10 Techniques to Make Coffee While Camping

Make Coffee While Camping

Published: July 14, 2021

More and more Americans are finding the enjoyment and satisfaction of going on outdoor adventures. Whether you’re a hiking enthusiast like us, or a seasonal camper who made the outdoors their second home, there’s nothing like the feeling of sipping on your first cup of freshly brewed coffee.

There are numerous ways to make coffee while you’re camping. From going cowboy style and using instant coffee or pour-overs, to using more complicated methods, like a portable espresso machine, we’ve covered 10 options for you. You’ll find the steps, and the pros and cons of each of these methods below.

If you’re like us, and couldn’t stand a day without a cup of coffee, even when in the middle of the wilderness, then it’s impeccable that you know the many different techniques to make coffee. Whether you have fully prepared your coffee equipment, or were in a rush and therefore only brought basic items with you, we’ll show you the awesome ways to make coffee.

Click here to see a list of our favorite coffeemakers.

 

10 techniques to make coffee while camping

  1. Instant Coffee
  2. Coffee in a bag
  3. Cowboy coffee
  4. Percolator
  5. Pour-over
  6. French press
  7. AeroPress
  8. Hand-powered espresso
  9. Stovetop espresso makers, aka Moka pot
  10. Use a bripe 

 

Here are the details on how to make coffee:

  1. Instant coffee

One of the easiest ways to make coffee anywhere in the world is to use instant coffee. Everybody knows how this technique works. All you need to have is a kettle, clean water, a fire source, and your chosen instant coffee granules.

 

How to do it:

By mixing your coffee powder with hot water, you’ll instantly have a cup of coffee in a matter of 30 seconds.

 

Pros:

  • Time-efficient
  • Lightweight
  • Convenient
  • Comes in various flavors
  • Cheap
  • Portable

 

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have the rich taste of brewed coffee
  • Doesn’t have all the benefits you’ll find in natural coffee
  • Can be a bit messy to clean

 

  1. Coffee in a bag

Another easy technique to make coffee while camping is to use coffee in a bag. Like teabags, you can find this type of products in coffee shops. There are only a couple of things you’ll need to get started with these.

 

How to do it:

First, put your coffee in a bag, and boil water. Then, put the hot water in your mug, and let the bag steep in it for a couple of minutes. And you’re all good to go!

You can also do a DIY coffee in a bag before going on your camping trip. You can use a basket coffee filter as your coffee bag. To do so, lay the filter on a flat surface, pour in your favorite coffee grounds, tie the filter using a butcher’s twine, and just leave a little twine for you to hold if you’re ready to steep it in hot water.

Pros:

  • Time-efficient
  • Consistent taste
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Convenient
  • Cheap
  • Nothing to clean

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have the rich taste of brewed coffee

 

  1. Cowboy coffee

If you want to look tough and impress your friends, one of the simplest, yet most time-consuming to clean techniques to make coffee while camping is the cowboy method. The only things you’ll need for this method are water, your preferred coffee grounds, and a kettle.

 

How to do it:

To apply the cowboy coffee method, first, boil your water in the kettle. Once it boils, remove the kettle from the fire, and let it cool down for 6-7 minutes. After this, pour in your coffee grounds directly into the kettle, and stir. Let the coffee settle for a couple of minutes, then stir, and let it rest again. Once you think the coffee has settled at the bottom of the kettle, it’s ready to be served.

We mentioned that this is a time-consuming technique because most coffee grounds will get stuck on the walls and at the bottom of your kettle. Plus, you’ll also find some coffee grounds at the bottom of your cup.

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • You can adjust the taste according to your liking
  • You can prepare as many servings as you like

Cons:

  • Difficult to clean
  • Can take a long time to finish serving multiple cups

 

  1. Percolator

Percolators are essentially an advanced version of the cowboy method. With the latest technology, you’ll find that these have more control over your coffee, and are automatic and easy to clean.

 

How to do it:

It works like an advanced kettle. There’s a separate storage for your water, and above it is a separate area for your coffee grounds. When the water starts to boil, the condensed water starts to heat the coffee grounds on top of it, and the coffee grounds drips into the boiling water at the bottom. The longer the process goes, the more coffee drip goes into your boiling water.

The typical time that you need to finish a serving of coffee using the percolator technique is about six minutes.

Pros:

  • Convenient
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Affordable
  • Versatile

Cons:

  • Can be over-extracted if left unchecked, thus resulting in a bitter taste.
  • Can be time-consuming while waiting for consistent boiling of water.
  • Takes some practice to perfect your ideal coffee taste because you need the right measurement of the coffee grounds, and a great timing in boiling water.

 

  1. Pour-over

One of people’s favorite techniques to make coffee while camping is the pour-over method. You don’t need any instructional manual to do this because it’s as simple as 1, 2, 3. But first, you’ll need a couple of things: water, a kettle, coffee grounds, a filter cone, and a dripper.

 

How to do it:

For this technique, the first thing that you want to do is put your dripper on top of your mug, with the ring facing the bottom. Place your filter cone on the dripper, and pour your coffee grounds into it. Before filling in your boiled water, make sure that you let it cool down for a couple of minutes, to ensure that you won’t burn your grounds.

To get your ideal taste, we suggest that you first pour a certain amount of water to saturate your coffee grounds. After a couple of seconds, pour in the remaining water. Make sure that you remove the dripper and filter cone before you drink your coffee.

Once you’re done, you can just rinse the dripper and filter, pack them up, and you’re all set. Usually, it takes around six minutes from boiling the water to letting the coffee saturate, and for you to finish the entire process.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Convenient
  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • You can control the taste of your coffee

Cons:

  • Can be time-consuming when preparing multiple cups of coffee.
  • You need the right amount of coffee grounds to ensure that the water doesn’t pour in too fast or too slow, which can alter the taste of your coffee.
  • You either need to have the right size for your dripper or your coffee mug, so that it fits correctly.

 

  1. French press

The French press technique is a well-known method that allows you to control how strong your coffee should be. Usual French press machines are made of durable materials, like stainless steel or double-walled plastics, which is crucial when you’re camping.

To make coffee while camping, using the French press method, you’ll need water, a kettle, coffee grounds, and of course, a French press machine. The typical time that you need to do a cup of serving is around four minutes, depending on how strong you like your coffee.

 

How to do it:

The ideal measurement to have a great-tasting coffee with the French press is to have one scoop of your preferred coffee grounds per cup of water. Once you have your boiling water, let it cool down for a couple of minutes before pouring it in.

Pour a certain amount of water into the press, and let it saturate your coffee. After a minute, pour in some more water, and let it sit there for a couple of minutes. If you want stronger coffee, you can pour your remaining water, and let the coffee steep for no more than three minutes. Once you’re satisfied, just push the French press button, and you can enjoy your coffee.

Pros:

  • You can control the taste of your coffee
  • Portable
  • Easy to clean
  • Most materials used are durable, which is ideal for hiking trips

Cons:

  • You’re limited to serving up to 2 cups of coffee at a time (depending on how big your French Press is).
  • The filters need to match your French Press machine for it to work properly.

 

  1. AeroPress

The AeroPress technique is a mix between the French press and the pour-over methods. By using this technique, you can achieve either an espresso shot, or an American-style coffee. Simply enough, all you need is an AeroPress machine, water, a kettle, and your coffee grounds.

 

How to do it:

For this method, put two scoops of your ground coffee in the large AeroPress container. Once you’re satisfied with the amount of coffee, soak it for a minute. After this, pour in enough water to make the chamber full.

Next, stir the coffee grounds with the provided paddle. The last thing that you need to do is place the plunger into the AeroPress chamber, and press it down slowly. To adjust the taste to your liking, simply add water.

Using the AeroPress method typically takes about three minutes, from preparation to serving. Also, we suggest that you use a durable and steady mug if you plan on doing this, to avoid the AeroPress from slipping or tipping over.

Pros:

  • Portable
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Fast brewing time
  • You can control the taste of your coffee

Cons:

  • Requires a filter that’s specifically made for an AeroPress machine
  • Can only make one cup of coffee at a time

 

  1. Hand-powered espresso

With the on-going popularity of the hand-powered espresso technique, more and more campers have chosen this method to make their coffee, because you can do it almost anywhere you go.

You’ll only need a hand-powered espresso maker, a kettle, water, coffee grounds, and a metal filter. After boiling your water, you’ll only have to spend at least a minute from preparation to serving to enjoy your coffee.

 

How to do it:

After boiling your water in the kettle, pour it into the espresso maker, and leave it for 30 seconds. Then, pour in your chosen coffee grounds. Let the coffee settle for a while before you start pumping the espresso maker.

A good thing to know is that your coffee is ready to drink when you see a brown, rich layer on top of the device.

Pros:

  • Portable
  • Rich tasting coffee
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Convenient

Cons:

  • Requires a metal filter for this device
  • Can only do a couple of servings at a time (depending on the product that you choose)

 

  1. Stovetop espresso makers, aka Moka pot

One of the most popular methods to make coffee in Europe is to use the stovetop espresso makers technique, also known as “Moka pot.” All you need for the Moka pot method is water, coffee grounds, and a stovetop espresso maker.

 

How to do it:

This device is composed of three parts. The bottom part is where you put the water, the middle part is for your coffee grounds, and the top is where you’ll find the serving carafe. Place the espresso maker on top of a campfire stove. Once the water boils, the coffee extract starts to go up onto the carafe, which will be your serving container.

You can expect a rich and strong coffee, similar to espresso, when you choose to use the Moka pot method. Although, it takes around eight minutes to fully prepare a cup of coffee with this technique.

Pros:

  • Rich tasting coffee
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Time-consuming
  • Takes some practice to perfect your ideal coffee taste because you need the right measurement of the coffee grounds and great timing in boiling water.
  • Most of the materials that make out this device are aluminum for the body, and plastic for the handle. These materials easily get hot, so you should be careful when handling this product.

 

  1. Use a bripe

Although not many people use this technique in the campers community, doing the Bripe technique to make a cup of coffee is simple and lightweight, which is ideal when you’re on the road. The materials you’ll need are your chosen coffee grounds, water, a bripe, and a butane lighter.

 

How to do it:

Using the bripe method is straightforward. All you have to do is mix the water and your coffee ground inside the Bripe, and stir. Start heating the bottom of the Bripe using your butane lighter until the coffee is ready to drink. Let the Bripe cool down for a couple of minutes, and you’re all set to drink your coffee through the stem.

Pros:

  • A one-of-a-kind experience due to the unconventional design
  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Takes some practice to perfect your ideal coffee taste because you need the right measurement of coffee grounds, and great timing in boiling water.
  • Time-consuming

 

 

Final thoughts

Making coffee while camping shouldn’t be a difficult experience. If you’re looking for a quick and cheap solution to your coffee cravings, you can choose to use the easier methods. Although, this could result in a bland flavor. If you’re looking for a rich and delicious cup of coffee though, you should be prepared to spend a few bucks on a coffee maker that can achieve the taste that you like.

Also, when choosing what technique to use, make sure that you consider the preparation and cleaning time when making your coffee. It’s important to remember to use the No Trace Method when camping out, and that there might places where you’ll have limited water supplies for drinking and cleaning your materials.

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