Camping Guide: Take Your Coffee With You


how to make coffee while camping
The Waka Life Blog

Take Your Coffee With You While Camping

While people can have different visions of what outdoors and camping activities consist of, the one thing that can’t be skipped is your morning coffee.

Starting your day with a relaxing, quiet morning surrounded by fresh air and nature and a cup of coffee in hand. Nothing can get better than that! Even in the outdoors, there is no reason to have to give up your daily caffeine kick.

Camping is a highly social activity and is fast becoming an important part of the outdoor lifestyle. According to Kampgrounds of America, about 61% of the total population went camping in 2018. This means there are more than 77 million camping households in the U.S. With growing interest among baby boomers and younger millennials, the number of campers in the United States is expected to increase.

Making coffee while camping is a lot easier than it sounds. So how to make coffee while camping? To answer that, we will be talking about a few brewing techniques that can be used during your next camping trip! Which one do you think is best for your needs?

How to Boil Water

Before we get into brewing methods, let’s talk about how to boil water while camping. This may seem like a no brainer, but when you’re camping, there are multiple ways you can do this.

Portable stove

how to make the best camping coffee with portable stove

One simple way is to bring a portable stove with you. Many times these gas stoves will run on butane or propane and can vary in size depending on how many burners you have. Using a stove only requires you to have a pot, kettle, or heat resistant mug to heat up water with.



Another way you can boil water is to use a fire. This fire should be small and hot. All you need to do is let this fire burn for a while without adding too much wood. That way you have a bed of hot coals to put your pot on. Then you gather the hottest coals into a somewhat circular shape and place your pot onto it.

Outdoors coffee brewing methods

While brewing a cup of coffee during a camping trip can seem either impossible or a big hassle, in reality, there are many techniques that can be brought from the home to the outdoors. Some brewing techniques are also specially catered toward traveling convenience. Here are a few along with their pros and cons!

Cowboy Coffee

how to make cowboy coffee while camping

This is a very simple way to make coffee and all it requires is a pot or kettle, hot water, and your coffee grounds. All you have to do is start by boiling water in a kettle or pot. Once the water is boiling, take it off the heat for about 30 seconds to stop the boiling. Then stir your preferred amount of coffee grounds. Put the pot filled with water and grinds onto low heat and simmer for about two minutes.


  • No extra coffee equipment is needed
  • Does not require the use of filters
  • You can make coffee for more than one person at a time


  • Clean up is needed because coffee grounds don’t dissolve
  • Coffee can be easily brewed for too long
  • Coffee can be thick

Single Serving Pour-Over/Drip

how to make coffee on fire

This type of brewing method is a product designed for campers and produces a single cup of coffee. To use this, you put the plastic or stainless steel dripper frame over your cup of choice. Then fill the paper filter with coffee grounds and place it inside the plastic or stainless steel frame. Pour a quarter of your water onto the coffee grounds and let sit for 30 seconds to start the bloom process. All that’s left to do now is to pour boiling water through the grounds slowly and consistently. Then remove the frame and enjoy your coffee.


  • Dripper frame is durable and portable
  • It keeps the coffee grinds and coffee brew separate so your coffee is clean
  • Easier clean up than some other methods since the coffee and grounds are kept separate


  • Paper filters are required
  • You may need proper pouring technique to achieve best brew
  • It only makes one cup at a time
  • Dripper is awkwardly shaped and does not pack flat

  • French Press

    brewing coffee while camping

    Although a bit more complicated, the French press is another way you can get your brewed coffee while camping.  While the typical glass French press is too delicate for the outdoors, there are other durable options available.

    To brew your coffee, you start by adding your coffee grinds into the press and boil water. Then pour some of the boiled water over the coffee grounds and let rest for about one minute to “bloom”. After one minute, add the rest of water and let it sit for at least three minutes to steep. Then slowly press the plunger and pour the extract into your camping mug.


    • Durable (can be plastic or stainless steel)
    • Brewing method creates a strong coffee


    • Bulky to carry around
    • Longer brewing process with more steps
    • A lot of sediment can be in your cup of coffee
    • Can only make one or two cups at a time


    best camping coffee maker percolator

    This brewing technique is similar to the cowboy coffee in the sense that you brew your coffee over a heating unit. To use a percolator, you first remove the tube and basket insert and fill the kettle halfway with water. Then put a paper filter into the basket and fill it halfway with coffee grounds. Next put the tube and basket ensemble back inside the kettle and place the lit on top. Last, place the entire percolator onto your heating element and boil for 4-6 minutes. Then remove from heat and enjoy your coffee.


    • Good for large groups; can make 8-12 cups depending on the size
    • Easy to use with no special technique needed
    • Easy clean up since grounds are kept separate


    • Bulky size is not ideal for traveling or hiking
    • The glass top and aluminum filter can break easily
    • The design makes it easy to over extract coffee

    Instant Coffee

    what is the best instant coffee to take on a camping trip

    Unlike the rest of the brewing techniques mentioned before, instant coffee stands out because it eliminates the worry about leftover coffee grounds post brew. It has a lightweight packaging and the small portable camping coffee packs are most suitable for outdoor activities, such as backpacking and hiking. Additionally, instant coffee’s brewing method is the easiest one yet! All you have to do is add instant coffee grounds into a cup of hot water, stir, and enjoy.


    • Easiest brew method
    • Lightweight and small packaging saves space and reduces weight
    • No coffee grind clean up necessary
    • No extra equipment needed


    • Can only make one cup at a time

    Now that we’ve talked about a few ways to brew your morning cup of joe, which brewing method is your favorite and what do you think is the best way to make coffee camping?

    If instant coffee is on your list, try Waka Coffee! Made of 100% Colombian Arabica beans, its small portable packs makes it easy to take along on your camping trip. Its lightweight packaging makes it a good backpacking coffee for even the most adventurous person. Enjoy a great tasting coffee without all the hassle!

    Try instant coffee on your next camping trip. Buy it here.


    Waka Coffee & Tea