Ep17 – Coffee Options for Camping


Savouring that first sip of hot coffee while you soak up the great outdoors, is a campsite coffee connoisseur’s ultimate start to the day!

In this episode of the Snowys Camping Show, our gear experts Ben and Lauren talk you through all your brewing options so you can make a perfect cup of coffee on your adventures.

Listen to the full episode here:

Or you can watch the video version here:


  • 00:00 – Intro
  • 02:25 – Instant coffee
  • 03:47 – AeroPress
  • 06:15 – French press
  • 06:58 – Stovetop espresso maker
  • 07:49 – Drip coffee
  • 09:14 – Cowboy coffee
  • 10:39 – Portable pod coffee
  • 12:35 – Carrying out your coffee grounds
  • 13:55 – Coffee bags
  • 15:55 – Portable grinders
  • 16:56 – Portable french press
  • 18:05 – Mugs & flasks for keeping drinks hot
  • 19:04 – Milk options & frothing
  • 23:04 – Stovetop vs campfire
  • 24:53 – Storing your coffee gear

Links to things mentioned in this episode:

Instant coffee

Instant coffee is definitely the easiest choice for time-poor adventurers as it’s lightweight, compact, and only requires boiling water to liquefy the granules. Nowadays, there are so many improved instant choices that are more than palatable. But, if you want to step up your campsite coffee game, keep reading for all the other available options.


The AeroPress is a super popular design that’s been around for years and years, offering a fantastic balance between an espresso and a long black. The plastic tube design is very similar to a french press but it’s lighter and more convenient to travel with. You also have a lot of versatility to make a short or long coffee, at whatever strength you like.

The drawbacks are that it can’t make a huge volume for a group and that it requires paper filters. However, you can purchase a reusable metal filter separately to create less waste.

French press

The french press is an absolute classic that’s really easy to use, affordable, and available at most cookware or homeware stores. When you’re camping with a large group, this is a great method for making large volumes of coffee so multiple people can enjoy their cuppa at the same time. You can also brew it as strong or as weak as you like depending on how long you let it steep. 

Portable espresso makers

If you prefer a shot of strong espresso in the morning to get you going, then a portable espresso maker might be the ideal solution for you. These are best suited for portable hiking stoves as the base is quite small, so you might want to branch out into other choices for use on a larger gas stove or campfire. 

Pour-over/drip coffee

Coffee drippers or pour-over coffee provide one of the lightest and most portable ways to brew your favourite beverage outdoors. They’re comprised of a funnel-style filter into which you add your ground beans. Then while this is suspended over a cup, you pour in the hot water.

Even though they’re effective and will meet your basic caffeine needs, this design is probably best suited to solo hikers and motorcycle tourers who need to count every gram. 

Cowboy coffee using a billy/kettle

Cowboy coffee is as basic and old school as it gets. All you need is a billy, water, and your grounds and you’re essentially good to go. The method is easy: you boil water in a pot/billy, add ground coffee, stir it, let it rest for a few minutes, then add some cold water to help them settle to the bottom and it’s ready to drink. It tends to be very bitter, and you’ll find it hard to separate the grinds from the liquid, so it’s not going to brew the smoothest or richest beverage. 


Percolators are very popular and versatile for camping and at-home use. You just add grounds to the basket, water, and then heat it up over a stove. The boiling water goes up through a tube over the grounds and then back down to make your brew. The only downside with these is that they’re not ideal for use on an open fire, so you’ll need to use them with a gas stove. 

Close-up of a rustic outdoor table top with a man's hands pouring freshly brewed coffee from a stove top percolator into two insulated cups. There's a green canvas Blacksmith Coffee Kit Bag on the table next to the cups.

There’s a huge array of options for every coffee lover. Image: Blacksmith Camping Supplies

Portable coffee grinders

If you want the freshest coffee possible, you can also add a portable hand-operated bean grinder to your stash and add an extra something to your morning cuppa at the campsite. 

Coffee bags

These are essentially just like a teabag, but instead, it’s filled with ground coffee. Basic varieties are readily available from the supermarket or fancier options can be sourced at specialty coffee shops. They are simple and convenient but tend not to produce a very strong brew compared to other methods. 

You could even make your own bags if you want to, but again, if you like strong coffee, this method might not be the best choice. 

Keeping your beverage hot

Once your drink is ready, you’ll need to keep it warm by pouring it into a double-walled or insulated mug so that it stays hot and ready to enjoy. 

Milk heating & frothing options

You can get portable milk frothers that are battery operated so they don’t require plugged power to add some froth to your hot drink. You can even add hot milk to a French press, and then push it up and down to get a frothy effect. Otherwise, you can heat up your milk of choice over your stove gently and add it to your brew. 

Campfire vs stove options

When factoring in which method will suit you best, make sure you consider your regular camp cooking setup. Some options won’t work over a campfire and require the concentrated heat of a gas stove.

Storing your coffee gear

Pack your brewer of choice, beans, and mugs all into a little kit to keep everything you need ready to go so it’s easy to grab for a roadside stop on the way to and from the campsite. 

Thanks for listening, tune in again for next week’s episode!

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of the Snowys Camping Show Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Pocket Casts, or Stitcher so you never miss an upload.

If you have any questions for Ben and Lauren, make sure you head over to our Facebook group and let us know as we’d love to hear from you.

Catch you out there!

About the writer...

Joined back in October, 2015

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