4 Easy Ways to Make the Best Cup of Coffee When Camping
Posted on by Beckworth & Co.
There’s not a lot that can compare to the experience of the first sip of freshly brewed coffee while breathing in the crisp morning air in an all natural setting. But if you’ve ever watched coffee connoisseurs prepare a cup of joe on YouTube, you’d get the impression that it's all rocket science, making you wonder, is it even possible to make a barista-level cuppa out in the wild without the conveniences of a modern kitchen?
You might not believe it, but you can make a decent espresso even if you’re in the middle of the woods. In fact, you can make most other coffee shop stales like the Americano, long black, or latte, with the simplest of equipment that can easily fit in your camping bag.
The secret to great coffee
One good thing about coffee is that you don’t necessarily need to use a machine for it to be good. In fact, equipment is just a third of the equation. Assuming that you start with some properly roasted coffee beans, you just need to know the right kind of grind to use for your preferred brew method.
For this discussion, we'll keep it really basic and try to make coffee the way it was made before the advent of the espresso machine. Now if you think you're in for an inferior brew, that's totally false. A machine made espresso is always nice, but there is a time and place for it. Most of the time, an easygoing balanced drip brew in the morning hits the spot way better.
You may be surprised to know that with the exception of the espresso machine and a good electric grinder, making good coffee is fairly simple and inexpensive. Just check out some of our top picks for great coffee making below. Once you learn the trick to using these tools, you may never go back to buying overpriced chain store coffee again!
Ground coffee typically stays fresh within a week, but if you're roughing it outdoors, it might be easier to just bring whole beans and grind them right before brewing. In the absence of a proper electric burr grinder, the next best thing to use is a hand mill like Hario's Original Ceramic Coffee Mill, which also happens to be quite compact at around 7 inches.
Makes uniform, consistent grinds
Ceramic burr doesn't rust
One of the best within the price range
Instructions are in Japanese
Bolt may get stripped if you wobble while grinding
There are just some things that needs no reinventing and one of them is the pour over dripper. This is one of the simplest ways to make good coffee and the Hario V60 Plastic Pour Over Dripper is the best tool for this. Sturdy and lightweight, this is probably your best option for making coffee while camping.
Considered an industry standard
Inexpensive but makes a great brew
Can last a lifetime
Has to use paper filters
Better used with a gooseneck kettle
Has a large hole, you have to know how to pour properly
Tends to get unsightly scratches and hairline cracks
If you prefer doing pour overs then you have to get a gooseneck kettle. The kettle's thin, long spout will give you more control, allowing you to pour a consistent stream of hot water better while protecting your hand from accidental splashes or drips. Kslong's version of the gooseneck kettle is completely made of 304 stainless steel with a minimal design that's easy to clean, making it look right at home over a cheery campfire.
Simple and inexpensive
Can double as a watering can for plants
Easy to clean
Size is good for individual serving
Metal handle can get hot and cannot be touched with bare hands
Some customers report peeling coating after a year of use
Many argue that the French press method makes a stronger, tastier brew than the pour over since the grounds have more time to steep in the water and you're essentially squeezing out flavor. Instead of using glass, this Mueller French press uses double insulated stainless steel, it'll keep your coffee hot longer and you won't have to worry about accidentally breaking it.
Great customer service, merchant promptly sent a replacement
Great value, price is competitive compared to similar products
Stainless steel works better and lasts longer than glass
French presses take longer to make coffee
Has to be cleaned thoroughly to avoid weird tastes
Came with some residue out of the box, has to be washed thoroughly before use
Aside from the Ibrik/Turkish coffee method and the Aeropress, the moka pot is the only way to make strong coffee manually. Bialetti is a renown Italian brand when it comes to coffee equipment and their 1 cup moka pot is probably the perfect brewer to take for a solo camping trip.
Bialetti is an established coffee equipment maker from Italy
Made of tough aluminum, good size for camping
Handsome coffee maker, good for gifting
Some customers say that only the 6 cup is made in Italy
Metal seems lighter, flaking off, discoloration on smaller models
Making good espresso without the having to use expensive espresso machines has been the Holy Grail of coffee companies for years. While the AeroPress may not be able to make a legit espresso, it does come pretty close and to do that at a price tag of only $31.95, is just amazing. If you want a quasi-spresso while camping, this tough, almost-indestructible coffee syringe is your best bet.
Slim and tough
Inexpensive but effective
Can be a bit clumsy and difficult to use
The use of plastic is a concern for some
Some don't like the newfangled method
Variables like water temperature and ratio, grind coarseness, etc need to be tweaked