Camp Coffee: Bringing Your Brew with You

Is it time for a quick trip to go to the great outdoors for a little car camping or even backpacking? If you are planning your next trip now, don’t forget perhaps the most important part of the trip a method for your favorite morning drink, a hot cup of coffee. Almost all the campers and backpackers I know will attest the importance of bringing along a camp coffee maker that will allow you a good cup of coffee in the always very early mornings camping. Not only will the caffeine give you the kick you need after a night of tent sleeping, but it warms you up inside out so you can quickly change into your day wears and pack up your belongings in the cold before you start your hike or fishing for the day. If you are anything like me, you want to attempt to bypass the little packages of instant coffee and have a chance to enjoy your first cup of a long day. A coffee fanatic can be spotted anywhere, even in the deep of an extensive backpacking trip in the middle of the alpines, you can still spot a great coffee lover based on the equipment and grinds they bring.  Whether you are wondering what exactly is the most efficient way to pack your grinds so that you aren’t drinking stale coffee, or curious about the best brewer on the market, we have you covered. In this article, we will cover brewing methods for the great outdoors and tips for creating your own delicious cup of coffee right at home!

If you have ever found yourself in the coffee making section of REI than you know that there are about a million ways to make a cup of coffee outdoors. Even backpackers attempting to go ultralight can find a product that suits their needs. So how do you determine which method is best for you? Two major factors should be taken into consideration, how many cups you would like your brewing method to yield, and what taste profile are you going for? If it’s you and your nine best friends going out for a big celebratory weekend of car camping, then packing light and efficient may not be your biggest concern. However, if you are finding yourself packing for solo backpacking trips up the steepest mountains, then perhaps a brew method that yields one quick big cup might be the perfect selection. Regardless, paying attention to the cup yield of any brewing method you choose is important to pick the right device. In addition, how you like your cup of coffee, and how refined your taste buds are too different brews is also important. If you are an espresso aficionado you are going to want a set up that allows you to take your favorite brew along, there are options ranging from espresso to French press, to fresh drip on your camping trip.

The first three methods I am encouraging you to look through, are all to make a rich and strong cup of coffee that will get you the espresso or French press you so desire. One of the cleverest brewing devices I’ve seen on the market is an individual French press to go coffee cup that allows you to get a solo brew. French press uses hot water that steeps the coffee grinds, and then it uses a filter that is pushed down to separate out the grinds. If you are car camping you can bring along your own French press, but be careful if it is glass! The longer you let your coffee steep the stronger it will be. If your campfire has a built in stove, or you are bringing your camp burner, then consider bringing along a percolator. They come in all sizes, ranging from 2 cups to 10 cups, and are delicious. They have the same strength as espresso and make a strong and delicious cup of coffee. What happens in this method is that the water is being oiled underneath the coffee grinds and it bubbles through a separate chamber to make your delicious cup. Finally, if you are looking for a swift cup of coffee, that is both strong and dark, consider investing in an Aero Press. This makes a similar to a French press, but instead of using hot water to push it through, it uses air pressure, as the name implies. It sits on top of your mug, so it will only brew one at a time, but it is very fast.

Are you not looking for a strong cup of coffee but rather a cup of coffee just like the one at home? There are three options for that as well, of course, you can make coffee just like at home to achieve a good smooth brew. Buying one cup filters that sit on top of your cup and will slowly drip through the filter, will make a weaker, but delicious cup of coffee. Be aware that this method does take a bit, you just pour boiling water over the top and wait for it to seep through. If you are traveling with lots of people consider getting more than one to prevent any back of the line grumbles. The second way we suggest is a classic cowboy coffee style cup of joe. You are going to have dark coffee but it will be pretty gritty. All you need is a pot, grinds, and fire to get the water boiling. Coffee grinds will settle on the bottom and as it steeps they will stay there. Our last suggestion is quite the invention that requires a burner, it is the Coleman Camping Coffee Maker, which looks and acts just like your Mr. Coffee pot you have at home! If you need your morning fix to always be the same, or you have lots of friends, then you will be good to go with this little brew pot!

Finally, we have a tip for storing your coffee grinds for a long weekend or even a week of camping so that it doesn’t go stale! It may seem a bit inefficient, and not the best use of your backpacking space to be carrying around a grinder so that you can always get the ultimate grinding taste. Ditch the whole bag or coffee container you picked up at the store and measure out how much you are going to need on your trip, which is dependent on which method you choose, then grab an airtight bag for storage. We have some great options that will ensure your coffee is always fresh on your trip!

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