The Camping Barista: Never Drink Subpar Coffee While Camping Again

The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Coffee While Camping: Tips, Techniques, and Equipment

Imagine waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, surrounded by the beauty of the outdoors. Picture yourself sipping a warm, rich cup of coffee as you watch the sunrise over the horizon.

If you're a camping enthusiast, you know that nothing beats the feeling of waking up to the smell of fresh, hot coffee brewing in the great outdoors. But let's face it - brewing high-quality coffee while camping can be a challenge.

From limited space and equipment to unpredictable weather conditions, it's easy to settle for subpar instant coffee or cowboy coffee that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

But what if we told you that you could become a camping barista and enjoy the same great-tasting coffee you enjoy at home, no matter where your adventures take you? With the right techniques, tools, and equipment you'll soon be enjoying rich, flavorful coffee while taking in the sights and sounds of nature. 

In this ultimate guide to brewing coffee while camping, you'll discover everything you need to know to become a camping barista. We'll cover the challenges of brewing coffee in the great outdoors and provide you with tips and techniques for overcoming them. You'll learn about the best equipment for camping coffee, we'll also provide you with a comprehensive coffee brewing essentials list, and recipes for delicious campfire coffee drinks.

By the end of this guide, you'll be equipped with the knowledge and skills you need to brew high-quality coffee while camping. Whether you're a seasoned camper or a beginner, this guide will help you elevate your camping coffee game and make every morning in the great outdoors feel like a luxury experience. Let's dive in and become a camping barista!


Benefits of Coffee While Camping

If you're someone who can't start their day without a hot, steaming cup of coffee then you know that going camping without it can make the entire trip feel incomplete. Choosing the right coffee to bring with you camping can make all the difference when you’re out in nature. Not only does it help to start your day off right, but there are many other benefits of enjoying a delicious cup of coffee while camping.


Increased Energy

One of the most significant benefits of coffee is that it boosts your energy levels. A freshly brewed cup of coffee can give you that much-needed burst of energy to help you take on a challenging hike, set up camp, or simply enjoy the great outdoors. Without coffee, you may find yourself feeling sluggish, unmotivated, and too tired to enjoy your time in nature to its fullest.


Improved Mood

In addition to boosting your energy levels, coffee can also improve your mood. When you're out camping it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the challenges of setting up camp, keeping everyone entertained, and adjusting to a new routine. A delicious cup of coffee can help soothe your soul and give you the mental clarity you need to tackle whatever comes your way.


Enhanced Social Connections

Coffee is also a great way to enhance social connections. It’s a natural conversation starter, and sharing a cup of coffee with friends or family can help to create unforgettable memories. Coffee can bring people together and make them feel more connected to each other and the natural environment around them.


Missing out on these benefits can make your camping trip feel incomplete, dull, and unsatisfying. We'll be sharing essential tips and tricks to ensure that won't ever happen to you! 

Coffee & Camping Equipment: The Comprehensive List for Brewing Coffee While Camping

Are you tired of settling for instant coffee or burnt coffee that you'd rather throw out than drink? You don't have to compromise on quality just because you're in the great outdoors. With the right equipment, you can have the same great cup of coffee you enjoy at home.

We've put together a comprehensive list of all the equipment necessary for brewing coffee while camping, including traditional methods and the top 5 methods that we will be diving into later in this guide.

Whether you prefer traditional brewing methods or want to explore new methods that are perfect for camping, we've got you covered. Here's a list of all the equipment you'll need to make a great cup of coffee while camping:


Portable Coffee Grinder: A coffee grinder is a must-have when it comes to making fresh coffee. Grinding your beans just before brewing will give you a fresher taste. A portable coffee grinder is perfect for camping as it is compact and easy to carry.


Coffee Maker: The type of coffee maker you choose will depend on your personal preference. A traditional drip coffee maker is perfect if you're camping with a car as you'll have access to electricity. However, if you're going on a more remote camping trip, a manual coffee maker that doesn't require electricity, like a French press, pour-over, or percolator, is the perfect solution.


Coffee Filters: If you're using a traditional drip coffee maker, don't forget to pack coffee filters. You don't want to be stuck without them and have to use a pillowcase or, worse yet, drink your coffee with grounds in it.


Kettle: A kettle is essential for heating water for your coffee. It's best to choose a kettle that is lightweight and compact.


Heat Source: Unless you're camping in a place with electricity, you'll need a heat source to boil water for your coffee. This could be a portable camping stove, a camping fire pit, or even a gas burner.

Techniques for Brewing Coffee While Camping

Now that we’ve covered the basics of coffee & camping, it's time to get to the meat of the matter. In this section, we'll explore the top 5 techniques for brewing coffee while camping. These techniques are designed to give you the best-tasting coffee possible, no matter where you are in the great outdoors.


Technique 1: Pour-over Drip Bags

If you want to enjoy high-quality coffee on the go without packing heavy equipment, then pour-over drip bags are for you. These lightweight bags are fast and easy to prepare, making them the perfect option for campers who want to save time and space.

To make pour-over drip coffee, simply open the bag and set it up over your mug. Slowly pour hot water over the coffee, allowing it to steep for a few minutes. Then remove the bag and enjoy your delicious, aromatic coffee.

Technique 2: Aeropress/Trinity Zero Mini Press

If you’re looking for a coffee maker that’s easy to use and can withstand a bit of impact, then the Aeropress/Trinity Zero Mini Press is the perfect option for you. This coffee maker is compact and sturdy, making it ideal for car camping, glamping, and road trips.

To brew coffee with the Aeropress/Trinity Zero Mini Press, you'll need to place the coffee grounds in the chamber, add hot water, and then press down on the plunger. The result is a concentrated cup of coffee that’s perfect for sipping before hitting the hiking trail.

Technique 3: Camp French Press

If you prefer a tried-and-tested method of brewing coffee, then the camp French press is for you. This coffee maker has the same simplistic design as a regular glass coffee maker you usually find at home, but it’s made of lightweight, portable, and more durable material so you can take it with you on your adventures.

To make coffee with a camp French press, you'll need to fill the pot with hot water and add the coffee grounds. After a few minutes, slowly press down the plunger, and you'll have a delicious cup of coffee that’s ready to be enjoyed.

Technique 4: Campfire Percolator

The campfire percolator has been the go-to camp coffee maker for many generations because it's affordable, easy to use, and durable. This stovetop coffee maker is perfect for brewing regular black coffee for larger groups of people because you can keep refilling the pot for hours and hours.

To brew coffee with a campfire percolator, you'll need to put water in the reservoir, add ground coffee to the percolator basket, and put it on the stove until you achieve your desired coffee strength. This method is simple and yields a rich and aromatic cup of coffee that's perfect for sharing.

Technique 5: Moka Pot

The classic moka pot may be bulkier and heavier compared to other camping coffee makers, but it produces strong Italian-style coffee that will surely brighten up your morning after sleeping under the stars. The moka pot comes with a metal filter, so there’s no need to buy and make space for disposable paper filters.

To brew coffee with a moka pot, you'll need to fill the bottom reservoir with water, add coffee grounds to the metal filter, and then heat it up on a stove or a roaring campfire. Once the coffee starts to percolate, it will flow into the serving carafe at the top, ready to be enjoyed.

Troubleshooting - Tips for Common Issues When Brewing Coffee While Camping

Nothing ruins a camping trip quite like a bad cup of coffee. While our ultimate guide to coffee and camping is designed to help you avoid common pitfalls, sometimes unexpected issues can arise. Here are some tips to troubleshoot common problems and ensure you can always enjoy a delicious cup of coffee in the great outdoors.



Over-extraction can happen when coffee is steeped for too long or when the water is too hot. This can result in a bitter, astringent taste that no one wants to wake up to. To avoid over-extraction, be sure to remove the coffee from the heat source as soon as it's done brewing. For pour-over coffee, aim to keep the brewing time between 2-3 minutes. If using a French press, aim for 4 minutes of steeping time before plunging.



Under-extraction is when the coffee doesn't brew long enough, resulting in a weak or sour taste. This can happen when the water isn't hot enough or when the coffee is not given enough time to steep. To avoid under-extraction, make sure to use water that is between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, be sure to let the coffee steep for the recommended amount of time according to your brewing method.


Burnt Coffee

There's nothing quite like the taste of burnt coffee to start your day off on the wrong foot. This can happen when the coffee is left on the heat source for too long, or when the heat is too high. To avoid burnt coffee, remove the coffee from the heat source as soon as it's done brewing. When using a campfire or stove, aim for low to medium heat and keep an eye on the coffee at all times. If you're using a French press, try using coarser grounds to slow down the brewing process and reduce the chance of burning.


With these tips, you can avoid common issues that arise when brewing coffee while camping and ensure that you always have a delicious cup of coffee to start your day. So, pack up your coffee brewing essentials, head out into the great outdoors, and enjoy a perfectly brewed cup of coffee no matter where you are.

Coffee Storage & Preparation: How to Properly Store and Transport Coffee Beans While Camping

Do you want to enjoy a rich, full-bodied cup of coffee while camping that provides you with the energy to tackle your outdoor adventures? Don't let stale or poorly stored beans ruin your camping coffee experience.

Storing and transporting coffee beans while camping may seem simple, but it can be challenging. The last thing you want is to realize that your coffee beans have gone stale, and you're now stuck drinking a cup of flavorless coffee.

In this section, we'll cover everything you need to know to keep your beans fresh and how to prepare them for brewing, ensuring that every cup is full of flavor and packs the energy you need to conquer the day.

Follow these tips to ensure that your coffee beans are stored correctly and transport easily. Start by storing your beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, and then grind them just before brewing. You'll be amazed at how much better your coffee tastes, and you'll have the energy you need to tackle any outdoor activity that comes your way.


Choose the right container: When it comes to storing coffee beans, an airtight container is key. You can use a glass jar or a plastic container, but make sure it has a tight-fitting lid to keep the air out.  Ideally you'll also want a container that will keep the light out.  Any kind of glass or transparent container will allow light to degrade the coffee faster.


Keep it cool: Ironically heat and moisture are coffee's worst enemies, even though that's exactly what we use to make our delicious brew. To prevent your beans from spoiling faster, store them in a cool and dry place. If you're camping during the summer, avoid storing your coffee near a heat source, such as a campfire.


Bring whole beans: While it may be tempting to pre-grind your coffee before your trip due to convenience and weight, if you're looking for the tastiest cuppa it's best to bring whole beans instead. Grinding your beans right before brewing ensures maximum freshness and flavor.


Pack it right: When packing your coffee for your camping trip, make sure to store it in a sturdy container that won't crush or damage the beans. If you're worried about the container taking up too much space in your backpack, consider using a vacuum-sealed bag instead.


Use a coffee grinder: If you're serious about your coffee, consider bringing a portable coffee grinder with you on your camping trip. This will allow you to grind your beans fresh each morning, ensuring the best possible flavor and aroma.


By properly storing and transporting your coffee beans, you can ensure that you'll have a delicious cup of coffee each morning while camping. Don't let subpar coffee ruin your camping trip - follow these tips and enjoy the perfect cup of coffee in the great outdoors.

Alternative Coffee Options 

As much as we love a freshly brewed cup of coffee while camping, not everyone has the time or resources to pack all the necessary equipment or go through the process of brewing it themselves. But don't worry, there are still plenty of options available for those who don't want to brew their own coffee while camping.

One popular alternative is cold brew coffee. Cold brew is a great option for those who love the taste of coffee but don't want the hassle of brewing it themselves. This method involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, typically overnight, resulting in a smooth and flavorful coffee concentrate that can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with hot water or milk.

Another option is to bring along pre-packaged coffee options, such as our pour-over coffee bags. These options are quick and easy to use, taking 3 minutes or less to brew and requiring only hot water and a mug. However, it's important to note that the quality of these options can vary greatly, and unless you're buying specialty grade coffee like we offer here at The Laughing Pug, some may not meet the standards of true coffee connoisseurs.

For those who want a more authentic coffee experience, many camping stores and coffee shops offer portable pour-over systems, such as the Hario V60 or the Trinity Zero Mini Press, that allow you to make a high-quality cup of coffee with minimal equipment.

These systems can involve placing a paper filter in a holder and pouring hot water over ground coffee, resulting in a rich and flavorful cup of coffee. (Although the Trinity Zero Mini Press has a reusable stainless steel filter and just needs a quick rinse before it can be used again.)

Regardless of which alternative option you choose, it's important to remember that you never need to settle for subpar coffee just because you're camping.  There are plenty of options available to ensure that you can still enjoy a delicious cup of coffee, even in the great outdoors.

Coffee & Camping Recipes

If you’re a coffee lover, the idea of being without your daily fix while camping can be devastating. But with these recipes you can satisfy your craving for caffeine in new and exciting ways, and they can all be made while camping! You'll never have an excuse for instant coffee that leaves you feeling unsatisfied and disappointed again.


Campfire Latte - The perfect way to start your day

Imagine sipping on a rich and creamy latte while watching the sunrise over the mountains. The Campfire Latte is a must-try for coffee lovers. All you need is freshly brewed coffee, a little milk, and a few extra ingredients.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup freshly brewed coffee

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped cream (optional)

Cinnamon (optional)

To make the Campfire Latte, heat up the milk and maple syrup in a saucepan until it starts to steam. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract. Pour the mixture over your freshly brewed coffee and stir until combined. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon, if desired.


Iced Coffee - A refreshing pick-me-up on a hot day 


When the sun is shining and the temperatures rise, sometimes a hot coffee isn't what you need. Instead, try making an iced coffee. It’s refreshing, delicious, and a perfect pick-me-up on a hot day. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup freshly brewed coffee

1/4 cup milk

Ice cubes

Sweetener of your choice (optional)

Brew your coffee as normal and let it cool, or use cold brew coffee. Once cooled, pour your coffee into a cup, add milk and sweetener if desired. Finally, add some ice cubes and you’re good to go!


Coffee Smoothies - The perfect on-the-go breakfast

Smoothies are a great way to get a healthy dose of fruits and veggies in your diet, but did you know you can add coffee to your smoothie too? It’s a great way to start your day and is perfect for those who are always on the go.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1/2 cup brewed coffee

1 banana

1/2 cup frozen berries

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon honey

Ice cubes

Blend all ingredients together until smooth and enjoy! This recipe is perfect for a quick breakfast or a midday pick-me-up.

With these recipes, you can enjoy coffee in a variety of ways while camping. Say goodbye to instant coffee and hello to delicious and satisfying coffee-based drinks that will make your camping experience even better.



After reading this guide, you now have all the tools and knowledge you need to brew a delicious cup of coffee while camping. We hope that by learning about the top five methods for brewing coffee while camping and understanding the equipment and techniques required, you will feel confident enough to give it a try.

Say goodbye to subpar instant coffee and embrace the rich aroma and flavour of freshly brewed coffee. With the right tools, you can enjoy the ultimate camping experience with the perfect cup of coffee to start your day.

Remember, brewing coffee while camping may seem daunting at first, but with the right preparation and technique, you'll be able to create a delicious cup of coffee that rivals what you can brew at home.

Don't let the lack of electricity, space or equipment be an excuse for missing out on having a delicious morning coffee ritual!

Next time you're packing for a camping trip, don't forget to include the tools you need to brew a perfect cup of coffee. Trust us; it's worth the extra effort.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there, explore nature, and brew yourself the perfect cup of coffee to accompany you on your adventures.

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