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7 Best Ways to Make Great Camping Coffee

Great food and drinks aren’t limited to the evening while camping. A good cup of camping coffee can get your day off on the right foot. We want to help you explore a few options to make your morning cup of Joe even better. 

Camping Coffee Is a Necessity for Caffeine Lovers

We can do without many things when “roughing it,” but coffee just isn’t one of them. There aren’t many things better than sipping on a nice cup of coffee while setting your camping plans for the day. 

It may be a bit more challenging to get that perfect cup, but if you’re a caffeine lover, you’ll find a way–nothing should keep you from your beloved coffee!

Drinking coffee in class b rv camper

7 Ways to Make Great Camping Coffee

Thankfully, you have options when it comes to coffee while camping. There isn’t a single way to make coffee, even when you have limited supplies. You can get as fancy as you want or keep it simple with few steps.

Now, if you’re camping in an RV, you may have the luxury of having electricity to just power your favorite coffee maker. With portable solar panels and/or lithium batteries, you may even be able to do this when you’re boondocking.

However, if you don’t have the electricity, or the ritual of manually making coffee when camping appeals to you, we’ve got you covered. Here are seven ways that you can create a great cup of coffee while in nature. 

Pro Tip: Use our guide on The Art of Making Campfire Coffee: A Step-by-Step Guide to get the perfect morning cup of Joe while camping.

1. Coffee Filter Tied with Dental Floss Method

This method is about as easy as it can get. Simply pour boiling water into your mug and add a single-serve coffee bag. These work just like a traditional teabag, but with coffee. It’s a quick and mess-free option for decent camping coffee. 

If DIY is more your style, they’re very simple to make at home before heading out. Simply fill a coffee filter with your preferred coffee grounds and tie it securely with unflavored dental floss. You now have your very own homemade single-serve coffee bag. 

2. Use a French Press

If you have a French press tucked away in a cabinet at home, now is the time to dust it off. It will serve as a fantastic option for multi-serve coffee while camping. 

With a French press, you put coffee grounds into the press, pour hot water in, let it soak, and plunge the filter down. You’ll have fresh coffee in a few minutes with enough to share.

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Simply rinse the press after, and you’ll be ready for fresh coffee again the next day. 

3. Make Camping Coffee with a Percolator

There are two common types of coffee percolators: an automatic percolator that uses electricity to heat the water and a manual percolator that you put on a heat source. 

making camping coffee with a percolator
Percolator coffee while camping

A manual percolator is perfect for those who are camping without electricity. On both types, once the water boils, the percolator will begin doing its job. Your coffee strength depends on how long you let the coffee percolate. With limited pieces, you won’t have a problem finding space to store this tool.

4. Aeropress Camping Coffee

An Aeropress coffee maker is a mix between drip coffee and French press coffee, giving you the best of both worlds. The coffee filters the grounds from the top down, but you finish the job with a plunger. 

An additional selling point for using the Aeropress for your camping coffee is the easy clean-up. The plunger scrapes the grounds into the filter, and the filter pops out so you can throw it away. Easy clean-up can make all the difference! 

Camping coffee with an Aeropress
Camping coffee with an Aeropress

5. Cowboy Coffee Brew Method for Camping

The cowboy method can sometimes get a bad reputation for tasting terrible! It’s easy to do it wrong, leaving you with a bitter drink filled with grounds. 

But cowboy coffee is great when you have limited supplies. And with the right technique, you can make incredible coffee with just a pot/kettle, grounds, water, and a fire. 

First, measure out the amount of water as you fill your pot. Bring this water to a boil on your campfire or camper range. Once boiling, remove from heat and let cool for about 30 seconds before adding your coffee. This will cool it to the proper brewing temperature for the best coffee!

Next, measure out the coffee. Add 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds to the pot for every 8 ounces of water you put in the pot. Stir the grounds into the hot water and let sit for 2 minutes. After 2 more minutes, sprinkle a little bit of cold water on top of the grounds to help them settle to the bottom of the pot.

Finally, slowly pour the coffee, letting the grounds remain settled on the bottom of the pot. Voila!

You can easily make coffee for a crowd simply with a bigger kettle. Don’t forget your Cowboy hat–it won’t help the taste, but getting in character may improve your morning mood! 

6. Camping Coffee Pour Over Method

Pour over coffee is another simple method that’s virtually mess-free. It’s tried and true and almost fail-proof. Place a filter and filter holder over your cup or pitcher. Fill the filter with your favorite coffee grounds and pour hot water directly into it.

As the filter does its job, you’ll get fresh coffee in the container of your choice. You’ll be enjoying your coffee in no time!

Pro Tip: You can pour cowboy coffee through a filter to make sure no grounds slip into your cup. This way you get a little bit more brew time on your grounds for a richer taste.

camping coffee made with a pourover coffee maker

7. When All Else Fails…Use Instant Coffee!

If you have none of the products we’ve suggested and don’t want to invest in them, just make instant coffee. It may not taste the best, but it gets the job done. 

Instant coffee only requires water, a mug, and a powdered coffee drink. Simply put the powder in your cup, add hot water, and stir. Make as little or as much as you’d like, and you’re ready to face the day.

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We honestly keep a couple of these packets on hand for emergencies, crazy travel days, or for a quick iced coffee on a hot day! Never hurts to be prepared, and a cup of instant coffee just might be better than going without.

All Great Adventures Start With A Great Cup Of Coffee

Coffee is one of those things that tastes even better when you’ve spent the night in the great outdoors. Gathering around a morning fire with friends and a hot beverage can be among the best ways to start your day.

Which method do you prefer?

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About Cait Morton

Co-Founder, Logistics Queen, Business & Content Manager, and Animal Lover

An Upper Peninsula of Michigan native (aka a Yooper), Caitlin is the organization, big-picture, and content strategy queen of our operation. She keeps everything orderly and on track.

With a background in Business Management, she supports and helps channel Tom’s technical prowess into the helpful content our readers and viewers expect. That’s not to say you won’t find her turning wrenches and talking shop – RV life is a team effort. She keeps the business and the blog moving forward with a variety of topics and resources for our audience.

Believe it or not, she is rather camera shy, though she co-hosts the Mortons’ personal videos and The RVers TV show.

Caitlin’s passion lies in outdoor recreation and with animals. Some of her favorite things to do are hiking, biking, and getting out on the water via kayak, SUP, or boat.

She also loves the RV life due to the fact that you can bring your pets along. Sharing information about safely recreating outdoors with your whole family – pets included! – is very important to her. Because of this, Caitlin spearheaded the launch of HypePets in 2023.

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Sunday 2nd of May 2021

Came across one tip where it was recommended not to boil the water but only to heat it to just before it boils. I have used that one with a Melitta drip cone for single cup. It seems like you get a less bitter taste but the coffee grind that is used might have more to do with that one. and, does a bamboo #2 filter work better than a white paper filter? that is an open debate ?


Sunday 2nd of May 2021

The hard part of most of these methods is the cleanup with minimal water. A coffee-press idea: spoon out as many grounds as possible, rinse out more with about 2 tablespoons of water, shake out the wet, and let it dry. A couple of hours later, the remaining grounds are dried, and can be shaken out. Wash with a half cup of hot water, and put away until tomorrow.

Mortons on the Move

Wednesday 5th of May 2021

Great tip! :)

Herbert Stephens (Herb)

Saturday 1st of May 2021

You can also use the Melita carafe and basket (works similar to the single pour over single cup method. Just take water that was boiling off the stove, and pour over an appropriate number of scoops of drip coffee grounds in the #6 cone type filter. You have to pour it in cup size amounts (simulating the time it takes for an electric drip type coffee maker). This is essentially the manual way to make drip type coffee. To keep it hot we have to pour thee remainder into a good thermos. This is for those who want more than one cup in themorning.

Mortons on the Move

Saturday 1st of May 2021

Thanks so much for sharing this tip!

Marc Stauffer

Saturday 1st of May 2021

We do cowboy coffee. We have fresh beans we hand grind on medium coarse. Fill your coffee boiler 2/3 full of cold water and bring to a boil. Add grindings and allow to boil for 3 to 5 minutes then take off the heat and add one cup of cold water. Let sit for two minutes and then pour slowly into cup or through a copper strainer into a thermos to keep hot. No bitter taste and not as acidic. And good to the last drop. Learned this from chuckwagon cook cowboy Kent Rollins. He has a good you tube video on this!

Mortons on the Move

Saturday 1st of May 2021

Straining directly into a thermos is a great idea. Thanks for sharing!