How to Make Coffee While Camping

Making coffee while camping can be simple and satisfying
Making coffee while camping can be simple and satisfying

For some of us, coffee isn’t just a beverage—it’s a way of life.

Morning air hits differently without the first cup of joe.

And lack of access to that sweet campsite brew is no joke. As we know, brewing coffee in the middle of the woods can be tricky.

So here’s the tea on making coffee while hanging outdoors.

Different Ways to Make Coffee While Camping

The good thing is that you have a couple of different options based on your gear and your personal preferences.

You thought you were the only one with this problem?

Cowboy Style

Pour yourself a strong, flavorful cup of cowboy coffee while in camping trips - you'll thank us later
Pour yourself a strong, flavorful cup of cowboy coffee while in camping trips – you’ll thank us later

Want a fresh grind right at camp?

Bring your pot if you want this tasty but gritty kind of coffee.

This classic, simple method lets you enjoy a morning cup without a sweat.

What you’ll need:

  • Coffee grounds

  • Pot for boiling water

  • Heat source (a campfire or a camp stove are great)

  • Coffee mug or cup

How to do it:

  • Bring your water to a boil in a pot

  • Put coffee grounds directly into an empty mug

  • Slowly pour the hot water over the grounds

  • Let it steep a few minutes, then press the grounds down before drinking (a lot of people forget this – don’t)

To get the most out of your coffee, use medium-fine ground coffee instead for a stronger flavor and let it fully settle.

Camp Stove Percolator

It's easy to make freshly brewed coffee with a camp stove percolator
It’s easy to make freshly brewed coffee with a camp stove percolator

If you’re camping with friends or family and want to brew 4–8 cups at a time, then this basic and reliable option is the one for you.

But be careful, as you’ll need to pay attention when using this method to avoid your coffee boiling dry.

What you’ll need:

  • Percolator pot

  • Coffee grounds

  • Camp stove or campfire

How to do it:

  • Place your percolator directly on a camp stove, fire, or coal

  • Add water and grounds to the basket and heat until it’s bubbling at a lower temperature

  • Keep the lid on so the coffee percolates continuously

This classic way to brew a few cups at once produces medium-strength coffee.

French Press

Savor your delicious coffee with every sip using a French press
Savor your delicious coffee with every sip using a French press

The french press is another great way to make good coffee while camping.

What you’ll need:

  • Stainless steel press

  • Coffee grounds

  • Water

How to do it:

  • Use a stainless steel press — not one that can easily be shattered

  • Add coarse grounds straight into the empty pot (we would say about 2 tablespoons per cup of water)

  • Pour hot water right off the boil over the grounds and give it a stir

  • Let that steep for 3–4 minutes, then press down the plunger to strain it

Pour your fresh press into your camp mug and get your day going.

Pour-Over

Few things are better than starting your day with a cup of coffee
Few things are better than starting your day with a cup of coffee

For the gourmet coffee snob, this one is for you.

Fancy pour-over offers an excellent and customizable brew, so it’s absolutely worth it to know about it.

What you’ll need:

  • Portable pour-over stand

  • Dripper

  • Kettle

  • Coffee grounds

How to do it:

  • Place a filter in the dripper, rinse it with a little hot water

  • Add your grounds to the filter basket

  • Slowly pour the hot water in circles over the grounds

    • Adjust pouring to get about 4 minutes of brew time

Instant

Go for an instant if you want a quick way of making coffee while camping
Go for an instant if you want a quick way of making coffee while camping

Don’t want to spend too much time preparing your coffee or simply aren’t a great fan and rarely drink it?

An instant is where you should place your bets.

What you’ll need:

  • Instant coffee

  • Water

  • Mug

How to do it:

  • Just dump a teaspoon of instant coffee into your mug and add hot water

  • Stir it up well at first so it fully dissolves

  • Let it sit a minute to develop the flavor before you drink it

Pro tip: you can add some cocoa powder to jazz it up.

Dealing with Common Problems

Want to enjoy a good cup of coffee while camping? Then you need to know how to fix problems
Want to enjoy a good cup of coffee while camping? Then you need to know how to fix problems

As much as we don’t want to, we’ll always encounter issues while camping, and coffee isn’t an exception. But don’t panic.

You can try these fixes:

  • Gritty, grounds in your cup? -> Use a finer grind or strain it

  • Bitter or strong? -> Then use fewer grounds and let it brew for a shorter time

  • Weak and watery? -> Add more grounds and let it brew for a longer time

  • No heat source? -> Use instant coffee or pre-brewed coffee concentrate

These easy solutions will fix 95% of any problems with your coffee. Don’t make excuses and go camping!

Safety Tips

Safety is key when making coffee while camping
Safety is key when making coffee while camping

If you’ve been reading us, you know that safety is the most important thing when you go camping, so we couldn’t leave it out in this one.

You should bear in mind some helpful tips when preparing your camp coffee:

  • Use pots with handles and pour slowly so you don’t burn yourself

  • Place hot stuff on trivets, not right on tables where they can scorch

  • Keep coffee away from kids who don’t normally have caffeine

  • Wash your hands thoroughly first when handling food and drink

We’re just after coffee, not any accidents: always be careful.

Final Thoughts

There’s nothing better than sipping a hot, freshly brewed cup in the crisp morning air when you’re out there camping, be it with your family or your partner.

With simple gear and techniques, you can very easily prepare good coffee that will keep you going.

Pick your favorite method and drink up!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Do You Make Coffee When Electricity Is Out?

You can use a camp stove, portable gas burner, or campfire to heat water. Then use a French press, pour-over cone, or percolator to brew your coffee. These methods don’t require electricity and can be used in outdoor settings.

Is a Percolator or French Press Better for Camping?

The answer depends on your personal preferences, your gear, and your camping style.

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