Camping in the wilderness and waking up in the stunning environment full of nature life is impressive. There is nothing better than waking up with the first rays of the sun in the lush nature. What’s one of the things that come to your mind first in the morning? Well, I suppose it’s a warm cup of coffee. Alright, you may ask how to make coffee while camping and what you’ll need to start your day right.
We’re not sure what we love more – a coffee or camping, but one thing is for sure; we don’t want to miss our daily caffeine fix while camping.
Keep reading as we’re going to share multiple ways to make your favorite cup of coffee at the campsite.
1) Instant Coffee
Equipment: Instant coffee bags, kettle, source of heat, and water.
Preparation time: up to 5 minutes
Taste: Not great, not terrible.
Heads down to the worst, but most portable and fastest camp coffee out there. Coffee lovers will argue with us, but if you don’t have much time, having a few packs of instant coffee will do the trick. Different instant coffee brands offer a variety of tastes, so we recommend trying out different packages.
Since we’re usually bikepacking, every gram on our bicycles makes a difference. Instant coffee, in that perspective, is probably the best choice.
Here’s a quick method of making instant coffee while camping:
a) Collect dry logs or tiny pieces of wood and make a fire. Don’t forget to surround the fire with something that can’t burn, ideally stones or bricks. We usually bring a portable grill that goes directly on the fire. Once you have a fire, it’s time to put a bowl or a metal cup on fire. Don’t worry if you don’t have drinking water, as you can just boil water from the river stream and dissolve all the bacteria. Once the water is boiled, add your instant coffee of choice, and you’re set for the day (or a few hours). Don’t just turn off the fire, especially if you expect a cold night. Learn how to heat your tent when you don’t have electricity using the campfire.
b) For more sophisticated campers who don’t care much about portability or weight, a camp stove is a thing to have in your backpack. Just put a bowl with water on a camp stove and wait until the water is boiling. Pour the water over the instant coffee, stir it, and you’re ready. Did you know that some camping stoves can help you in creating electricity? Such a great way to charge your phone while camping.
It’s arguable which method is better and more convenient since both the grill and the camp stove are incredibly light. If you’re still trying out camping, and don’t have money to invest in real camping equipment, then a portable grill will do the work just fine.
2) Coffee Bags
Equipment: Coffee bags, kettle, source of heat, water
Preparation time: up to 5 minutes
Taste: Similar to instant coffee, so – not great, not terrible
Another easy method of making coffee is by using revolutionary coffee bags. You get it right, it’s the same thing as tea bags but filled with ground coffee beans. We only recently heard for coffee bags and tried it once in a campsite near Vis, Croatia. It’s not the best coffee in the world, but it will do the job just fine.
Just boil the water and pour hot water to the cup with a coffee bag. It’s the same process as making a tea. Get a coffee bag out of the cup after a few minutes (read brand instructions), add extras, and enjoy your sips.
3) AeroPress Coffee
Equipment: coffee grounds, AeroPress, a metal filter, source of heat and water
Preparation time: 6 minutes
Taste: Robust, creamy and delicious
AeroPress is by far our favorite tool for making coffee, no matter where we are. It’s such a genius way of making coffee wherever you are, and it’s an extremely portable tool. In our opinion, it’s a must-have for every camping and coffee lover. The coffee made with AeroPress will never disappoint you, and it’s a great way to socialize with fellow camping buddies.
Here’s our method of making a tasty and good espresso shot using AeroPress:
1) Put the coffee filter on top of the cup and attach the brew chamber on top of the filter.
2) Add a few teaspoons of your favorite coffee beans into a brew chamber and add some boiled water to the chamber (don’t overdo it). Wait for a few seconds until the coffee beans are completely wet.
3) Add the rest of the water to your chamber. We recommend pouring the hot water in the cup first and then adding it to the chamber, depending on the number of servings. That way, you’re not going to over dilute your coffee.
4) Wait for a few minutes as the water will slowly brew the coffee beans. Some of the water will pass the filter, but it’s completely normal.
5) The next step is putting the plunger in the chamber and slowly pushing it down through the chamber. The water will slowly pass through the filter resulting in a sweet and balanced brewed coffee. Don’t push it too fast as you’re not going to get a full taste. It takes about 30 – 60 seconds. In the end, remove the chamber, and the filter from your cup and your coffee is ready for serving.
4) Pour Over
Equipment: coffee grounds, paper filter, source of heat, kettle, and water
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Taste: Better than instant coffee, worse than AeroPress
One of the easiest ways to brew coffee while camping is a pour-over technique. It’s similar to instant coffee, but the coffee is much tastier, and you can pick the beans of your choice. Using this method, you’ll only need a few things such as coffee paper filters or a reusable single serve coffee filter, coffee grounds of your choice, hot water, and voila.
1) Boil the water
2) Add a few teaspoons of coffee beans to your coffee filter
3) Slowly pour boiling water over the beans, stir it up and add some extras
Easy, fast, and cheap coffee is ready.
5) Cowboy Coffee
Equipment: kettle, coffee grounds, source of heat, and water
Preparation time: 7 minutes
Taste: Creamy and magical (my favorite camp coffee)
Cowboy coffee, or how we love to call it Turkish coffee is one of our favorite camping coffee types. Since we’ve enjoyed loads of Turkish coffee in Bosnia or Turkey. There are a million ways to brew a tasty cowboy coffee, but we’re going to share our way:
1) Add cold water to a coffee bowl along with sugar. We first add the water to the cup and then to the pot as we don’t want to have too much water.
2) Put the bowl with water on a low heat and stir it until sugar carmelizes. Once the sugar carmelizes, add two teaspoons of coffee per cup.
3) Start stirring your coffee grounds until everything starts to simmer. Leave it be for a few minutes until coffee grounds sink to the bottom.
4) Pour your coffee to slowly so you’ll have a layer of foam on top. Add a bit of milk, and you’re set.
6) French Press
Equipment: coffee grounds, French Press, source of heat, water and cup
Preparation: 10 minutes
Taste: Creamy texture with a full-spectrum taste. If you’re looking for a bitter taste, leave the brewed coffee to stay in the coffee chamber for a while.
If you’re a real coffee addict, then French Press coffee is what you’re looking for. The ending result will give you a delicious, frothy, and strong cup of coffee. We can’t recommend more getting a small-sized stainless steel French Press as it offers portability and durability at once.
To make a perfect cup of French Press coffee, do the following:
1) Boil the water in a separate bowl. While boiling the water, add a few teaspoons of ground beans into the main chamber. We usually put 1 teaspoon per cup, but it’s entirely up to you and your caffeine needs.
2) After 1 minute of boiling, just take water off the fire and pour it over the coffee grounds. Wait for a few minutes and cover the mixture with a lid and pulled plunger.
3) After 3 minutes, slowly press the plunger to the filter. That way, your cup of coffee won’t have any beans, and you can enjoy a beautiful and tasty brown potion. Another great advice is to not leave the beverage in the coffee chamber for too long as it will result in a bitter taste.
4) That’s it. Just slowly pour your coffee in cups and enjoy.
7) Moka Pot
Equipment: coffee grounds, source of heat, Moka pot (espresso maker), water and cup
Preparation time: 7 minutes
Taste: Amazing taste with a creamy texture. If you’re a fan of fast and robust espresso, then it’s a way to brew your camp coffee.
For people who don’t function well without a nice shot of espresso, a Moka coffee maker is a handy tool to have in your backpack while camping. In just a few minutes, you’re going to have a powerful Italian coffee blend. You’re not only limited to espresso but adding hot water will result in a delicious and potent Americano.
Moka pot is a portable, light, and reusable campsite coffee maker that will always come handy while camping. Before getting to the preparation method, it’s essential to understand the Moka pot principle. It has three parts – lower water reservoir, middle filter, and top serving part.
Here’s a quick method of preparing a delicious shot of espresso:
1) Add the water to the bottom reservoir. Put a few teaspoons of selected grounds (medium grind is our choice) in the filter and screw the serving part on the top.
2) Put the Moka pot on the source of heat and wait until the water boils. You’ll hear a popping sound during the process as the water moves from the lower to the upper reservoir. Once the sound is over, it means the coffee is ready for drinking.
3) Remove the pot from the heat source, and leave a coffee in the pot for 30 seconds.
4) Slowly pour the coffee to ensure all the foam stays in the cup.
8) Coffee Percolator
Equipment: stainless steel coffee percolator, coffee grounds, source of heat and water
Preparation time: 7 minutes
Taste: Similar to cowboy coffee – a strong, robust, and creamy brew.
A coffee percolator is one of the easiest and cheapest methods to make coffee when camping. The technique is similar to the cowboy coffee method, but you’re going to use a specialized coffee maker called percolator. Percolator consists of a water chamber and filter. What I’ve noticed is that the coffee tastes very bitterish from the percolator, but it’s probably because of the way I’m making it.
Here’s the quick method to make a good coffee using a percolator:
1) Fill the water chamber with cold water. It’s recommended to fill enough for a specific amount of cups or till the mark.
2) Add coffee grounds to the filter. Again, we use 1 teaspoon per small cup.
3) Put a filter on the stand and place everything to a water chamber. Close everything with a lid and place the whole percolator on the heat source.
4) Like the Moka pot, the percolator will produce a popping sound until all the water is boiled. It usually takes up to 5 minutes on medium fire.
5) Once there are no more popping sounds, remove the kettle from the heat, and let the coffee sit for 3 minutes.
6) Pour the coffee slowly and enjoy your strong and bitter dark potion.
9) Drip Coffee (Vietnamese style)
Equipment: Coffee filter (phin in Vietnam), ground coffee, source of heat, water, and cup
Preparation time: 10 – 15 minutes. It’s known for its slow brewing process.
Taste: Amazing, especially if you have condensed milk to add.
It’s a bit unorthodox way to brew a coffee, and you can use a different method, but we’re going to talk about Vietnamese drip coffee. The reason? We’ve spent more than two years bikepacking around Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and this region is huge on drip coffee.
Brewing a tasty and creamy cup of Vietnamese drip coffee is an effortless and fast process. Here’s the whole method:
1) Fill the kettle with cold water and let it sit on the heat source until boiled.
2) Add 4 teaspoons of coffee beans to the filter and close it with a small lid. Place the whole filter on top of the cup.
3) Once the water is boiled, remove it from the heat source and slowly pour it over the filter. You’ll notice brown drops falling down to the cups.
4) Wait until there is no more water in the filter. If the coffee is too strong, you can always add more water in the filter and let it stay for a while.
5) Remove the filter, add extras, and enjoy a good coffee.
Extra tip: This type of coffee goes exceptionally well with condensed milk that you can buy in small cans.
We truly love camping, but one thing makes it perfect – a delicious cup of coffee in your hand surrounded by stunning nature. Making coffee while camping is very easy, but you should have the necessary equipment.
If you want to be an old-school camper, then having a small stove, kettle, a cup, and some ground coffee are all you need. There are also many ways to make coffee, but you’ll need specific gear. We’re sure now that now you’re ready and know how to make coffee while camping.