Nothing is better than waking up on the lakeside and making a cup of coffee before hitting the trail again. It’s a great way to jump-start your day if you are camping and hiking long distances. Luckily there are tons of ways to make coffee without the comforts of your home.
There are a few things to consider before beheading out to your favorite campsite. You will need to prepare first. Make sure you pack everything you need for your morning coffee, or you will be disappointed when you realize you’re missing something miles into the woods.
Coffee is an important thing to pack if you want your morning cup of joe. I suggest pre-measuring it into doses and storing them in sandwich bags. This will keep you from having to bring anything to measure or grind your beans with and will keep them dry in case you get wet.
You will need a coffee maker or another type of equipment to make coffee exactly how you would like. If you are camping out of a backpack, weight is always an issue, so don’t expect to bring your favorite glass carafe for pour-over coffee. Stick with a lighter weight option like an aero press machine.
The last thing you want is to get to your campsite and realize you forgot to bring your coffee cup. It’s best to bring more than one if you are using titanium or stainless steel. A coffee thermos is also a great option if you want to carry coffee with you.
A heat source is important for making coffee. Make sure you bring a way to make a fire so you can boil your water properly. You will also need a metal container that is safe to boil water in.
The last thing to remember is a water source. If the weight of carrying water is too much for you, then make sure you know a good place to get water. Always filter and boil your water before using it and always collect upstream of your campsite.
There really isn’t a particular coffee bean that is just right for camping. Choose whatever coffee you prefer, and make sure to pre-grind it before you go camping. If you would rather have whole beans, just remember to bring a manual coffee grinder. It can be pretty hard to find a way to grind beans when in the woods.
Great coffee isn’t just limited to coffee shops and fancy kitchens. You can get great coffee just about anywhere, even while you’re camping.
While you might associate camping with roughing it and getting by with what little you can carry on your back, there’s no reason why you can’t have great coffee in the great outdoors.
This is how you can do just that:
Making coffee while camping can be done in nearly as many ways as you can at home. You might not be able to use that high-end espresso or drip-brew machine.
However, a lot of other methods are open to you. Some require very little kit and can save you having to carry a lot of extra pots and pans. These are the best ways that you can brew up coffee while camping:
This might be the most popular method. It is really quite simple and you don’t have to carry much extra with you. This is all you’re going to need:
Your water boiling pot is pretty much going to be a constant through these methods! A small pot to boil water can be used for cooking too, so most campers are going to have one with them.
Making instant coffee is simple, this is all you’ll need to do:
This method cuts down on what you need to carry. The downside of this is that most instant coffee doesn’t taste great. It has typically been freeze-dried for a longer shelf life and chemically treated to make it dissolve entirely in hot water. You can get instant coffee that tastes good though. Specialty instant coffee might be worth carrying when camping since it gives you a good tasting cup without a lot of hassle.
Cowboy coffee is definitely a step up from instant. This is about as low tech as you can get, but it can still taste great. Like most other methods of brewing with whole bean coffee, the end result is going to come down to what beans you’re using.
Cowboy coffee is a traditional way of making coffee. It can be done without gadgets, this is all you’ll need:
Simple enough right? So this is how you make great coffee out of one pot and some fire:
The key part of making cowboy coffee is the straining to keep coffee granules out of your cup. You do this by positioning the pot to pour as horizontally as possible, dribbling out only a little water at once will prevent the grounds from spilling over, even those that haven’t sunk fully yet. If you do this right, you should get a cup of coffee that’s as clear as those made with a filter.
Cowboy coffee is low-tech, but it can taste great. This is a rustic way of brewing but one that requires pretty much no equipment. If you’re camping for a few weeks, you’ll have more than enough chances to perfect this brew method.
Pour over coffee is one of the simplest to make at home and brings out the subtle flavors of a blend of your coffee. It is also relatively easy to make when you’re out camping too. This one requires a little more kit, but most of it can be easily carried. This is what you’ll need:
This is a couple of extra pieces of kit to add to your camping bag, but a coffee filter and pot are relatively easy to carry since they’re small and light. This is how you can brew pour over coffee while camping:
This method is really quite easy. Since all it needs is a pour over cone, you can quite easily recreate your at home-coffee experience while you’re out camping.
The French press method is a great way to draw out the delicate flavors of your coffee. Making coffee while camping with a French press is pretty much as simple as making it when you’re at home. This is all you’re going to need:
The French press itself is pretty much the only extra bit of kit you’re going to need. Preparing coffee while you’re camping with a French press is also quite easy, this is how you do it:
The main issue with brewing coffee this way while camping is the mess. Doing this isn’t going to be all that clean. The grinds can be a hassle to get out when brewing at home, let alone camping. If you’re willing to get your hands a bit dirty though or boil some extra water to rinse the French press out, this is one of the best ways to get a great cup of coffee while you’re camping.
The Aeropress is a relatively new way of brewing, but it has become pretty popular. This method is similar to a French press and can make your coffee taste really good without too much set-up. An Aeropress is a dedicated bit of kit, so it does mean you’ll have to carry a bit more with you while camping! This is everything you’ll need:
The Aeropress itself is made up of a few parts. You have the main chamber which holds the coffee and water, the plunger that pushes through it, the filter cap at the bottom, and if you have room there is a funnel and paddle to make brewing a bit simpler. However, only the plunger, chamber, and filter are actually needed. This kit can be stored fully assembled, making it a hand-sized package to carry.
That is one method to brew up Aeropress coffee. This is a relatively easy way to do it and clean up isn’t too hard for you since all grinds are contained in the chamber.
There is an alternative method for the Aeropress that a lot of coffee drinkers swear by. The inverted method takes a little more time, so it might be a bit more fiddly to do while camping. If you’ve got the time though, it can be a great alternative way to brew coffee while camping.
This method is a little more complex, but it isn’t any harder for you to do while camping than at home. An Aeropress is a great compact way for you to brew great coffee while outside.
A hand-powered espresso maker is a particularly specialist piece of kit, but it can let you get proper Italian style coffee when you’re out camping. The only real drawback of this method is that it can take a little while to get the hang of pumping properly. This is everything you’ll need:
The machine itself is pretty much all you’re going to need. Well, that and the physical ability to pump out a rich espresso. This is how you do it:
Hand powered espresso machines can be tricky, but once you get the hang of it you can enjoy really good espresso no matter where you are.
Percolator coffee is one of the simplest ways to brew. That’s why it is so easy to brew this while camping. This is all you’re going to need:
This is nice and simple compared to some of the other methods available. This is all you need to do:
Taste doesn’t have to suffer just to make brewing simple. Percolator coffee will taste great if you brew it right and it can be done easily while camping.
A Moka pot is basically a set-up that allows you to brew espresso on a stove. Since all it requires is a heat source, you can make this while you’re camping even if you only have a fire. This is what you’ll need:
Moka pots themselves tend to be small and lightweight, so you shouldn’t have much of a problem bringing this with you as extra baggage. This is how you can brew coffee in a Moka pot while you’re camping:
The resulting coffee is going to come out as an espresso-like coffee that is intense and flavorful. This method is a lot less draining than physically pumping your own espresso! So if you’re looking for that intense hit of coffee without the work, this is a great choice.
A battery-operated coffee maker can essentially give you the same experience you’ll get at home from a coffee machine, but out in the wilderness. These machines are all in one, so it will be all that you need aside from water and coffee grounds.
You can use them how you would use a regular coffee maker. It is pretty much the same process except the power comes from a battery. However, they do differ depending on the type of battery-operated machine.
This method can give you great coffee, but the initial investment is quite a bit. If you’re serious about getting great coffee outdoors, then this might be a worthwhile way to make coffee outside for you.
Each of those methods has its pros and cons. The simple methods can really cut down on what you need to carry, and the filter based devices like an Aeropress and French press can give you a really flavorful cup. Essentially, which is the best way to make coffee while camping comes down to what type of coffee you like. There is a way to brew most types of coffee wherever you are. So, find that one and figure out how to do it while camping.
Brewing up coffee while you’re camping is easier than you might think, but most methods depend on one thing; fire. It is the simplest way to heat up water, which is pretty important for all these methods of brewing up coffee. This can leave you feeling a bit like a caveman, obsessed over finding fire.
This becomes a problem when some campsites don’t allow fires. Equally, rain can put a damper on your attempts to get a fire going. In these situations, you can still make great coffee.
The first way to make coffee without a fire is to use a small gas cooker. These are hot plates or grills that run off of a single gas tank. It provides a cooking flame that you can use to boil up some water.
If any type of heat or flame is completely ruled out, then your options are limited. In these cases, you should make cold brew. Bringing equipment for this might be a bit more cumbersome. However, most cold brew recipes can be done perfectly fine in a coolbox. Failing that, some room temperature cold brew can come out quite tasty if you’re careful with your ratio of water to coffee.
Making great coffee often comes down to your beans and how you grind them. Freshly grinding your coffee is the biggest change you can make to improve the flavor of your coffee. This might seem a bit difficult when you’re camping, but it can be done with the right equipment.
You don’t need a large burr grinder to grind your own fresh coffee. With a handheld device, you can easily grind up your own coffee beans. The best solution is to use a hand grinder since they don’t need any electricity. They’re simple to use wherever you go.
A handheld burr grinder can be an affordable choice that gives you a consistent grind that is going to taste great, no matter where you’re making coffee.
Why is coffee so popular with campers? It is a question that can really be applied to anyone in any walk of life, coffee is pretty much popular with everyone! However, campers in particular might be in need of a good cup of coffee.
Coffee can help you feel energized in the morning with its caffeine hit. This is particularly good if you’ve spent the night sleeping somewhere a bit less comfortable than what you’re used too. Coffee can help you feel fresh and ready to go no matter how you’ve slept.
Coffee can also be a nice warming drink on a cold night. These are all great reasons to make coffee while camping. Another is how easy it is to make great coffee while you’re camping. It is one of the luxuries of home that can be easily recreated while out camping.
Grab whatever coffee beans you prefer and pack all your essentials in your backpack. I recommend practicing at home with a method you like. You can stop and enjoy a cup of coffee no matter where you are as long as you prepare and take the time to make it.
Try different methods during your camping trips to decide which one works best for you.
The Lonesome Art of Cowboy Coffee
How to Make Amazing Camp Coffee with an Aeropress Coffee
How to Make Coffee While Camping