What’s so great about camping? Sleeping under the stars, dining al fresco, waking to the sounds of the birds chirping, where do I even begin? Even if you love the idea of snuggling into your sleeping bag with just a thin layer of nylon between you and elements, however, there are home comforts you might be worried about sacrificing – like coffee.
For many of us, morning coffee isn’t just a beverage; it’s a ritual. It’s the first thing you think about when you wake up and your day just isn’t off to the right start if you don’t go through the process of grinding your beans and inhaling the sweet aroma as it brews, taking your sweet time over your first cup of the day.
For true coffee lovers like myself, the whole java routine can require quite a bit of equipment and time, and it might not seem like a practical thing to do when you’re out in the wild. But these days, there’s really no reason to let a night of camping stand between you and a great cup of coffee.
I have a gourmet set up when it comes to preparing freshly brewed coffee at camp and it all works like a well-oiled machine. If you love the idea of a proper cup of coffee at camp, here are the coffee-making essentials I never go camping without.
1. Coffee grinder
Obviously you can bring ground coffee or even (gasp!) instant coffee for camping, which eliminates the question over what to do with your coffee grounds, but those of us who love an espresso know that the tastiest brew is made from freshly ground beans.
Grinding your own beans at camp might sound a bit over-the-top, but I actually have been known to pack my Hario Mini Mill Compact Hand Coffee Grinder for a car camping trip when I want a little bit of home comfort. It’s lightweight and pretty packable, and best of all it’s easy to operate and clean afterwards so I don’t end up spilling precious coffee.
2. Drip kettle
When I’m backpacking, I simply use one camping pot to boil water and prepare any other hot food, but for car camping and glamping, a drip kettle is a lovely thing if I want to go with a pour over style. Even if you’re not making pour over coffee, it’s nice to have a designated vessel for boiling water that doesn’t end up tasting slightly like mac n cheese and oatmeal.
I use my Hario V60 Buono Drip Kettle which is surprisingly light and can sit on your camping stove or over the campfire. It means you can keep water hot and make multiple cups while keeping your other pots and pans free for cooking breakfast.
3. Coffee maker
It's never a question of whether I will bring a coffee maker; the question is, which one? As you can tell, I love the convenience and taste of a pour over coffee, and for backpacking especially, my GSI Outdoors Coffee Rocket is great.
However, I find it hard to look past the convenience and quality of my AeroPress Go and for a touch of class, my GSI Outdoors MiniEspresso Set 1 Cup is great for solo trips (it’s a little heavier than the others, but there’s no need for a kettle).
All of these coffee makers are light and packable, easy to use without making a mess and make a delicious brew.
4. Camping mug
Once my coffee is ready, I need the perfect vessel to pour it into and start sipping. The right camping mug is truly a personal thing and you might prefer a classic enamel camping mug, but for me, my Yeti Rambler 10oz Lowball is just the ticket. It’s not too big, has a mag slider live to avoid spillage and keeps my coffee warm, plus it doesn't cling onto the taste of my coffee so I can rinse it out and use it for beer later.