8 Simple Ways to Make Coffee While Camping

Best Ways To Make Coffee While Camping


While camping means you need to forgo the many home pleasures like the hot shower, sleeping in a cozy bed, flush toilets and even access to high-speed internet connections, your caffeine fix should not be part of the things you have to live without.

You can still make a nice cup of coffee when camping regardless of where you might be, and it is way much easier than you think. And to show you just how easy it is, here we highlight some of the best ways to make coffee while camping.

These coffee making methods for campers will not require any expensive or special equipment and most will only take just a few minutes to ensure you spend more time enjoying the outdoors and not trying to quench your coffee thirst. In this piece, we explain in detail how to make coffee when camping.

Table of Contents

Best Ways to Make Coffee While Camping

Making coffee when camping will probably not be as efficient and convenient as using your super-automatic coffee maker, but you should still be able to make some good enough brews. Here is how to brew coffee while camping.

1. Coffee Bag

Coffee Bag


Coffee bags provide one of the easiest ways to make coffee when camping because besides the coffee bags, you will only need water and a heat source to make your coffee, and it is also quite fast.

This coffee-making method works the same as using tea bags, and it is quite convenient since no special skills will be required, and you will not even need to pay any significant attention to the coffee-making process. Better yet, coffee bags are small and hence great space saver for campers.

What You Will Need

  • Coffee bags (1 or 2 per cup of coffee)
  • 1 cup of water
  • Coffee mug or cup
  • Heat source like a campfire
  • Pot or saucepan

Brew Time: 4 Minutes

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Start by boiling water over the campfire using a pot or saucepan

Step 2: Place the coffee bags in your coffee mug

Step 3: Pour the hot water over the coffee bags and allow the coffee to steep for around 3 minutes

Step 4: Once the coffee steeps enough, remove the coffee bag and enjoy your brew

Note: If you do not have coffee bags or prefer to use freshly ground coffee, you can easily make your own coffee bags from scratch when camping using a cheesecloth or even a bandana.

2. Cowboy Method

Cowboy Method

This old-fashioned coffee making method has been in use for ages, and it gets its name from the fact that it is the method that cowboys would use to get their caffeine fix when out in the wilderness.

Cowboy coffee is famous for the strong flavor and mud-like texture and as long you have some ground coffee and fire on you can make this classic coffee when camping.

What You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds
  • 1 or 2 cups of water
  • Pot or saucepan
  • Heat source
  • 1 egg (optional)

Brew Time: 4 Minutes

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Start by heating water on the pot, kettle or saucepan over the campfire

Step 2: As the water is just about to boil, add 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds and let it simmer for a while

Step 3: Remove the coffee from the heat source and cover for around 2 minutes to allow grounds to settle at the bottom

Step 4 (Optional): You can also crack one egg, remove the yolk and pour the whites and shells into your coffee

Step 5: Once the grounds are settled at the bottom, you can now carefully pour the coffee into your cup

3. Pour Over Coffee Maker

Pour Over Coffee Maker

The popularity of pour over coffee is always on a steady rise as many coffee lovers prefer its smooth taste and the fact that it is easy to make.

When camping, you can easily pack and carry everything you will need to make pour over coffee because a dripper and paper filter is all you need besides the obvious things such as coffee grounds and water

What You Will Need

  • Pour Over set up (dripper and paper filter)
  • 30 grams of medium coffee grounds
  • 1 or 2 cups of water
  • A heat source and pot/saucepan
  • Coffee mug/cup

Brew Time: Around 6 Minutes

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Start by heating your water in a pot to at least 195 degrees Fahrenheit

Step 2: Rinse your filter before placing it on the dripper and then putting the setup mover a mug

Step 3: Add your coffee grounds to the filter and shake for even distribution

Step 4: Pour some hot water over the grounds to wet them and give them 30 seconds to bloom

Step 5: Pour the rest of the water slowly and steadily in 1 or 2 pours and your coffee should drip into the mug below

4. French Press Coffee Maker

French Press Coffee Maker


A French press coffee maker will always give you some strong, full-bodied and delicious coffee, and if you are on the lookout for a good way to make coffee while camping, it should be on your mind.

The good news is that most French press coffee makers are small, compact and rugged enough which makes them great for use on the go. Better yet, you can also find some models specifically built for camping and other outdoor activities like backpacking and trekking.

What You Will Need

  • French press coffee maker
  • 2 tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee
  • Heat source and pot
  • 2 cups of water
  • A coffee mug

Brew Time: Under 5 Minutes

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Start by heating water to around 200 degrees Fahrenheit which is just below boiling point

Step 2: Add the coarsely ground coffee into the French press beaker as the water boils

Step 3: Pour the hot water over the coffee grounds and stir gently

Step 4: Allow the coffee to steep for around 3 to 4 minutes

Step 5: After steeping you can push down the plunger and pour the coffee into a mug

5. Stovetop Espresso Maker

Stovetop Espresso Maker

Photo: Osaka

For the coffee lovers that would like to enjoy some strong, bold and rich espresso when out camping, a stovetop espresso maker or the Moka pot as it is fondly referred to as is a must-have.

These are traditional European coffee makers that will consist of three chambers which are the bottom chamber for water, the middle chamber that holds the finely ground coffee and the top chamber where the brewed coffee collects.

What You Will Need

  • Moka pot
  • 2 tablespoons of finely ground coffee
  • Heat source
  • 1 cup Water
  • Coffee mug or cup

Brew Time: About 8 Minutes (depending on the heat source)

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Fill the bottom chamber with enough water

Step 2: Add the finely ground coffee to the middle chamber

Step 3: Place the serving carafe (top chamber) on then Moka pot and put it over a heat source

Step 4: Once the water boils the coffee maker will start making a popping sound, and when it goes silent it means your espresso is ready

Step 5: Remove Moka pot from the heat source and pour the espresso into a coffee mug or cup

6. Coffee Percolator

Coffee Percolator

The coffee percolator is one of the oldest types of coffee makers, and it has been in use for hundreds of years. Despite the coming of many other faster and more efficient ways of making coffee, it is still one of the most popular methods for campers.

This retro brew method provides a simple way to make a nice cup of coffee when out in the wilderness, and it is quite straightforward to use it brews by simply cycling water through coffee grounds.

What You Will Need

  • A small, portable percolator
  • 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds
  • Heat source
  • Coffee mug or cup
  • 1 cup of Water

Brew Time: Approximately 6 Minutes

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Fill your percolator with water up to the indicated fill line

Step 2: Add the coffee grounds to the coffee basket or top chamber

Step 3: Place the percolator over the heat source

Step 4: Allow the coffee to percolate for 3 to 4 minutes depending on the quantity

Step 5: Remove from the heat source then remove the coffee basket before pouring coffee into your mug

7. Hand-Powered Espresso Maker

Hand-Powered Espresso Maker

Hand-powered espresso makers are another must-have for the coffee lovers that want to enjoy some rich and bold espresso shots when out camping.

This espresso maker is inexpensive and easy to use and once you get the hang of it, you can use it to make some fantastic espressos. Better yet, these small espresso makers are compact and highly portable, and you can take them with you almost anywhere.

What You Will Need

  • Hand press espresso maker
  • About 15 grams of finely ground coffee
  • 2 fluid ounces of water
  • Heat source
  • Metal filter
  • Coffee mug/cup

Brew Time: Under 1 Minute

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Heat water and add it to the respective chamber on the hand-powered espresso maker

Step 2: Leave the water in the espresso maker for around 30 seconds

Step 3: Then add the coffee grounds, but you will not need to tamp the coffee with this method as the lid will take care of this

Step 4: While holding the handpresso with the pod facing down, start pumping until you get to 16 PSI

Step 5: At 16 PSI you should now push the extraction button to pour the espresso into your cup and hold the button until it is complete

8. Travel Coffee Kit

Travel Coffee Kit


If you want to be sure you will have everything you need to make coffee while camping, a good idea should be to buy a complete travel coffee kit or assemble one at home.

There are many brands like Prima Coffee and Huckberry that sell special travel coffee kits, and so you should not have any trouble finding one.

What You Will Need

Brew Time: Around 5 Minutes (depending on the coffee maker you have)

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Start by setting up the coffee maker

Step 2: Heat water in the kettle 

Step 3: Use the grinder to grind the coffee beans to a consistency that suits your coffee maker

Step 4: Add coffee grounds and then pour the hot water

Step 5: Serve and enjoy

Note: The exact brewing process depends on the specific coffee maker on the kit that you buy, but most will involve the steps above.


Camping allows you to enjoy the great outdoors, but it can also deny you the luxuries that you are used to at home. However, your cup of coffee should not be one of the things that you miss out on when you go camping.

There are many ways you can make and enjoy coffee out in the wilderness and they include a coffee bag, percolator, French press, and hand-operated espresso maker. And you can even buy a complete coffee travel kit.

But while these might be some of the best ways to make coffee while camping, there are still many other methods you can use to get you caffeine fix provided you have hot water and coffee grounds.

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