Best Portable Coffee Makers for Camping & Hiking


If you’re a coffee snob, then it can be tricky to get your morning caffeine fix when you’re camping, hiking or caravanning.

I really don’t like it when a truck stop, roadhouse or café serves a long black in a big mug. Fast food joints fill the container up all the way and throw a lid on, so when you want to add sugar, the hot liquid goes everywhere. Some places set the temperature too high making it bitter, or they pay more attention to the pretty ‘latte art’ than the taste of the coffee itself.

At home, we have a proper coffee machine. We like the ritual of grinding the beans fresh, hearing the noise of the machine churn away as it produces a beautiful crema and then savouring the taste as we drink it.

Brewing coffee out in the bush

It’s all about quality, not quantity when it comes to coffee.

However, when you’re out in the field, you don’t have the luxury of your home machine. Thankfully there is a choice of portable coffee makers out there that offer a more palatable alternative to instant granules.

Coffee options for your caravan

1. Capsule coffee machine

In our van we use a capsule coffee maker primarily because it saves on space and although it requires 24V power, it does a wonderful job with great coffee blends available.

2. Portable and compact capsule coffee

These days however, portable capsule coffee machines, like this one from Wacaco, are readily obtainable and use Nespresso® original capsules and compatibles. You simply add the capsule in, pour hot water into the water tank, pump the piston to pressurise it and extract the espresso. This is a terrific compact option if you’re short on space or lacking power.

Wacaco also make a portable espresso machine called the Minipresso that you can use with ground coffee if you’re not a fan of capsules.

Man putting coffee into Wacaco Nanopresso while out and about

A Nanopresso is a convenient option for pod lovers. Image: Wacaco

Coffee options for camping

1. Simple and versatile percolator

For camping, a really simple choice is a lightweight and portable camping percolator like this one from Campfire. It can also be used as a kettle, so it’s great for those who like drinking tea as well.

2. Portable espresso maker

For a full bodied and more intense brew, a compact espresso maker is the way to go. Brands like GSI Outdoors have a durable stainless steel option, or there are aluminium alternatives that are lighter and more affordable.

3. Filtered coffee makers

If you prefer filtered coffee, the Aeropress from Aerobie has a classic lightweight design that’s made from BPA free plastic and takes only two minutes to brew. It can be used anywhere – at home, in the office, road trip or camping – as you don’t need a stove for it to brew, however you do need access to hot water.

It now has a smaller version that’s perfect for travelling called the AeroPress Go Travel which packs down into its own mug to fit almost anywhere.

Man plunging Aeropress Coffee Maker into a cup

The Aeropress is a very popular design that makes excellent filtered coffee. Image: TekCafe

Coffee options for hiking

1. Ultralight drip design

Weighing in at only 11g, the Ultralight Java Drip from GSI Outdoors is ideal for when you’re shouldering your pack on the trails and every little gram counts but you still want to get your caffeine fix! Simply clip it onto your mug, add the ground beans and hot water and you’re ready to go.

2. Brewing accessories for your hiking stove

If you already own a JetBoil stove, a compatible Coffee Press is a simple addition to your Zip or Flash that allows you to turn your current stove into a coffee press, plus it also stows neatly inside the cup to save space.

Person pouring kettle water into the Sea to Summit X-Brew Coffee Dripper

The X-Brew Coffee Dripper is a collapsible option for hikers. Image: Sea to Summit

3. A collapsible and lightweight option

The X-Brew Coffee Dripper from Sea to Summit is ideal for lightweight hikers as it’s made from food-grade silicone which packs down flat for easy storage. It has ultrafine yet durable mesh to strain the brew thoroughly, and the base of the unit is designed to create a consistent flow. If you need a very compact coffee maker, this will do the trick.


What’s the best brew you’ve ever had when camping or hiking? 

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Joined back in December, 2013

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