You probably know all about the kind of coffee you’re used to when camping: it’s diluted and doesn’t taste that great.
This is usually because you don’t have access to your usual coffee machine and other gear.
I personally always feel like coffee on camping trips is a consolation, never a first prize, but you can actually make tasty coffee while camping.
What coffee supplies do you need? The truth is, you can make coffee in several ways when you’re outdoors, such as by using a coffee grinder or camping coffee maker.
In this article, we’ll explore how to make coffee in different ways while camping so you can find the best way for you.
Do you want a really easy and quick way to make coffee?
Or do you want to take charge of the process, from grinding your own beans to enjoying coffee like you have it at home? Read on because you’ll learn various ways of how to make coffee while camping.
Gear You’ll Need To Make Coffee While Camping
There are different things you’ll need to make tasty coffee during your camping holiday depending on the type of coffee you want.
However, there are some general items that are good to throw into your backpack.
- Coffee thermos: This will ensure that you keep the coffee you’ve made hotter for longer, especially because you won’t have a microwave handy to warm it up when it gets cold. A good one is the Thermos Stainless King that keeps your coffee nice and hot, thanks to its double-wall insulation, and has a 40-oz (1,182 ml) capacity.
- Water filter: While you might think this is a luxury item, it’s a must to carry with you when you’re camping in a pristine or primitive place. Making sure the water is free of impurities will also ensure that your coffee tastes better. Choose a portable water filter, such as the Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System that removes most bacteria and all microplastics.
- Coffee grinder. This one is optional. If you like to grind your own coffee beans, then you’ll love being able to do so while camping. The best portable coffee grinder is one that you can use manually. A good one to try is the JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder with Adjustable Setting because it has 18 settings to ensure you get the exact coarseness you want in your grinds and it’s quiet.
Types Of Coffee You Can Make When Camping
This is the quickest and easiest way to enjoy a cup of coffee.
Best for: backpacking, hiking, and people who don’t have space in their bags for coffeemakers.
How to make it:
- Put the instant coffee grounds into a cup.
- Pour a bit of cold water over them. This is a trick that ensures the coffee grounds will dissolve better when hot water is poured over them.
- Wait a minute, then pour boiling water over the coffee.
- Stir it well, then add milk and sugar to taste.
In case you need help with heating water in the outdoors, we have an article about the different reliable ways you can boil water while camping.
Best instant coffee for camping: Nescafe Taster’s Choice House Blend Instant Coffee. It doesn’t taste bitter and is mildly roasted to provide a smooth and balanced flavor.
- smooth and well-balanced flavor
- pure premium coffee
- 105-6 fluid ounce cups per one jar
If you’ve never heard of cowboy coffee, it’s become an American tradition and it’s really easy to make. It’s when you make coffee by putting coffee beans into hot water, so it’s like a French press without the filter.
Best for: camping with friends when you want to try something different, people who want a strong and flavorful cup, and anyone who’s forgotten their coffeemaker at home.
How to make it:
- Boil water in a pot. When it boils, remove the pot from the fire and let it cool for 30 seconds.
- Then, add two tablespoons of ground coffee for every eight ounces of water.
- Stir it well.
- Let it sit for two minutes, before stirring it again and then letting it rest for another two minutes.
- After it’s brewed for four minutes, you should pour half a cup of cold water over the grounds to enable them to sink to the bottom of the pot.
- Pour the coffee into a cup, being careful not to get any of the grounds in it. You could also use a sieve for this purpose.
Best ground coffee: Starbucks Medium Roast Ground Coffee. It’s a light but lively roast that has a sharp finish. You’ll love that it’s ethically sourced and will make you feel like you’re getting your Starbucks fix even when you’re in a primitive campsite.
You can easily make coffee while camping with the use of a percolator.
Best for: People who want a strong coffee taste and like to control how their coffee is brewed.
How to make it:
- Fill the percolator with water so that it reaches just below its basket insert.
- Put your coffee grounds into the basket. You should aim to use about one heaped tablespoon of ground coffee for every cup of water.
- Bring the percolator to a low boil by placing it over the campfire.
- When you see some of the liquid reaching into the dome, you’ll know it’s getting close to boiling point.
- Remove it from too much heat and let it simmer for a few minutes. You’ll have to keep it away from the campfire’s direct flame.
- Make sure you watch the dome. If the coffee entering it is too pale it will result in bland coffee, while if it’s too dark it’s going to be bitter.
Best coffee percolator: Farberware 50124 Classic Yosemite Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator. It makes eight cups of coffee and has a handy clear glass knob so you can see when the percolating process is starting. It can easily be cleaned in the dishwasher.
Lately, one of the coffee trends has been to go back to a simpler way of making coffee – the pour-over method.
This might take a bit longer, but it’s a great way to enjoy simple pleasures in life, and it’s perfect for when you’re in the outdoors, enjoying the views and not in a rush to get your day started in the way you are when you’re home.
Best for: People who want the simplicity of making coffee and have experience with perfecting the tastiest cup, and people who want to control the flavor of their coffee.
How to make it:
- If you’re grinding your own coffee beans, they should be the consistency of table salt. This tip helps to balance the water.
- Bring filtered water to a boil.
- Unfold the paper filter and insert it into the top of your pour-over maker, such as your Chemex.
- Sprinkle some water on the filter, then add the coffee grounds to the filter.
- Pour in enough water to cover the coffee. Wait 45 seconds.
- Then, go ahead and pour the rest of the water over the coffee. Make small circular patterns with the coffee so that all the coffee grounds are saturated.
- When the coffee has been brewed, you can remove the filter.
You can also view a video of the pour-over coffee method.
Best Pour-Over Coffeemaker: Bodum Pour Over Coffee Dripper Set With Double Wall Mug and Permanent Filter. This coffeemaker is camping-friendly because it has a permanent filter that’s reusable and made of stainless steel, so you don’t have to worry about producing paper waste during your holiday. By avoiding paper filters, you’ll also prevent a papery taste in your coffee.
Is there a battery-operated coffee maker?
These are really rare because of the amount of power that’s required to make a cup of coffee.
In addition to that, most of the battery-operated coffee makers you can find will only be able to make a single cup.
What’s the best battery-operated coffee maker?
A wide variety of battery operated coffee maker options are available to you on the market today.
Our top pick is the Makita DCM501Z 18V LXT. It can brew one cup of coffee in five minutes and doesn’t require paper filters.
You don’t have to go without your delicious morning coffee just because you’re not in your kitchen at home or close to a Starbucks.
In this guide, we’ve outlined some of the easiest ways to make delicious coffee wherever you are, right over the campfire.