The Best Ways to Make Coffee While Camping

camping making coffee

Is there anything more captivating than savoring a morning cup of coffee, marveling at the beauty of the wilderness and absorbing the soothing symphony of the sounds of nature?

Drinking a cup of joe after a crisp night sleeping outdoors is something I look forward to. However, preparing a coffee outdoors with limited space and resources might be challenging.

Not only do you have to mind the load you need to add to your backpack, but you also need to consider the time it takes to prepare coffee.

In this guide, I'm sharing the best ways to make coffee while camping. So, keep scrolling if you don't want to miss your daily brew while camping.

The Easy Way: Make Instant Coffee

Despite instant coffee's bad reputation, it's still the easiest and most convenient way to get your caffeine fix while spending time outdoors. 

It's easy to bring and does not require additional brewing methods that can make your coffee-making process complicated. That is why instant coffee is the best option for a multi-day hiker.

Preparing instant coffee won't take too long, leaving plenty of time to explore nature. 

Another advantage of instant coffee is the variety of options in the market.

Check out an article I wrote last week: The Best Instant Coffees -2024

To enjoy instant coffee, you simply have to pour the granules over a cup of boiling water, and you're ready to go.

Cowboy Camping Coffee

The cowboy method is the rustic way of making coffee. You need an open fire, a coffee pot, and the coffee grounds of your choice.

This method got its name from how cowboys likely made stuff while on the trail. While sharing stories and ideas, cowboys sat around and drank coffee.

If you want a richer flavor, mix in 1 heaping tablespoon of coarse ground coffee for every 1 1/2 cup of water.

Related: Best Espresso Coffee Beans – 2024

Add cold water to your coffee pot and mix in your ground coffee. Place the coffee pot in your heat source and remove it from the heat at the first sign of boiling.

Add 1 oz of cold water and allow the coffee grounds to settle.

Pour Over Camping Coffee

pour over

One of the go-to methods when making good coffee is the pour-over method. The pour-over method brings out the more pronounced flavors that might be hard to attain from an electric drip coffee maker.

The mouthfeel is also silkier, making it worth the additional few minutes it takes.

When camping, you don't have to worry much about the added load to your backpack because you need minimal tools – a dripper, filter, and a kettle.

To do this, put the pour-over dripper over your coffee mug. Heat your water to a near-boil temperature. Wet the filter and place it into the dripper.

Per 1 cup of water, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds. Slowly pour water over the grounds in a circular pattern, starting at the center toward the edge and back again. 

Let the coffee bloom for 1 minute before pouring the remaining water.

Remove the dripper and enjoy your cup of coffee.

The Classic French Press

french press

If you like your coffee richer with full-bodied flavor, brewing it in the French Press is the way to go. 

Of course, you must bring your French Press while camping, but you don't need anything besides coffee and water.

Bring water to a desired near-boil temperature. Remove the top plunger from the French Press and place 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of coffee grounds per cup of water in the French Press brew chamber.

Add water to the desired amount, reinsert the press plunger and slowly press the coffee down to the bottom.

Then, pull the plunger up so it sits just under the surface of the hot water. Allow to brew for at least 4 minutes. 

Slowly press the plunger all the way down to the bottom. Then, pour yourself a cup of joy and enjoy.

Use a Coffee Steeping Bag

Steeped coffee is a quick and convenient way to enjoy camp coffee. It's lightweight and easy to bring, like instant coffee, but it's way better.

Coffee bags are thrown into boiling water and let it seep. This allows better flavors, oils, and acids extraction, making it better than instant coffee.

You can buy coffee bags from major coffee companies, or if you prefer, you can make your own coffee bag. You can grind beans ahead of time if you have a

Related: A Beginners Guide to Coffee Grinders – James Hoffman

To make coffee using this method, boil water. Place the coffee bag in the hot water and let it seep for 1-3 minutes.

Remove the coffee bag and enjoy drinking your coffee.

Moka Pot Coffee

stovetop espresso maker

If you have a stovetop Moka Pot, it might be worth bringing to your camping trip to make a barista-worthy coffee. Moka Pot creates a strong and full-bodied coffee. It has a rich aroma that will surely delight coffee enthusiasts.

To brew coffee using this method, pour water in the bottom compartment up to the fill line. Then, fill the brewing basket with a medium grind.

For a cup of water, use 1 1/2 tablespoons of coffee grounds. Tap gently to even the coffee grounds. Screw the top onto the bottom part and heat the moka pot on medium-low heat.

As the water heats up in the bottom part, the coffee will drip into the top portion.

When you hear a bubbling sound, remove from the heat and serve immediately.


How do you make coffee camping without electricity?

The cowboy method is the traditional way of making coffee without electricity. You need an open flame, a coffee pot, coffee grounds, and your coffee mug. It's the best method, especially when camping, because you don't need many tools.

What is the best coffee-making method for beginners?

The French Press is a great way to get started when you like to learn about brewing coffee. It's easy to learn, and you don't need any extra equipment besides the French Press.

It's basically mixing ground coffee with hot water and letting it sit and brew for 4 minutes.


In Summary

While you can't bring a cup of joe from your favorite coffee shop when you're in the wilderness, it's not an excuse to miss your daily caffeine fix. 

There are many ways to properly enjoy your coffee when camping.



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