Post Summary: How To Make Coffee While Camping
Do you love coffee as much as we do? Drinking coffee when camping may not always look the same during our travel routine, but one thing is for certain – it’s a morning must!
But how in the world do you make it happen? What’s cleanup like? How do you store everything? Can I even make a good cup on the go?
Friend, we got you covered.
In this post, we’re sharing 6 clever ways on how to make coffee while camping. These methods will be *almost* mess-free, fast, and efficient for backpacking, car, camping, and road-tripping to get your caffeine and get you back to what you love most – exploring!
Camping Coffee Tools and Accessories
Before we share our methods for making coffee while camping, we first have to talk about the tools to make it happen! Keep reading for our favorite camp coffee mugs, portable coffee grinders, and coffee canisters to keep your beans fresh on the road.
Camp Coffee Mugs
The best camp coffee mugs are insulated, and have a lid to keep your drink warmer for longer! Choose from hard-sided ones, packable ones, or even ones that can fit in a car cup holder.
Camp Coffee Grinders
From fine espresso grounds to coarse ground coffee, picking the right portable grinder is a great addition to any good camp coffee making kit. Most portable coffee grinders will have adjustable burr grinders, so you can decide the coarseness of your coffee, and bring it along on all kinds of outdoor adventures.
Just a note on coffee grinders: Coffee grinders aren’t actually necessary unless you want your beans absolutely fresh! To save space in our camping bag, we often will grind our coffee beans at home, and bring them in a coffee canister. (More on these below, just keep scrolling!)
If you choose to grind your coffee before your camping trip (this is what we do most of the time), it’s important to keep those beans as fresh as possible.
There are several coffee canisters on the market, but the one we like best is from Miir. This compact canister has an easy-to-use vacuum seal system that keeps whole or ground beans fresh. Use it at home and take it with you camping – it looks good, it’s functional, and it’s just the right size!
Our 6 Favorite Ways To Make Coffee When Camping
1. Instant Coffee
Best for: Backpackers, ultralight travelers, people looking for a quick cup of joe.
Instant coffee is known for being efficient, fast, and virtually mess-free (but don’t forget to pack out that micro-trash!). However, it’s not always had a reputation for the best flavor, but that’s changed in recent years.
Montana’s Black Coffee Roasting Co. has made their single-source coffee INSTANT, perfect for those weekend trips to Glacier National Park. Other great brands are Alpine Start (which has the cream and sugar already mixed in), Verve Instant Craft Coffee, or Laird’s Instafuel.
Aeropress Method is best for: campers who are particular about their coffee, car campers, and RVers
Making camp coffee with an Aeropress is for you if you don’t want to give up your espresso, even in the backcountry! This smart design backs ultra-small, so you can take it backpacking, or tuck it away in a camp kitchen bin without taking up much space.
The Aeropress method brews smooth, high-acidity coffee and makes up to 3 cups in one minute. Cleanup is easy – just a quick rinse will easily clear out all the grounds so you can take your brew on the go. The Aeropress also comes with a starter pack of microfilters, and you can buy extras practically anywhere if you run out.
Leave No Trace Tips: While coffee grounds are biodegradable, it doesn’t mean they belong out in the backcountry! Pack out any wet trash in a half-gallon Stasher Bag, so you can seal away any liquids and keep smells at bay. Dump the grounds when you get home!
3. Single-Serve Pourovers
Single-serve pour overs are best for: backpackers, people who want to save space but don’t want to give up good coffee.
Do you want the taste of an Aeropress without having to measure, prepare, and grind your camp coffee? Let us introduce you to the single-serve pour over. These packets are very easy to use: simply rip open the packet and anchor it to your camp coffee mug. Pour your desired amount of water and enjoy!
Berty and I especially like to use these on our Washington backpacking trips and car camping road trips. Kuju Coffee packets are consistently delicious and easy to use too. They also store very small, so they won’t take up much room in your bear bin or day pack.
4. Pourover Stands
Pourover stands are best for: coffee drinkers who are very particular, baristas on a camping trip, stationary camping stops (you’re in the same place for a few days)
Pour over stands are leaning into the more traditional methods of making camp coffee. They require a steady surface, hot water, your coffee grounds of choice, and a good pour over stand. A pour over stand is a filter that rests directly over your coffee mug, in which you add coffee grounds to the top and pour over hot water to brew the coffee into your mug below.
There are several types that fit tons of outdoor experiences. Here are some suggestions:
- Making camp coffee at a campsite: We recommend the Stanley Pour over set.
- For making coffee while backpacking: consider the Sea To Summit X Brew Coffee Dripper or the GSI Java Drip coffee maker (both are very small!).
- For making camping coffee on the go: Check out the Miir Pourigami, which folds ultra small and can fit into practically any bag!
5. French Press
French Press coffee is best for: coffee drinkers seeking a tried-and-true way to make coffee, larger groups (2-5 people), and RVers
If we’re in a group of people, one of our favorite ways to make coffee while camping is with a french press. French presses can make a larger quantity of coffee, serving more people with just one simple way to brew.
You don’t have to have a group to enjoy french press coffee while camping either – you can casually pour yourself cup after cup all morning long! Some of the newer french presses for camping have double-walled insulation, meaning your coffee will stay warmer, longer.
Best for: people who love cooking meals over the campfire, car campers
Brewing camping coffee with a percolator is a great way to enjoy breakfast when cooking over an open flame. Percolators are a simple design that includes a basket of coffee grounds that sits in a pot of water. As the water boils, the water is sent up through a tube on the basket, saturating the grounds and dripping brewed coffee in the main pot.
Most percolators are meant to be used over an open flame (check your particular product to make sure!) but they can also be used on a camping stove too for a little less danger. Either way, this is a fun, rugged way to make coffee on your next car camping trip!
Don’t have a percolator? Try cowboy coffee! It’s as simple as dumping coffee grounds in a pot, letting it heat up over the fire, and letting the grounds settle to the bottom.
It’s definitely the cheapest way to make coffee (no fancy tools involved) but make sure you don’t let your cup sit for a second. This way the grounds can settle at the bottom of your cup.
Did you find a new way to make coffee while camping? What are you favorite outdoor brewing methods? Let us know in the comments section below!
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