Mom Goes Camping

How to Make Camp Coffee: 7 Ways to Brew Coffee while Camping

how to make camping coffee

I love my morning coffee even more when I am camping.  There is literally nothing like sipping a how brew while watching the morning fog lift from the mountains!

TIP: Always bring a bit extra coffee along while camping.  You can offer it to people you meet at camp or on the trail.  I’ve never had anyone turn down a cup of coffee and it is a great way to make new friends!

 

Option 1: Instant Coffee

My secret to making good instant coffee while camping is powdered milk.  You just need:

H20 + Instant Coffee + Powdered Milk + Sugar = Morning buzz

I prefer using this method of making camping coffee because it is super quick, requires no extra pot or gadget (weight matters for me!), and I don’t have to clean up any coffee grounds.

On the downside, instant coffee tastes somewhat terrible if you’ve been spoiled by espresso. 😉

The little baggies include instant coffee, sugar, and powdered milk. Plus a bag of oats = perfect camping breakfast!

The little baggies include instant coffee, sugar, and powdered milk. Plus a bag of oats = perfect camping breakfast!

Option 2: Brew in a Bag Method

Just put some coffee in a coffee filter, then tie up the filter with some string.  Then you just soak it in hot water and have travel coffee!

The downside is that you’ve got to do this in advance, and you’ll waste a lot of filters.  Instead, you might want to try something like the MSR MugMate.  You just put the coffee into the basket and put it into a mug of hot water. The big downside though is that it only brews one cup at a time.

Option 3: Pour-Over Method

Coffee makers work by dripping hot water over a filter basket of coffee grounds.  You can easily replicate this yourself.  Just take the filter basket out of your coffee maker and bring it with you camping (it might take some jerryrigging to get it to stay up over your mugs though).

An alternative is to get something like the Snow Peak collapsible coffee drip.  Or, if you’d prefer to skip the filters, then the Cafellissimo Stainless Steel reusable coffee filter.

A collapsible coffee drip by Snow Peak - Buy Here

A collapsible coffee drip by Snow Peak – Buy Here

 

This silicon collapsible coffee drip is also cool - Buy Here

This silicon collapsible coffee drip is also cool – Buy Here

If you want to skip the coffee filters, then this reusable coffee filter is great. Buy Here

If you want to skip the coffee filters, then this reusable coffee filter is great. Buy Here

Option 4: Percolator

Also known as stovetop espresso makers, these have been around for a long time.

To use a percolator, you put water in the bottom part and coffee in the middle part.  Screw on the top part.  The entire thing goes on the stove.  When the water boils, it goes upwards and pushes coffee into the top part.

The big pro with this method is that you can make multiple cups at once and don’t need a separate pot for water.  However, traditional percolators are very bulky and heavy.  They also make very strong and very bitter coffee. Be careful not to leave it on the fire too long or the coffee can burn!

Here are the parts of a percolator

Here are the parts of a percolator

Put the percolator on top of the stove or campfire to make the coffee

Put the percolator on top of the stove or campfire to make the coffee

And the finished percolator coffee!

And the finished percolator coffee!

Option 5: Portable Mini Espresso Machine

You’ve gotta love technology when it’s something like the GSI Outdoors mini expresso machine.  It basically works the same way that a percolator does, but is more compact. The espresso will come out of the funnel and into your waiting mug.

camping-espresso

Buy Here

It comes in two sizes: 1 cup and 4 cups. Buy Here

Option 6: French Press

To use a French press, you put coffee grounds in the bottom, fill it with water, stir and steep, and then press down.  The plunger pushes all the grounds to the bottom so pure coffee is on the top.  Just pour and drink!

French presses make strong, dense coffee.  The beans have to be coarsely ground or it can get clogged easily.  (If you aren’t sure what a French press is exactly, read this article about the difference between a French press and percolator.)

A problem is that most traditional French presses are made from glass – something you should NEVER bring camping.  Instead, consider these cool camping coffee presses.  They won’t break and are compact and lightweight.

This is the AeroPress camping French press for making espresso - Buy Here

This is the AeroPress camping French press for making espresso – Buy Here

There is also this cool French press which goes on a Nalgene bottle - Buy Here

There is also this cool French press which goes on a Nalgene bottle – Buy Here

Option 7: Turkish Coffee

I live in Serbia and this is the type of coffee that everyone drinks at home.   To make Turkish coffee, you:

  1. Boil 1 coffee-cup’s worth of water (add sugar if you wish)
  2. Remove boiling water from heat.
  3. Add two heaping spoonfuls of coffee, per person. Mix the coffee into the water.
  4. Return the water-coffee mixture to the heat.
  5. The coffee will start to rise as it boils again. Remove it from the heat right before it boils over.  Make sure you watch the coffee or you will have a big mess everywhere!

Note that you need to use coarsely-ground coffee for Turkish coffee.  The grounds will settle to the bottom of the cup as you drink it. You don’t drink these grounds.  Some people even know how to use the grounds to read your fortune!
turkish-coffee

 How do you make coffee when camping? 🙂

Image credits:
Camping Coffee” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by smcgee
nalgene press bot (coffee press)” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by uosɐɾ McArthur
Turkish Coffee – Camping” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Baha’i Views / Flitzy Phoebie
Pocket Rocket Coffee” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Jack Amick
camp coffee” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by nebarnix
holy nectar” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Uncleweed
Making the coffee” (CC BY 2.0) by Maria Keays
Campground Coffee” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by dlanham

 

About the author /


Diane Vukovic is an avid traveler, outdoor enthusiast, beetle lover, sometimes sculptress, couchsurfer, and loves finding ways to explain complex topics to her 6-year old daughter. Follow MomGoesCamping on Facebook and Twitter @MomGoesCamping to stay in touch!

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