How To Make Coffee While Backpacking

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If you are a camping or a backpacking enthusiast, you should know how to make coffee while backpacking. A cup of steaming hot coffee is the best way for starting your day when you are out on an outdoor adventure.

Crawling out of your warm sleeping bag to the chilling breeze of the mountainside can be a bit daunting unless you have the aroma of freshly brewed coffee beckoning at you.

Whether you make camp in the wilderness or you are on a glamping experience with a bubble tent, coffee will do wonders for your spirits. You can grab your cup of steaming coffee, sip it slowly as you watch the sunrise. Picturesque, eh? Just make sure to bring your own coffee when camping!


Backpacking Coffee

You will miss this luxury if you do not find out the best way to make coffee while camping. However, making camping coffee is not as complicated as some might think and the essentials that you require are neither bulky nor big such that they will unnecessarily add on to your load.

There are several ways in which you can go about making delicious camping coffee without bringing your home coffeemaker together with its power supply. There are many types of camping coffee makers anyway. You can invest in a good one.


Here are some of the ways of doing so:

Instant Coffee Camping – Best Way To make coffee while camping

Although instant coffee is the easiest and most convenient way of getting your dose of caffeine while camping, it has some reservations when taste is concerned.

This method is ideal for backpacking campers who want to save on space while reducing on the weight of their load of their backpacking backpacks at the same time since it is lightweight and it does not require any special equipment to prepare it.

If you choose to go by this method, ensure that you find a decent, high quality brand. Otherwise, you might end up choosing a brand whose taste is terrible. Thankfully, technology and innovation has improved the way in which coffee is refined.  You can be sure of finding instant coffee with a surprisingly great taste.

The simplicity in making a fresh mug of instant coffee might probably be the reason why most backpackers prefer this method. All you need to do is boil some water over the campfire, pour into a cup, pour a packet of the instant coffee into the cup, stir and voila! You have your freshly brewed mug of coffee.

If you bring your travel coffee mug to keep coffee hot with you, you can make extra coffee and keep it for later.


Coffee Bags for Camping – How To Make Coffee While Backpacking

Just as the instant coffee, coffee bags is another hassle free way of making coffee while you are outdoor on a camping or backpacking adventure. If you really love coffee, there will always be a way to squeeze in a small portable coffee maker and some coffee.

The difference in these two methods however lies in the fact that unlike in the instant coffee where your pour the packet contents directly in your mug, the coffee in this method is kept in a bag similar to the commonly known tea bag. The contents are not directly poured into the mug but rather the coffee bag is put in the hot water and left to sit for a minute or two.

This method is also ideal when backpacking since coffee bags are light in weight and you can carry quite a good number of them. Just ensure that buy the best tasting brand since most of the brands do have a nasty taste.

If you do not fancy the coffee bags from the stores, you can improvise your own coffee bags and fill them with your favorite coffee so that your coffee flavor is not compromised. You will find making your coffee bags for camping very easy.


Best Camping Percolator

If you would love to brew tasteful coffee over your campfire using fewer accessories, a camping percolator is an ideal way of doing so. It is big and bulky, and it is only good when you are going camping as a family. Therefore, if you are going camping alone, do not bring one with you.

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A percolator comes in handy when you are camping as a big group since it is able to make several mugs of coffee at a go. Coffee brewed using a percolator tastes much better than what you would get from instant coffee or coffee bags for camping.

If you are unfamiliar with how a percolator brews coffee, here is how it:

  1. First, remove the coffee basket and tube from the percolator and fill it with water
  2. Put a tablespoon or two of ground coffee in the basket and put the basket and tube inset inside the percolator and close the lid
  3. Place your percolator over the campfire
  4. As the water heats up, it is pushed up via a small tube insert. The hot water then drips through the coffee beans in the little basket and drips back into the holding space.

This process continues until the coffee is ready.

This method is simple to use and afterwards, it is easy to clean up. However, you should be more careful when using this method because if you leave your coffee unattended, it can become excessively thick and bitter.


How To Make Cowboy Coffee

If you read Louis L’Amor, you know how the cowboy rolls off his bedroll, wears his hat first, followed by his boots and then stirs last night’s coals, adds tinder and sticks to the fire and pours coffee into the kettle. This is basically what you will be doing to make coffee while camping.

The cowboy way of brewing coffee is similar to the percolator way, the only difference is that the cowboy method features no basket. Instead of a basket, the ground coffee is poured directly into the water inside the kettle.

The kettle is placed over the campfire so that the water and the ground coffee boil together. Once it boils for some minutes, remove the kettle from the fire and allow it to cool for a minute and allow the grounds to settle at the bottom of the kettle.  Pour you freshly brewed coffee slowly into your mug to avoid too much grit finding its way into your cup.

As you can see, this is one of the simplest ways of brewing your camping coffee. It also requires minimal accessories and its therefore ideal for backpackers. The major drawback of using this method is that your kettle will be left with a thick sticky residue at the bottom, which can be quite hard to cleanup. But don’t let that keep you from making coffee on the trail the cowboy way.

French Press Camping Coffee Maker

The French press coffee maker is another great tool for making some tasty camping coffee just as the one you usually make at home. The process is very simple and straightforward.

The first step requires you to boil some water using your preferred method. Add a teaspoon or two of your preferred ground coffee inside the French press and pour the boiled water over the coffee. Allow the mixture to sit for a couple of minutes depending on how strong you would love your coffee to be.

After you steep your coffee for some minutes, press the plunger to the bottom of the camping press to separate the brewed coffee from the grounds.

The French press is an ideal coffee making method when camping but most backpackers might not prefer it because it is quite bulky.


How To Make Pour Over Coffee

The pour over method is a relatively new concept of brewing coffee that has specifically been designed with campers in mind. It is easy to use and clean up since the grounds and the water are kept separate. Coffee brewed using this method is also very tasty.

Image of camping coffee

This method requires you to put your ground coffee inside the pour over filter. Mount the pour-over onto your mug using its holders. Pour some boiling water over the ground coffee and the filter will drip some brewed coffee right inside your mug.

The pour over coffee making method is ideal when backpacking since it is lightweight and requires minimal accessories. Besides, if you make your coffee with a wood fire stove for camping and backpacking, it will have that tantalizing distant smell of smoke. Perfect!


Aeropress Coffee Machine

The aeropress is one of the best ways of brewing your camping coffee. This method produces incredibly tasteful coffee using minimal resources. The aeropress is small, compact and light in weight and therefore ideal when backpacking.

This method works in almost a similar way as the French press the main difference being that while the French press pushes the coffee grounds downwards, the aeropress pushes them upwards, out through the topmost part of the unit.

The portable aeropress comes at an affordable cost and it lasts for years. They are also easy to clean and are able to handle different ground coffee textures, allowing you to customize on your flavors. Their major downside is that they only brew one cup of coffee at a time, which might be a tedious process if your will be sharing one unit as a group.

Apart from the volume, this method beats almost all the other methods when it comes to the quality of the coffee and the taste.


Portable Espresso Makers – Camping espresso machine

You not only require your massive kitchen espresso machine to enjoy a cup of your favorite espresso; with a portable espresso maker, you can enjoy your daily espresso dose from anywhere including inside your camping tent .

The portable espresso makers are small and light in weight and they will take in your camping or hiking backpack. They are easy to use and do not use electricity because most of them just require you to apply some pressure by pushing a piston and that will power the gadget and there! You have your freshly brewed espresso. The unit has different compartments which include the ground coffee section, the filter and the water section.


Conclusion and recommendation

Now that you know of the many options to make coffee while camping, there is no reason why you should deny yourself the luxury of a hot mug of coffee during your camping adventure.

Freshly brewed coffee should no longer be confined to the coffee shops or to your kitchen. You can enjoy your camping experience without sacrificing your usual cup of Joe during those chilly mornings in the wilderness camping adventure.

Bring your camping coffee maker with you to ensure that you do not compromise on the quality and the taste of your coffee. These units are available in the market and they do not require the use of electricity since they are battery operated.

Your coffee fix is one heck of a way to kick-start your day anytime you are out of home.  You now know how to make coffee while backpacking and you will have a jolly good time on the trail or at the campsite.


  1. Luna Anderson

    A camping percolator is quite bulky when camping alone. For me, I choose a stainless steel mug to boil some water and making coffee is so easy. Anyway, thanks for your suggestion.

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