How to Make Coffee While Camping Without Breaking the Budget In 2023

camp coffee

Whether you’re an avid camper or just enjoying a weekend away from civilization, there’s nothing like a hot cup of coffee in the morning.

Brewing coffee while camping can be a bit tricky, but not difficult. In this post, I’ll give you some tips on how to make coffee while camping, so you can enjoy your favorite brew even while roughing it.

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I have been on camping excursions in the Rocky Mountains and the central Wisconsin/Iowa area. There are times when I need that extra boost in the morning to get me going. I will share my personal best ways to make coffee while camping, and you don’t have to break the bank doing it.

What is the best way to make coffee while camping without spending too much?

Making coffee at home is not too hard, especially if you have the right equipment. But while camping, there are a few tricks to ensure your coffee is strong and delicious.

A good coffee maker is one of the most important items you need. You can find them for relatively cheap, and most will work just fine. Look for one that can be easily packed, and make sure to keep it clean and free of debris when not in use.

Reasons You Need to Know When Making Coffee While Camping

When making coffee, you must be aware of a few things.

Coffee Maker

The first thing you should consider is the type of coffee maker you will use while camping. Whether it’s a French press, Aeropress, or pour-over, the type of coffee maker can make a big difference in the outcome of your morning cup.

Speed of making coffee

A thing to consider is the speed at which you will make your coffee. Time can be of the essence when camping, so having a quick-brewing coffee maker can make a huge difference.

Coffee Beans

Next, you’ll want to think about the type of coffee beans you’ll need for your camping trip. If you’re an espresso lover, you’ll want to make sure to have some dark roast beans on hand. If you prefer lighter brews, you can go with medium-roast or even cold brew.


If you’re serious about coffee, a good grinder is essential for getting the perfect grind. This will ensure that your coffee is evenly ground, and it will also help release the beans’ flavors.

Size and Weight

When packing for your trip, you should also consider the size and weight of the items you’ll bring.

Group Size

Finally, you should consider the size of your group when making coffee while camping. If you’re with a large group, buying a larger, more expensive coffee maker may be more cost-effective.

If you take the time to consider the items mentioned above, you’ll surely have a great cup of coffee without spending much time and energy making it.


Step-by-Step Instructions for How to Make Coffee While Camping

Now that you know the basics of making coffee while camping, let’s get into the actual steps.

Instant Coffee

Instant coffee is the way to go if you’re in a hurry. Simply add water (ideally boiled) and stir for about a minute. This is a great option for those times when you don’t want to wait around for your cup of morning coffee.

For instant coffee, I highly prefer Mt. Hagen Organic Instant Coffee.

My other favorite instant coffee brands include:

Alpine Start Instant Coffee

Cafe Altura Instant Organic Coffee

Best for: those on a budget, speed freaks.


1. Boil a pot of water or use pre-boiled, filtered water

2. Add the desired amount of instant coffee to a cup

3. Pour hot water into a cup

4. Stir with a spoon for 1 minute

5. Enjoy your coffee!

Best Camp Coffee Makers

You’ll need the right equipment if you want to enjoy a freshly brewed cup of coffee while camping. Here are some of the best options for coffee makers when camping.

What to look out for:

Group Size – How many people are you making coffee for?

Speed – how long it takes to make your coffee

Size and Weight – how much space and weight it takes up

Cleaning – how easy is it to clean?

Coffee Bags (Coffee in a Bag)

Coffee bags are a great way to make coffee while camping. All you need to do is add hot water and have a steaming cup of coffee in no time.

One of my personal best choices is Wildland Coffee which includes a medium roast blend that is rich in flavor. Due to their nitro-flushed method, the single packets are good for up to 12 months.

Some other brands to look into are:

Steeped Coffee

High Side Coffee

Cult Coffee

Best for: those who want a quick, easy cup of coffee, hikers, backpackers, campers


1. Boil a pot of water or use pre-boiled, filtered water

2. Place the coffee bag into a mug or thermos.

3. Pour hot water into your mug or thermos.

4. Let it steep for 1-2 minutes.

5. Remove the bag from the mug and enjoy your coffee!

Pour Over Coffee

If you’re a fan of pour-over coffee, then you can bring your favorite brewer along on your camping trip. This will give you the same results as when you make it at home.

One of my personal single-serve pour-over coffee comes from Tribio Coffee. Flavors range from a campfire blend (medium roast), a light Ethiopian blend, and a dark Frontier Blend. There are many other flavors and blends to choose from as well.

Another brand to look into is:

Libra Coffee Pourtables- a friend recommended this one to me

Best for: those who want great-tasting coffee as well as reducing weight and space


1. Boil a pot of water or use pre-boiled, filtered water

2. Place the pour-over brewer on top of your mug

3. Add freshly ground coffee to the brewer

4. Slowly pour hot water over the grinds, ensuring that all of them are wet

5. Let the coffee steep for 3-4 minutes

6. Remove the brewer and enjoy your coffee!

Expresso Pot

If you’re looking for a quick, convenient way to make delicious coffee out in the wilderness, then an espresso pot is perfect. This will allow you to make delicious shots of espresso in no time.

Best for: espresso lovers, Those who crave a robust, full-bodied flavor in their cup of coffee


1. Boil a pot of water or use pre-boiled, filtered water

2. Fill the espresso pot with water and place it on top of your fire

3. Put the grounds into the top basket of the espresso pot

4. Put the top chamber of the espresso pot on and lower it slowly

5. Wait for 1-2 minutes

6. Pull the chamber up and enjoy your espresso!

Stovetop Percolators

(also used over the fire percolator)

You can’t go wrong with a stovetop percolator for a classic camping coffee. I highly recommend this way of making your coffee if you don’t mind carrying some extra weight. Although it’s budget-friendly, it is bulky.

Best for: great for small or large groups, great for taking RVing or overlanding, or van life


  1. Fill the percolator with cold water
  2. Place the coffee grounds into the small grated basket
  3. Place the percolator over the fire or your stove
  4. Wait for the percolator to start boiling
  5. Wait 5 minutes of constant boiling for the water to seep through the coffee grounds.
  6. Remove from heat and pour into your coffee mug

Aeropress Coffee Maker

(highly recommended)

The Aeropress is a lightweight and easy-to-use coffee maker that gives you a perfect cup of coffee in no time. This coffee maker delivers a rich-smooth flavor to whatever coffee grounds you choose.

Using the traditional Aeropress Coffee Maker from Amazon will do just the trick. You do not need a fancier model for better-tasting coffee. These are highly sold items and are common to be out of stock.

You can also look into this AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press from REI.

Best for: great for campers, RVers, backpackers, and Overlanding

Method: There are two methods to using this Aeropress Coffee Maker.

Top-down brew method: Watch the short video from YouTube to see the full steps for the Top-down brew method.

Inverted Method:

  1. Place the plunger on a flat surface facing up
  2. Place the back of the base on top of the plunger and insert it slightly
  3. Add grounds to the base
  4. Add hot water to Degas slowly, fill the compartment, and wait
  5. attach the filter to the top
  6. place your cup upside down onto the filter
  7. carefully flip the Aeropress and cup over the maker
  8. Depress the plunger

To learn more about using the Aeropress camping coffee maker, click here.

Camping French Press

The camping French press is an excellent way to make coffee while out on the trail. Brewing a cup of coffee has never been simpler or more enjoyable! The result is an aromatic, robust flavor that will delight your taste buds.

The Coffee Gator French Press is perfect for what you need to make delicious coffee. I highly recommend this one due to its insulated thermal brewer and rust-proof qualities.

There are two other French Presses from REI to look into as well. GSI Outdoor Java Press and the OXO Outdoor Campground French Press.

Best for: Those who enjoy a full flavor and don’t want to carry bulky gear


1. Boil your water, or use pre-boiled filtered water

2. Add ground coffee to the press pot

3. Pour water over the grounds

4. Wait for 4 minutes

5. Press the plunger down slowly and evenly

6. Pour and enjoy!

Portable Expresso Makers

Nothing beats a portable espresso maker while out camping or backpacking. They are small enough to fit in your pocket and make the perfect cup of espresso in minutes.

Best for: those who are on the go and need something quick and convenient.


1. Heat up the portable espresso maker using your camping stove

2. Place the ground coffee into the funnel and fill it with hot water

3. Put the top of the maker on firmly

4. Pump the handle up and down a few times to increase the pressure

5. Wait for the coffee to finish brewing

6. Push down on the valve, and your espresso is ready!

Portable Coffee Grinders

Bringing pre-grind coffee is the easiest way to make coffee while camping. But if you’re looking for the freshest cup, you should consider bringing a portable grinder. Portable coffee grinders don’t occupy much space, making them perfect for camping or hiking.

With such a wide variety of manual coffee grinders on the market, you’re guaranteed to find one that is perfect for your camping coffee-making needs!

Best for: those who want to grind fresh coffee beans wherever they go, campers, backpackers, hikers

Cowboy Coffee

Forget about hauling a bulky coffee maker, Cowboy Coffee is perfect for those looking for something simple. This method of brewing coffee produces an incredibly flavorful cup in no time! All you need is a kettle or a pot.

Best for: those who want the simplest and most convenient method of brewing coffee; those not searching for an exceptionally flavorful cup of coffee but wish to enjoy one.


  1. Boil water in a pot
  2. Add ground coffee and stir
  3. Let it steep for 4-5 minutes. Pour into your cup slowly, with or without a strainer
  4. Pour into your cup slowly
  5. Enjoy your cup of Cowboy Coffee!

Key Considerations for Making Coffee While Camping

When it comes to making coffee while camping, there are a few key considerations to bear in mind:

1. What type of coffee do you prefer?

2. Do you need something lightweight and easy to carry?

3. How much time do you have to make coffee?

4. Are you able to bring a coffee maker with you?

5. Do you want a full-flavored cup of coffee or something simpler?

Considering these considerations, you can find the perfect camping coffee maker to suit your needs.

Taking it to the Next Level: How to Make the Perfect Coffee Without Electricity?

With some preparation and the right gear, you can make the perfect cup of coffee without electricity.

1. Start by grinding your beans ahead of time and storing them in an airtight container. This will ensure that your coffee is as fresh as possible.

2. Boil your water on a camp stove or over an open fire.

3. Measure out the right amount of ground coffee and pour it into your mug, percolator, or French press.

4. Pour the boiling water over the grounds and let it steep for four minutes.

5. For an extra smooth cup of coffee, strain the grounds with a fine-mesh filter before drinking.

Alternatives To Making Cold Coffee While You Are Camping or Outdoors

If you don’t have the ability to make coffee while camping, some alternatives may be more suitable for your situation.

Instant Coffee – Instant Coffee is a convenient alternative to making a cold or hot cup of coffee from scratch when camping. It takes seconds to make, and you don’t need any special equipment.

Canned iced coffee – Canned iced coffees are a great way to get your caffeine fix when you don’t have the ability to make coffee from scratch. They come in various flavors and can be enjoyed cold or heated.

Coffee cubes – Coffee cubes are a unique way to enjoy coffee without the need for electricity or brewing equipment. These freeze-dried cubes dissolve quickly in hot water, making them a great option when you don’t have the ability to make coffee from scratch.

Note: this only works if you have the ability to freeze coffee cubes in a small freezer in your RV or camper.

Planning for Your Next Camping Trip With These Resources

Tips for Camping:

  • Leave your Expensive Tech at Home
  • Do Not Leave Your Valuables Unattended
  • Put Out Your Campfire Out Completely

Wants to see more, read up on the 27 Tips for Camping.

Solar Chargers

  • Anker PowerCore 20,000mah Solar Charger
  • Ryno-Tuff 21W Solar Charger

Read here to see the complete list of the 6 best solar chargers.

Health Benefits of Camping

  • Connecting With Nature
  • Bonding With Friends and Family

To see the full list of Health Benefits of Camping, click here for the full list.

FAQs on Camping Coffee

How do you make coffee without a fire?

If you don’t have access to a fire, you can still make coffee from scratch by boiling water in a pot or kettle. Once your water is boiled, add the ground coffee to your mug or French press and steep for about four minutes.

You can also use instant coffee if you don’t have the time to make it from scratch.

Can you make coffee without electricity?

You can make coffee without electricity by boiling water in a pot or kettle. You can also use instant coffee if you don’t have the time to make it from scratch.

There are a variety of ways of making coffee without the use of electricity. For example, you can use a Cowboy Coffee method or make coffee cubes to dissolve in hot water ahead of time.

How do you make coffee on a camp stove?

Making coffee on a camp stove is easy. Start by boiling water in the pot or kettle, then add the ground coffee and allow it to steep for a few minutes.

Strain the grounds with a fine mesh filter before drinking for an extra smooth cup of coffee. If you prefer, add milk, cream, and sugar to taste.

Wrapping up and my experiences with making coffee while camping.

As a coffee lover, I’ve personally enjoyed making coffee in a percolator. This is only one unit, making my coffee relatively fast and efficient. There are many percolators out there, but the one I highly recommend for budget-friendly purposes is this.

Percolators are amazing for camping, hiking, RVing, Overlanding, and many other outdoor activities. It is slightly bulky to carry one, but it does make plenty of coffee for one or many people.

In conclusion, making coffee while camping isn’t so difficult. With the right gear and knowledge, you can make a delicious cup of coffee anywhere you go. You only need a heat source, water, and ground coffee to make the perfect cup.

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