Our Guide On: How To Make Coffee While Camping

Camper in morning light pouring camping coffee

The question of how to make coffee while camping haunts most avid campers and for good reason. There is nothing more invigorating than waking up in the great outdoors and watching the sunrise.

But you cannot rely on that wonderful sight alone to get you going on a cold morning.

I can’t count the number of freezing mornings I suffered through before finally learning that making coffee in the wilderness is easy peasy.

Believe it or not, there are an abundant ways to make coffee that such as the brew coffee, french press coffee and drip coffee that can easily suffice for one cup.

Unfortunately most are convinced that they must abandon brewed coffee for the few days or weeks they will spend traversing the wild.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth. For most people, coffee is essential, the one tool they need to raise their spirits and start their day in high gear.

If you count yourself among these people, there are so many methods that you can use to make sure that you concoct a good coffee while camping, with the most prominent including:

Cowboy Coffee

Coffee drinkers and campers unite, wheter you like cold brew, freshly brewed coffee, spoon coarse coffee grounds, steeped coffee, coffee brew bags or medium fine ground coffee. We have all the most effective brew methods for your camping trips.

Cowboy Coffee is a great option for the camping stove and is one of the most straightforward methods. It involves boiling water and adding coffee grounds to it.

The grounds will sizzle once they touch the water. Leave the mixture to sit for a few minutes. Stir and then drink.

This method is attractive because it does not require any special equipment when you go camping. All you need is a cup or kettle, some blistering water, and ground coffee.

The resulting mixture has a strong taste. The method creates a mess because the grounds do not dissolve in the water.

The washing process often presents challenges due to the emulsion of ground coffee and its direct contact with the hot kettle.


  • It affordable and wont require addons to get a good coffee
  • The extraction process is quick for one cup
  • Being quick to extract with minimal equipment means that anyone can use it


  • Its quick to brew also means that it often can make a mess
  • The taste is lacking due to its fast extraction
  • The coffee has mud-like texture for lack of filtering

Single Serving Pour-Over/Drip

A hipster method to camp coffee but only if you have fresh ground coffee and time.
Amazon’s Choice

Backpackers and bike packers will appreciate this method because it saves space. It isn’t quite as fast as instant coffee but it is definitely simple and straightforward. It involves the use of a coffee filter. The filter has coffee grounds.

You suspend it over your cup and then pour hot water over the grounds in the filter. The flavors and the quality of the coffee you will get depends on the pour-overs you have purchased.

You don’t have to buy a special paper frame. You could always add coffee grounds to any paper filter you have on hand.

Place the filter in a frame and pour some boiling water on the grounds. Wait for half a minute and then pour more boiling water. Do this slowly and steadily.

This process only produces one cup of coffee at a time but the taste is better than you might expect and clean up is less complicated.


  • The taste is decent for camping coffee
  • Clean up is relatively easy
  • The method is simple especially when using freezing cold brew water


  • You can only make one cold brew cup
  • You need paper filters
  • You cannot make decent coffee if you lack the appropriate pouring technique

French Press

French press camp coffee may sound fancing but the brewing process which wont work so well with instant coffee grounds but with freshly ground coffee this method produces incredible camping coffee.

As the name suggests, this method requires the use of a french press. You must add coarse coffee grounds to the container. Each scoop should be followed by a cup of boiling water.

Give the water 30 seconds to cool. Pour half of the water that is required into the press.

Wait another 60 seconds. Once the grounds have bloomed, add whatever water is left. Give it two minutes before gently pressing the plunger.

For the best results, You need a plastic (double-walled) or stainless steel press. The average press is unlikely to survive a camping trip.


  • This method produces delicious coffee
  • It is easy to execute especially for one cup
  • You produce less waste because filters are not required


  • The method uses more coarse ground coffee beans than other approaches
  • The french press will add to the weight of your luggage
  • Cleaning the french press isn’t easy

Coffee Percolator

Amazon’s Choice

People have been using percolators for a long time. It is a device with two chambers. It boils water and then cycles it repeatedly through a tube, pouring it over the coffee.

The coffee goes in the top chamber. The water goes in the bottom chamber.

The percolator must be positioned over a heat source to do its work. You can leave it on the fire until the coffee achieves the strength you want.


  • You can make multiple cups, up to 12 in some cases. Deep storage and water place.
  • It gives you control over the strength of the coffee produced
  • The method is simple. No special coffee brew technique is required


  • Percolators are bulky and you need good heat like a camp stove
  • This method can easily produce coffee that is charred or without flavor
  • Clean up is difficult

Instant Coffee


This is the easiest way to make coffee while camping. Add a spoon or two of instant coffee to your cup and pour boiling water. After a few seconds and some stirring, your coffee will be ready for consumption.

Instant coffee is light; it is incapable of weighing you down. But the taste will depend on the brand you purchase.


  • This method is one of my favourite ways to make coffee that also produces a tasty cup of coffee
  • Instant coffee packs are compact and lightweight
  • It only takes a few seconds to make good coffee mug


  • The quality of the coffee is questionable if your a connoisseur
  • You can only make one cup at a time
  • Keeping track of the tiny instant coffee packets isn’t always easy

Portable Espresso Coffee Maker

Amazon’s Choice

Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a portable espresso maker. To use it, boil water add, then wait for thirty seconds.

Then add the grounds. Give them a moment to settle before you start pumping. The exact method will vary with each model.

But in most cases, your coffee will be available and ready for consumption in a minute or so.


  • This method produces coffee in just 30 seconds
  • Just boil water, Espresso coffee makers are easy to use
  • The portable coffee produced is of a decent quality


  • You need to add an espresso coffee maker to your luggage
  • Clean up is somewhat complicated, coffee grounds work their way into tight spots

Aeropress Coffee

Amazon’s Choice

This is one of the most popular methods among campers because the coffee it delivers is rich and smooth.

An AeroPress blends the operations of a french press and a pour-over. The way it works depends on whether you are using a top-down or inverted model.

But in many cases, you are expected to add coffee grounds to a large container tube before soaking them with hot water, leaving them alone for half a minute, and then filling the chamber with more sizzling water.

The device has a paddle that you can use to stir the coffee. Put the plunger in the chamber and slowly push down.


  • This is a quick and dirty method of brewing coffee
  • It produces great tasting coffee while camping
  • Clean up isn’t that hard, its easy to water remove and pack


  • It primarily makes strong coffee. People that prefer lighter roasts won’t appreciate it
  • It takes a while to make multiple cups
  • You need specific filters

Moka Pot


A Moka camping coffee pot has a metal filter, bottom reservoir, and a serving carafe. The coffee goes into the filter. The water is added to the bottom.

The pot must be placed over a heat source to boil water. This will allow the steam generated to pass through the coarse ground coffee. Moka pots are used to make Italian style espresso.


  • Moka pots are decent ways to make albeit a bit clunky
  • They are durable as mentioned above, but is a great tasting espresso maker
  • This process is quick, just add water and servce


  • Moka pots make one coffee cup at a time
  • They are complicated for amateurs
  • They are somewhat heavy

The top cup? The art of the best way.

Camper in morning light pouring camping coffee

So there you have it, now you should know how to make coffee while camping. If you could only use one of these methods when making coffee, the AeroPress would be your best choice.

The actual device is neither heavy nor large enough to weigh down your backpack. It produces rich and smooth cup of coffee, and it is quite easy to use.

If you want an aeropress, check my amazon com link here.