Coffee In The Great Outdoors

Coffee In The Great Outdoors

A Taste of Home

While there are many home comforts that we will gladly give up for a relaxing getaway in nature, there are two things we cannot live without: good quality sleep and a good cup of coffee! That’s why for every camping trip we always bring our GO-KOT and we never skimp on coffee. We’ve already covered all the benefits of sleeping on a GO-KOT in this previous post, but we have yet to cover our favorite ways to brew a cup of joe while camping. So, here they are!


Photo by @nkzu3k811

Our Favorite Brewing Methods 

Keep in mind these are not the easiest nor the most difficult methods, but somewhere in the middle. They do require some equipment and cleanup, but they also ensure you actually enjoy your morning coffee (sorry instant coffee, you did not make this list!)

French Press

Our long time favorite is the French Press. We use the French press at home on a regular basis because we love the rich, full bodied coffee flavor that it brews. Luckily, you can now find sturdy French presses that are perfect for taking camping! The best part is, they do not require paper filters so this option reduces waste on your trip.

Photo from REI: Snow Peak Titanium French Press

What You Need:

  1.  A durable French press like the Java Press or the Snow Peak Titanium French Press. The Snow Peak is a great option since it can be placed on an open flame.
  2. Very coarse coffee grounds.
  3. If you do not have the Snow Peak, then a kettle for boiling water.

How to Use Traditional French Press:

  1. Scoop coffee grounds into container.
  2. Boil water and slowly pour into the container. Then, place the lid on the container without pressing down.
  3. Wait 3-4 minutes and then slowly press the plunger down to separate the grounds.
  4. Gently pour out your coffee and enjoy!

 How to Use The Snow Peak:

  1. Fill the container with water and place over the fire to bring to a boil. 
  2. Scoop in coffee grounds and let them sit for about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir the coffee grounds and then place the lid on the container without pressing down.
  4. Wait 3-4 minutes and then slowly press the plunger down to separate the grounds.
  5. Gently pour out your coffee and enjoy!

Pour Overs

This is another method we use at home and thoroughly enjoy using on camping trips. There are single serve pour overs or you can purchase a pour over stand that can serve 2-4 people.

Photo from Kuju Coffee

What You Need:

  1. For single serve pour overs, you will need a Kuju PourOver, which is a  lightweight, foldable pour-over pouch, or a reusable single serve coffee filter like this one from MugMate
  2. For more multiple servings, you will need a pour over stand like this one from GSI Outdoors.
  3. Course ground coffee (the Kuju Pour Over includes its own coffee.)
  4. Cone filter for cleaner brew.
  5. Kettle for boiling water.

How To Use:

  1. For single serve, place the Kuju Pour Over or reusable coffee filter over your mug.
  2. For multiple servings, clip legs to the rim of your mug and attach the drip cone filter. For a cleaner brew, you can place a coffee filter in the drip cone.
  3. Scoop coffee into filter.
  4. Heat water until it is boiling, and then slowly pour over the coffee ground. 
  5. For single serve options, you can steep the filter in your coffee for a stronger brew. For the pour over stand, pour slowly in a circular motion for best results.

Coffee bags

This is a very simple method that is a step up from instant coffee. If we are trying to pack light, we usually go the coffee bag route because it takes up very little space and is easy to clean up. This brewing method simply requires you to place the coffee bags in boiling water, similar to how you would brew tea. You can either buy coffee bags or make your own!

What You Need:

  1. Coffee bags. You can either buy your favorite coffee bags or make your own before the trip. For that, just simply scoop your favorite ground coffee into a basket filter and tie it off with string. Be sure to leave enough extra string so you can easily take it out of your cup later.
  2. A kettle to boil water in.

How To Use:

  1. Boil water over your campfire fire.
  2. Place the coffee bag in boiling water and steep for desired strength.
  3. Remove coffee bag and enjoy!

Honorable Mentions

Cowboy Coffee

Though not the coffee we would brew every time, "cowboy coffee" is fun and interesting coffee experience everyone should try at least once! If you like Turkish coffee, you will most likely enjoy this method. There are several ways to make cowboy coffee (including using an egg!), but we used the simple instructions from Driftaway Coffee.

What You Need:

  1. A large tin or titanium coffee pot.
  2. Coffee grounds.
  3. Cold water.

How To Make:

  1. Add water to your pot and bring it to a boil.
  2. Once the water’s boiling, remove the pot from your fire and let it sit for 30 seconds to lower the temperature.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of finely ground coffee for every 8 ounces of water. 
  4. Stir the grounds into the water.
  5. Let the brew sit for 2 minutes and stir again.
  6. Let the coffee sit for 2 more minutes.
  7. After a total of 4 minutes of brewing, sprinkle a little cold water on the grounds. Yes, this actually does help them settle to the bottom.
  8. Slowly pour the coffee, so the grounds remain on the bottom of the pot and enjoy!

AeroPress Coffee Maker

We have yet to try the AreoPress Coffee Maker, but everyone seems to be raving about it! According to their website, the AreoPress makes 1-3 cups of perfectly rich and smooth coffee in about a minute. It isn't supposed to leave any grit in your cup and clean up should be super quick and easy. It is lightweight and relatively small, so it would be perfect for camping and traveling. This might just be the next thing we add to our coffee collection!

What You Need:

  1. Medium fine ground coffee.
  2. Micro AreoPress filters.
  3. Mug with large enough mouth to hold the Aeropress.

How To Use:

The AreoPress homepage has a short, animated clip on how to use the AreoPress to make both Espresso and American style coffee that we think you'll enjoy much more than reading the instructions. Click here to watch it!

Where to Buy Your Coffee

In support of our fellow Veterans, here is a list of Veteran Owned Businesses that sell delicious coffee!

A Warm Cup For Joe

A Warm Cup for Joe is 100% Veteran Owned and Family Operated. Each of their premium quality products is themed with a story unique to the military experience and portion of all sales from their site goes to organizations that enable Veterans to achieve success in the civilian world.

Three Rivers Coffee Company

Three Rivers Coffee Company is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned and Operated, premium, small batch, roast-to-order coffee company. Their roast-to-order coffee is made from premium Arabica beans using their own unique roasting profiles. 

Military Grade Coffee

Military Grade Coffee is a Veteran Purple Heart Recipient Owned Business. This company specializes in premium, organic coffee and 10% of their net profits will go to Veterans and their families through the Gary Sinise Foundation.

 Battle Forged American Coffee House

This Veteran Owned Business focuses on single-origin coffee. They currently offer coffee from 15 different origin countries and include unique tasting notes for each one. They also proudly support Objective Zero™ in the fight to end Veteran suicide.

Black Ink Coffee Company 

Black Ink Coffee Company is a Veteran Owned and Operated, fair trade, single origin, small batch coffee roastery located in Maine, US. All their coffee bags, pods and steeping pouches are also 100% eco-friendly! This is a new company so please checkout their website and sign up for their Kickstarter Campaign!

Sea State Coffee

Sea State Coffee is a USMC Reconnaissance Veteran Owned and Operated Business that is dedicated to providing premium coffee. They also proudly support the mission of the Marine Reconnaissance Foundation in providing the Marine Corps Reconnaissance community with the support they need in and out of service. 

Veteran Coffee Roasters

This Veteran Owned Business donates $1 for every pound sold to wounded and disabled Veterans. Their fresh-roasted, gourmet coffee is priced for resale (40% below SRP) so that markets, retailers, coffee shops, cafes, restaurants, military units (coffee messes), and everyone else can support wounded and disabled Veterans while enjoying really good coffee.

Call Sign Coffee Company

This Service Disabled Combat Veteran and Military Spouse Owned and Operated Business focuses on providing single origin and high quality blends that are socially responsible and sustainable. They created this company as a way to continue to give back. They donate a portion of their profits to Veteran and Mil-Spouse Service Organizations.

Anchored Coffee & Roast, LLC

Anchored Coffee & Roast, LLC is a Veteran Owned and Operated Small Business that specializes in next level cold brew coffee and fresh roasted, small batch, gourmet coffee from the finest coffee beans around the world.


Photo by @suu_kentaro

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