Just like chilled beer bottles and mustard-laden hot dogs are characteristic of a typical camping evening, there’s no better way to greet the cold, breezy mornings than with a steaming cup of rich, delicious coffee.
If you’ve gone on a lot of camping trips, you’ll probably agree with us when we say that one of the best parts of any camping trip is crawling out of your warm sleeping bag and making freshly-brewed coffee over an open campfire.
With the birds singing their usual morning songs and the cold winds breezing around you, a cup of coffee is the perfect addition to warm you and kickstart your day.
The question that arises here, though, is: do you know how to make coffee while camping?
The deal with making coffee on a camping trip is that while some campers look forward to a perfect cup of coffee for which they are ready to make all the required efforts, others just want an instant caffeine hit without having to do a lot of hard work.
6 Easy Ways to Make Coffee While Camping
Keeping all that in mind, we have come up with a variety of different and easy ways to make good coffee while camping. Depending on your budget, personal preferences, and the amount of load you wish to carry in your backpack, these options will help you make your daily brew.
Although instant coffee holds quite a bad reputation and is often described as “nothing like actual, real coffee,” you’ll be surprised to know that it’s actually a great option if you’re looking to make coffee while camping.
Instant coffee, also called ‘3-in-1 coffee’ typically comes in individual packets that consist of coffee powder, sugar, and milk. All you need to make this coffee is to empty the contents of the packet in a cup, boil some water, and pour it on top of the instant mix. Stir properly with a spoon and enjoy a cup of tasty, milky coffee.
The best thing about instant coffee is that it’s extremely lightweight and doesn’t require a lot of storage space, which makes it an ideal option for all those campers that wish to travel light.
Another incredibly easy and hassle-free way to make coffee while camping is to use a coffee bag.
Coffee bags work exactly like tea bags, and they offer a super quick, convenient solution for all those looking for an easy way to get their morning caffeine fix. They come in little bags that are filled with ground coffee. All you need to do is boil some water, place the coffee bag in it, and allow it to steep. Remove the coffee bag from the water after 2-3 minutes and enjoy your coffee.
Like instant coffee packets, coffee bags are super lightweight; they don’t make any mess and are excellent space-savers, especially if you’re camping light.
For all those who want the taste of real coffee that’s brewed over a campfire, you should bring a percolator on your next camping trip.
A percolator is a type of a coffee pot and is often referred to as the ‘old-school method’ for making coffee while camping. It comes with a basket insert and a tube. It’s ideal for those campers who wish to carry minimal coffee-making accessories with them, but also want to be able to enjoy a hearty, warm cup of coffee in the outdoor wilderness.
This old-fashioned brew method simply requires you to open the lid of the percolator and fill the kettle with water until the designated ‘fill line.’ Place the basket insert on top of the water and fill it with some ground coffee. You may use a filter at this step if you want to prevent the grounds from entering your drink. Close the lid of the basket, put the tube back inside the pot, and cover it with the lid.
Place the coffee pot over the campfire and allow the mixture to boil for a few minutes. As you notice the clear water turn into a brown liquid, allow it to percolate for 3-4 minutes, take it off the heat and pour your freshly brewed coffee in your favorite mug.
The only downside to coffee percolators is that they pose quite a challenge in terms of knowing how much to boil, or when to remove it from the heat source.
Hand-Powered Espresso Maker
If you’re looking to enjoy the highest-quality coffee outdoors, a hand-powered espresso maker is the perfect way to do that. The main reason why we’ve chosen hand-powered machines is that the manual function of these machines allows for greater customization than the automatic ones. They also let you make a cup of coffee that’s tailor-made to your coffee preferences.
In order to use this method to make coffee while camping, you first need to fill the espresso pod filter with some grounded coffee. Next, fill the water cavity located right above it with boiling water. Reattach the espresso pod and lock it in place. Press the button on the machine till you see a thick, rich coffee mixture emerging on the top. Pour it into a cup and enjoy!
The best part about these espresso makers is that they are super portable, easy to carry, and they make really good coffee. However, on the downside, they don’t have the option of steaming milk.
The Cowboy Method
This is a great way to make coffee while camping for all those light packers who camp with limited resources.
Cowboy coffee has been touted as the ‘most authentic camp coffee’ primarily because of the way it’s brewed. It also allows campers to have a primitive, old-fashioned camping experience with a bit of an adventure.
To make this coffee, you need a coffee pot or kettle, coffee grounds, and water. While there are numerous ways to make cowboy coffee, the most traditional method involves filling the pot or kettle with water and placing it over the campfire. Allow the water to fully boil for a few minutes and then take it off the heat source. Add your coffee grounds to the boiled water; stir it properly till it’s well-combined. You’re likely to see some foam forming on the top followed by a sizzling sound as you mix the coffee grounds in the water.
Let the mixture steep for a few minutes and then carefully pour the heavenly, freshly-brewed coffee into your coffee cup.
The Aeropress has become of the latest trending methods to make coffee while camping. It is a very easy-to-use coffee maker that produces an incredibly rich and smooth cup of coffee. The main reasons why campers absolutely love this device for brewing coffee are that it allows customization, has a very fast extraction process, and creates coffee with really low levels of bitterness and acidity.
For this method, you need an Aeropress machine, a micro-filter, coffee grounds, and water. Insert the micro-filter into the cap and tighten it on the brewing chamber. Place it on top of your mug in a way that the cap faces downwards.
Meanwhile, fill a kettle with water and boil it over the campfire. Wet the filter with some of the boiled water and then fill the chamber with coffee grounds. Slowly begin pouring the boiled water over the coffee and then mix it well till it’s completely mixed. Lastly, insert the plunger into the chamber and press it down consistently with a good amount of pressure for a few seconds till you see the water and coffee come together.
Our Final Thoughts
Although there are numerous other ways of making coffee, these are our top picks for how to make coffee while camping.
Whether you’re camping on a mountainside or you’re somewhere in the middle of the jungles, these quick and easy methods will help you create the perfect cup of coffee that you can thoroughly enjoy in the chilly morning breeze!