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Article: 6 Ways to Make Coffee While Camping

coffee making gear on tree stump at campsite

6 Ways to Make Coffee While Camping

While getting away is one of the best parts of camping, so is enjoying the little things. Simple pleasures like a good meal or a pleasant conversation are richer and more enjoyable when done in the Great Outdoors. 

Well, coffee is the same way.

Though camping is often about economizing on space and things, you can strike a balance if you really like your coffee. To get the most out of your camping coffee—and to find the right camp coffee maker for you—sit down with a nice cup of jo, and read on: 

The 6 Best Ways to Make Coffee While Camping

Opinions differ on how to make coffee while camping, but the best way depends on the type of camping you are doing and how much space and time you are willing to dedicate to your camp coffee experience.

1. Instant Coffee

These two words might make a coffee lover cringe, but instant coffee has come a long way. There are many more brands to choose from than before, and the quality of instant coffee has improved with that diversity. To brew instant coffee, just:

  • Tear open the packet
  • Pour it into a mug
  • Pour hot water, and stir

What it might still lack in richness, it makes up for in simplicity and space. Instant coffee is a great option for backpackers who need to economize drastically.

2. Pour-Over Coffee

Your favorite barista might love going into excruciating detail about the art and science of pour-over coffee. To spare you the detail, pour-over coffee involves heating water on your trusty camp stove and then pouring it over grounds held in a filter suspended over a coffee mug.

You can get single-use, pour-over coffee servings, or you can buy a reusable frame that fits on the top of your mug. To brew, simply:

  • Place the pour-over frame on the coffee mug
  • Put a conical filter in the frame, if using a reusable frame
  • Add grounds to the filter
  • Pour hot water over the grounds until the mug below is full

This method is still a viable option for backpackers and is definitely workable for car campers.

3. French Press

A French press is a great option for those with a little more space for packing. They come in various sizes, so you can find a small one that’s easy to pack or go for a larger model that will quickly get your whole group caffeinated.

To make coffee while camping with a French press:

  • Add grounds to the French press
  • Fill the French press with hot water
  • Put the raised press and lid on the pot
  • Wait for the coffee to brew, usually a few minutes
  • Slowly push the press down until it reaches the bottom
  • Pour and enjoy

4. Portable Propane Coffee Maker

If you have room to pack something larger and want coffee just like you have it at home, you can opt for a portable propane coffee maker. The beauty of a robust (pun intended) coffee maker is it’s just like making coffee with a machine at home, but you attach a mini propane tank instead of plugging it in. 

This is a great option for car campers, large groups, or people who drink as much coffee as a large group.

5. Percolator Coffee Pots

This is another nice option for those who want their coffee as they have it at home. A stovetop percolator is relatively simple to use:

  • Add coffee grounds to the central percolator
  • Fill the pot with water
  • Place the unit over the heat of your campstove
  • Brew for a few minutes or as directed by the manufacturer

6. Cowboy Coffee

If you remembered your coffee but forgot to pack a coffee maker, there’s still hope. Cowboy coffee only requires coffee grounds, hot water, and a cooking pot.

  • Bring water to a boil
  • Remove the pot or kettle from the heat
  • Add coffee grounds
  • Return pot to reduced heat
  • Scoop the remaining grounds off the top of the water with a spoon, then pour

Camping Cooking Supplies

No matter your preferred method for coffee while camping, you can find the camp cooking gear you need from Make your next trip outdoors one to remember.

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