How to Make Coffee While Camping

make coffee camping

Camping is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

But what do you drink when camping? You can’t just stop at any old coffee shop on the side of the road, so it’s important to know how to make your own while you’re out in nature.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to brew up some java while roughing it in the wilderness. Here are five different methods for making coffee while camping!

make coffee camping

What are the challenges of making coffee while camping

The first and most obvious challenge of making coffee while camping is the absence of amenities such as a coffee maker. Using an open fire can be problematic, especially if you are not used to it. An open flame can be hot and burn your hands. Also, it causes black soot on the pot you will be using. When you handle the pot, you will need to be careful as it will be hotter than you’re probably used to. 

When you use fire, you may have the challenge of carrying the proper utensils and crockery that will allow you to make your coffee the way that you prefer it.

The best ways to make coffee while camping  

Cowboy coffee

There are several ways of making coffee while you are out camping. Cowboy coffee is one of those. While it’s a somewhat archaic way of brewing coffee, it’s efficient. It will take you approximately 4 minutes, using medium coffee grounds. You can also use Instant coffee, which is easier to clean up after. But this is a personal preference. 

What you will need:

1.    Good quality coffee

2.    A camping coffee mug

3.    Coals over a camping fire

4.    Camping coffee pot. (the size of the camping pot depends on how many servings you will be making at a time)

How to do it

1.    First, make sure that you’ve got a good heat source going. The coals from your campfire should be sufficient

2.    Pour cold water into the coffee pot. 

3.    For every 1 ½ cup of water, add1 tablespoon of coffee. The better the quality, the better coffee you will make. 

4.    Heat the coffee until the correct brewing temperature is reached. 

5.    Make sure to remove the pot from the fire when the water first starts to boil. Never let it boil.

6.    Once you have removed from the fire, add a shot of cold water and then let the coffee grounds settle to the bottom of the cup.


  • It’s simple and easy to use
  • It’s fast


  • The handle on the coffee pot warps if it’s heated for too long.

Enamel percolator

You can use an enamel percolator to make coffee when you are out in the wilderness. It uses different cycles of water through the coffee until the coffee reaches the strength you want. This method will take about 6 minutes, and you will need to use 

What you will need:

1.    An enamel coffee percolator

2.    Coarse Coffee grounds

3.    Water

4.    Source of heat

How to do it

1.    Prepare the campfire or camping stove

2.    Meanwhile, remove the percolator and fill the kettle with cold water

3.    Put the percolator apparatus back

4.    Then, for every cup of water, use one tablespoon of coarse coffee grounds and put the coffee in the basket


  • It only requires a few steps.
  • You can make the strength of coffee that you prefer.


  • The coffee can be bitter if not made properly.

Macgyver coffee

As the name suggests, macgyver coffee has a lot to do with DIY tactics. This means you will use everyday items that seemingly have nothing to do with making coffee. It works well with freshly ground coffee into a fine grind. 

What you will need:

  1. A strong rubber band
  2. Cheesecloth.
  3. A brewing pot
  4. A cup


How to do it

1.    Place a clean piece of cheesecloth over a cup and fold the edges over the cup

2.    Using the rubber band, secure the cloth over the cup. 

3.    Secure the cloth using one hand and press the cloth down using the other hand. Make a depression that will hold the number of coffee grounds you want to use for the preferred strength.

4.    Boil the water in the pot. Let it cool so that it’s just hot and not boiling

5.    Soak the coffee grounds in water for about a minute just to allow the coffee grounds to bloom a little. 

6.    Then pour the water slowly through the coffee grounds until you fill the cup

7.    Now, you can remove the cheesecloth filter and rubber band and drink the coffee. 



  • You don’t need specialized equipment
  • It works well when camping


  1. It takes some time
  2. You will need to be skillful

Steeping bag

Using instant coffee makes your life a whole lot easier. You will need up to 4 minutes to make your coffee using this method out in the wild. About 6 minutes should be enough to steep your coffee, depending on your preferred strength.

What you will need:

  1. Kettle, or a pot to make the coffee in
  2. Instant coffee bags (buy these as part of your camping gear)
  3. A heat source

How to do it

1.    Put the coffee pot on the heat source, and heat the water to just below boiling point.

2.    Steep the coffee bags in the water in your cup, until it reaches the strength you want


  • It’s easy
  • You don’t need too much equipment
  • Instant coffee is lightweight.


  • It may not have the same taste as freshly ground coffee grounds.

Portable pour over

The pour-over method involves pouring over the cup and directing the coffee into the cup. It will take about 6 minutes to use this method.

What you will need:

  1. A Filter cone, 
  2. A Dripper, 
  3. A brewing pot
  4. Coffee mug
  5. Water
  6. Coffee grounds

How to do it

1.    Place the conical bottom part of the cone on the cup

2.    Put a filter in the cone and put the number of coffee grounds you need for your desired strength

3.    Boil water in the brewing pot, then let it cool down for about 30 seconds 

4.    Pour a bit into the cone, and let the coffee bloom

5.    Then pour more water through the coffee grounds into the mug, remove the cone and sip away


  • It’s easy
  • It’s portable
  • The clean up is easy



  • You have to be patient enough for the coffee to be appropriately saturated. 


The Aeropress method is similar to the French press and pour-over methods. It’s almost like a cross between the two. For this method, you will need a medium-fine coffee ground. It will take about 3minutes to make your coffee using this method.

What you will need:

  1. An AeroPress, 
  2. Brewing pot
  3. Water
  4. Medium fine coffee grounds


How to do it

1.    Place two scoops of coffee in the Aeropress tube and allow it to bloom for about a minute

2.    Then pour hot water, filling the chamber

3.    Stir the coffee grounds

4.    Put the plunger in, and press down. The coffee is ready


  • You can make espresso shots with this method. 


  • You will need an Aeropress, which you may not always have
  • There’s a lot to carry

Moka pot

A Moka pot is a traditional and rather old way of making coffee. It is simple and, as such, works well when camping. It makes strong coffee and will take about 8 minutes or so to make. 

What you will need:

  1. A stovetop espresso maker
  2. Water
  3. Coffee grounds

How to make it:

1.    Fill the bottom compartment with water

2.    Pour your coffee grounds into the middle compartment and put the serving carafe ontop

3.    As the water boils, the coffee extract rises to the top of the serving container


  • It makes strong coffee
  • It’s easy to use
  • The Moka pot can be used on a camping stove


  • It takes long
  • Sometimes the plastic handle can warp or melt

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