How to Simplify Your Coffee Camping Experience

Dedicate more time to enjoying the great outdoors while still drinking delicious coffee with these tips and tricks.


Cover photo courtesy of Katrina Yentch

When it comes to camping, one of the best pleasures is the simplicity of it all. There’s nothing but you, some fresh air, and the great outdoors. So when it comes to camp coffee, you should experience that same degree of simplicity.

We’ve come up with a few tricks to help you enjoy a great cup while making your camp coffee experience straightforward and easy. With these, you’ll be able to have a solid morning pick-me-up whether you’re camping overnight, for a couple of days, or for several at a time.

Pre-grind your coffee. While you’ve likely heard that coffee loses its freshness almost instantly upon grinding, you’re more likely to notice the taste difference in a coffee that was ground four hours ago versus three weeks ago. Ditch the time-consuming efforts of cranking and dialing in a hand grinder by grinding the right amount beforehand. To save even more time, dose out each cup of coffee grounds and store them in airtight baggies. Or, pre-weigh and dose the beans if you still want to maintain the integrity of a fresh grind.

Steeped Coffee turns Cat and Cloud’s signature The Answer blend into tea bag-like pouches that you can steep their coffee in. Photo by Katrina Yentch.

Try specialty instant brands. Writer Josh Taves broke it down with a few great companies that are making high-quality instant coffee packets recently on Barista Magazine Online. Just add these tiny packets of coffee to hot water and you’re set. However, if you decide to take this route, plan on purchasing them in advance online, as many of these brands have yet to break into the grocery or camp supply market.

Choose lightweight brewing equipment. Whether you’re going for a pourover (or maybe don’t do a pourover at all) or an AeroPress, try to pick items that are not bulky or heavy. Leave the gooseneck kettle at home and opt for one that you’ll be using for the rest of your camp cooking. Tin mugs are your best friends, and pourover cones like the Kalita Wave or the Vietnamese Phin are also lightweight tin pieces you can throw into a backpack and go.

The Vietnamese Phin is a lightweight, low-maintenance tin brewing device, perfect to bring on a backpacking trip. Photo by Explore SonDoong Cave.

Brew immersion-style. With a pourover comes a scale, a gooseneck kettle, and a lot of precision to have a solid cup. Immersion brewing makes coffee in such a way that all the water will come into contact with all of the present grounds at the same time; therefore, there’s less you have to look out for using this method. Examples of immersion styles are AeroPress, French press, and the Clever Dripper, all of which don’t require the precision of a kettle. While it may be helpful to have a scale for these, it isn’t crucial.

The Clever Dripper is BPA-free plastic and uses an immersion style that doesn’t require a gooseneck kettle for brewing. Photo by Sweet Maria’s.

Dial in ahead of time. It’s time-consuming and wasteful to dial in your coffee on-site. Dedicate more time to hitting the trails early and less time finding the right grind and water ratio by setting up your recipes before hitting the road. You can also gauge how much water your brewing devices are going to hold and craft your ratios around this amount, eliminating the bulky scale from your packed equipment.

With these ideas in mind, stay happy and caffeinated as you continue to enjoy your hikes, climbs, and bikes this season!

About Katrina Yentch 221 Articles
Katrina Yentch (she/her) is a freelance writer and Barista Magazine's Online Editor. When she's not writing, you can find her napping, cooking, and drinking whatever's on drip.