how to make coffee while camping

Campfire Brews: How to Make Coffee While Camping

Making coffee while camping is a must for many outdoor enthusiasts. There’s nothing quite like waking up in the wilderness and enjoying a hot cup of joe to start the day. Fortunately, there are various methods and tools available to brew coffee in the great outdoors. Whether you prefer the convenience of instant coffee, the simplicity of coffee bags, or the elevated experience of pour-over methods, there is an option for every camper.

In this article, I will explore different ways to make coffee while camping and provide recommendations for portable coffee makers that can accompany you on your outdoor adventures.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are several methods and tools available to make coffee while camping, including instant coffee, coffee bags, pour-overs, cowboy coffee, percolators, and the Aeropress.
  • Instant coffee is a quick and convenient option for camping, requiring minimal preparation and cleanup.
  • Coffee bags offer a simple steeping method, eliminating the need for additional equipment.
  • Single-serving pour-overs provide a more elevated coffee experience while camping.
  • Cowboy coffee and percolators offer traditional brewing methods for those who enjoy a strong and bold cup of coffee.
  • The Aeropress is a versatile and portable coffee maker perfect for camping, combining elements of different brewing methods.
  • When choosing a portable coffee maker, consider factors such as size, weight, durability, and ease of use.

Instant Coffee: A Quick and Convenient Option

When it comes to camping, convenience is key. That’s why instant coffee is a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers a quick and hassle-free way to enjoy your favorite brew while embracing the great outdoors.

instant coffee for camping

Instant coffee is lightweight and compact, making it an easy addition to your camping gear. It requires minimal preparation and cleanup, saving you precious time and water. Whether you’re on a multi-day hiking excursion or a weekend camping trip, instant coffee is a practical solution that won’t weigh you down.

There is a wide variety of instant coffee brands available, offering different flavors and intensities. From basic options to gourmet blends, you can choose the one that suits your taste preferences. Some popular choices among campers include Alpine Start, Mt. Hagen, Voila, and Verve Coffee.

To enjoy a cup of instant coffee while camping, simply add the desired amount of coffee grounds to a cup. Pour in hot water, stir, and voila! Your morning brew is ready to be savored amidst the tranquility of nature. It’s that simple.

Instant coffee is not only a convenient option for camping but also for other outdoor activities such as backpacking, road trips, and picnics. It’s a versatile choice that ensures you can always have a cup of coffee whenever and wherever you need it.

Coffee in a Bag: The Simple Steeping Method

Coffee in a bag is a convenient alternative to instant coffee and doesn’t require any additional equipment. Simply place the coffee bag in a cup, add hot water, and let it steep until your desired strength is reached.

This hassle-free method of brewing coffee while camping is perfect for those looking for a quick and easy way to enjoy a cup of joe. Coffee bags are available from reputable brands like Steeped, High Side Coffee, and Chamberlain Coffee, ensuring a quality brew even in the wilderness.

Haven’t packed coffee bags for your camping trip? No worries! You can easily make your own coffee bags by placing ground coffee in a filter and tying it with string. This DIY camping coffee hack allows you to have complete control over the coffee grounds and strength of your brew.

Why Choose Coffee in a Bag?

“Coffee in a bag is the ultimate camping coffee hack. It offers convenience, portability, and excellent flavor without the need for any additional equipment.” –

The coffee in a bag method is loved by campers for several reasons:

  • Quick and easy preparation
  • No need for extra equipment
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Minimal cleanup
  • No electricity required

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a beginner, coffee in a bag is a perfect solution for your caffeine needs while enjoying the great outdoors.

camping coffee hacks

Pros Cons
  • Convenient and easy to use
  • No additional equipment required
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Pre-packaged coffee bags may be more expensive than DIY option
  • May not achieve the same control over strength and flavor as other methods

As you can see from the table, coffee in a bag offers numerous advantages, making it an ideal choice for camping trips where simplicity and convenience are key. While it may not provide the same level of control as other brewing methods, it still delivers a delicious cup of coffee to help you kickstart your day in the great outdoors.

Single Serving Pour-Overs: Elevating the Camp Coffee Experience

If you’re looking to elevate your coffee experience while camping, single serving pour-overs are a must-have. These portable coffee makers offer a flavorful and aromatic cup of coffee, ensuring you start your outdoor adventures on the right note.

Single serving pour-overs typically consist of pre-ground coffee in a convenient and foldable paper stand. The lightweight and compact design make them easy to pack and ideal for camping trips. To brew your perfect cup of coffee, simply follow these steps:

  1. Place the pour-over stand on top of your cup.
  2. Add coffee grounds to the pour-over.
  3. Pour hot water slowly over the grounds, allowing them to bloom.
  4. Let the water pass through the pour-over and into your cup, capturing all the rich flavors.
  5. Remove the pour-over and enjoy your freshly brewed coffee.

Popular brands like Kuju Coffee and Copper Cow offer a variety of single-serving pour-overs, ensuring you find the perfect flavor profile for your taste buds. These pour-overs provide a convenient and mess-free way to enjoy a high-quality cup of coffee outdoors.

coffee brewing equipment for camping

The Classic Cowboy Coffee: Brewing Coffee over an Open Fire

When it comes to brewing coffee while camping, there’s nothing quite like the classic method of making cowboy coffee. This traditional and rustic technique has been used for generations and provides a strong and bold cup of joe that’s reminiscent of the coffee cowboys enjoyed on the frontier.

The process of brewing cowboy coffee is simple and requires minimal equipment. All you need is a coffee pot, water, coffee grounds, and optional eggshells for a smoother brew.

To make cowboy coffee, follow these steps:

  1. Fill the coffee pot with water. The general rule of thumb is to use one tablespoon of coffee grounds for every six ounces of water.
  2. Add the desired amount of coffee grounds to the pot, adjusting based on your preferred strength.
  3. If using eggshells, crush them and add them to the pot. The eggshells help to clarify the coffee and reduce bitterness.
  4. Place the coffee pot on an open fire or camp stove and bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Once boiling, let the coffee steep for a few minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
  6. Remove the coffee pot from the heat and let it sit for a minute to allow the grounds to settle.
  7. Pour the coffee slowly and carefully to avoid transferring any grounds to your cup.

Now, sit back, relax, and savor the rich aroma and robust flavor of your homemade cowboy coffee.

“There’s something special about brewing coffee over an open fire. The crackling flames, the scent of wood, and the timeless brewing method all come together to create a truly authentic camping experience.”

The Art of Campfire Coffee Techniques

Brewing coffee over an open fire requires a bit of finesse. Here are some campfire coffee techniques to help you achieve the best results:

  • Use coarse coffee grounds to prevent them from seeping through the pot’s spout or filter.
  • Let the coffee steep for a few minutes after it boils. This allows the grounds to settle and enhances the flavor.
  • If you don’t have a coffee pot, you can use a clean sock or bandana as a makeshift filter. Simply pour the coffee through the fabric to strain out the grounds.
  • Experiment with coffee-to-water ratios to find the perfect balance for your taste preferences.

By mastering these campfire coffee techniques, you’ll be able to brew a delicious cup of cowboy coffee that will fuel your outdoor adventures.

campfire coffee techniques

Pros Cons
Simple and rustic brewing method Potential for coffee grounds in the final cup if not poured carefully
Strong and bold flavor May be challenging to control the strength of the coffee
Minimal equipment required Can be time-consuming as the coffee needs to steep
Authentic camping experience May not be suitable for campers who prefer milder coffee

The Percolator Method: Nostalgic Brewing for Coffee Lovers

Bringing Back the Classic Charm

As a coffee lover, brewing my favorite beverage while camping is a nostalgic and cherished experience. The percolator method offers a unique way to enjoy a rich and flavorful cup of coffee in the great outdoors. With its charming design and brewing process, using a percolator takes me back to a simpler time.

The percolator method involves boiling water in the lower chamber of the percolator and letting it percolate through the coffee grounds in the upper chamber. This process results in a robust and aromatic brew that coffee connoisseurs appreciate.

While percolators may be bulkier than other coffee brewing equipment designed for camping, they have their own advantages that make them popular among campers who value the brewing process and the delightful aroma of freshly brewed coffee.

“Coffee and camping go hand in hand, and I love the ritual of using a percolator to make coffee outdoors. The sound of the percolation process and the smell of the brewing coffee create a sense of warmth and comfort.” – Sarah, avid camper and coffee enthusiast

The Pros and Cons of the Percolator Method

While the percolator method offers a unique and nostalgic coffee brewing experience, it’s important to consider its pros and cons when choosing the right brewing method for your camping adventures:

Pros Cons
  • Rich and robust flavor
  • Aromatic coffee aroma
  • Perfect for large groups
  • Bulkier than other camping coffee equipment
  • Requires more cleanup
  • May lead to over-extraction if not monitored carefully

Despite the extra effort required, many coffee lovers find the percolator method worth it for the exceptional flavor and satisfaction it brings. If you appreciate the nostalgia and love experiencing the art of brewing coffee, the percolator method is a great option for your camping coffee needs.

coffee brewing equipment for camping

It’s Time to Brew

If you’re ready to channel your inner coffee connoisseur and embark on a journey of nostalgic brewing during your camping trips, here’s what you need to get started:

  • A percolator
  • Ground coffee beans of your choice
  • Fresh water

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Fill the lower chamber of the percolator with water.
  2. Add the desired amount of coffee grounds to the percolator’s upper chamber.
  3. Assemble the percolator and place it over a heat source, such as a campfire or camp stove.
  4. Allow the water to boil and percolate through the coffee grounds. The exact percolation time can vary, so monitor it closely to achieve your preferred strength.
  5. Once brewed, remove the percolator from the heat source and let it cool slightly.
  6. Pour the freshly brewed coffee into your favorite camping mug and savor the nostalgic flavors.

Remember to always exercise caution when handling hot objects and open flames while camping.

The Verdict: A Trip Down Memory Lane

The percolator method offers coffee lovers the opportunity to reconnect with the past while enjoying a delicious cup of coffee in the great outdoors. It may require a bit more effort and cleanup compared to other brewing methods, but the rich flavor and enticing aroma make it a favorite among campers seeking a touch of nostalgia.

The Aeropress: The Versatile and Portable Coffee Maker

The Aeropress is a must-have coffee brewing equipment for camping enthusiasts who crave a delicious cup of coffee in the great outdoors. With its innovative design, the Aeropress combines elements of pour-over, French press, and pneumatic press, allowing you to customize your brew and enjoy a smooth and rich coffee experience.

One of the key advantages of the Aeropress is its portability. It is lightweight and compact, making it easy to pack and carry on your camping trips. Whether you’re trekking through the wilderness or relaxing at a campsite, the Aeropress is a convenient coffee companion that won’t weigh you down.

Using the Aeropress is a breeze. Simply add your desired amount of coffee grounds and hot water to the chamber, give it a gentle stir, and press the plunger. The manual, hands-on brewing process allows you to control the brew time and extraction, ensuring every coffee lover can achieve their ideal cup. Plus, the Aeropress is a breeze to clean, with its disassemblable parts that can be easily rinsed or wiped down.


What is the easiest way to make coffee while camping?

Instant coffee is the easiest way to make coffee while camping. Simply add the desired amount of coffee grounds to a cup, pour in hot water, stir, and enjoy.

How do I make coffee in a bag while camping?

To make coffee in a bag, simply place the coffee bag in a cup, add hot water, and let it steep until your desired strength is reached.

What are single-serving pour-overs?

Single-serving pour-overs are pre-ground coffee in a foldable paper stand that you place on top of your cup. Just add coffee grounds, pour hot water over them, and enjoy.

How can I make cowboy coffee while camping?

To make cowboy coffee, add water, coffee grounds, and optional eggshells to a coffee pot. Bring it to a boil, let it steep, and then pour the coffee.

What is the percolator method for brewing coffee while camping?

The percolator method involves boiling water in the lower chamber of a percolator and letting it percolate through the coffee grounds in the upper chamber.

What is the Aeropress and how can I use it for camping?

The Aeropress is a portable coffee maker that combines elements of pour-over, French press, and pneumatic press. Simply add coffee grounds and hot water, stir, and press the plunger to brew your coffee.

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