How to Make Coffee While Camping – 9 Easy Ways

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There is nothing better than having a good, hot, well-brewed coffee when camping or in any survival situation. It wakes us up, increases our energy levels, and even provides health benefits.

Of course, everyone likes a different coffee, so, in this article, I will discuss the most popular methods for making coffee. Choose your favorite and enjoy your next cup of coffee outdoors.

Let’s get started.

What Do You Need to Make Good Coffee?

What Do You Need to Make Good Coffee while camping

Here are some obvious, but important, things you need to know in order to brew your coffee and make it taste good.


Water makes a huge difference when you are making coffee. It ’s mainly the compounds and minerals that are in the water that give your coffee a nice flavor. But certain things like rust, chlorine, and fluoride can ruin your coffee.

As a result, it’s important to filter your water before you boil it if you are using tap, river, lake, or other kind of clean water.

You can use bottled water, but it can get expensive, so I suggest getting yourself a filter, and then you can boil any clean water.

Camping Stove or Fire?

Next, you need to boil the water. The most basic heating method is to start a fire and boil the water that way, or you can use a camping stove to heat it up. If you are car camping, you could use a 12V car kettle , but, because of the low power, it takes a lot of time to heat the water, so it's better to stick with fire or a camping stove.

Experts recommend the best temperature for coffee is around 195 °F (90.5 °C). Not every pot or kettle has a thermometer to measure the temperature, so, after the water has boiled, you can leave it for 30 seconds for the temperature to cool down before mixing it with the coffee grounds.


And, of course, you need coffee. There are around 126 types of coffee plants and trees available, but mainly two that are commercially available : Arabica and Robusta.

There is a good chance that your favorite coffee is made from those beans.

The best practice is to buy coffee beans that were roasted around 7 days ago and ideally you grind them just before brewing them . For this you will need a grinder, and we recommend getting a manual one such as JavaPresse.

Let’s have a look at the most popular ways to brew your coffee at a campsite.

Camp Coffee Brewing Methods

Camp Coffee Brewing Methods camping

1. Instant Coffee

Instant coffee ’s main advantage is that you do not need to bring a coffee maker. This is ideal for backpacking trips or camping where space is limited.

You have two options. First, you can buy a glass jar of coffee and bring some of it on your trip. It is also much cheaper, as one jar can make around 100 cups of coffee.

The second option is buying instant coffee packages where you have single - packed portions. It’s more convenient, but you will pay at least double the price.

How to make instant coffee:

  1. Boil the water.
  2. Add 1 –1.5 tablespoons of coffee to your mug, or use an instant coffee package,
  3. Add some cold water (this will help you to obtain more flavor).
  4. Pour in the hot water.
  5. Add milk or sugar based on your own preference.
  6. Stir it, and it’s ready to drink.

Best Instant Coffee

  1. Starbucks VIA Instant
  2. Waka Coffee Quality Instant Coffee
  3. Laird Superfood Instafuel Instant Coffee

2. Mud Coffee

Mud coffee is the simplest way to make your coffee. This method just requires washing your mug and having the recommended water temperature for your coffee:

How to make mud coffee:

  1. Boil the water.
  2. Let it cool down for 1 minute for the optimal temperature.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 8 ounces of water to your mug.
  4. Pour in the water, add sugar, cream or milk, and stir it.
  5. Let it cool for a few minutes while the grounds sink to the bottom, and enjoy your coffee.

3. Portable Espresso Coffee

If you are an espresso coffee lover, then this is your first choice. There are compact, mini and portable machines that do not require any batteries, electricity or charging, because they are operated by hand.

Plus, some of them come with built-in espresso cups, scoops or coffee storage containers.

How to use a portable espresso machine :

  1. Add ground coffee to the filter.
  2. Add hot water to the chamber.
  3. Push the pressure pump several times to pressurize it, and pour the coffee into your mug.

Best portable espresso machine:

Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker

4. French Press

French press, in other words, is the coffee press. With the French press, you will get a strong and robust taste of coffee.

The main advantage is that you do not have any coffee grounds floating in your mug, as they are pushed down and sealed in the bottom.

A French press is also made to brew more coffee, so it’s perfect if you are camping with your family or a group of friends.

How to use a French press:

  1. Boil the water.
  2. Add coffee grounds to your mug.
  3. Pour in the water.
  4. Pop your press lid on top.
  5. Wait 4 minutes.
  6. Slowly press the pump down.
  7. Pour and enjoy.

Best French Coffee Press:

Stanley Adventure All-In-One French Press

GSI Outdoors 30 Oz French Press Coffee Mug

Woodknot Gear Stainless Steel Coffee Press

5. Percolator Pot Coffee

A percolator constantly cycles the boiling water through the grounds using gravity.

You can say that this method is like a French press and mud coffee hybrid. You can boil coffee grounds with the water and filter it in the same pot.

How to use a percolator coffee pot :

  1. Pour in the water up to the marked limit, which is usually a valve or a hole.
  2. Fill the supplied brew basket with coffee grounds.
  3. Place the coffee basket inside the percolator and place the lid on top.
  4. Boil the coffee over a fire or on a camping stove.
  5. Simmer for a few minutes once its boiled.
  6. Let it cool down for a few minutes, and enjoy your coffee.

Best percolator coffee pots:

Best Percolators:

Bialetti Moka Express Aluminium Stovetop Coffee Maker

Stanley 6 Cups Stainless Steel Cool Grip Camp Percolator

GSI Outdoors 8 Cup Enamelware Percolator for Coffee

6. AeroPress

AeroPress is a more modern innovation of the press. It relies on heat and pressure to give you a great tasting coffee. Plus, it’s more portable, and great for solo or small - group camping.

Aeropress also lets you make some adjustments to how you want your coffee. You can press it faster to have a less bitter and stronger coffee, or go really slow to intensify the taste of the coffee.

Also, by default, it’s used with a wire mesh or metal filters, so you get a smoother cup of coffee.

How to use AeroPress :

  1. Fill your chamber with coffee.
  2. Pour in the water.
  3. Wait for a few minutes and press the pump down.

7. Pour-Over Coffee

Pour-over is one of the most complex methods for making your coffee. On the other hand, if you love the brewing process, then it’s complexity will give you the most joy out of all the methods mentioned in this article.

The slow brewing process reveals all the subtleties in the beans and extracts the most aromas and flavors.

It’s possible to get some reusable mesh filters, so you won’t need to buy a new one every time you make coffee.

How to make pour-over coffee:

  1. Boil the water.
  2. Pre-wet the filter.
  3. Add ground coffee.
  4. Pour in just enough water to wet the grounds in the filter.
  5. Let it sit for 30 seconds.
  6. Pour the rest of the water in slowly.
  7. Stir until all the water has gone through the filter.
  8. Just before the water dries out in the filter, remove it, and enjoy your coffee.

Best pour-over coffee makers :

Best Coffee Drips:

GSI Outdoors Java Drip Collapsible Pourover

Snow Peak’s Collapsible Coffee Drip for Camping

Primula Brew Buddy Portable Pour Over

8. Tea Bag Coffee

As the name suggests, the coffee is packed in tea bags. The good news is that you can make it yourself, and there is no need to buy pre-packaged coffee.

Simply order some tea bags from Amazon, pour some coffee inside, and seal the tea bags with an iron.

Tea bag coffee is a great alternative if you don’t want to carry a French press or Aeropress around.

The downside is that coffee will not be so strong and aromatic. For this reason, you may need to use two tea bags per serving.

How to make coffee with tea bags :

  1. Boil the water.
  2. Put your tea bag coffee into a mug.
  3. Pour water over the tea bag.
  4. Let it sit for 4 minutes.
  5. Take out the tea bag.
  6. Add sugar, cream or milk, and enjoy your coffee.

9. Cowboy Coffee

Cowboy coffee is as easy to make as instant coffee. The main difference is that coffee grounds do not dissolve in the water, which makes the cleaning process a little bit messier.

It’s ideal for larger groups of people as you just need to mix hot water with the coffee, and the size of serving will depend on your pot of water.

How to make cowboy coffee:

Traditional cowboy coffee is made over a fire:

  1. Boil the water over a fire (use tripod stand).
  2. Remove the pot from the fire and put coffee inside the pot (2 tablespoons of coffee for every 8 ounces of water).
  3. Return the pot to a higher level on the tripod, so you can have a lower heat, and simmer for few minutes.
  4. Pour the coffee into cups. Wait until the coffee grounds sink down to the bottom, and it’s ready to drink.

Coffee When Camping

The are different ways you can make your coffee outdoors. If you don’t want to buy equipment, then choose the simple ways to make your coffee.

However, if you enjoy coffee, then it’s worth exploring other methods to make yourself a high quality coffee outdoors.

Here Are the Best 5 Ground Coffees:

Best Ground Coffee:

Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend

Starbucks Blend Medium Roast Ground Coffee

Dunkin' Donuts Original Blend Medium Roast


How Do You Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker?

All you need to do is boil water in a kettle, a pot or even a cup over a fire or on a camping stove, and use one of these coffee - making methods: instant coffee, cowboy coffee, pour-over coffee and mud coffee.

How Do You Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker?

All you need to do is boil water in a kettle, a pot or even a cup over a fire or on a camping stove, and use one of these coffee - making methods: instant coffee, cowboy coffee, pour-over coffee and mud coffee.

How Do You Warm Up Milk When Camping?

You can warm up or boil the milk in the same pots or cups you heat up the water in , although it’s best to avoid heating up milk in an electric kettle , as the milk does not evaporate as well as water and it can burn inside the kettle.

What Should You Do with Coffee Grounds When Camping?

Coffee is a natural product, but its compounds, such as caffeine, can have a negative effect on the local ecosystem. The best answer is to take them with you and dispose of them properly. Or you can use instant coffee, and then you will not need to worry about how to get rid of the coffee grounds when camping.

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