. Moka pots brew up a good, strong espresso. You can use an aluminum Moka pot over a campfire as well, but be careful if it has a plastic handle. Try the Bialetti Express Moka Pot or GSI Outdoors Moka Espresso Pot.
8.) Use a French Press
Time needed: About 4 minutes after water is boiling
Supplies: French press, kettle, coffee grounds, clean water, mug
A French press is made with sturdy materials that won’t break when camping, and it brews up a delicious cup of coffee. Once your water is boiling, let it cool for about 30 seconds. Pour half of the water into the press and let steep. After one minute, pour the rest of the water in and steep for a few more minutes – the stronger you want your coffee, the longer it should steep. When you’re ready, press the plunger and drain the coffee into your mug. Try the GSI Outdoors 30 Oz JavaPress or the Coffee Gator French Press Coffee Maker.
9.) Use a Bripe
Time needed: About 3 minutes
Supplies: Bripe, butane lighter, coffee grounds, clean water
There’s no polite way to say this – this thing looks strange! However, it’s efficient and small and looks pretty indestructible. To brew coffee in a Bripe, add coffee grounds and water in the bowl of the pipe. Heat to a boil using the lighter. Let cool and sip your coffee through the stem. If you want to get started with a Bripe, this kit has everything you need.
What is the best way to make coffee while camping?
The best way to make coffee while camping is going to depend on your priorities. Personally, I prefer the pour-over method because it tastes like my daily cup of coffee at home, it requires very few supplies, and it’s very simple to make. For a large group, I think percolator coffee is your best bet for tasty coffee with the fewest amount of grounds. But if you prefer a more gourmet espresso taste, the AeroPress is probably best. The best thing to do is to try a few different methods and see which you like!
If you’re RV camping, be sure to check out our list of the best 8 RV coffee makers and bring one along on your next trip.