A good cup of Joe might be just want you need to keep warm and stay energized during a camping trip in the wilderness. However, how do you make coffee while camping? After all, don’t you need an electrical outlet for a coffeemaker or Keurig machine?!

While these are certainly common ways to brew coffee, the likelihood of finding an electrical outlet in the middle of the wilderness is, well, not possible…

The good news is that there are several innovative, convenient ways to make coffee while camping, and it doesn’t require machinery or electrical outlets! What follows will be a discussion of how to make coffee while camping!

6 ways to make coffee while camping

Photo by Rūta Celma / Unsplash

Depending on one’s level of coffee standards, the method with which they decide to choose will vary…

In other words, for those just looking for a quick shot of caffeine, not particularly caring for the highest quality of bean, instant coffee is the likely candidate. In contrast, for the coffee heads of the group, opting for a pour over or French press will be the likely choice of brew.

For those looking for the most authentic camping experience, however, making use of a percolator, or even more, opting for the cowboy-style coffee brewing technique are the go-to’s.

With that being said, below are the top six (6) ways to make coffee while camping:

  1. Instant coffee
  2. Percolator
  3. Collapsable pour over
  4. AeroPress
  5. Camping-Style French Press
  6. Cowboy-Style Coffee

1. Instant coffee

If you’re looking for the easiest, most basic way of making coffee on-the-go, opting for instant coffee, whether in ground form or coffee bag form is the method of choice. Not only is it fast, easy, and convenient, but there’s little to no clean up, and there’s no equipment required.

This is a huge benefit for those looking to pack lightly but still want to enjoy a cup of coffee along the journey.

To make an instant coffee, simply boil water and pour it into the mug accompanied by a desirable amount of instant coffee grounds. If you opt for the coffee bag, follow the same instructions as you would a steeped tea.

2. Percolator

If you’re a camping connoisseur, you’re likely familiar with the percolator. If not, a percolator is your run-of-the-mill, old school camping tool, largely used for boiling water, but also a handy tool for making coffee. Because of the large circumference of a typical percolator, it’s ideal for larger groups.

Because this is more of an old school way of attacking a brew, you need to be cautious if you’re unfamiliar with its use. If you’re not, you’ll likely end up brewing thick, bitter, tar-like coffee, largely undrinkable for most.

Nonetheless, the percolator is a staple in every experienced camper’s backpack, and for a reason. Here’s how to use it!

  • Fill the percolator with distilled, clean water
  • Add coffee ground to the filter attachment
  • Once the mechanisms of the percolator are in place, place over heat source
  • Bring to a boil, pour, and sip to your delight!

3. Collapsable pour over

If you have room to pack a small brewing tool, the collapsable pour over is arguably the most convenient and effective way to make coffee while camping, hence making the list of the top 6 ways to make coffee while camping!

For those who love their drip coffee, familiar with ordering it from boutique coffee shops alike, you’ll be happy to know that you can produce a similar drip coffee in the middle of nowhere whilst camping, all with the help of a collapsable pour over mechanism.

To make a coffee with a collapsable pour over, simply place the mechanism atop your mug and add the grounds. The only other step required is the addition of the boiling water! Let the pour over run its course and you’ll have yourself a coffee within minutes!

4. AeroPress

If you have room to pack a bulkier item or two, eager to find a way to brew a sufficient coffee while camping, the AeroPress might be your new go-to method! Not only does it produce a grain-free, delicious coffee, but it’s also extremely simple to use.

Made from a durable plastic in the form of a cylinder-like mechanism, there’s no concerns of breakage in your bag. Moreover, there are several ways to make use of the AeroPress.

Below is the most common method:

  • Externally boil water
  • With a filter, place AeroPress full with coffee grounds atop a mug
  • Pour the boiled water in the AeroPress chamber
  • Using the plunger and stir paddle, press to your desired amount
  • Cheers to a camping coffee!

5. Camping-style french press

When one thinks of a French press, they likely think of a pristine and aesthetic stainless steal pot of sorts. While this is true, the camping version of a French press is much more durable, compact, and packable. The camping-style French press is still your standard French press, but made by more durable materials suitable for camping and terrain.

The French press also happens to be the superior method of making coffee if the strength and richness of coffee is what you’re seeking. Here’s how to make coffee with a French press while camping:

  • Bring water to a boil (in an external pot or the french press itself)
  • Add coffee grounds to french press
  • With the plunge atop the press, let sit for a few minutes once boiled
  • Plunge towards the bottom of the press
  • Pour and enjoy!

6. Cowboy-style coffee

If you’re looking to take it back to the basics, camping in authenticity and brewing your coffee just the same, there’s nothing more authentic than brewing your Joe over the burning coals of your campfire. This is otherwise known as ‘cowboy-style coffee’.

It’s important to note, however, that this way of making coffee is not for the faint of heart. In other words, while it’s certainly a convenient way to make coffee while camping, it’s not the most delicious. If you’re not careful, the brew can come out thick, grainy, and bitter.

But remember, it’s camping we’re talking about, not a vacation at the Four Seasons!

To make your coffee cowboy-style, simply boil water in a coffee pot over a fire. Once boiled, place your grounds into the water and add a partially cracked egg on top (this will sift/filter the grounds to the bottom). At your discretion, remove from eat, pour, and enjoy! Feel free to use a cloth for an additional filter when pouring…

Final thoughts

There you go! Six quick and convenient ways to make coffee while camping.

If you’re the type of camper who drinks a TON of coffee, you’ll need quite a lot of water. Consider upgrading your water pump to a more efficient type to save money and lower your ecological footprint.