The Essential Checklist for Making Coffee Outdoors: Our Go-To Guide for Camp Coffee

You've decided to brew coffee outdoors and leave instant coffee behind. Excellent choice! 

Imagine crawling out of your sleeping bag to a freshly brewed cup of coffee. What a way to start your day. You don't have to sacrifice on quality when you're camping, hiking, or exploring the great outdoors. You can brew a perfect cup of coffee outside.



What will you need? Here's your checklist to make an excellent cup of joe.


#1 Get a Hand Grinder.

With a manual burr coffee grinder, your coffee will be fresher and the aroma of freshly ground coffee will add to the experience. Manual coffee burr grinders come in easy to pack sizes.

A wise camper once said, "The key to brewing great coffee is consistency and if your little grinds are not all the same size, some will be over extracted, some will be under extracted, and the result will be low-quality coffee."

Manual coffee grinders allow you to adjust the grind from coarse to fine.

So, your first priority is getting an easy-to-pack and reliable hand grinder. You'll need it regardless of how you decide to brew your coffee.

#2 Choose a Brewing Method.

There are a surprising number of options these days to make an excellent cup of coffee outdoors. It's important to choose a brewing method, though, because that dictates which equipment you need. 

We'd recommend one of the five options below:

  • Single-cup Pour-over: A stainless steel pour-over coffee filter makes simple and effective drip coffee, and the reusable filter means you don't need to pack paper filters. 
  • French press: A steel camping French press is a wonderful alternative to the traditional glass carafe. A French press brews rich-tasting coffee and allows you to brew multiple cups at once.
  • Aeropress: An Aeropress makes smooth-tasting, single-serve coffee. It's a combination between a pour-over and a French press. Great for Americanos and espressos.
  • Moka pot: A moka pot is a stove-top coffee brewer that comes in various sizes and can make superior coffee. It's easy to pack but can't be used over a campfire because of the plastic handle. You'll need a gas stove. 
  • Cowboy coffee: A jet black camping coffee pot is an ideal kettle for the occasion. It's easy-to-carry, lightweight, and can be used for other cooking needs.

#3 Know your heat source.

You are going to need hot water to make coffee. Are you boiling water over a fire pit? Are you bringing an electric stove? Are you boiling water at home and taking it in a thermos on your morning hike?

Your heat source will influence which brewing methods you can use. Most importantly, the moka pot requires a stove. Otherwise, have fun experimenting with any of the brewing methods.

#4 Don't forget the whole coffee beans before you go!

Ground coffee loses its flavor very quickly. Pack whole coffee beans to take advantage of a hand grinder and camp-friendly brewing methods.

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