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Camp coffee is the best part of camping. When you finally figure out the best way to make this magical brew, it will take over your thoughts.
I go to bed dreaming of my coffee in the morning. Almost like a giddy little kid at Christmas. What is better than a great cup of coffee in the great outdoors? Clean air. Freshly brewed coffee. Heavy cream. Birds chirping. And the sun coming up over the trees.
Then there are all the amazing cups that will keep your coffee hot while you are messing around camp.
Haul it with you while you fish or kayak on the lake.
Make another cup while you are hiking.
With so many great ways to make coffee it gets a little hard to remember to drink water! Check out all the great coffee brands as well as the fun ways to make camp coffee. You don’t have to chew your grounds and settle for “cowboy coffee” any more.
You can use different camping stoves to warm up your water for coffee. Or just stick a pot on the campfire!
Instant Coffee for Camping
The key to these different instant coffees is all you have to do is boil water. Get it hot enough for your taste and then dump in a packet. Add your desired cream and sugar. Enjoy. No need for filters, presses, or anything complicated.
These are a great option if you are the only coffee drinker and everyone else wants tea or hot chocolate. Water will already be boiling. The java is still an option!
Instant coffee in single serve packets. You can pack one or two packets or the whole box. Depends on how much coffee you feel like you will need for this camping trip! (Get it on Amazon)
Organic and fair trade. Instant coffee will always do in a pinch (and sometimes it is really good on ice cream!) Amazon
LO’r Instant Coffee
Gourmet Instant coffee packets that are full of well-balanced coffee. Ideal for the office, for camping or anywhere a coffee maker can’t be used. (Get it on Amazon)
Coffee singles work just like instant coffee packets and tea. All you need to do is boil water. The difference with a single is you need to let it sit in your cup for a few minutes and “brew”.
Unlike instant coffee, it doesn’t just dissolve into your water and give you instant coffee. Voila.
You can take the coffee bag out when the brew is dark enough for your taste. Make it as weak or as strong as you like.
A quick and easy way to make coffee while you are backpacking or hiking is to use a BRS stove with a can of ISOPRO gas. We each have a stove, canister of gas, and a Toaks pot in our backpack. The stove fits in the Toaks pot along with a few bouillon cubes, tinfoil, a lighter, and some tea and coffee bags.
Folgers Coffee Singles
These are not my favorite. But you take what you can get when the town only has one grocery store and you need singles. They work when you are desperate for a cup of coffee in the woods. (Get it on Amazon)
Crown Code Coffee
These are much better than any of the coffee singles we would find in our tiny town. Give them a try. (Get it on Amazon)
Wide Awake Pods
Wait. What?! These aren’t for camping. But this coffee hack is amazing! And you can grab these at the grocery store and not have to suffer through Folgers. Toss one of these pods into your cup of hot water. Let it seep for awhile and there you have it. A coffee single, well, sort of. (Get it on Amazon)
This coffee hack only works with the pods that have a mesh netting. It will NOT work with the regular plastic KPods. I’m sure you could find another hack for those…but you would really have to be jonesing for your coffee fix!
Coffee Pour Overs
It is amazing all the different ways you can come up with to make a cup of coffee.
Have you looked around your kitchen to see how many ways you can create a cup of the dark goodness?
Just glancing around my kitchen, I can find at least 4 ways. Digging into cupboards would show you at least 2 or 3 more. It’s an obsession I tell you!
Pour overs are the latest coffee-making method to hit our household. Mostly for camping. But I’m sure it will migrate into the house over time.
This GSI Coffee Pour Over (or Java Drip) is the latest addition to our backpack coffee collection. It takes a little practice to make. Mostly just the speed that you pour the water in.
You don’t want to just dump it all in and let it drain through. You have to give the coffee grounds some time to absorb some water. This is referred to as “blooming”. Basically swell up. The grounds fill the hole at the bottom of the drip cone. Then you get a stronger cup of coffee!
This is another coffee method where all you have to do is heat up some water. Use your favorite coffee pot or even a cooking pan. It doesn’t matter. Whatever you have on hand is great.
The best part of the pot that we have is it can also make coffee. We use it as a pot to boil water in but it is actually a percolator. Because we don’t have enough methods as it is, right?!
When we first started camping this was the first coffee pot that we purchased. We have found 2 or 3 more at second hand stores since then and added them to our collection.
One for the camping box that we use for the truck and day camping.
One for the house.
One for the R-Pod.
You can’t have too many different coffee pots. Can you?
GSI Pour Over
The beauty of a pour over is you can use any type of coffee grounds you want. Grind your own for the trip. Grab a bag of whatever has been roasted locally. (Get it on Amazon)
GSI Ultralight Java
This set up is an all in one. Your cup and the pour over basket/filter. These are excellent for backpacking (when ounces equal pounds). (Get it on Amazon)
Pour Over Singles
Pour over singles are also a thing. Throw a few in you pack and take up even less room. You don’t get to choose your own grounds with this set up, but if you find a decent pour over brand it is worth it. (Get it on Amazon)
My dad loves his coffee through a press. I’m more of a brew it type of coffee drinker. It takes all kinds.
The number of coffee presses out there are amazing. We have a glass coffee press and one of the portable cups with the press built in.
I never seem to get the grounds just right. It is time for me to brush up on this as a coffee-making method. I want to try the AeroPress!
Stanley Coffee Press
We have this press. My husband used it when he was taking courses at the college. I don’t really like coffee this way so I stick to using the pod coffee hack or the regular percolator. (Get it on Amazon)
GSI Coffee Press
These cups are ultralight. Now you can have your coffee and press it too. It’s BPA Free, made from copolyester, and is shatter resistant. (Get it on Amazon)
I’m ready to give a coffee press one more try. This is the one I want next. According the hype: the AeroPress Go travel coffee press makes smooth, delicious coffee without bitterness, unlike slow brewing methods and French Presses.
A small size that makes 1-3 cups per press. Features a mug and lid that double as a traveling case. Perfect for traveling, camping, kayaking and more! (Get it on Amazon)
Good Ol’ Fashioned Percolators
You can get really crazy with your coffee making methods. There are portable espresso makers (I haven’t tried any…yet).
My favorite way to make coffee is still to just make it in a percolator.
They work in the camper on a gas or electric stove. You can haul along the Coleman stove or any other portable gas stove.
Put it on the campfire (you can tell ours has been kissed by flames multiple times).
You could even put it on your JetBoil stove and get it hot enough to percolate.
Farberware is made in the USA and has been around forever. I’m pretty sure that is the brand on at least one of our percolators. (Get it on Amazon)
Named after the rugged city of Bozeman, this percolator coffee pot is 18/8 stainless steel. Make coffee like grandma used to. This one reminds me of my grandma. (Get it on Amazon)
Knowing you can just put these on a grate over the campfire (or even a rock close to the coals) makes this a great way to make camp coffee. They are a fantastic coffee pot and will last the life of your camping adventures.
You can also make coffee on the tailgate with a portable propane or butane stove. Coleman has always been the household name for these types of stoves. I think my dad still uses my grandpa’s Coleman!
Coleman Double Burner Stove
Double burner Coleman stove for cooking and more importantly for brewing coffee! (Get it on Amazon)
Single Burner Coleman Stove
These take a smaller butane cylinder and are lighter to pack. If you only have a limited amount of room in your camping gear then this might be the best option (Get it on Amazon)
All the Ways to Make a Cup-o-Joe (Not Really)
That was a pretty long list of all the ways to make coffee. But really, you could come up with a handful more, I’m sure.
If you are one of those people who goes to sleep ready to wake up and have your first cup of coffee, then all these different options give you hope. Camping doesn’t have to mean a break from your favorite cup of coffee. It just means you need to get creative and figure out the best way to pack the coffee gear.
Hiking. Backpacking. Day camping. Kayaking. Just because you are looking for an adventure does not mean you leave the coffee behind. Pick your top 2 or 3 ways from this camp coffee selection and go out and find your adventure (and your caffeine!).