Are you looking for ways on how to make coffee while camping?
We have been there and we know there is no better way to start your morning the best way than with a hot cup of coffee.
In this article, we are going to share nine easy methods to make coffee while camping.
We have used a few methods to make camping coffee including pour-over and stovetop espresso, but after doing some research, we discovered plenty of other methods you can make camping coffee with.
We hope after reading this article, you will have known how you can still greet your morning with a fresh cup of coffee while in the wilderness.
Before we share the methods, you need to first start by assessing your needs and preferences.
Things to Consider
Here are a few essential things to consider
The number of people in the camp– How many people are going to drink the coffee in your camp? Some methods can make coffee for one person at a time and there are others that can make coffee for many people at once.
Are you going to use a gas stove or campfire– What method are you going to use to heat water? Some of the methods you will learn here can use both while others use one method of heating water.
Car camping or backpacking? For backpacking, you will need to avoid carrying a weighty camp coffee maker. Although car camping does not have weight limitations, the space can accommodate a few essential things.
That being said, here are the methods to make perfect camping coffee.
Make Coffee While Camping With a Coffee Bag
This is perhaps the easiest and sometimes coffee drinkers call it the lazy way to make coffee while camping.
With this method, it will take you around 4 minutes to make coffee. Things you will need include a kettle, water, coffee bag, and a source of heat.
Just like a tea bag, coffee bags are a convenient way to make camping coffee.
The good thing is that you can make your own coffee steep bags or buy from a grocery store.
To prepare coffee, you just boil your water over a gas stove or campfire, throw the coffee bags inside the boiling water and give your coffee a few minutes to brew (1 to 3 minutes).
Once your coffee is ready, take out the coffee bag and drink it.
Another good thing about coffee bags is that they don’t occupy too much space. Besides, you don’t have to be a barista to brew coffee with this method. Cleaning is also a breeze with this method.
Make Instant Coffee
This is perhaps the simplest method and is a suitable coffee making method for backpackers who don’t want to pack heavy equipment.
With this method, you will need a kettle, water, cup, source of heat, and coffee granules. It will take you around 30 seconds to have your coffee ready for drinking.
You will either need a stove or campfire to boil water. There are other options for instant coffee for campers so you can experiment with a few other options to see which works better for you.
The reason why many campers prefer instant coffee is that it’s easy to carry and does not occupy too much space.
Brewing instant coffee is also easy. Throw the coffee granules into a cup of hot water, stir for a few seconds, and drink.
Make Camp Coffee the Cowboy Way
Another simple and convenient way to make outdoor coffee is the cowboy method. In our research, we discovered that the cowboy method is likely to make better coffee than instant coffee.
In just 4 minutes, you will have your cup of coffee perfectly brewed.
Things you will need include fine coffee grounds, kettle, water, cup, and source of heat (campfire or stove). The cowboy method is preferred by light outdoor adventurers. This method does not require too many resources.
All you need is a pot of coffee, add some water (depending on the number of people who will drink the coffee), throw the fine coffee grounds inside, and place the pot over the campfire or stove. Wait for the water in the kettle to heat, then remove the pot from the fire and let it cool. Once the coffee grounds have settled on the bottom of the pot, serve your coffee, and drink.
You may also want to carry a mesh strainer to sieve the coffee grounds that will not settle on the bottom of the pot.
Coffee brewed using the cowboy method is dark and with a thick texture.
This method can brew coffee for two or more people and does not require too many equipments. You can also decide to use or not to use paper filters.
We discovered that cowboy coffee tends to taste over-extracted, especially if brewed for too long.
Make Pour Over Coffee
If you care about the quality of your coffee, then this method would be the best option to make coffee while camping. This is a portable coffee brewing method that uses pour-overs.
Things you will need include filter cone, cup, fine coffee grounds, kettle, and water.
Within 6 minutes, you will have your camp coffee ready for drinking.
The good thing about the filter cone is that once you have brewed your coffee, you just rinse it, wipe, and prepare it for packing.
Compared with the cowboy method, this is the cheapest and easiest method since you need simple and portable equipment. This method delivers relatively good coffee.
With this method, just open the cones, set the bottom ring on the top of your mug, put the coffee filter inside the cone, and add the coffee. Boil water (depending on the number of people) then pour the water to mix the coffee until it blooms- this could take a minute. Take out the cone and serve your coffee.
Make Coffee While Camping with a Stovetop Espresso Maker
Depending on your skills, a stovetop espresso maker also known as Moka pot can make excellent camp coffee.
This is a popular method used by coffee lovers in Europe.
Things you will need include espresso maker, fine coffee grounds, source of heat, cup, and water. You can check the current price of espresso maker on Amazon.
In around 8 minutes, you will have your camp coffee ready for drinking.
Here is how to brew coffee using this method.
- Add water to the bottom compartment and then coffee to the middle compartment.
- Put the serving carafe at the top.
- Once the water gets heated, the coffee extracts will start to float on the serving container
Although you can use Moka Pots on a campfire, you need to be careful with the plastic handle. The best source of heat to use with this method is a gas stove
This method delivers coffee that is similar to espresso.
Make Camp Coffee with a French Press Coffee Maker
The time it will take to brew coffee with a French coffee maker is 4 minutes.
Things you will need include French coffee maker, fine coffee grounds, cup, kettle, water, source of heat.
Well, this coffee making method is for those who are fancy (French coffee makers are a bit costly) although many campers say it’s the best method to make coffee while camping.
The good thing about French coffee makers is that they are built with materials that are ideal for the camp. Check current price of a French press with easy to clean stainless steel on Amazon.
To make coffee with a French coffee maker:
Ensure you use one cup of water per one scoop of coffee grounds
- Boil water and cool it for a few seconds
- Drain half of the water into the press as you wait for your coffee bloom
- Wait for at least one minute before you add the remaining water then wait for a couple of minutes for the water to steep
- You can also let the water steep for long if you want to make stronger coffee
- Once done, press the French press plunger slightly, serve coffee, and drink.
Brew Camp Coffee Using AeroPress
AeroPress involves a combination of the two methods we have described above (Pour over and French press).
It will take you around 3 minutes to have your coffee ready with this method.
Things you will need include water, kettle, fine coffee grounds, cup, and AeroPress.
Hey, and BTW, you can make an American style coffee and espresso shot with this method.
With this method, you put two scoops of coffee on your AeroPress container. Let the coffee grounds form a solution and bloom for at least half a minute. Pour water inside to fill the chamber and then stir the coffee grounds. Once done press down the plunger. It is recommended to carry a strong mug since it can tip over when pressing down the plunger on the AeroPress.
The good thing about this method is that it makes it easy to measure units and allows the brewing of strong and clean coffee.
On the downsides, it’s bulky and requires a large space.
Cold Brew Concentrate
When camping during hot summer days you can do yourself a favor by making a delicious iced coffee.
Yes, it’s easy to brew this type of coffee. With filtered river water, cold brew concentrate and some refreshing cold, you can enjoy an iced coffee in a few seconds. Of all the methods we have shared in this article, this is perhaps the simplest since you do not need to boil the water to brew your cup of coffee.
The cold-brew concentrate is similar to the coffee you get when you steep coffee grounds in cold water for 12 or more hours. The coffee you drink is less acidic and not caffeinated.
Make Coffee in the Wilderness with a Percolator
Percolators (check the current price of a percolator on Amazon) were must-have equipment in every camper’s kit. They are still the best coffee machines to use while camping since they are easy to use, suitable for large groups, ( you can get a Percolator with 8-12 cup sizes) easy to clean up, and you do not need to be an expert to use them.
In less than 6 minutes, you will have your coffee ready for drinking.
Thins you will need include water, fine coffee grounds, Coffee percolator, cup.
To brew coffee with a Percolator, open the percolator and fill the bottom of the chamber with water, fill the top compartment with coffee grounds. Heat the percolator with your source of heat and as the water boils; it will mix with the grounds and then filter back down to the bottom compartment.
Although this is a set-and-forget coffee brewing method, it may result in bitter and over-extracted coffee. Furthermore, a Percolator is a bulky coffee machine and not ideal for backpackers.
Additional Accessories You May Need
If you are considering making your camping trip a little luxurious and enjoyable, you can add a few luxuries.
This way, you have a great coffee experience – well these are not must-have tools though.
- A Manual Burr Grinder
Having this equipment will help make your coffee taste fresh. There are plenty of manual burr grinders for almost all shape and sizes. They are also lightweight and are made with durable materials.
- Miniature Scales
A miniature scale would make a great addition to your backpack. With this tool, you can have an accurate water-to-coffee ratio for improved extraction. It eliminates guesswork and minimizes waste.
Well, you can measure out the coffee and water you will need before you leave, but it’s good to do the measuring when brewing coffee.
How Do You Plan to Make Coffee While Camping?
Chances are that you are looking for ways to make coffee while camping or you’ve been making camp coffee but you want to experiment with other methods.
There are quite a number of options when it comes to brewing camp coffee. There are simpler and less expensive methods and others that would cost you some few bucks on equipment purchase.
Whatever method you choose, just ensure it’s simple, easy and quick to brew coffee with.