There is no experience quite like waking up in the nature to enjoy the cool breeze, the sounds of chirping birds, and fresh air. However, crawling out of a warm sleeping bag seems to be a challenging task for many people. Thankfully, there is one effective way that you can try to truly warm up: a steaming mug of coffee.
Many people often think that it must be too complicated to make a brewed cup of coffee while camping and miss out on this amazing extravagance. In fact, this process doesn’t have to be complex as all you need are a few simple tools and the right method.
In this post, I’ll show you how to make good coffee while camping and turn your outdoor experience into unforgettable moments.
a. Purchase supplies
As you are going to brew coffee in the wildness, it is important to ensure that you prepare everything you need for this task before starting the journey. These include clean water (in case there is no water source near the campsite), coffee, mugs or cups, and some extras such as creamer or sugar.
If you have a caravan, it may be a good idea to bring a coffee maker for a caravan use.
b. Grind the beans
If you are purchasing whole coffee beans, they are not going to be very helpful in brewing coffee when you do not grind up them first. If you’re lucky, you can find a grinder in some grocery stores. Make sure to grind all the beans finely so that they can be extracted and absorbed fully in heated water.
c. Pack supplies
Once everything has done, place all supplies in a clean container, including the water, tools, and coffee itself. By doing this, you will know where to find them first in the morning instead of frantically searching through your bags.
2. Heat up water
No matter which type of coffee or method you use, hot water is always necessary to make a tasty cup of coffee. There are 2 ways to boil water when you are on a camping site: a fire and a camping stove. If you are planning to have a multi-day hike or trek, weight can be a major concern. So it is better to choose a light cookware and backpacking stove to lighten your loads.
If you use water from a nearby lake, stream, or river, make sure to heat it up for at least 2 minutes to kill any harmful bacteria which would exist. If you are camping in high altitude (over 2000 meters or 6500 feet), heat up the water for at least 4 minutes.
3. 3 simple ways to make coffee while camping
There are many methods to make a good cup of coffee while camping, let’s find out which one works best for you.
a. Instant coffee
If you don’t really care about how your cup of coffee tastes, then instant coffee is undoubtedly the easiest method. You just need to heat up water and pour it over the instant mix. Wait for 3 minutes and now you can have something to enjoy in the morning.
b. Cowboy style
In case you don’t have room for bringing extra equipment for making coffee on a hike, consider the method that most cowboys had been using for years. Ideally, you could use the same pot for cooking meals. Dump coffee grounds and water in the pot, heat it up and remove the mix when it gets cools and the grounds hit the bottom.
c. French press
Many people love a French press as it is a simple method to create a cup of coffee with similar taste and flavour just like at home. All you need to do is to add coffee grounds into the press, pour heated water over it, wait for 4 to 5 minutes, and enjoy your treat on a cool evening.
Which factors matter when making coffee?
In general, there are 3 factors in the brewing process that decide the taste and flavor of your coffee, including the ratio of water to coffee, grind size, and brewing time.
a. Water to coffee ratio
The simplest way to make your cup of coffee better is to measure it before you brew. Here is a general guide to show you the approximate mix of water and coffee:
- 6 oz or 1 cup of water for 1 tablespoon or 10 grams of coffee
- 12 oz or 2 cups of water for 2 tablespoons or 20 grams of coffee
- 24 oz or 4 cups of water for 4 tablespoons or 40 grams of coffee
b. Coffee grind size
Don’t worry if you don’t have an expensive grinder! Every local coffee shop provides you the right tool for this job. Make sure to perform this process carefully as consistent grind sizes are really important for proper extraction. You can even consider buying a manual coffee grinder that is perfect for camping.
c. Brewing time
Depending on our chosen method, the amount of brewing time can vary, here are some rules of thumb for your reference:
- Instant coffee: 2 to 3 minutes
- Cowboy style: 3 minutes
- French press: 4 to 5 minutes