I can go without many things when camping – electricity, hot showers, being able relax with my book while I have a poop…you get the idea. One sacrifice I’m not willing to make, however is my morning cup of coffee. The morning sunrise, mixed with the heaviness of the overnight dew and the smoky smells coming from last night’s firepit, is one of my favourite things about camping. Add in a half decent cup of coffee and it’s a pretty darn good way to start your day.
Coffee can be made in a variety of ways when camping. Some of us are fussier than others when it comes to their morning brew, so read on to find out more and decide on the best option for you. I’ll cover everything from the fastest of instant coffees for those who want nothing more than a quick and dirty caffeine hit to more sophisticated camping coffee equipment for those who truly appreciate the sacred bean.
For the strictest of coffee afficionados out there, you should really consider purchasing a Camping Coffee Maker. It’s a bit of an investment, but worth it if you travel, hike or camp regularly and want to be able to reproduce a consistently good cup of coffee wherever you are.
Best Camping Coffee Makers:
Aeropress have got themselves a stellar reputation around the world for making quality coffee, easy. At less than 250g, it’s lightweight enough to carry in your hiking backpack, the Aeropress unit produces a coffee that’s good enough to make you want to use it in the home or office as well. It’s very simple and fast to use – simply place a filter in the filter cap and rinse it, add your ground coffee, fill to the desired level and plunge. The end result is a strong smooth coffee, which you can then add water, milk or sugar to as desired.
Flair Espresso Maker:
If a rich espresso shot with a delicious crema top is what you’re after when camping, you should check out the Flair Espresso Maker. It’s sleek design will impress your fellow campers as you get to work almost as much as then end result when they taste what it can make. It is stainless steel and aluminum construction, making it pretty durable and there are no flimsy parts that can get easily damaged., so the Flair unit should serve you for many years of hiking and traveling. Operating it is as easy as preheating the brew head with hot water, filling the cradle with ground coffee and tamping, filling the reservoir with hot water then manually pumping the handle. In less that 60 seconds, you’ll have a commercial quality shot of espresso.
Note: I am generally happy to grind my coffee beans at home and have them in a ziplock bag to carry with me when camping. I do have friends who insist on having freshly ground coffee before making it though (you should see the looks of disgust I get when I whip out my little bag of deceased coffee grinds). If you prefer to grind your beans on the spot and have them full of life, there are a number of compact and lightweight coffee grinders for camping that you can purchase on Amazon.
Bialetti MokaPot Express
The Bialetti Express is the camping coffee maker I grew up with and my dear dad still makes his morning coffee with his at home (the same one he took camping with us when we were kids!). It requires a stovetop and produces excellent quality espresso (with crema) within minutes, by forcing steam through ground coffee. The Bialetti is great for larger groups and comes in several different sizes to suit your needs. There’s a reason Bialetti MokaPot’s are a popular choice after all these years – they just make good coffee!
The Best Instant Coffee For Camping
I was going to title this section, “Good Instant Coffee For Camping”, but I figure if you’re reading a blog article about coffee, you probably care a little bit about how it tastes and would laugh if I put “Good” and “Instant Coffee” in the same sentence.
Look, every coffee snob ideally wants to be able to invest in one of the pieces of coffee making equipment I mentioned above, but if you really have no choice and something is better than nothing, then here are the best instant coffee options when you’re camping:
Primula Brew Buddy
This portable, pour over filter, simply sits on your mug and all you need is ground coffee and hot water. It’s fine mesh filter is reusable, so just needs a rinse afterwards and it’s ready to use again. Never worry about running out of paper filters again!
Coffee Gator Pour Over Travel Mug
Hands down, the best birthday present I’ve received in recent years – this personal pour over brewer means you can make your coffee, then take the rest of it with you wherever you go. Perfect when hiking as you can make your morning cuppa on the fire or stove, then make one of these for the road and not have to reheat water at your mid morning rest stop!
Just pop on the stainless steel mesh filter add ground coffee then pour over water to fill your travel mug with fresh drip-fed coffee. The vacuum layered stainless steel and copper lining keep your coffee really hot and there’s no need for paper filters.
Note: You might notice that I haven’t mentioned any instant/dissolvable coffee products here and that’s because it seemed too obvious. If you’re happy enough with a cup of Moccona or supermarket brand instant coffee, by all means it’s an easy option. If you’re into that “just add water” condensed milk-and-coffee-paste that comes in a toothpaste tube, do me a favor and try any other way of making your camping coffee!
As with many of my posts, I’ve recommended products that can be purchased on Amazon. I shop on Amazon because I can read other buyer’s reviews before making a purchase and because it’s a trusted marketplace. I do earn a commission from qualifying purchases made through my website, which helps me keep this website running, but I stand by all the products that I mention.