How to Make Coffee While Camping: A Beginner’s Guide

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How to Make Coffee While Camping
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Camping is an excellent way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy the great outdoors. However, for many coffee lovers, the idea of being away from their beloved morning cup of joe can be daunting. Fortunately, making coffee while camping is not as difficult as it may seem.

The first step in making coffee while camping is to choose the right equipment. A portable coffee maker or a French press can be great options, but if you prefer a simpler method, a coffee cone filter and a pot will do the trick. It is also important to bring along enough coffee grounds and any necessary filters or accessories.

Once the equipment is chosen, the next step is to heat the water. This can be done over a campfire or with a portable stove. It is important to keep an eye on the water to ensure it reaches the desired temperature without boiling over. Once the water is heated, the coffee can be brewed using the chosen method. With a little preparation and the right equipment, making coffee while camping can be a simple and enjoyable experience.

Understanding the Basics of Coffee Making

When it comes to making coffee while camping, there are a few basics that one should keep in mind. Here are some important factors to consider:

Choosing the Right Coffee Beans

Before anything else, it’s important to choose the right coffee beans. There are two types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans are known for their mild and sweet flavor, while Robusta beans have a stronger and more bitter taste. When choosing coffee beans for camping, it’s best to go for Arabica beans as they are more flavorful and have a better aroma.

Grinding Coffee Beans

Once you have your coffee beans, the next step is to grind them. For camping, it’s best to use a manual coffee grinder as it doesn’t require electricity. The grind size is also important as it affects the taste of the coffee. For a French press, a coarse grind is recommended, while a finer grind is ideal for drip coffee makers.

Water to Coffee Ratio

The water to coffee ratio is another important factor to consider when making coffee while camping. The ideal ratio is 1:15, which means one part coffee to 15 parts water. This will ensure that the coffee is not too strong or too weak. It’s also important to use clean and fresh water for brewing coffee.

By keeping these basics in mind, one can make a delicious cup of coffee while camping.

Essential Equipment for Camping Coffee

When it comes to making coffee while camping, having the right equipment is essential. Here are some of the key items that any coffee-loving camper should consider bringing along.

Portable Coffee Maker

A portable coffee maker is a must-have for any camping trip. There are a variety of options available, from French presses to pour-over devices to single-serve coffee makers. Some popular choices include:

  • AeroPress
  • GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip
  • Snow Peak Coffee Drip
  • Primula Single Serve Coffee Brew Buddy

No matter which option you choose, make sure it is lightweight and easy to pack. Many portable coffee makers can be disassembled for compact storage.

Camping Stove

In order to heat water for coffee, a camping stove is necessary. There are many different types of camping stoves available, ranging from small backpacking stoves to larger, more powerful models. Some popular options include:

  • MSR PocketRocket 2
  • Jetboil Flash
  • Coleman Classic Propane Stove
  • Camp Chef Everest

Consider the size of your camping party and the length of your trip when selecting a camping stove. Remember to bring extra fuel canisters if necessary.

Thermal Flask

A thermal flask is a great way to keep coffee hot while you’re out exploring. Look for a flask that is well-insulated and leak-proof. Some popular options include:

  • Hydro Flask
  • Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle
  • Yeti Rambler Bottle

A thermal flask can also be used to transport hot water for making coffee later in the day.

By bringing along a portable coffee maker, camping stove, and thermal flask, campers can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee no matter where their adventures take them.

Preparing Coffee at the Campsite

Boiling Water

Before anything else, it’s important to have a source of heat to boil water. This can be done using a camping stove, a portable gas burner, or even a campfire. Make sure to follow proper safety precautions when setting up your heat source.

Once you have your heat source set up, fill a pot or kettle with the desired amount of water and place it on the heat source. Wait for the water to come to a rolling boil before moving on to the next step.

Brewing the Coffee

There are a few ways to brew coffee while camping, but one of the most popular methods is the French press. To use a French press, follow these steps:

  1. Coarsely grind your coffee beans and add them to the French press.
  2. Pour hot water over the coffee, making sure to saturate all of the grounds.
  3. Stir the coffee and water, then let it steep for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Press down the plunger slowly to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid.

Another option is to use a pour-over coffee maker. To use a pour-over coffee maker, follow these steps:

  1. Place a paper filter in the pour-over coffee maker and add coarsely ground coffee.
  2. Pour hot water over the coffee, making sure to saturate all of the grounds.
  3. Wait for the coffee to drip through the filter and into your mug.

Serving the Coffee

Once your coffee is brewed, it’s time to serve it. Pour the coffee into your mug and add any desired cream or sugar. If you’re making coffee for a group, consider using a thermos to keep the coffee hot and easily accessible.

Remember to properly dispose of any coffee grounds and clean your brewing equipment before packing up and leaving the campsite.

Maintaining Coffee Equipment While Camping

When camping, it’s important to maintain your coffee equipment to ensure that you have a fresh and delicious cup of coffee every morning. Here are a few tips to keep your coffee equipment in good condition:


Cleaning your coffee equipment is essential to remove any leftover coffee grounds or oil that can affect the taste of your coffee. Use a brush or a cloth to clean the coffee grinder and filter basket. Rinse them with water and let them dry completely before packing them.


Store your coffee equipment in a dry and clean place to prevent any damage or contamination. Use a plastic bag or a container to keep the coffee beans fresh and protected from moisture, sunlight, and insects. Keep the coffee equipment away from any sharp objects or heavy items that can damage them.


Regular maintenance of your coffee equipment is essential to keep them in good condition. Check the coffee grinder blades for any damages or dullness and sharpen them if needed. Replace the filter basket and paper filters regularly to prevent any clogging or overflowing.


In case of any issues with your coffee equipment, troubleshoot the problem before giving up on it. Check the power source, the grinder settings, and the water supply to ensure that everything is working properly. If you’re still facing issues, consult the manual or contact the manufacturer for assistance.

By following these tips, you can maintain your coffee equipment while camping and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee every morning.


In conclusion, making coffee while camping can be a simple and enjoyable experience with the right tools and techniques. By using a camping coffee maker, such as a French press or pour-over, campers can easily brew a fresh cup of coffee in the great outdoors.

It is important to remember to bring along all necessary equipment, such as a grinder, filters, and a heat source, to ensure a successful brewing process. Additionally, campers should be mindful of their impact on the environment and properly dispose of any coffee grounds and filters.

Overall, with a little preparation and know-how, campers can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee while experiencing the beauty of nature.

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