6 Methods to Make the Greatest Coffee When Camping

Aug 13, 2016
Jason Chambers

How do you make coffee when camping? If you have planned that last minute camping trip to one of these beautiful national parks, you know that nothing is better than a good ol’cup of joe in the morning out of the tent. In the quest for the best way to brew coffee when camping, we scoured the web from forums and subreddits to blogs and products reviews to find the best methods and alternatives to instant coffee. So here we are! Scroll down to discover the most popular ways to brew coffee outdoor, in no particular order!

French press

GSI Outdoors Commuter Javapress Coffee Mug ($23.00)

Using a French press is one of the easiest way to make coffee when camping. Everyone appreciates the fresh ground coffee, especially in the morning when they are out of their tents! While most French press pots have a glass canister, you should look for a bpa-free plastic canister because navigating the trail doesn’t lend itself to keeping everything free from bumps and scrapes. A camping french press paired with a small hand grinder is a combo that will never disappoint you.


Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker ($30.00)

Aeropress is life when camping or traveling. It’s ultra-light and made from the same polycarbonate that’s in Nalgene bottles, so it’s indestructible. You can do a basic cup really easily:  Put the filter in, throw in some grounds, add water, press on top of your mug. Afficionado say that coffee made from an Aropress is smoother, more aromatic and less bitter than drip or even French press coffee.

Pour over drip coffee maker

Snow Peak Folding Coffee Drip ($30.00)

If you’re the only one to drink coffee and have minimal cleanup capacities, pour over drip coffee is still a good option. A folding filter holder is a must, but if you don’t have the capacity to keep used filters in a garbage bag, opt for a laser cut stainless steel filter. And contrary to paper filters, stainless steel filters do not absorb essentials oils from coffee beans, allowing you to make a perfectly clear and flavorful coffee every time. 

Moka pot

Bialetti 6 Cup Moka Coffee Maker ($27.00)

A tiny single-serve moka pot is a cute, lightweight and almost indestructible accessory you bring with you. You can just stick in in or near the fire or on top of a cast iron pan for that maximum “camping effect”! There are dozen in different capacities and chances are you’ll find almost-unused ones in thrift shops for only 3-$5.

Turkish style / Cowboy coffee

Update International Turkish Coffee Decanter ($6.80)

The Mid-Eastern way of brewing is more refined than good ol’cowboy coffee brewing, but they share the same principle. Get grind coffee (fine ground for Turkish style, coarse if you’re true to your western roots), a pot and cold water. For the Turkish version, stir the coffee in cold water, heat it up until it become foamy, but not boiling, stir, let it settle for a minute or two, then carefully pour into your cup, leaving the grounds in the pot. Cowboy coffee is basically just adding coffee to boiling water, wait for 3-4 minutes, give it a stir to settle the grinds and then pour it into your favorite mug. Stop drinking when you get to the coffee grounds in the bottom of your cup. In both cases the taste is pretty good, and it doesn’t require any extra gear. Simple and works great!

Coffee Percolator

GSI Outdoors Enamelware Percolator ($22.00)

Percolator enthusiasts praise the percolator’s hotter, more « robust » coffee and tell that there is nothing better than percolator coffee when camping. Simple to use and very sturdy, it works similarly to a moka pot. A few hints: Use coarser ground coffee to leave less residue in the pot and don’t be tempted to crank up the heat to speed up the water heating process, this will overheat coffee making it taste burnt and bitter. 

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