Coffee while camping: 5 crucial elements to consider
Making a great cup of coffee while camping can elevate your outdoors experience and make it one to remember. There’s nothing more peaceful than waking up to the sound of chickadees and woodpeckers, and the smell of a campfire. While everyone is sleeping, you set the kettle over the crackling fire. You crank the coffee grinder as the water comes to a boil, enjoying its aroma. By the time the coffee is brewed, everyone is slowly waking up, and grateful for your efforts.
You might think that making a great coffee while camping is destined to fail, with too many moving parts. But it’s simply a question of good preparation. You don’t have to settle for instant coffee or pre-ground stale coffee, you can enjoy a seriously good cup of coffee while camping. Roughin’ it is great, but one thing you never want to rough is your coffee!
5 crucial elements of making coffee while camping
When making coffee while camping, it’s easy to forget a key piece of equipment. To make sure you don’t get all the way to your campsite before realizing you forgot to bring your pour over dripper, have a look at these 5 crucial elements of making coffee, and be sure to double-check the list before you hit the road.
A Heat Source
Will there be a fire pit at your campsite? And if so, are there any fire bans in place at the time of your camping trip that will prevent you from using the fire pit? Is there going to be a rain storm that will prevent your fire from starting? If you’re not sure or you have no way of knowing, make sure to pack a small camping stove or propane burner, which can be purchased at outdoor recreational stores and home improvement stores.
If your heart is set on making coffee over a campfire, be sure to pack some matches, kindling, and fire-starters.
We don’t recommend pre-ground coffee ever, even on a camping trip. Don’t compromise on quality, bring a manual hand grinder with you! The Timemore Chestnut C2 Grinder travels beautifully, and is perfect for making coffee while camping. It also comes in four colours! This grinder can grind anything from French press to espresso, and it's also really fast, so you won't be grinding for long.
Here I set it to 14 clicks from 0, which is medium fine, perfect for aeropress!
You’ll want to bring a lightweight, durable kettle on your trip, and we recommend a gooseneck kettle for best brewing results. The Hario Buono Drip Coffee Kettle is perfect for making coffee over a stove or campfire, and it’s also a beautiful tool that will take your coffee to the next level. (Matte Black Edition)
Figure out what coffee brewing method works best for you in a camp setting. The Hario V60 Craft Coffee Maker is perfect if you’re flying solo and want an exquisite cup of coffee. You can leave the glass carafe at home and brew straight into your cup.
The Chemex Classic 10 Cup is suitable for 2-6 people, but because it’s made of glass, it might not be the best option if you have limited space or if there are children involved. Probably best saved for a travel trailer.
The AeroPress Go is made of hard plastic, eliminating the possibility of breakage. It’s perfect for travel, however it only makes one coffee at a time, so your friends and family will have to arm wrestle each other for the first cup. (Or get them one as a gift hint hint!)
Personally we'd recommend the AeroPress for camping, as it's made specifically for travel. It's light, portable, virtually indestructible, and makes a great cup of coffee. Follow our detailed brew guide here.
Don't forget to take some great coffee with you! I recommend our Yellow Lab Blonde Espresso Blend, which is roasted perfectly to suit all brewing methods.
You can see all of our brewing guides here, for AeroPress, we followed the simple recipe below. If you don’t want to tote your weight scale along with you to your campsite (and we don’t blame you), you can either weigh your beans at home and store them in small containers, or figure out how many scoops makes your ideal cup of coffee beforehand, and go from there. Don't forget to measure your water out too.
We hope this coffee guide makes your camping trip one for the books, you'll be the envy of the campsite! One thing we're missing is a proper Black Creek Coffee enamel camp mug, what do you think, should we make one?
Great article. We did the hand grinder and pump-style espresso maker during our cottage week this year. All I needed was hot water in a thermos. Nice crema and delicious flavour. Take care.