How To Make Coffee While Camping

Even when you’re out in the middle of the wilderness, you’re probably still going to want to enjoy a nice cup of Joe. And why wouldn’t you? 

Coffee makes everything better, especially out in the great outdoors. But, how exactly do you go about making coffee while you’re camping? Northern Forest Gear is here to help.

Below, we’ve talked about five different ways you can make coffee while camping. Depending on what you have and what you don’t, these methods are perfect for every camper who loves a good cup of coffee as the sun is coming up. 

Method #1: The Easiest Way

The easiest way to make coffee while camping is by relying on the classic coffee bag. Coffee bags, like tea bags, only require boiling water and a little bit of patience to make. 

You can easily find your favorite coffee company’s bags of brewed coffee, or you can make your own personal coffee bags if you can't find what you want. Here’s how to make this easy form of camping coffee. 

Instructions: 

  1. Heat water either over your portable stove or over a fire. Wait until it is boiling.
  2. Once it reaches a boil, place the coffee bag into the water and let it steep for between 1-3 minutes, depending on how strong you want it to be. 
  3. Remove the coffee bag, pour your coffee into a cup, and add your cream and sugar if you so please. Then, you’re ready to enjoy it. It’s really as simple as that! 

coffee process on the campfire

Method #2: The Drip Coffee Method

If you’re a lover of drip coffee, this is the perfect method for you. For those of you camping in big groups, this may not be the best method, but it is definitely ideal for single campers looking for a quality cup of Joe. 

To do this method, you are going to need a drip coffee rig, ground coffee, paper filters, and a coffee mug to brew your coffee into. 

Instructions: 

  1. Start by boiling some water over your stove or fire pit. While the water is boiling, place a coffee filter into the drip coffee rig. 
  2. Place as many scoops as coffee as you want into your coffee filter. The more coffee you add, the stronger your coffee will be. 
  3. Once the water is boiling, start by pouring just a quick layer of water over the grounds to let the coffee aerate. Make sure your cup is underneath the drip coffee rig. 
  4. Then, pour the rest of the water slowly over the coffee grounds, careful not to drown the coffee, but also ensuring that every inch has been moistened. You’ll notice the coffee start to drip down and pour into the cup below.
  5. Make sure you don’t pour too much water; pour just a little and see how much drops into your cup. If it doesn’t fill it, add some more water. That’s all it takes!

Method #3: The Portable Coffee System

Making breakfast and coffee while camping has never been easier than with a portable coffee system. These coffee systems brew a cup of coffee right in your hand, and the only extra components you’ll need are a mug and some coffee filters. Here’s how to use these handy-dandy portable coffee systems. 

Instructions:

  1. Start by boiling between 12 and 16 oz. of water. 
  2. Attach your portable coffee system to the top of your coffee cup, like a filter. 
  3. Take one or two of your actual coffee filters and place them in the nylon compartment in the coffee system. It will be clear where they’re supposed to go. 
  4. Pour your coffee grounds evenly into the coffee filter, making sure the grounds are level.
  5. Take your boiling water and pour a quick even layer over your grounds to start aerating the brew. After about 30 seconds, start to pour a little bit more. Keep your pour even and consistent, ensuring that all the grounds are properly moistened. 
  6. Stop pouring water once your cup is full and enjoy. How easy is that?

Coffee pot on camping fire

Method #4: “Fire”-top Espresso


One of the most classic ways of enjoying coffee while camping is through a stovetop espresso maker. But, if you don’t have a portable stove, you can turn this into a “fire”-top espresso, and place your espresso maker right on top of your fire

To make this delicious form of coffee, you are going to need an aluminum stovetop espresso maker, ground coffee, coffee measuring spoon, a coffee mug, and either a burning fire or a stovetop.

Instructions:

  1. Unscrew the top part of your espresso maker and remove the coffee filter. Fill the bottom of the vessel with water.
  2. Replace coffee filter at the bottom and fill it with one or two scoops of coffee, depending on how strong you want it. Reattach the top portion as well.  
  3. Put your espresso maker directly on top of your stovetop or campfire burner. Keep a close eye on the heat. 
  4. Once the water starts boiling, you will start hearing some popping noises coming from the espresso maker. Wait until the popping sound is pretty much finished. 
  5. Then, remove the espresso maker from heat and pour right into your cup. Now, it’s time to enjoy! 

Method #5: Cowboy Coffee

The last method we’re discussing today is the most traditional method, but it’s also the most complicated. If you want to embrace the true camping experience, making cowboy coffee is definitely the way to do it. To make this famous Western-movie drink, you’re going to need a metal coffee pot, an egg, cold water, ground coffee, and a cheesecloth. Here’s the step-by-step process of how to make this brew. 

Instructions: 

  1. Start by pouring about one gallon of water into your coffee pot, and then putting it over an open flame to heat. You want this to come to a full boil. 
  2. Then, place your ground coffee directly in your cheesecloth.
  3. Make a slight crack in the egg, without cracking it entirely. Place the egg on top of your ground coffee and tie your cheesecloth together. 
  4. Place your cheesecloth directly into the boiling water. 
  5. Then, remove the coffee pot from the heat and let the coffee steep in the hot water for between 5-10 minutes. 
  6. After this time passes, take out the cheesecloth and pour the coffee in the pot into your favorite mug. Now, relish in the robustness of it all: sit back, relax, and sip on your cowboy coffee. 

The Best Camping Coffee

No matter where you’re camping how, it just doesn’t feel right without a quality cup of coffee. Thankfully, there are so many ways to brew your favorite drink out in the wilderness--it just depends on how you want to do it. 

On top of these five methods, there are many more for you to work through. Regardless of your personal preference, there’s an ideal method of making coffee while you’re camping just for you.

Curious about other camping food tips or maybe you’re looking for camping gear in general? Northern Forest Gear is here to answer all of your questions. 


Check out our blog for even more helpful information, and, soon, you’ll be dying to get out into Mother Nature and soak in all that the wilderness has to offer. (Including a few rustic cups of coffee.)