How To Make Coffee While Camping: 8 Best Methods & More

by Ally Mash | Last Updated:   March 31st, 2022
How To Make Coffee While Camping: 8 Best Methods & More


There are numerous interesting things to note about a camping trip, including the smell of fresh air, nighttime of star gazing, and talking with friends around a warm fire. Interestingly, there is a thrill about setting out into the woods and getting away from civilization for a short period. During this period, you and those in your group will spend a lot of time together trying out different activities.

Without any doubt, camping is fun. But none of its activities can provide the soothing feel of having a cup of coffee by the campfire on a damp morning. As a result, most people do not like to miss the taste and experience of good coffee while camping. They look for different ways to ensure that they get a hot cup of coffee at the camp.

If you’re like most camping lovers and adventurers out there, you don’t joke with your coffee. There’s a high chance that you won’t forego a good cup of coffee, even in the wild. As a result, you need to be familiar with different ways to make coffee while camping.

Have you started to plan your next expedition? Are you interested in learning the best ways to make coffee while camping? If yes, then you’re at the right place. This piece will teach you effective ways to brew your favorite cup of coffee while camping.

Let’s begin!

What Are The Most Important Rules Of Brewing Camping Coffee?

Before we get started with the best ways to make coffee while camping, let’s look at some important rules for brewing camping coffee. If you want to make a good cup of camping coffee, you would need to follow these rules:

Use Good Coffee Grounds

The quality of coffee that you make in the woods will depend on the quality of coffee grounds that you use. Therefore, you have to ensure that you get the best product that money can buy. When purchasing coffee, you need to understand that you get what you pay for. It would help if you were prepared to sacrifice a little money for some quality when planning to make camp coffee.

Use Whole Beans And Grind Immediately Before Use

While it may seem like a lot of work to travel with a coffee grinder, it may be well worth it. If you don’t have the extra space, you may invest in a portable grinder. It’s a bad idea to grind your coffee before heading into the woods. The fact remains that coffee gradually degrades and loses its freshness when it is exposed to air.

As a result, some people would advise that you travel into your camp with whole beans and grind them immediately before you use them. This way, you can crush your coffee bean before you make a glass of tasty coffee.

Don’t Boil Camping Coffee

Yes, you should never boil your camping coffee. You may have seen somewhere that it’s a great idea to boil your coffee, but it actually isn’t. The optimal brewing temperature of camp coffee is 200 – 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Whenever you cook camp coffee over a long period, it will become burnt and have an unsavory taste.

What Are The Most Effective Ways To Make Coffee While Camping?

How To Make Coffee While Camping

Now, it’s time to learn how to make coffee while camping. There are several proven methods people can adopt to brew coffee during their time in the woods. Each of these methods requires the use of different equipment and raw materials. You’ll have to review each of the options available to you and determine which of them suits you best.

Here are the most effective ways to help you brew coffee in the woods:

  1. Using a Percolator
  2. Using a French Press
  3. Using an AeroPress
  4. Cowboy Coffee Method
  5. Instant Coffee Method
  6. Cold Brew Method
  7. Single-Serve Pour Over
  8. Coffee In a Bag

Using A Percolator

A percolator isn’t something you’ll find just lying anywhere. You may discover one among the old camping supplies in the basement of your parent’s house. However, you could also pick one from any of the numerous online stores.

Percolator pots have been around for hundreds of years and are still popular equipment. You see, percolator coffee is just as good as any well-made cup of coffee. As a result, campers and adventurers have been unable to get over it.

Well, percolators have remained popular equipment because it offers a retro-camp vibe and offers a simple, non-electric solution to the brewing method. Overall, it’s perfect for making a hearty cup of coffee when you are out in the wild.

What’s more? The working mechanism of a percolator is relatively simple. It brews camping beverages by cycling boiling water through coffee grounds. As the water boils, it percolates through a tiny tube and runs up into a basket filled with coffee grounds.

Some popular percolator brands include; Farberware Yosemite Percolator, GSI Glacier Percolator, etc.

What’s a Percolator Suitable For?

Using a percolator to brew coffee is suitable for car camping, tent camping, or low-budget camping. It can best be used for brewing coffee for large groups by placing it on a campfire or stove. This equipment is also useful for campers who want to experience a feeling of nostalgia during their time in the woods.

Ease Of Use

In simple terms, a percolator is simple to use and clean. The only problem with using this device is that it can be difficult to control the heat source supplied to the percolator. You have to make sure that you own the heat in the percolator, or you will end up with burnt coffee.

Materials

  • Heat source (grill, campfire, camp stove)
  • Percolator
  • Water
  • Coffee grounds
  • Coffee Mug

Method

Brewing a perfect cup of percolator coffee will require lots of patience and experience. Don’t be discouraged by your results the first time. One of the main reasons why many people are discouraged from using percolators is due to the dry, bitter taste that is produced when the coffee is overcooked.

The following steps will help you brew a great cup of coffee with a percolator:

  • Fill up the percolator with water till it gets to the “fill line.”
  • Pour coffee into the basket and add a filter
  • Close the lid of the coffee basket
  • Place the tube and basket into the pot
  • Place the percolator on a reliable heat source
  • As soon as the water starts to boil, reduce the heat source
  • Allow the coffee to percolate for 5 – 10 minutes
  • Remove the percolator from the fire
  • Pour your camp coffee

French Press

The French Press is another old piece of equipment used for brewing coffee. There are reports that the best camping coffee is made from the french press. This is because it doesn’t require a lot of modification to work perfectly outdoors.

The french press is designed in the form of cylindrical equipment with a plunger and a built-in filter screen that pushes hot water through ground coffee. Its working operation is quite simple and effective.

Recently, reputable manufacturers, like GSI Outdoors, have been able to redefine the French Press that we are all familiar with. They do their best to make the device sturdier and tougher. Therefore, you never have to leave home without a means to brew tasty coffee.

Furthermore, other companies like MSR, Biolite, and Jetboil have added more functionality to the french press by designing plunger attachments that can be connected to backcountry cook systems. This way, you get to make your coffee anywhere else. Some of the popular brands of the french press include GSI Java Press, Coffee Gator Insulated French Press, OXO Outdoors Campground French Press, and so on.

What’s the French Press Suitable For?

The french press is best used by campers, backpackers, and adventurers moving to another part of the country with a portable cook system. It can be used to make enough coffee for large groups or those who can’t live without a french press.

Ease of Use

The french press is easy to use, pack, store, and clean. It also runs on a smooth brewing process that is easy to operate for seasoned and new brewers.

Materials

  • French press or french press attachment
  • Coarse ground coffee
  • Heat source
  • Coffee mug
  • Water

Method

Using the french press is fairly simple, but there are some variations in how people can use this device. But by following a few simple steps, you’ll get to produce a cup of delicious coffee.

The following steps will help you produce a cup of french press camp coffee:

  • Add your favorite coffee blend to the bottom of the french press
  • Add some water to the coffee grounds and gently stir the mixture
  • Insert the plunger into the device, but don’t plunge
  • Let the coffee steep for 3 – 5 minutes before you begin to plunge downwards slowly
  • Pour a delicious cup of camp coffee

AeroPress

The latest trend in brewing camp coffee involves using an AeroPress. This device is a small, easy-to-use coffee maker that is perfect for creating a smooth cup of coffee. When using this method, your coffee grounds will be immersed totally in water, making it easier and simpler to extra the flavor of the ground coffee grounds. As a result, you will get less bitterness and acidity in every cup.

What makes AeroPress so special is that it lets players create a customizable cup of coffee on the go. It doesn’t matter whether you are looking to surprise your friends or try out a traditional brewing method on your next camping trip; this device is perfect for you. This coffee pot has inspired an AeroPress Championship that features the top connoisseurs worldwide. Some popular brands of AeroPress include; AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Maker, AeroPress Coffee Maker, etc.

What’s AeroPress Suitable For?

The AeroPress is equipment that is perfect for coffee drinkers who have a sense of adventure. It effectively makes coffee for hikers, backpackers, and bikers in camping groups of 1 – 4 people.

Ease of Use

Often, AeroPress is designed to be easy to clean, pack and store when going on a camping trip. It also has a fairly straightforward brewing process.

Materials

  • AeroPress
  • AeroPress Micro-filter
  • Heat source
  • Water
  • Coffee mug
  • Coffee grounds

Method

Using AeroPress for making coffee is considered to be more than just a random brewing process. Instead, it is treated by most connoisseurs as a form of art. If you are looking for a perfect personalized blend for yourself, there are numerous recipes.

The following steps will help new and seasoned coffee drinkers in making coffee with this unique device:

  • Put a micro-filter into the cap and tighten it
  • Keep the AeroPress filter on the top of your coffee mug
  • Place some coffee grounds into the brewing chamber
  • Gently pour hot water into this chamber
  • Stir the coffee and hot water for about 10 seconds
  • Wet the rubber seal and insert the plunger into the chamber slowly
  • Slowly press the contents of the chamber into the mug

Cowboy Coffee Method

Let’s say you’re heading outdoors for a camping expedition and thinking of how to make your coffee. Why don’t you opt for a similar method to what they adopted in the wild west? Many coffee drinkers treat cowboy coffee as the most authentic camping coffee you can get anywhere around. Its name also rings a bell in the head of adventurers.

Today, making cowboy coffee doesn’t involve using primitive equipment, such as a black pot, hot coals, and so on. The process has been simplified, and it’s as simple as adding coffee to boiling water and cooking it over a campfire stove.

Cowboy coffee has become renowned as a simple, flavorful coffee that gives a rich taste when brewed correctly. What’s more? It can be made in batches for everyone that’s in the group.

What’s Cowboy Coffee Suitable For?

This type of coffee is ideal for coffee drinkers interested in reducing their load when going into the wild. It also creates a perfect blend for hikers, backpackers, and campers who are only interested in a simple brewing process. Cowboy enthusiasts will also want to try their hands on this product.

Ease Of Use

In reality, cowboy coffee represents one of the simplest brewing methods. It also requires minimal presentation and minimal preparation.

Materials

  • Coffee grounds
  • Water
  • Coffee Pot
  • Heat source

Method

Despite being a traditional process of brewing coffee, there is more than one way of making cowboy coffee. For this article, we’ll keep things simple and stick to the traditional method.

The following steps will teach coffee lovers how to make cowboy coffee easily:

  • Add water to your coffee pot or camping kettle
  • Keep the pot on the campfire stove
  • When the water boils, remove it from the heat source
  • Add ground coffee to your pot
  • Mix the water and coffee grounds
  • Allow the mixture to sit for 2-3 minutes
  • Add a little amount of cold water
  • Gently pour coffee into your cup

Instant Coffee Method

Just like its name implies, instant coffee is made for anyone who is looking for that immediate hot coffee cup without the hassle of going through any brewing process. Recently, there have been numerous manufacturers that have been jumping on the instant coffee trend. As more people start to use this type of coffee, it has become more than a quick fix for coffee lovers.

Instant coffee is the lightest, easier camp coffee option in this article. However, the quality of the final product may not be as impressive as other types of coffee. If you don’t mind sacrificing some quality in place of convenience, instant coffee is the ideal choice. Some of the most popular instant coffee brands include; Alpine Start, Mt. Hagen, Voila Instant coffee, Verve coffee, etc.

What’s Instant Coffee Suitable For?

Instant coffee is a type of beverage suitable for bikers, hikers, and campers who are coffee enthusiasts.

Ease of Use

As mentioned earlier, instant coffee is a lightweight solution that requires only minimal cleaning. All you have to do is pour, stir, and enjoy a delicious coffee.

Materials

  • Instant Coffee Brand
  • Heat source
  • Coffee Cup
  • Water

Method

If you intend to drink some instant coffee, there’s no need to overcomplicate things. The preparation method is also fairly simple. All you have to do is pour the contents of the instant coffee packs, add some hot water, and stir it.

Cold Coffee Brew

Through the cold coffee brew method, you can eliminate the need to boil water in the wild. It also involves using special strategies to satisfy your cravings for coffee. This method of preparing camp coffee is as simple as walking to a cooler and pouring yourself a full cold beverage cup.

The cold brew method is perfect for hot days or as a quick fix after a long trek on a hot day. In the long run, you will get a fresh glass of coffee without dealing with the demerits of hot coffee. This type of coffee is brewed in ice or cold water for 12 – 24 hours. This brewing method helps retain the punchy, bold flavor of the coffee.

What’s Cold Coffee Brew Suitable For?

This type of coffee is ideal for hikers or campers with access to a cooler.

Ease of Use

The cold brew coffee is easy to pack and move around with. You also don’t need to clean up any bottles when you are done. Simply throw the bottle into the trash when you are done.

Materials

  • Cold Brew concentrate
  • A cup
  • Ice
  • Water

Method

Several cold-brew options are available on the market today. You’re free to purchase any item based on how much you like the flavor and taste. When you choose to make your camp coffee through this method, it’s recommended that you dilute the brew with some water. After this, you can add your favorite milk or creamer.

Watch this video to learn effective ways to make camp coffee:

Single-Serve Pour Over

There are two types of lovers of freshly brewed coffee – those who only drink pour-over and those who don’t. If you are one of those who drink the classic pour-over, you are about to learn how to get your cup of freshly ground coffee while in the woods.

We have recently come across a new trend where people try to make a glass of their beverage in the wild, using hot water and a few materials. Lovers of pour-over coffee have had to thank brands like Kuju Coffee for their idea of making pour-over coffee widely available in different parts of the world. Many people love the pour-over coffee because it offers the convenience of instant coffee grounds but with a stronger and more pronounced taste.

What’s Single-Serve Pour-Over Suitable For?

The single-serve pour-over is a great idea for hikers, campers, and other coffee lovers who can’t live without tasting incredible camping coffee in the woods. It’s also a great idea for those who intend to get premium coffee on the go without sharing.

Ease of Use

The Single-serve pour-over coffee is easy to clean, pack and carry.

Materials

Method

Generally, the instructions to prepare this type of coffee may vary depending on its manufacturer. To start with, boil water. Then, secure the anchor to the side of the mug. Pour the hot water over the ground coffee and let its contents drip into the mouth.

Coffee In A Bag

A lot of simplicity is attached to this method. It’s as simple as taking a bag of ground coffee into boiling water. Before now, teabags were the only products that utilized this means of preparation. So, why don’t we do the same for coffee too?

For a long time, coffee in a bag was treated by many people as an experimental product. The only alternative was the Folgers Singles. Fast forward to today, there are now many manufacturers that have entered this market space. Don’t be surprised to find different types of coffee and unique flavors on the market.

Some of the most popular brands specializing in coffee in a bag include; Steeped, High Side Coffee, Chamberlain Coffee, Cult Coffee, Wildland Coffee, Counter Culture Coffee, etc.

What’s Coffee In A Bag Suitable For?

This type of camp coffee is a great choice for those who want to enjoy a glass of tasty beverage but don’t want to travel with a camping coffee pot.

Ease Of Use

The coffee in a bag is simple to use and will fit into your backpack easily.

Materials

  • Hot water
  • Coffee mug
  • Coffee in a bag

Method

The process of preparing coffee in a bag is relatively simple. Its steps include:

  • Place the ground coffee in a bag and keep it in a cup
  • Fill up the cup with hot water
  • Steep the bag until you get your desired coffee strength. Steeping the bag is a simplified coffee brewing method
  • Remove the coffee bag from your mug, squeeze it and dispose of it properly

Moka Pot & Portable Espresso Makers

The Moka pot and portable espresso makers are a great idea for fans of the great-tasting Italian beverage and who want to enjoy this great taste during camping trips. This fascinating espresso maker produces delicious Italian-style coffee for the entire group. A typical Moka pot is divided into three parts; bottom reservoir, metal coffee filter, and serving carafe.

What’s more? The stovetop espresso maker can be used along with a camping stove. It also has an in-built metal coffee filter that takes out all the coffee sediments effectively. This filter ensures that you don’t have to spend time and money disposing of paper filters.

Popular espresso makers on the market include; Bialetti Moka Pot, GSI Stainless Moka Pot, GSI Expresso Maker, etc.

The following video highlights how to make Italian coffee with a Moka pot:

What’s Moka Pot & Espresso Maker Suitable For?

This camp coffee maker is designed for those who want a shot of original Italian flavored coffee.

Materials

  • Fresh Ground Coffee
  • Portable Espresso Maker
  • Water
  • Coffee mug

Method

  • Pour water into the bottom reservoir of the camping coffee maker
  • Add your finely ground coffee to the metal filter in the middle
  • Place the espresso maker over a camping stove and let the water boil
  • When the water boils, the steam goes up through the grounds and is stored in the carafe

Watch this video to learn how to use a Moka Espresso Pot:

What Are the Must-Have Items To Make Coffee Outdoor?

You have set your GPS to go into the woods for some time with your friends and family. Your camping tent will most likely be packed up already, and your backpack will be filled with state-of-the-art camping gear. During your time in the wild, it’s best to pack all types of supplies you may need because it would be difficult to restock anything.

If you intend to make tasty coffee on your camping mornings, you need to travel on your expedition with the right tools. Any caffeine love must fill their camping pack with camp coffee makers and have a reliable camping method. So, what are the items to take along to enjoy amazing coffee in the wild?

They include:

  • An airtight coffee canister keeps coffee beans fresh until you are ready to use them. Fresh and finely ground coffee is the best. Therefore, this canister helps you preserve the freshness and quality of your beverage.
  • Portable coffee grinder. This would let you grind and crush your coffee at any time you find convenient
  • Coffee brews or ground coffee
  • A travel or camping kettle. This would be where you would boil all the water you need
  • Reliable heat source
  • A reliable coffee brewing method. You can opt for any of the methods discussed above. All you have to do is identify which of them you find most convenient. It also has to produce the taste of coffee that you like.

Depending on the plans for your preferred coffee brewing method, the supplies you pack may differ slightly. Take your time to plan your next camping trip before heading out. Also, make sure you add plans for your daily dose of camp coffee.

Final Thoughts & Takeaways

Finally, we’ve gotten to the end of this piece. Early morning coffee is a necessity that many people do not want to miss out on, even during a camping trip. If you are one of these people, you are most likely considering heading into the woods with camp coffee makers.

Hopefully, this piece has taught you detailed information on brewing a perfect mug of coffee while camping. We have carefully listed different methods and explained each of them in detail. All that’s left is to pick which way you find most suitable.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make coffee while camping?

Making coffee while camping may seem like a lot of work, but it isn’t. There are many methods and alternatives that coffee lovers can apply to make it possible. All you have to do is choose the way you prefer.

How do you warm up coffee when camping?

Just start a fire on your camp stove and heat your water. Next, pour the water into a mug and add your coffee grounds.

How long does camp coffee last?

Camp coffee has a fairly short life span. When opened, it must be used up within 28 days

Ally is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent most of his free time backpacking through South America, Iceland, Vietnam, and Europe. He loves sharing his experience through blogging. His mission is to get more people in the mindset of protecting our planet by sharing its beauty.