make coffee while camping

How to Make Coffee While Camping? Best Tips For Hassle-Free Trips

Are you one of those millions of Americans who go camping every year? Is coffee your fuel? You’re in the right place!

You don’t have to give up a delicious cup of java just because you’re in the wild. In fact, I’ll show you 15 different ways of how to make coffee while camping!

That way you can enjoy a cup and bring your camping experience to a whole new level! Whether you’re in a tent, in an RV, or a lodge, there are ways to make camp coffee and enjoy it every day!

Ready? Let’s talk coffee and the best way to make coffee camping!

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Crisp forest air, millions of stars in the sky, cozy campfire are what makes camping so special and unique. Why should the lack of coffee ruin your experience?

When you’re packing for your next camping trip, remember to bring:

  • Ground coffee
  • Coffee mugs
  • One of the brewers below

How to make campfire coffee?

1.      Cowboy Coffee

This is probably the most famous camping coffee type. You can also make it at home when your coffeemaker stops working, and it’s a practical way to brew a cup in no time.

You can customize the strength of your brew by adjusting the amount of coffee you use. You don’t need a lot of equipment and it’s great for small and large groups of people as you can adjust the water and coffee ratio easily.

What you’ll need:

  • Ground coffee
  • Hot water
  • A kettle or a saucepan


Measure your coffee and the water (1 TBSP coffee per mug). Pour water into a kettle/saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove the kettle from heat for and let the water cool slightly. Next, add coffee and stir well. Let the brew sit for a few minutes before pouring it into the cups.

Who is it for: those who want a traditional campfire coffee and don’t mind a few grounds in their cup.

2.      Percolator

Another option with minimal accessories required is a percolator coffee. You’ll need a percolator to get the most of your coffee flavor-wise but that’s about it.

If you’ve never tried brewing coffee with a percolator, I’d recommend trying it at home first before you set out on your camping adventure. It’s not as straightforward as some brewing methods on the list, but it’s still a great way to get caffeine kick while camping!

What you’ll need:

  • A percolator
  • Water
  • Ground coffee


Open the lid of the brewer and remove the tube and basket. Fill the kettle with water. Fill the basket with ground coffee (2 TBSP per cup). Place the basket and the tube into the kettle. Close the brewer with the lid.

Place the percolator on the stove or over the campfire. Sit back and relax for the next 8 to 10 minutes while the coffee is brewing. Then, remove the brewer from the fire and let it sit for a few minutes before you serve coffee. That way, the grounds will sit at the bottom and not end up in your cup!

Who is it for: anyone who already masters and loves their percolator. The adventurists who want to learn a new brewing method and prefer to pack minimally.

3.      Drip Coffee Maker for Camping

If you love camping and your drip coffeemaker equally, think of getting a portable camping coffee machine that can make you happy on your camping trips as well!

You can’t use this one on the camping fire; you’ll need a camping stove burner to make it work. But the brewer works the same as the one you have at home! And on top of that, you can also use it to heat water for anything else you might need it (tea, soups, and other camping foods).

What you’ll need:

  • Water
  • Camping coffee maker
  • Ground coffee
  • Coffee cups


Pour water into the reservoir. Open the filter basked and add coffee grounds (up to ten servings of coffee!). Turn on your camping stove burner and heat up the water. Get cozy, prepare some snacks, and 10 minutes later you’ll enjoy freshly brewed coffee directly from your portable drip-maker!

Who is it for: the evergreen drip coffee lovers who can’t stay away from their coffeemaker for more than a few hours.

4.      French Press

French press isn’t all about stylish glass and fragile materials. In fact, many French press brewers are made with durable material that will easily last a long time if you look after it well enough. That’s why the French press pot is another great thing to bring with you on a camping trip.

Think about the chilly mornings when you need to warm up. If you already know how to use the French press (and it’s easy), you’ll love this option! What’s great about it is that it can brew up to 8 cups of coffee.

What you’ll need:

  • French press pot
  • Ground coffee
  • Hot water
  • Coffee cups


Place properly ground coffee into your press pot (1 TBSP per cup). Boil one cup of water per serving and let it cool slightly. Then, pour it into the press and let the coffee steep at least 3 minutes. The longer you let it steep, the stronger it gets. When you’re done steeping, push the plunger down gently. Serve and enjoy!

Who is it for: for French press coffee lovers, for those who love their coffee on the strong side, and for those who want to keep their camping coffee simple.

5.      Pour-Over

Who says pour over brewing style can only be done in the comfort of your home? With portable pour-over filter cones, you can brew your favorite cup of coffee also when you’re camping!

The best part about this is that you don’t need a lot of equipment: just a coffee mug and a portable pour-over filter! You can choose from a silicone collapsible filter cone (requires #2 or#4 coffee filters) or GSI ultralight java drip.

None of these leave any flavor/scent in the coffee that shouldn’t be there. They’re easy to clean, carry around, and use. Pack them in your backpack and forget they’re even there.

What you’ll need:

  • Pour-over filter cone
  • Hot water
  • Ground coffee
  • Kettle


Open the filter cone and place it over the cup. Add a coffee filter (#2 or #4) and add 2 TBSP coffee. Boil water, let it cool slightly. Pour a bit of water over the coffee and let it bloom. Slowly, pour the rest of the water over the grounds, soaking them evenly. Remove the cone and enjoy it!

Who is it for: for those who can’t be separated from their beloved pour over coffee under any circumstance. And for those who prefer to travel as light as possible. It’s not the best for those who want a lot of coffee brewed in a short time.

6.     Single Serve Filter

This little filter is similar to a few other gadgets on this list. You can fold it, it’s lightweight, and it can go with you pretty much anywhere. It’s a reusable coffee filter for one and it works like one as well.

It’s not as easy to clean as some other options I’ve listed so far, but it’s reusable and it means no more extra waste or cheap coffee sachets.

If you’re looking to simplify brewing coffee even more, consider getting a single-serve pour-over coffee pocket. It comes with a paper frame that you attach to your cup. And, it’s already filled with coffee, so all you have to do is place it into your cup and pour over hot water. Remove and enjoy!

What you’ll need:

  • Single-serve filter
  • Ground coffee
  • Hot water
  • A mug


Place the filter into your cup. Fill it with coffee. Pour hot water over the grounds slowly. Remove it before drinking.

Who is it for: if you have no other option of making your camping coffee, try this one.

7.      Aeropress

A combination of French press and pour over, Aeropress brewer is very easy to clean and it can help you make coffee while camping in no time. The tricky part of this brewing method is the brewer itself. Aeropress isn’t the most practical thing to bring with you. It takes quite a lot of space and if you’re the one for easy, minimal, and practical, look elsewhere.

But, you can make delicious coffee with little to no mess, and zero spilling. It can make or break your camping trip; depending on your backpack capacities! If you’re looking to enjoy espresso while camping, this is your best option!

What you’ll need:

  • Aeropress
  • Paper filters
  • Hot water
  • Coffee cups
  • Ground coffee


There are many ways to brew coffee with Aeropress. The easiest way to make it:

  1. Boil water and let it cool slightly before pouring it into the chamber
  2. Place filter into the bottom cap
  3. Place the brewer over a cup
  4. Add ground coffee
  5. Pour-over coffee and stir grounds and water
  6. Insert the plunger and slowly press down
  7. Enjoy your coffee!

To avoid any confusion and to make things simple, have a look at the following video instead

Who is it for: those who already have Aeropress in their kitchen. Those who love challenges and want to learn a new style of brewing.

8.      Pour Over Travel Mug

If you want to keep things ridiculously simple, think about getting a pour over travel mug. You can make coffee with the included reusable metal filter right in your cup. The cup is made of vacuum-layered stainless steel and it can keep your coffee hot for a long time. By bringing this cup along, you can easily avoid packing extensive camping coffee gear.

What you’ll need:

  • Pour over travel mug with filter
  • Ground coffee
  • Hot water


Place the filter into your travel mug. Fill it with ground coffee (2 TBSP). Pour the water over the coffee slowly and let it bloom for a few seconds. Add the remaining water. Remove the filter before you drink and place the lid on to keep coffee warm for a few hours!

Who is it for: for the minimalists, people who love to travel solo or keep things excessively simple. Also for those who have limited space in their backpacks and those who travel light.

9.  Instant Coffee

Now, I’m not saying this is the best option of making coffee when camping, but it’s something to consider, especially if you’re into instant coffee.

Instant coffee has a bad reputation (a large part of the coffee community keeps saying it’s not really coffee at all) when it comes to taste, but it’s very handy for camping. After all, it’s lightweight and it doesn’t take up much space so it’s ideal for backpacking camping trips.

Some online claims say instant coffee can taste perfectly well. I haven’t tried it personally, but there are some good-tasting options out there. If you’re looking for the best instant coffee for camping, Laird Superfood Instant Coffee boasts with high reviews. It doesn’t come in individual packets, but it’s a creamer-coffee combo that many love.

What you’ll need:

  • A mug
  • Instant coffee
  • Hot water


Pour hot water over instant coffee. Stir and enjoy in a matter of seconds!

Who is it for: non-fussy coffee drinkers who’re happy to drink any type of coffee, backpackers, and everyone else who has to save space and minimize the weight of their backpacks.

10.  Coffee Bag

Coffee bag is another easy and practical thing to have on hand when camping. The best part about coffee bags for camping is that they don’t take much space and are very lightweight.

Oh, and you don’t even have to buy prepacked coffee bags from the store, you can make camping coffee packets yourself! That way you can use your favorite coffee and keep those expenses to a minimum!

What you’ll need:

  • Coffee bags
  • Hot water
  • A mug


Boil water over a fire or stovetop. Place the coffee bag into the mug and pour in hot water. Let the coffee steep for a while. Remove the bag and enjoy your coffee!

Who is it for: for all who love the sheer minimalism and practicality in general. If you live by less-is-more, go for coffee bags. Make them yourself and enjoy your camping trip worry-free.

11.  Moka Pot

Another camping coffee brewing style that may not be your first choice when packing your bags, but moka pot is a practical coffee brewer to keep around. No, it’s not the most lightweight item on the list and it won’t make the most perfect camping espresso, but you can make good coffee with it.

Moka pot is straightforward to use even if today is your first time brewing coffee with it.

What you’ll need:

  • Water
  • Ground coffee
  • Moka pot
  • Coffee mugs


Dissemble the Moka pot. Fill the lower chamber with water. Place in the filter and top it up with ground coffee. Close the pot well and place it over the campfire or stovetop.

Once the brewer starts making bubbly noises, remove the pot from heat and give it another minute or two. Pour coffee and enjoy it!

Who is it for: for all who love their Moka pots. For all who want to make a coffee drink that’s closer to espresso. For all who already have a Moka pot in their house and don’t want to spend extra money on getting new coffee camping equipment.

12.  Handpresso

For those who demand flawless coffee in every cup, think about hanpresso. This little gadget is a hand-powered espresso maker and it’s as closest as you’ll get to camping espresso on your trips.

This portable maker is very practical to bring with you everywhere you go. It doesn’t take up much space and it only requires the very basic knowledge of pouring water and stirring in coffee.

Oh, and if you’re into camping latte, this one is for you as well! Just remember to bring a little milk frother along!

What you’ll need:

  • Hand powered espresso maker
  • Hot water
  • Ground coffee


Fill the filter basket with coffee. Fill the water tank with hot water. Place and secure the coffee basket and water tank to the body. unlock the piston and start pumping coffee.

Who is it for: espresso and latte lovers, people who want to keep their travel gear to an effective minimum.

13.  Jetboil Flash Java Kit

A camping version of French press, Jetboil Java kit will brew your coffee in under 3 minutes. It’s an all-in-one unit which makes it practical to take on your trips. It can even work in unpleasant weather conditions, such as snow and wind since it’s equipped with a cooking stove.

This camping coffee kit is the ultimate thing you’ll ever need if you’re serious about camping and coffee. It’s fast, compact, efficient, but it is pricey since you’ll have to buy a camping stove system.

What you’ll need:

  • Jetboil pour lid
  • Jetboil French press pot
  • Ground coffee
  • water


Place Jetboil onto the heater. Remove the pour lid and attach the French press. When water begins to boil, add coffee and turn off the heat. Place the lid over the press pot (don’t press it down!) and wait for 4 minutes. Press the plunger down and pour coffee.

Who is it for: adventurists who explore the world all year round. For people who love a weekend trek, getting lost in the country, or exploring the mountains.

14.  Bripe

And you believed you knew it all, right? Bripe is a unique way to brew coffee when camping. It looks a bit ridiculous, but if you don’t mind drinking coffee through a straw, feel free to give it a go! You’ll probably feel stupid when you get it, but with time, you’ll hate yourself for loving this little gadget so much!

Here’s how it works: place ground coffee and water into the cup, boil the water on a stovetop or campfire. Sip coffee through an attached straw when it reaches a desired and safe temperature.

What you’ll need:

  • Bripe coffee camping kit
  • Water
  • Ground coffee

Who is it for: someone who wants an easy way to brew coffee without any serious equipment, and is willing to explain why and how they’re using Bripe.

15.  Camping Cold-Brew

Last but not least, cold brew is your choice of coffee if you’re looking at how to make coffee while camping without fire. There are many ways on how to make cold brew, but the easiest and least messy option is French press cold brew.

Now, you can make cold brew concentrate at home just before you leave for your camping trip and avoid brewing any coffee there. You can also make it on the spot, and it’s very easy. The only negative side to cold brew is the long waiting hours. Yep, this method isn’t for the impatient ones!

What you’ll need:

  • French press pot
  • Cold/room-temperature water
  • Ground coffee


Place the coffee into the press pot. Add water and stir well until all the grounds are soaked and covered. Let the cafetiere sit between 12 to 24 hours and brew coffee. When it’s ready to drink, press the plunger down. Enjoy your cold brew coffee!

Who is it for: those who can’t be separated from their French press or cold brew coffee. Those who need a backup plan for fireless camping.

Coffee Accessories You Need While Camping

There are a few other things you can pack for your camping trip that will help elevate the coffee experience. These are not necessary and if you’re a minimalist at heart, you might as well ignore most of them.

But, some can be quite handy when you want to make coffee camping. I don’t use all of them, but a few are a must for more comfort!

Manual burr grinder

Okay, not everyone wants to make coffee from scratch when camping. But I know some of you do! If you can have complete control over your grind at home, there’s no reason why you should skip this step while away from home.

There’s no need to get a highly-professional burr grinder that will take up most of your space. A simple hand grinder will do the trick. It can give your grinds for Aeropress, French press, Turkish coffee, and drip coffee. And the most important part? No batteries, it’s lightweight, and it won’t take up much space in your backpack.

Travel coffee mugs

If you’re like me and you like to sip your coffee slowly, consider getting one of these coffee travel mugs. These will help you keep your coffee hot for longer. Also, they enable you to drink your coffee on the go. Plus, they’ll keep you from spilling it unnecessarily.

Camping cups

Okay, these are not a must. But admit it, they look nice and we all want at least a few. They boost the whole camping experience, making it more real, authentic, and adventurous. You can get a more professional looking ones, such as these ones. Or, if you’re feeling inspired by dozens of Pinterest inspirational quotes, get some like these (they make a lovely gift, too!).

Mini scale

You’ll only need this if you’re severely serious about your coffee. Mini scales can be a great addition to camping equipment, but only if you like to keep your standards of precision and brew on a high scale.

Milk frother

Another completely optional thing, a handheld mini milk frother can be a great addition to your coffee camping gear if you really need to froth milk while camping. If you’re always looking at how to make latte while camping, then this is a must for you. Many of these are lightweight. You can pack them easily, just remember to bring extra batteries!

Outdoor coffee kit

If you’re on the road a lot and like to keep thigs as simple as possible, get yourself a portable coffee maker. It’s lightweight and compact and it comes with a burr grinder, filter, lid, pouring kettle, and insulated tumbler. Overall, it’s a great travel brewer, all in one! You only need to get coffee and you’re good to brew!

FAQ On Camping Coffee

How do you warm up milk when camping?

  • On the campfire
  • On the camping stove
  • With an electric heater (if you have electricity on hand)

What do you boil water in when camping?

There are a few options to boiling water when camping:

  • On the campfire
  • On the camping stove
  • With Jetboil
  • Car kettle
  • Kelly kettles
  • Coleman stovetop coffee pots

How do you froth milk while camping?

With a handhenld milk frother that’s battery-operated, lightweight and travel-friendly. But, you’ll have to warm up the milk since these handheld gadgets won’t warm it up for you.

How long do you percolate coffee on a camp stove?

Bring coffee to a boil; then, move the percolator from the center of the fire or turn down the flame on the stove. Let it sit and percolate for another 10-15 minutes.

How to make camping coffee: A Recap

There’s no need for you to give up coffee while camping. As you can see from the list, there are at least 15 different ways on how to brew a perfect cup in the wild. All you need is a bit of equipment, hot water, and coffee. The brewers will easily do the rest!

Get yourself a coffee thermos that will keep that fresh brew hot, some good quality coffee, and pick your favorite gear.

Share this article with your friends and camping gals if you found it useful.

Go, caffeinate!

Recommended Reading

10 Best Pour Over Coffee Makers You Need Right Now

The Tastiest Winter Coffee Recipes to Keep You Warm

What’s Better: French Press or Drip Coffee?

Healthy Coffee Creamer Recipes and Alternatives

A Complete Guide to Nitro Cold Brew: Make It At Home!

How to Make Coffee On The Stove Effectively?

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