9 ways to brew the perfect cup of coffee while camping
Never compromise on your morning cup of joe.
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If you’re planning a camping trip this spring or summer, you’ll probably want to set up
a functioning kitchen next to your tent. And for folks who are used to making coffee at the touch of a button, brewing coffee without your trusty drip coffee maker can be a difficult adjustment.
Fortunately, there are many choices when it comes to quality coffee on the go. As most coffee brewing methods still require boiling water, a stove and a kettle are essential to help you prepare your perfect cup of coffee no matter which gadget you choose.
1. Single-serve pour-over
If you’re new to camping and don’t want to fiddle with a complex gadget, the most stress-free way to make a quality cup of coffee outdoors is a single-serve pour-over packet. These packets are pre-ground, pre-measured, and individually packaged coffee, filter included. Similar to traditional pour-over coffee, you perch the packet over a mug after opening, then pour hot water over the grinds and wait until all the water passes through the filter. Your coffee is ready to drink!
2. A hand grinder
For people who are particular about their beans, a hand-crank grinder is must for camping. However, you don’t need to compromise on the quality of your cup just because you’re doing things the old fashioned way—there are plenty of hand-crank grinders that work just as well as their electric counterparts.
This VSSL Java hand grinder is designed to make you a happy camper—it takes little effort to use, grinds beans quickly, and features heavy-duty material that makes it durable. It boasts 50 grind settings for all your coffee needs, including Aeropress, pour-over, French press, and more.
3. A canister
A travel canister can be extremely useful for packing fresh beans or pre-ground coffee. Most coffee canisters are large and bulky—this MiiR stainless steel canister is designed for traveling light. It has a 12-ounce capacity, which is about the size of a bag of coffee beans, and its accordion-style seal securely eliminates air and light exposure.
4. An Aeropress
The Aeropress is a well-liked coffee gadget that earned endorsement from members of the backcountry community. It’s also a go-to coffee tool for traveling light. Its compact size and convenience make it ideal for camping trips and long hikes. And if you’re wondering how to use this handy gadget, check out our step-by-step guide. This handy gadget uses air pressure to push the coffee through a filter and directly into your mug.
5. A French press
If you’re traveling with a group, a French press is best for making enough caffeine for the whole crowd. Its simplicity and full-bodied brew make the French press a popular choice for camping trips and long-distance travel. It’s easy to use, too. Simply add hot water to the coffee grinds, wait, then plunge the press. The best French press we’ve tested, the Espro P3, is super lightweight and ideal for travel.
6. A pour-over dripper
Many coffee aficionados prefer the pour-over method because it allows them to control every step of the brewing process. Pour-over drippers are specifically designed to fit over a mug, which makes them extra convenient for camping coffee needs. Brewing with a pour-over dripper is simple—check out our guide for tips.
7. An Turkish coffee pot
Turkish coffee is suitable for camping because you “cook” the coffee over a stove or fire. If you don’t have an ibrik (the Turkish coffee pot), you can still make Turkish coffee by using a small saucepan (one-quart) and following this recipe. As no filter is required to make Turkish coffee, you’ll want to let your drink sit for a few minutes to allow any sediment to sink to the bottom. The fun part comes after you finish your drink: Enjoy a fortune-telling session as you interpret the shape the coffee grinds left on the bottom of the cup.
8. A moka pot
If you’re a fan of espresso, a moka pot is your best choice when portability is a concern. It works on any stovetop and is hard to break, so will survive in a backpack or a bin filled with other camping kitchen supplies. Moka pots come in various sizes—from 1-cup to up to 12-cup models—for different brewing needs. It’s easy to use, but we’re put together a how-to in case you want a little guidance.
9. A solar-powered coffee maker
If you’re trying to go off-grid and don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up a stove, this coffee maker by GoSun is here to help. With this brewer, all you need is coffee grinds, water, and a solar power bank—a heating pad on the bottom will take care of the rest. It can also be charged via a 12-volt electric outlet, which can be found in every car, truck, RV, and boat.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.