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The Best Camp Coffee Makers: Our Favorite Methods to Brew Coffee While Camping



Just because you’ve abandoned society to spend time in wilderness camping doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your morning cup of coffee. After all, we are not barbarians! However, when it comes to camp coffee, there are a variety of ideas and ways for extracting the elixir of the gods from those delicious ground beans. Here are some of the methods for brewing camp coffee, along with the materials and equipment required for each.

What You’ll Need (or want)

Whatever technique you choose to prepare your coffee, you will need a few basic supplies to get started. There are a few extra items you might wish to have, but they are not all required. Most are widely available, and there are several options and varieties.

Heat Source

Firstly, you’ll need a heat source. This might range from a camp stove to just brewing coffee over a fire. If you’re going truck or car camping, you can carry an electric kettle, although it seems a little like cheating.

In truth, you may wish to have a camp stove for a variety of reasons, but even if you don’t and are only utilizing the fire you’ve created, you’ll need a grate or some way of heating your water over it. That implies you’ll need a container capable of boiling water.

Pan or Kettle

At the starting point, you can heat water in a pan to make coffee. As you’ll see below, some approaches work better than others, and pouring the water might take time.

Keep one thing in mind. You never want to boil water for camping coffee. Could you not do it? The ideal temperature is 200-205°C just below the boiling point. So, take the water from the heat just before it reaches a full boil, or remove it, add a little cold water, and let it stand for a minute or two before brewing your coffee. The best water heating appliance is a kettle of some kind. This makes it easy to pour water for coffee, eliminates spills and burns, and overall improves the coffee experience.


You can grind beans ahead of time and take them camping, but it is best to ground them on the spot. The coffee will be fresher and stronger, and you may adjust the grind to match the camp coffee-making method you’re using. Hand grinders work well, but battery-operated ones are also available.

Good Coffee

The one misconception about camp coffee is that it isn’t very delicious. This does not need to be the case. Before you embark on your excursion, stop and buy some delicious beans. What roast, you ask? Well, it depends on what you want and how you make camp coffee. The sections below will provide our recommendations.

Cowboy Coffee

This method has been utilized since cowboys began riding the wide range! Cowboy coffee is characterized by its strong flavour and mud-like texture.

You may prepare this drink as long as you have an open fire for breakfast. You only need coffee grounds, water, a pot, and an egg.


Pour cold water into the pan (always start with cold water). For every one and a half cups of water, mix in one heaping spoonful of grinds. Place your container over the heat source and remove it at the first indication of boiling. Add a shot of cold water and let sit while the grounds settle. Pour, and enjoy.

The Classic French Press

The traditional technique to prepare coffee while camping is with a French press. This will result in a full-bodied, tasty coffee, similar to what you drink every day.


Remove the top and plunger from the French press. Fill the bottom of the press with 1 to 1.5 tbsp of coffee beans for each cup. Bring water to a close boil, then fill the press with it. Place the plunger on top of the coffee. Slowly press the coffee to the bottom, then lift the plunger until it is just below the surface of the hot water. Allow to sit for approximately 4 minutes. Press the plunger slowly down, then pour and enjoy.

Grandpa’s Percolator Coffee

At first look, the percolator approach appears similar to cowboy coffee. However, this is a less messy way to prepare coffee when camping. It’s also more palatable to the queasy. (It does not include an egg!

Percolators function as an all-in-one coffee system, preventing burning. Many are electric, but plenty may be put directly on top of a stove or bonfire. Your grandfather may have owned one, or you may have seen one at an antique store. But we all used to prepare percolator coffee before we had automatic coffee makers.


Essentially, you remove the percolator mechanism, fill the kettle with cold water, and fill the grounds basket with coffee. Then, add heat until you see the first spurt of water in the siphon window. Reduce the heat and brew for about 10 minutes. Then remove the percolator mechanism from the pot, allowing any remaining grounds to sink to the bottom, pour, and enjoy.

AeroPress Coffee Maker

An AeroPress is another great portable appliance for preparing coffee while camping. To prepare this type of coffee, you’ll need an AeroPress and the appropriate filters. However, it is well worth the investment if you camp frequently, and many come with a handy storage bag for the device and filters.


Insert a filter in the filter basket and attach it to the brew chamber. Put it on the cup. Pour around 1-2 Tbsp of coffee grinds into the brew chamber for each cup. Fill with boiling water and whisk for 10–15 seconds. Allow to settle and flow into your camping coffee cup. Insert the plunger and press it down slowly but firmly until it hits the bottom and you hear air escaping the brewing chamber.


There are several methods to prepare coffee when camping. The one most suited to your needs will be determined by your setup and group. A bigger French press, percolator, or espresso pot is extremely useful if you’re camping with a large party. You may even provide cowboy coffee or instant coffee for everyone.

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