Making sure you have that tasty cup of joe that you need, while enjoying the camping that you love.
Coffee is a morning tradition, at least to many of us. It signals the start of a new day and invigorates the mind and body. Making it while camping on the other hand can be tricky if you don’t have the right gear.
Don’t fret though as the guide below will make sure that you have everything you need. I will cover;
- Five of the many different ways to make coffee while camping
- Five things to consider so your trip is as smooth as your coffee
- Three different kinds of coffee that you can take camping
5 Methods to Make Coffee While Camping
1. French Press
This is regarded as a great way to make a cup of java when not camping, and might be the best when you are camping. It utilizes a screen attached to a plunger that you literally press through the hot water. It ensures that there are a minimum number of grounds in your coffee, avoiding having to drink muddy coffee on your camping trip. They are made of a variety of materials including;
- Stainless Steel – A light and durable material that is a resistant to corrosion and rust.
- Glass – Corrosion will also not be a worry with this, though it is heavier and can possibly break.
- Plastic – The lightest but also least conducive to brewing good coffee.
- Ceramic – My personal favorite way to go about enjoying coffee. Though sturdier than glass it can still break, and is the heaviest.
2. Water Pot
This is the simple task of adding coffee grounds directly to your hot water. You then let the grounds settle and carefully pour yourself a cup, being cautious to keep out as many grounds as possible. That is the trick, because there are always grounds.
Unless you purchase a percolator equipped camp coffee pot, you will most like have some gritty coffee. The percolator houses the coffee grounds to help prevent muddy coffee. If you are looking to travel light this is the best method as you will already be bringing a pot, so just remember your coffee!
But if you want grounds free coffee and a lightweight addition to your trip, you’ll love the next item.
3. Reusable Coffee Bag
Eco-Friendly and using a very natural steeping method, the reusable coffee bag allows you to drink full bodied coffee in the backwoods. Lightweight and easy to pack, the only downfall is having to lug around a wet bag while camping.
Have some sort of carrying case or plastic bag to put your damp bags into. Coffee bags can be used to cold brew coffee as well, a process that takes up to 20 hours but delivers a smooth coup of coffee.
4. Single Use Coffee Filter
Perfect for backpacking, but a little more space consuming than the coffee bag. This will make a cup of coffee closely related to that of your drip coffee maker at home, with the grounds resting atop the cup in a filter. If you are camping with multiple people this could become problematic as it only makes one cup at a time.
Pack a reusable filter so that your friends can enjoy a cup as well, and help reduce waste. Though bulkier than the reusable coffee bag, the single use coffee filter is still much more compact and suited to camping than the next item on the list.
5. Coffee Maker
If you just can’t leave home without your coffee maker, then this is for you. It is literally a coffee maker that you can put on your camp stove and let it go, exactly like your drip-style coffee maker at home.
There are a couple of ways to purchase this one, from a version that sits atop your camp stove, to an all-in-one propane fueled maker. Both varieties make a ten cup pot of coffee and would be perfect for a large camping outing.
5 Things to Remember
1. Bag it Up
There is nothing worse then a spill while traveling. It can ruin any trip but with camping it is even worse. Far from the amenities of home, there is a way to prevent your coffee from spilling or getting spoiled. Throw it into a plastic bag, or bag of your choice, and have no more worries.
2. Pure Water
Water while camping is not always the most well-suited for flavor. Sometimes it is fit only for washing and would make you ill if you were to drink it. In order to prepare for this type of circumstance, bring some bottled water or a portable water filter.
There are multiple ways to filter your water from tablets, filtered water pitchers or individual water bottles. Find the method that works best for your trip.
Pure water is essential to good coffee no matter where you are, including camping.
3. Cream and Sugar
Quality coffee is consumed black. Perhaps this is not your coffee, or your cup of tea the saying goes, and you prefer a little flavor touch-up. Pack powdered cream and packets or cubes of sugar for this. It is recommended that you get powdered whole milk, which will give you the richest flavor in the smallest dose.
You should have this anyhow, but if you weren’t going to pack some rope, here is a reason you should. If you are backpacking away from the comforts of a campground you may need to build a camp crane to get your water hot.
Camp cranes are composed of gathered sticks, using a rock to secure one end of a stick to the ground and a base made of sticks to hold the other end above a fire. All you need to build it is rope and sticks.
If you are camping at a home base, then why not avoid bringing any extra items when hiking? Make your coffee at your base camp and bring it with you. A good stainless steel thermos will keep coffee hot for hours. A vacuum thermos will keep it hot even longer.
I’ve even had it keep coffee steaming hot in a refrigerator over night. In theory, the thermos is an extra item but it will allow you to sit and enjoy a good cup of coffee without having to make it on the trail.
3 Kinds of Coffee for Camping
1. Instant Coffee
This is freeze dried coffee that is specifically made for ease of travel and longevity. Flavor-wise this will never hold up to true, fresh coffee but if you are looking for a quick coffee fix this will do. It comes in disposable bags or powder form.
2. Fresh Grounds
Grind some coffee before you head out and bag it up. These grounds will give you the best flavor/space efficiency combo while in the great outdoors. There will be more grounds in your coffee than in instant coffee, as some packets of that are little more then dissolvable powder. It will be worth the grittiness to get great flavor.
3. Grind It There
That’s right, they make a portable coffee grinder that you can take right with you! If you are a true coffee aficionado, then you will not be without fresh grounds. If you are a camping aficionado you might not like a grinder as it is not a practical item to take backpacking. If you are a little bit of both, then a portable grinder is the perfect item for your base camp.
When you head out to the camp ground, be sure to consider all of the above items to make coffee while camping. A few key points to remember would be;
- Remember to pack all of the auxiliary items you would need to make coffee with your chosen method. A forgotten coffee filter can ruin a camping trip quickly if that is the only method that you have to brew.
- Bag up important items as to avoid a spill ruining your whole camping trip.
- Bottled water or a water filter of some sort are a recommended idea when camping, especially in a backcountry area.
- Whatever you do bring with you, especially backpacking, make sure that you have smart method to pack it up and bring it back with you. Keep the nature you love nice and clean.
- If all else fails then make a list of all the items you would need. Check it off as you go and you’ll be sure to be prepared for your trip.
There is nothing better than taking a drink of coffee on a cool morning while camping. Stretching your muscles after a night of sleep and enjoying that first, hot drink to take away the bite of the cool outside your sleeping bag feels fantastic. With everything you need to make coffee while camping covered above, savor that cup.