The Best Way to Brew Coffee While Camping

Kettles on camp fire
Coffee University

Kettles on camp fire


If you are planning to go camping soon, and are worried about how you will make coffee without your coffee maker, you should know that making coffee without that machine is much easier than you think. In fact, the best way to brew coffee while camping isn’t done with any fancy tools at all. However, in the end, you might decide that you prefer your own technique over those presented here.


Before you get started

One popular method of preparing your coffee is in a pot above a fire. No matter what technique of brewing coffee while camping you plan on using, you will need to have a pot for boiling water. Before you start planning how you are going to brew your coffee on your camping trip, consider whether or not the campsite you will be visiting has a grill pit for your fire, or whether you will need to purchase a pot with long handles so that you can easily suspend it over the fire.

But with the convenience of new gadgets being invented all the time you can even enjoy a quality espresso while enjoying the wildness of nature.


Minipresso, Handpresso or Aeropress espresso machines


Items needed

  • Minipresso or Aeropress espresso machine
  • Pot for heating water (holding stick and handles optional)
  • Grill to place the pan on (if you have handles this isn’t necessary)
  • Fresh water
  • Ground coffee or manual burr grinder for super fresh coffee
  • Sugar and/or cream- optional



The Minipresso or Handpresso(and several other brands) are top-quality portable espresso machines that you can carry anywhere you go and make delicious espresso even without access to electricity. So do they work? It’s pretty simple. You put the coffee grounds and hot water in them and start pumping. The pressurized water goes through the coffee grounds extracting espresso. Easy, isn’t it? The mechanism in each of these machines is a bit different but the idea stays the same.

The machines come with a container to place hot water, scoop, and a cup. Manufacturer’s claim that it is the first of its kind to create a real espresso.

To ensure you get an excellent brew, the Minipresso portable espresso machine boasts of an eight bar pressure. It has a water capacity of 70ml  it to holds up to 7g of coffee. Worth noting is that it is simple to operate and fill helping you to extract a bold and rich espresso. An ideal travel accessory, which is perfect for places like camping, long drives, and backpacking, so that you do not miss your daily dose of coffee.

As small quantities of water are injected through the coffee, the pressure reaches up to 116psi/ 8bar, similar to a traditional standard-sized espresso machine. The conventional method packed in one pocket-sized portable device? No wonder it yields an impressively rich, delicious espresso shot each and every time!

Another great tool that you can use outdoors is Aeropress. It’s a bit bigger and messier than minipresso but a lot cheaper. It’s a very simple device that can create 1-2 bars of pressure. Not quite enough for a real espresso but still a great cup of coffee. How do you make a coffee with Aeropress? You put the coffee grounds and hot water in, stir, steep and the press with an airtight plunger. And voila! Your coffee is ready. It doesn’t get any easier than this.



coffee over camp fire


Using a dripper


Items needed:

  • Pot for heating water (holding stick and handles optional)
  • Fresh water
  • Coffee dripper and some filters (1 per cup is ideal) or you can use reusable filter(less waste)
  • Ground coffee
  • Sugar and/or cream- optional
  • Cups



This isn’t the most efficient way to make coffee, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Without your coffee machine, it is still possible to narrowly mimic the operation of a coffee machine by simply pouring boiled water onto some ground coffee beans.

For this technique, simply add a generous amount of ground coffee into a filter that is placed in a coffee dripper. Wet the filter beforehand with a hot water to get rid of some of the cardboard flavor.

Once you have a filter with coffee grounds in a dripper, place it on your cup gently in a balanced position and very slowly add hot(not boiling) water just enough to wet the coffee grounds. Let it steep for a minute and then pour some more water. When the water has sipped through your drink is ready.

The benefit of using this technique is that it is easy and will give you a nice tasting cup of coffee.


Classic campfire coffee aka Cowboy Coffee

Items Needed

  • Pot for heating water and coffee together (holding stick and handles optional)
  • Fresh water
  • Ground coffee
  • Sugar and/or cream – optional
  • Cups



This is a classic way of making coffee, and it is also the cheapest and one of the common ways to brew coffee while camping. With this method, you won’t need to use any filters, instant coffee, or special techniques to brew your coffee.

To make yourself a cup of classic campfire coffee, place some fresh water into your pot. Keep in mind how many cups of coffee you want to make and how strong you want your coffee to be.

Once you have fresh cold water and in a pot, place it on top of the fire and wait for it to heat up. Be careful because this recipe can sometimes cause bubbles to seep out of the pot if you do not watch the process. Nobody wants a big mess to clean up, so just keep an eye on your pot while it is heating.

When the water reaches near the boiling point add the coffee grounds and keep it on the fire till it reaches the boiling point. then remove from heat and let it sit for a moment.

Once the coffee sits for a few minutes, the coffee grounds will sink to the bottom of the pot and you can now start pouring out the coffee for everybody. You might end up with some coffee grounds in your cup or funny coffee mustache 🙂

While this is a very straightforward way of making coffee I only recommend it as a last resort. You ask why? Boiling coffee grounds might not be the best idea if you want to have a nicely tasting cup of Joe unless you’re making a Turkish coffee. But that’s a completely different brewing method. So keep in mind that coffee likes max 96 deg C but I can understand that this might not be the case if you’re out in the wild.



There are many ways to prepare coffee while camping. Depending on your personal preferences, tastes, and biases, you might find the best way to brew to be a completely different technique altogether. In the end, what is most important is that you are still able to get that wonderful cup of coffee to elevate your energy on an early morning of a camping trip.


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