Camping and Craft Coffee: The Best Way to Make Coffee While Camping
You can feel it in the air… camping season is coming. As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in my backyard with a fire going, dreaming of the next time I’ll bust out the tent and head out into the great unknown. And while I love getting out of Portland and into nature, the Rose City has one thing that I can’t find on Mount Hood or on the Oregon Coast: really good coffee.
But just because I’m heading out into the woods doesn’t mean that I have to settle for god-awful instant coffee or an over-hyped (great for Instagram, but horrible for the taste) percolator. In this article, we’ll be laying out the step-by-step process for the best way to making craft coffee in the wild. Let’s get to it.
What To Buy
A Mobile Brewing Device
The decision that will affect every other decision in this process is the brewing device that you choose. When you’re camping, it’s important that you have a device that’s easy to transport, easy to clean, and durable. Here are our favorites:
If you’ve spent any time on Your Best Drink, you know that we’re all about the Aeropress. Not only is this amazing contraption one of the best ways to make coffee, it also comes with an extremely realistic price tag. For less than $40, you can be on your way to the best cup of coffee you’ve ever tasted.
The French Press is perhaps the most tried and true method for manually roasting coffee, so why wouldn’t you take a press to the campground? While any French Press will do (I mean, they’re all rather mobile), you probably don’t want to take your glass press out into the wild.
If you’re camping with friends (or if you drink a lot of coffee), we recommend the Stanley Classic Vacuum French Press. It holds 48 ounces of coffee, and will stay hot for hours. Not only that, it’ll also look the perfect amount of rustic for those Instagram pics.
If you’re heading to the park alone (and don’t care as much about the Instagram-ability of your post), check out the GSI Personal Javapress. The price tag is certainly more friendly than the Stanley, but be warned that it won’t keep things nearly as toasty as the Stanley.
V60 Pour Over
A pour over is one of the most tried and true ways to make coffee today. And when it comes to making coffee for a camping trip, there are a couple devices that are sure to impress. If you’re going for lightweight and something that looks right out of the REI catalog (because it is), check out the GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip. It’ll fit neatly into whatever space in your backpack you can cram it into, it weighs less than half an ounce, and it’s sure to be the talk of the campground.
For those who want to be on the frontlines of the newest tech, check out the MIIR Pourigami. It’s not live yet, but it’s a game-changer for travel pour-overs. I know I’ll be getting my hands on one as soon as they’re available.
I won’t spend a ton of time on grinders here, as we’ve spent a lot of time letting you know about manual grinders HERE. The one grinder we’ll add to the list for the sake of camping is the Moyeah Portable Coffee Maker. While this is an all-in-one coffee system (grinder + brew system), we’ve enjoyed using the grinder alongside our Aeropress.
No matter what brew method you use, you want a camping mug that can hold the heat well. We grade camping mugs on two main categories, and we’ll give you our favorites for each one.
First: lightweight. For those who are backpacking into the woods, you don’t want to add any unnecessary weight to your pack. That being said, you also don’t want a coffee mug that is going to lose heat. If you’re wanting to spend some money on this thing, we like the TOAKS Titanium Camping Mug. If you’re wanting to save your money for firewood, we recommend these basic stainless steel mugs.
To be honest, none of these lightweight options compare to the magic that is the Yeti Rambler. This 14 ounce mug will literally keep your coffee piping hot for hours… yes, hours. You can make your coffee, take a few sips, go on a hike, come back, and your coffee will still be hot. It’s a work of art.
While the Yeti is our favorite, there are some who think it’s a bit too thick for a camping trip. If you’re among that crowd, we also like the Hydroflask 12 ounce Double Vacuum Stainless Steel Mug.
When it comes to coffee for your campsite, you can’t neglect your brewing device, your grinder, and your mug. Get these three things right, and you’re well on your way to having the best smelling and tasting camp at the park.
Now, just to pick the right beans. Don’t worry… we’ve got you covered.