Best Way to Make Coffee While Camping

As an experienced camper and a coffee enthusiast at the same time, I know how important it is to start your day with a nice cup of joe, even when you are on a trip. Going camping does not mean that you will not be able to drink coffee for the duration of that trip. It only means that you have to do some research and find out how to prepare coffee while on that trip!

When I first started camping, I didn't know my options when it came to brewing coffee. I always thought that my only option was to take some pre-made coffee and drink it whenever I needed a pick-me-up. It was not that long before I realized that I had been carrying all that extra weight when I did not need to do that!


I soon found out that there are several ways to prepare coffee while on a camping trip. You only need the actual coffee grounds, a heat source, a camping coffee pot to brew coffee in, and a coffee mug to drink the coffee from. There are several brewing methods that you can use - all are simple and do not need much effort!

So, if you want to learn more about the many ways to make coffee while camping, this guide is perfect for you, I encourage you to stick around and read more about the topic. The next time you go on a camping trip, you will be able to prepare the best coffee using my friendly tips!

Coffee Brew Methods for Camping

Brew Methods for Camping

There are several simple and easy ways to make coffee while camping. In this part of the guide, you will learn more about preparing coffee using a percolator, an Aeropress, a teabag, and a french press. I will also tell you more about the cowboy coffee that has been popular for decades! So, if you want to learn more about these methods, keep on reading.

Coffee Percolator

Making coffee using a percolator is almost considered a tradition. Back in the day, every household had one of these things around their house. While this type of pod might seem a bit outdated, it is perfect for brewing coffee while outdoors.

The coffee percolator works without electricity, so that is always a plus. You need to light a campfire or use a camping stove - whichever is available to you will work. Then, you put some water and a few tablespoons of ground beans in the percolator.

Leave the pot over the campfire for a few minutes or until you see boiling water in it. Then, remove it and pour your coffee into a coffee cup or coffee thermos. It might not be the most perfect cup of coffee you have ever tasted, but it will suffice.

The pros of using the percolator are that you do not need electricity, the pot is easy to clean, and lightweight. As for the cons, I have to say that you have to perfect the boil time if you do not want to get an overcooked cup of coffee. That way, your coffee will have a dry flavor.

French Press Coffee Makers

It is always a good idea to start a day of camping by drinking some french press camp coffee. I tend to take my french press everywhere with me because of the many perks it comes with. I can brew my coffee in a matter of minutes using this tool, while it is also lightweight and does not take much space.

If you want to use the french press coffee makers to make some coffee, all you need will be some water and some ground beans. French presses usually come with larger containers and a special french press plunger, so you might even be able to brew several cups of coffee at once!

So, you need to add the ground coffee to the brewing chamber and add some water to it. Stir the water before closing the chamber and slowly press the plunger down. Wait a couple of minutes before you pour the coffee slowly into your cup – believe me, it is that easy!

The only con that I can mention regarding the french press is that the taste can vary. Yet, once you perfect using it, you will not have to worry about this ever again!

Tea Bag Coffee

When planning camping trips, you are mindful of taking only as many things as needed. If you do not want to take any special equipment to make coffee, you can always go for the tea bag coffee method. This method is easy and requires only a few things. All you need is some fine ground coffee, a teabag, a rubber band, and a mug.

First things first, you need to pour the ground coffee over the teabag. You take the ends of the teabag and you secure them using a rubber band. Then, you take your mug and place some boiling water in it before you add the teabag in as well.

Leave the teabag in the mug for a while and you will see that the water will start smelling and looking like coffee. In a few short minutes, your coffee will be ready to go. So, this method comes with a lot of pros - it is quick, easy, and simple!

The only negative side of this method is the fact that your coffee will not be that strong. The taste might even be a bit bland.

Cowboy Coffee

Cowboy coffee is one of the most famous off-the-grid brewing methods. It makes delicious coffee that will make you feel as if you are part of a western movie!

I love most about this method because you only need some coffee, water, and a campfire to boil water on. Oh, and you will need a coffee mug to drink your coffee from once it is ready.

I recommend that you use ground beans with this method - they can be either fine or coarsely ground coffee beans. You can also use whole beans, but you will not get a cup of strong coffee in that case. So, back to the ground beans, it is!

Take the coffee pot and put some water in it. Place the pot over the campfire and let it sit for a while. Whenever you start to see small bubbles forming in the water, you should add a few tablespoons of coffee. Leave the coffee for a few more minutes, remove it from the fire, and pour it into your cup.

As you see, this method is rapid and easy, while it also requires minimal cleanup after you brew the coffee. The only negative side is that you might be able to taste the grounds when you drink the coffee. It is a small price to pay for such a simple brewing method!

Other Methods

The brewing methods I have mentioned so far are the most effective, quick, and easy methods. They will give you high-quality coffee in a matter of minutes.

But there are other ways to prepare camp coffee. You can use a Moka pot or an Aeropress. You can also prepare drip coffee if you want to. If you have a camping stove you can use, you can even cook your coffee as you would at home. But if you do not have one, you have to go with the old campfire stove.

coffee drip while camping

How Do You Make Coffee Without Electricity Or Fire?

I have talked about using a camping or campfire stove to brew coffee, but what happens if you have no electricity and no fire available to you? Some remote campsites do not allow campers to light fires. What happens then? How can you brew your coffee?

I suggest that you always look for as much information as you can find on your desired camping spot. Learning what is available and what is not can help you decide what you need to pack for the trip. So, if you do not have electricity and fire is not allowed, you can prepare to cook your coffee another way!

There are two easy methods that I would like to mention here - instant coffee and cold brew. Let’s see what they are all about.

Instant Coffee

All you need to have is an instant coffee packet, some water, and a coffee mug when it comes to instant coffee. Nothing more, nothing less! The packet that I mentioned contains instant coffee grounds, so you will not need to take any grounds with you aside from these.

To prepare your coffee, you should take a mug, pour the grounds in, pour the water, stir it up, and voila - your coffee is all ready! It might not be the best cup of coffee, but it will suffice for the moment.

So, the perks of this method are that you can pack everything needed without carrying extra weight. Your coffee will be ready in a few minutes, and the taste is not that bad. Still, there is a downside to it - instant coffee will be a bit bland. If you like stronger coffee, this might not be a suitable solution for you.

Cold Brew

Cold coffee became popular recently because it has a straightforward brewing method, if you can even call it that. All you need to do is add some coffee in a cup, pour some cold water over it, and leave the coffee to sit like that for 12 to 24 hours.

Cold brew coffee has several perks - it is very easy to prepare, while it is also a great way to prepare bitter-less coffee. So, if you are looking for some wonderful coffee without any bitterness, this might be the right thing for you.

Like I mentioned with the previous method, the downside of this method is the bland-tasting coffee. The method does not allow perfect extraction, which is something to keep in mind!

Other Alternatives

If you do not find these brewing methods interesting, you can always go for pre-made coffee that you buy from the store. Or, you can also buy one of those 3-in-1 coffee powders that you can prepare with any water.

I would suggest that you use filtered water with all these methods - the ones with heat and without heat. Especially if you are taking water from a stream that is not secure - you should filter the water as a precautionary measure.

I would hate it if you catch some stomach virus from the water, so make sure to keep this piece of advice in mind at all times!

What Is The Easiest Way To Make Coffee While Camping?

I was preparing coffee while on a camping trip can be a nightmare for some and a real thrill for others. What sets one group apart from the other is the knowledge of the best brewing methods for outdoor coffee making.

As an experienced hiker and camper, I guess that I have enough experience with camp cooking to say that the easiest way to prepare coffee while camping is the cowboy coffee method. You will not find many people using this method at home, but it is the best to-go method when camping.

With cowboy coffee, you do not need to take that many things with you. The essentials like a coffee cup and a brewing pot do not weigh that much. You can pack them in your backpack and add some coffee beans that you will be using.

As I mentioned before, you can use several types of beans - fine ground, coarsely ground, or even whole. But, I do not recommend the whole beans if you want your coffee to taste as nice as possible.

Using this method, you can prepare coffee in a matter of minutes. You can make up to 6 cups of coffee in one making if you are using a larger pot. You put everything in the pot and mix it up. It is the absolute easiest, most authentic brew method if you ask me.

But there is the con I mentioned before - the fact that you can sometimes taste the grounds. A quick solution to this is to add a bit of cold water to your cup after you pour the coffee. The cold water will help the grounds settle, and this will make your coffee a bit more enjoyable.

Now, you might be wondering whether some of the heatless methods are easier than the cowboy coffee. The answer is yes - these methods are very easy, but the coffee you get will not taste almost as good as the cowboy coffee. This is why I recommend cowboy coffee above everything else!

coffee grounds

What To Do With Coffee Grounds When Backpacking?

Some camping trips involve at least some hiking or traveling before you get to the campsite. If this is the case with your trip, you need to know what to do with the coffee grounds in the meantime and how to store them the right way.

What I want to say first is that I do not recommend taking whole beans on your trip. If you do that, you will need to take a coffee grinder as well. That will be an extra weight that will slow you down and cause you some trouble. So, you should try to avoid that.

It would be best if you grind the beans before leaving your home. Ground beans tend to go stale very fast, so you need to store them the right way. Either put them in an airtight container or use a zip lock bag that you will shut tight.

When it comes to used coffee grounds, you should not leave them behind to rot on the campsite. Also, you should not burn or bury them around. A responsible thing to do would be to take them with you and throw them in a compost bin - they make great compost!

There are a lot of clever uses for used or old coffee beans that you should research and learn. They can act as pest repellents and insect repellents, and you can neutralize odors with them or even fertilize your garden with them. The last thing you want to do is leave them behind!

Wrap Up

Well, that is everything you need to know about brewing coffee while camping. As you have seen thus far, you can brew some great coffee using a campsite stove or a campfire. If you do not have those two options available to you, you can also go for heatless coffee brewing that is almost as simple.

There are so many ways to brew good coffee outdoors! Set yourself up for the challenge the next time you go camping and try out some of the methods I mentioned above. Once you do that, let me know if you liked your brewed coffee. I cannot wait to read all about your camp coffee experiences!

Andrew Mullen

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