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Coffee During Camping: The 5 Best Ways for Brewing

by Hunter Miller

For many campers, there’s nothing better than starting the day with a hot cup of coffee. No matter how quickly you need to make your cup of coffee, there is a method that can best suit your camping preferences. While there are a variety of ways to brew coffee, here are the five simplest ways to make coffee while camping.

Instant Coffee

It’s lightweight and packable but doesn’t necessarily have the best reputation in terms of taste. However, campers may still find it the most efficient way for getting their coffee fix while in the wild.

Instant coffee is ideal for backpacking, bikepacking, and anyone looking to save space and weight in their pack. Instructions from brand to brand will vary, but general rule of thumb for instant coffee is to put the instant grounds in a cup and add boiling water. Once the powder dissolves, you are good to go.

Cowboy Coffee

If you’re looking for the simplest way to make a cup of joe, cowboy coffee is your best bet. Just add coffee grounds to hot water. While simple, it may be the messiest option as the grounds don’t dissolve into the water.

Some popular methods of making cowboy coffee include the clean cup method, sink down method, and scoop top method. For the clean cup method, you will need a cloth or bandana. Boil water and then remove from heat. Place the coffee grounds in the cloth and place it in the kettle. Steep on low heat.

The sink down method involves heating a kettle of water until boiling. Remove from heat to drop in coffee grounds. Simmer on low heat. After a few minutes, coffee grounds should sink to the bottom.

In the scoop top method, first boil a kettle of water. Spoon coffee grounds in after removing from heat. Simmer on low heat. Use spoon to scoop coffee grounds off of the surface.

Bagged Coffee

It’s as easy as steeping a teabag. Historically, Folger’s singles was the only option. However, new brands such Cult Brew Bag and Steeped Coffee are gaining popularity.

Bagged Coffee is ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to deal with brewing apparatus. Short trip backpackers and bikepackers may find bagged coffee a suitable option.

Pour-Over Coffee (Single Serving)

This may require a little more work than instant or cowboy coffee, but you may find it worth your time. Single serving pourers are designed specifically for campers. Clean up is much easier as grounds are kept separate from water.

You will have to pack both the paper filter and wet grounds. However, the taste is closer to a typical pour-over and is a good alternative to instant or cowboy coffee. To make a pour-over coffee, you will need a paper frame and a pouch filled with coffee grounds. Expand the frame and place it over the top of your cup. Then, pour boiling water through the pouch and enjoy.

Pour-Over Stand

The pour-over stand is more ideal for serious coffee drinkers. It will require you to bring along a non-disposable stand. While many coffee shop pour-over stands are ceramic, there are stands crafted specifically for campers.

Step one is grabbing a cloth or paper filter. Fill it with coffee grounds and place it over your cup. Heat water until it’s almost boiling. Then, in a circular motion, pour the water into the filter.

For an extensive list of the best ways to make coffee while camping, check out the full guide provided by the experts at Fresh off the Grid.

[H/T Fresh off the Grid]