Best Way to Make Coffee While Camping

What is the Best Way to Make Coffee While Camping?

Published: Nov 24, 2020

When camping, there is limited equipment you can pack and in the aspect of food and beverages, you will choose to bring snacks that are easy to prepare and water as a beverage. Most of the campers tend to warm up their bodies with caffeine which is possible. You can have brewed coffee outdoors by looking at some tips on the ideal coffee making methods we'll be discussing in this article.

Different Ways to Make Coffee While Camping

In this area, we will be talking about the methods of coffee preparation for camping purposes. Ways to prepare camping coffee are categorized into different types and these are Cowboy Camping CoffeePercolator, Espresso or Moka Pot, Instant Coffee, Pour Over Coffee, French Press Coffee, and Aeropress Coffee. To make this coffee, you can follow the following tips:

  1. Cowboy Camping Coffee

Usually, you can witness this method by watching some cowboy films heating their coffee then sharing it with everyone around the campfire. Cowboy coffee is somehow similar to the taste of brewed coffee. It is black and strong but that depends on how you prepare it.


Boil the water depending on the amount of coffee you want to prepare. There are two ways to make this coffee.  The first type is with a filter. You can use a cheesecloth or fabric filter that you can soak in the boiling water. Place the coffee grounds on the filter then tie it up then immerse it in the boiling water. Remove it from heat and steep the filter with coffee grounds for 5 to 10 minutes. The second method is to boil the coffee directly with the water then remove it from the heat then steep.

Ideal use

This technique is perfect for two people and it does not require numerous pieces of equipment. Bear in mind that the downside of this method is the thick and powdery taste.

  1. Percolator Coffee

Cowboy coffee may serve a small number of people but with Percolator, you can prepare much for your camping companion.  It measures more than 8 cups of cups which means you can have more than enough coffee for a large group.


Load the percolator container with cold water which is more than half of the apparatus. Place the coffee grounds on the small canister which is placed on top of the percolator. Close the kettle then heat it.  After boiling for about 7 minutes, remove it from the heat. You will know the coffee's boiling because of the sound. You can leave your kettle boil for 10 minutes for a stronger coffee taste.

Ideal use

Percolator use is good if you want to prepare for several people. It is easy to heat and clean however, it has a similar disadvantage with the Cowboy coffee taste. The flavor becomes powdery because of the intense extraction. This equipment is bulky for lightweight backpacking.

  1. Espresso or Moka Pot

The espresso maker is actually named as Moka pots which are either designed to be used for stove or electric to brew coffee but for camping aspects, of course, stove type is the choice. For preparation, remember to put the water on the base, coffee grounds in the center section. Leave the peak part empty.


To prepare your brewed coffee using a Moka pot, you need to detach the top part and the coffee container. Fill the water on the bottom division then place the coffee grounds in the coffee filter. This is the middle part you detached earlier. The amount of grounds is a bit more than half of the tray. The next step is to attach the coffee tray to the bottom body then twist and connect also the top part.

It is advisable to use a camping stove to maintain the heat. The heating process is done when the boiling sound stops.  Take out your kettle then serve the coffee.

 Ideal use

The body is really durable which is great to be used outdoors. Recommended for those who are solo campers because the amount of coffee it can serve is limited. Be careful when you heat it because it's handle might melt and the coffee will taste powdery if not monitored properly.

  1. Instant Camping Coffee

Instant coffee is the best and simple choice you can have. You don't need to buy equipment to prepare your coffee. All you have to pack is the instant coffee or coffee bag and your mug or thermos tumbler.  However, anticipate that the taste is totally different from brewed coffee that came from a vivid process.


For coffee bags, you just place the coffee bag from your cup with hot water then let it stay on the required time as per instructions of the coffee you brought. Don't forget to remove the bag because it will affect the taste of your coffee if you steep it. On the other hand, for the instant coffee, just apply the same steps on how you prepare it in your house or at work. Pour it on your mug with hot water, mix then enjoy.

Ideal use

Packing instant coffee is one of the easiest choices. It does not require you to bring any apparatus and you'll have one utensil to clean and it is your mug. The taste is not that high quality compared to the brewed coffee.

  1. Pour Over Camping Coffee

This is usually used in coffee shops and we have reviewed some coffee makers that are designed with this. Simple methods and does not require you to use complicated equipment to make your coffee. If you want to achieve a positive product, then you need to be careful to follow the process. You can also check our review about GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip for light backpacking.


First, place the dripper on top of your mug. Put the coffee grounds in the dripper. The taste differs on the amount of ground you place on the dripper. Pour boiled water slowly into the dripper for a better and strong taste. If your dripper has a separate filter then damp the filter before you put the coffee grounds. Take note that not all of the drippers have similar steps to use so we certainly advise you to follow the manufacturer's guide.

Ideal use

Drippers are great for light backpacking. The size of the pour-over dripper will affect the amount of coffee you can make. There are drippers that are capable of serving coffee to large groups.

  1. French Press Camping Coffee

Another known method to prepare coffee is by using the French Press. Most of us have seen the body of this equipment and it is literally a small glass carafe with a pump. It is easy to use and it is quite portable but brittle. For other choices, you can check GSI Outdoor French Press for a more durable build.


Boil the water then pour coffee grounds in the carafe. Remove it from heat then put the plunger on top. Don't press it down yet. Wait for half a minute then stir the mixture. Leave it again for about 4 minutes then it's time for you to press the plunger gradually.

Ideal use

Lessens waste material because you don't need to remove the coffee sediments while preparing it. Similar to other coffee-making methods, the taste is powdery.

  1. Aeropress Coffee

Aeropress Coffee Maker has made its way to our reviews as notable equipment for camping. The body parts can be detached but it is more compact if you assemble it already when you pack it. You can have your brewed coffee outdoors without packing a lot of cookware and equipment. For complete details, you can read our review about it.


Boil water. Place a filter into its cap and lock then put the device on your mug. Dampen the filter with hot water to eliminate the paper taste then throw the water. Place the coffee grounds onto the Aeropress. You can measure it with the spoon of the unit.  Slowly pour the hot water on the grounds then leave it for half a minute. Just like the French Press, stir the mixture. For 45 seconds, stir, pour water then place the plunger again. Press it slowly for about 30 seconds.

Ideal use

Can serve up to 3 cups of coffee however, the unit is plastic which is vulnerable to damage. What we like is the measuring tools for the best mixture of your coffee.


For light backpacking, we suggest you chose the simple and easiest way to prepare coffee. Bringing drippers, instant coffee, and coffee bags are recommended but if you are going with a large number of people may be percolator and Aeropress will work for you. Always think of the type of camping and backpacking you are going to because it will affect everything in your adventure. Be attentive to the devices you plan to buy because some are vulnerable and easy to break.

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