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One of my favorite personal traditions to start the summer is a Memorial Weekend camping trip. I head up to the Adirondacks for the weekend to camp out on a family friend’s property, catch up with people I see pretty much just once a year, and enjoy some of my favorite camp foods and drinks. Usually, we drink coffee from an ancient-looking machine that’s probably older than me, and the coffee always turns out to be just barely drinkable. But this year, I was lucky enough to bring some fun products from our coffee outdoors collection to test out while I was camping, and it’s safe to say that it was quite the step up.
If you’re heading out camping soon and are still trying to decide which would be best to use, this list will make it easy to decide what to pick up. Whether your decision is based on how much coffee you’re brewing, how light you want to pack, or something else, here’s what you need to know about these products that are suited for the outdoors.
We all know that the best coffee is coffee that’s ground fresh just before brewing. While camping does usually mean roughing it on the trails or at your campground, that doesn’t mean you have to give up great-tasting coffee.
I took the Millwright Hand Grinder For Coffee along with a bag of Whole Latte Love Crema Wave, and I was really happy with the freshness and flavor of the coffee. I used this grinder for everything from a fine grind for a moka pot and Aeropress to a very coarse grind for cold brew. I definitely noticed that grinding finer definitely takes a bit more time and effort, but overall the handle gives you enough leverage that grinding never becomes too difficult.
The only thing I noticed that may impact your decision on using this grinder for camping is that the carrying case gets scratched up pretty easily. I removed and reattached the handle on the carrying case about ten times over the course of the weekend I spent camping, and I noticed that there were quite a few spots where the outer layer of the leather wore off. The case still works fine, but some of the aesthetic value definitely decreases when you repeatedly detach and reattach the handle from the case.
There’s nothing quite like the peaceful feeling that comes with brewing a delicious cup of coffee while you’re camping. The brisk morning air juxtaposed against the steam rising off of my cup had me taking an extra deep breath and enjoying my morning coffee just a little bit more. These products will help you brew right over your grill or fire (as long as you have a grate or grill over the flames).
There’s something really relaxing about making pour over coffee while camping, and the Espro Bloom Pour Over Coffee Brewer is a great option that’s both durable and makes great coffee. One big advantage of this pour over brewer is that you don’t have to use a paper filter, so you don’t have to worry about carrying as much if you’re backpacking and not car camping.
The Bloom Pour Over Coffee Brewer may not have been designed specifically for camping, but it does meet many of the requirements to be a great camping brewer. With this pour over device, you can brew directly into your coffee cup, so you don’t have to worry about carrying a carafe with you into the wild. Cleaning is a breeze as well since you just have to empty out the grounds and give it a quick rinse or wipe with a damp paper towel and then you can be on your way again! You can also use paper filters if you don’t want to worry about wiping out grounds and rinsing it after every use.
Hot water is essential to brewing pour over or french press coffee, and this kettle from Saint Anthony Industries is perfect for heating up enough water for one cup of coffee while camping. I was a little worried that the thin gooseneck of the kettle might get damaged in my pack, but it stayed in perfect condition. I was able to fill it, leave the top off, and pop it onto my camp stove to heat up. I definitely found it easier to leave the top off so I could see when it started boiling considering the fact that it would shoot out boiling water if I filled it too high and it started to really boil, so keep an eye out for that.
Another great thing about the pour over kettle is that the wooden handle stayed cool enough to hold during brewing. The stainless steel container of the kettle obviously got pretty warm, but the handle stayed cool enough to hold, even with the strip of stainless steel showing on the side.
I was excited to test out this travel press, but I was surprised by how much I loved using it. Espro French presses are known for their double filters that help keep any grounds from ending up in your cup. Like the bloom, the travel press even comes with additional paper filters that can be put between the two filter baskets for an additional level of straining. I didn’t use the paper filters while camping because, realistically, while camping I wouldn’t want to carry in (and out) any additional garbage. I didn’t notice any grounds in my cup even without the filters, though, and I was able to brew a delicious cup of coffee.
One of my favorite ways to use a French press is to brew up a cold brew, and I was intrigued by the idea of making cold brew in this travel press while camping. I will say that in order to make cold brew, you’ll have to remove the plunger part of the bottle, which means that the top won’t be able to fully secure the top. I just placed my travel press on a table out of the way where no one would accidentally knock it, but if you don’t have a flat surface to leave the press on overnight you could run into an issue. However, trying to find a good spot to have it brew would be worth it if you’re a cold brew lover. In the morning, I added the filter and was drinking really delicious cold brew with almost no effort. Mornings can be rough when you go to bed late and sleep on the ground, and this cold brew on the go is a great way to get your caffeine without many steps.
If you have more than one person on your trip that you’re making coffee for, I would definitely recommend everyone bringing their own press since it will only produce 10 oz of coffee. I was able to easily fit the travel press into the water bottle pocket on my backpack, so it would be easy for everyone on the trip to carry their own. The bottle is made of a strong plastic, which means it can take a fall and is also very lightweight as well.
If you’re tasked with supplying coffee for a group, the 9-Cup Stainless Steel Percolator from Harold Import Company is a great choice. When filled to capacity, this percolator makes 9 cups (72 fl oz) of coffee, so you can serve a crowd and easily brew back to back if you want to. This stainless percolator is tough but surprisingly lightweight, making it a great option for car camping or backpacking. If you’re hiking to your camping spot, you could even store a bag of coffee in the pot to conserve space in your pack.
Percolators are very easy to operate, and this one is no exception – once it starts boiling, you lower the heat and let it percolate until it’s the right strength to meet your preferences. So if your group had a late night, you can let it percolate a little longer while you wait for everyone to roll out of their tents. Once you’ve decided the coffee is strong enough, just remove the coffee and start pouring. The wooden handle won’t heat too much during brewing, so as soon as your coffee is strong enough, you can start pouring.
If you can’t imagine giving up your morning shot of espresso, even when you’re out on the trails, these products are for you. From brewers that just need to be placed over a heat source to one that uses a vacuum chamber to achieve the right amount of pressure, these brewers will feed your caffeine addiction without requiring you to find an outlet.
If you love brewing in your moka pot at home, it’s easy to just grab it and bring it with you when you head out on a camping trip. I decided to bring this G.A.T. Moka Delizia 3-Cup Moka Potbecause I love the look of it, and the coffee I brewed in it was delicious. Technically speaking, moka pots don’t brew espresso because they don’t generate as much pressure as an espresso machine, but it still brews coffee stronger than the average cup.
My only thing to note with this moka pot is that the handle is made of plastic, so if you accidentally have it too close to a flame, it will end up a little melted. If you’re using propane to power your camp stove, it can be hard to see the flame when it’s bright outside, so make sure to keep that in mind when you’re throwing your moka pot over a flame.
I was really excited to test out the AeroPress Coffee And Espresso Maker, and I wasn’t disappointed. I will say that I didn’t really test out the AeroPress enough to figure out how to use it before heading out on my trip, and I think that was a mistake. While it’s not difficult to operate, I needed to play around with the grind size a little bit to make sure that I was getting the right texture. If you go too coarse, there isn’t enough resistance and the water will just pour through the grounds, but if you go too fine you won’t be able to brew because the resistance will be too great.
Once I found the right grind size, I was able to grind a great shot of espresso that I added water to in order to make a delicious Americano. When I brewed a larger quantity, I did notice that there was more resistance when trying to press down to brew, so I would recommend going a touch coarser.
Dosing is also very easy with the AeroPress – the included scoop corresponds to how many shots you want to brew, so you can easily measure the correct amount of coffee without bringing a scale with you.
There’s nothing worse than brewing the perfect cup of coffee and then forgetting about it until it’s gone cold. This is an issue that I usually run into while camping because I’ll brew my coffee first, take a too-hot sip, go about making the rest of my breakfast, and then sit down with a now-cold cup of coffee. On this trip, I brought three Camelbak cups with me that helped me prevent this from happening, and it was honestly a game-changer.
The Whole Latte Love Horizon Camp Mug I brought is insulated with a lid that’s easy to sip from or seal up to keep your coffee warm. This lid isn’t leak-proof, so I would recommend keeping this around camp and finish it up before putting it back in your pack if you’re on the move. This was my go-to cup for the mornings, and I loved drinking from it as I helped make breakfast (or more coffee) for everyone.
My personal favorite that I brought was the Camelbak MultiBev. This is a 22 oz insulated carafe bottle with a removable 16 oz insulated cup. There’s a small compartment in the lid of the bottle to store a flexible silicone lid for the cup, so if you’re backpacking you could easily use the bottle for water and remove the cup to use when you’re drinking coffee or other beverages. I also used it to share water with my brother on a hike so that we didn’t have to sip from the same bottle, which is a great feature in the time of COVID-19.
The other Camelbak I brought was the Horizon Tumbler. I used this for coffee after a particularly late night because it holds 20 oz as opposed to 12 oz like the camp mug. It uses the same type of lid, which is convenient if you want to pack as few things as possible. I also used this tumbler for beer during the weekend, and it was perfect for not only keeping my drink cold, but also differentiating it from others’ cups. If you usually bring disposable cups, this is a much better option because you won’t have to carry out the trash and it can be easily used for hot or cold drinks.
If you’re drinking juice or soda from the tumbler, you can also throw a straw into the hole of the lid. I found this particularly helpful during the trip to the campsite because I didn’t have to worry about accidentally spilling my drink on myself if we hit a bump in the road.
Just because you’re roughing it outdoors it doesn’t mean that you have to put up with rough-tasting coffee. Whether you want to bring a small travel press for a solo backpacking trip or a full-sized percolator for a group car camping trip, these brewers and accessories can meet your needs.
Have you ever taken any of these items camping? Snap a picture and tag us on Instagram or Facebook so we can see it, and make sure to leave a review on the product page! To keep up with our latest promotions, newest products, and fun recipes, make sure to follow us on Twitter and YouTube and subscribe to our email list and text updates!