Most of us are pretty well addicted to caffeine, and that’s ok. There’s nothing like a good cup of coffee in the morning while you sit down to work. That cup of joe is even more refreshing when the sun is first rising over a cold morning in the wilderness.
There’s something comforting about coffee on the trail, as though we had brought a piece of home with us. Yet, coffee can be a pain to make when everything has to fit in your bag or be cooked on a camp stove.
Today, we’re going to break down the three easiest ways to brew coffee while you’re camping. We’ll also talk about the three best types of camping coffee makers. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be outdoors all summer, and you’ll take your coffee with you.
The classic drip
This is both the simplest and the most compact way to brew. You can get silicone drip funnels that smush down to fit in your pack and fit regular #2 and #4 coffee filters. All you’ll need is your cookpot to boil water and a cup or mug to drink out of.
Drip coffee has great flavor and is extremely simple. The one downside is that you can only brew one cup at a time. But you can always buy two funnels!
The French press mug
A French press brews some of my favorite flavors of coffee, strong and rich, usually a fuller flavor than other methods. There are a number of French press style coffee mugs on the market. I have owned the Bodum French press coffee mug for years and I take it everywhere both in and out of town.
Jetboil also makes an excellent French press system to go with their signature stovetop cooking cup. This is great because it combines the vessel for boiling water and the cup for drinking out of so you carry one less piece of equipment. It also attaches directly to the stove for added safety and stability. The jetboil is a favorite of big-wall rock climbers and long distance backpackers for its versatility and safety.
The percolator kettle
Although it can’t pack down to fit in your backpack, the percolator kettle is such a great camping coffee maker that it has to be on the list. If you regularly go car camping or spend time in the woods with family or friends a percolator kettle is hands down the best way to brew. You can make up to eight cups of coffee in some of the medium sized kettles, and the flavor is to die for. Many people retire their home coffee makers once they taste percolator coffee.
It may take some trial and error to learn just what technique brews the best coffee, but once you find it, you’ll fall in love. Percolator kettles are great because you can pack it, light it and leave it while your cook breakfast or pack up camp. As it percolates, you can see how strong your coffee is through the top cap. That way you can choose just how strong to make it.
Percolators are easy to clean and make a great addition to any car camp box. Me and my friends usually have about three of these things of various sizes when we camp. After all, you can never have too much coffee.
A camping coffee maker is all you need
So don’t settle for anything but the best brew when you’re in the backcountry. Pick the camping coffee maker that best suits your needs, or get all three if you’re a true coffee lover. To be honest, I own one of each of these, and I don’t even own a home coffee maker. I just use my french press mug or percolator kettle when I want coffee in the kitchen.
I’ll take a camping coffee maker over a cumbersome electronic device any day.
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