Many people have their own tips, hacks, recipes, or even traditions for enjoying coffee while out camping. The serenity of the outdoors and a cup of coffee are great companions. And we definitely do want to enjoy a good cup of joe while out on an adventure.
This guide lists some of the coolest methods to enjoy your coffee when camping. Some of these methods are old and have been around forever. Others are somewhat newer and present a modern approach to enjoying coffee while camping.
The percolator is an old favorite for campers. The strong, caffeine-rich coffee is a great pick-me-up and energy booster for campers. It helps that the method is simple and easily managed. You can make coffee in a camping percolator with minimal preparation, as long as you have some fire going and some water for the coffee! Make sure you have a good camping lantern as well.
If traditional percolators don’t satisfy you, give the famous Moka Pot a chance. Espresso-style coffee is an old favorite. It helps that Moka Pots are available even in tiny single-cup packages.
2. T-Bag Pour Over Pouch
Getting a cup of gourmet pour-over coffee while out camping seems like a great fit. The T-Bag pour over coffee pouch makes it possible. When placing the pouch over the cup, its T-shaped appendages will hold on to the cup rim. The pouch also works as a filter. All that is needed now is hot water flowing over the coffee.
This is my favorite at the moment, and it’s not just because it makes great coffee! It’s lightweight and convenient. Practically, the only thing to carry is coffee, and it even includes its own filter. No additional equipment needed – which is great if you’re out hiking or backpacking and every ounce of weight and inch of space counts!
Get your pack of gourmet pour over pouch coffee
3. Cowboy Coffee
The famous cowboy coffee is an old recipe loved by outdoor adventurers. There is no need for specialized coffee equipment here. However, you’ll need regular cooking utensils. Namely, a saucepan!
This usually makes a strong brew, though if you’re a beginner, it might take a couple of tries to get the coffee-to-water ratio right. This is a steeping method and will take at least about 5-minutes to brew a cup.
When you add water to the saucepan, remember to add a little extra over the number of cups being brewed. Often, it’s necessary to add anywhere between half a cup to a full cup. Some water and coffee sludge will stay in the saucepan when your coffee is done brewing.
4. The French Press
The French press is one of the most popular methods of brewing coffee. It is also suited for the outdoors. Low complexity and the ability to make great coffee make this a very popular method. The classic French press is great for car camping.
However, when out camping, avoid the glass-carafe French press and pick a stainless steel option instead. Another great thing about the French press is that it’s an amazing milk frother. You can get that velvety touch for your coffee even when exploring the great outdoors.
Those out backpacking or hiking can look into the travel mug French press design. These are time-saving and convenient designs. Making it possible to use the French press as a travel mug allows for more possibilities. At the very least, you don’t have to carry along another cup!
The French press is a simple and elegant solution. Many integrated cook systems for camping now offer or include French press plungers to make things more fun and convenient.
5. Manual Espresso Maker
Coffee is one thing, but getting a decent espresso in the outdoors is a whole other beast. Good espresso requires pressure (the recommendation is about 9 bars). Manual espresso makers try to solve this problem. They don’t get to the recommended pressure, but brewing a decent shot of espresso is possible.
There are claims on some machines that reach the pressure required or go beyond that. But it’s tough to achieve. Though the contraption may be capable of handling the pressure, it would be difficult (if not impossible) for the user to generate that pressure.
Amazing as it is, the portable espresso maker needs some hard work. It can also be tough to clean. This is a great option, though clearly, it’s not for everyone.
Aeropress is an innovative, compact, and popular technique to brew coffee. It’s very easy to carry along for a camping trip and makes wonderfully rich and smooth coffee. You will need a filter for the Aeropress. It is common to use a paper filter. However, it is a good idea to use a permanent, metallic filter.
It takes about a minute to coax a great coffee from the Aeropress onto a cup. Once you’re done, the machine is easy to clean and ready for the next brew! It’s great coffee and many campers love it. I’m ambivalent about its use. The Aeropress is too large and takes up too much space in the backpack. Perhaps limit it to car camping excursions.
7. Instant Coffee
Don’t turn your nose up just yet! Granted, instant coffee isn’t as great as regular coffee, but it’s tough to beat on convenience and brew time. The technology and methods for making instant coffee have evolved considerably. I’d say it is possible to get a cup of good coffee using instant coffee. There’s no reason to hold onto old prejudices.
There is no specialized equipment needed and the coffee can be ready in seconds. All you need is some water!
The greatest benefit of instant coffee for a camper is that it’s easy to carry around. That considerably reduces the weight that needs to be carried. That makes it especially useful for hikers and backpackers.
Also, instant coffee is available in a variety of packaging options and flavors such as Sumatra coffee. That brings more options to make your coffee. You could carry a single big pack that will last the entire camping trip. Or, bring along small single-serve sachets that can be cracked open whenever you have a hankering for coffee.