The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Coffee While Camping

Ah, the great outdoors. The perfect time to disconnect and soak in the comforting scent of burning firewood and pine trees, under starry night skies. While camping allows us to embrace the beauty of simplicity by sacrificing many of our everyday “necessities,” those of us with chronic caffeine addictions would argue that we will not sacrifice our morning cup of joe under any circumstances. Curious to find out about the different ways to make coffee with camping? Let’s navigate through the main methods available: 


French Press - Let’s just be honest, nobody wants to carry around a coffee brewing device that is bulky and easy to damage. The glass elements in a french press make it easy to shatter, while also being time-consuming. While it can make you a tasty and robust cup of coffee, you’ll be stuck waiting up to 10 minutes for it to finish brewing - AKA valuable time that could be spent on trail. We’re gonna give this method a 5/10. 


Pour Over - This method consists of pouring hot water into a filter with coffee grounds in it. The water will then drain into your cup, taking about 5-10 minutes to finish brewing. On the bright side, there is a variety of different types that usually range from $20 to $40 and it makes a delicious cup of coffee. On the not so bright side, it can be a hassle to pour the water over the balancing filter (I think everyone has had the experience of knocking one over), and it can be time consuming. For these reasons, we have to give the pour over method a 8/10.


Percolator - We have to start off by noting that this method provides you with an excellent tasting cup of joe. However, the percolator has a few major downsides: it is heavy and expensive. For the untethered wanderer, convenience is key. When opting for this method, you need to remember that these machines are often difficult to carry around, tougher on the pockets, and will require you to wake up early in the morning to clean it before getting back on the trail. All factors considered, we will give this a 6.5/10. 


Instant Coffee - Instant coffee has had a longstanding bad reputation for good reason: it tastes terrible. While these packets tend to be cheaply priced and easy to pack, they are also unsustainable and will likely cause you to generate more waste than other coffee brewing alternatives. As companies begin to create specialty instant coffee, the cost per cup ends up being around $6. This gets instant coffee a 3/10.  


Cowboy Coffee - This coffee brewing method is known to be an American tradition created by cowboys on the trail. Cowboy coffee is made with only coffee, water, and fire. In order to brew a batch, you need to heat coffee grounds with water over a fire, waiting for the grounds to settle before pouring yourself a cup. Similar to the pour over, this method can be time consuming, and it can leave you with a mouth full of grounds as you get closer to the bottom. 7/10


JoGo - A coffee straw that lets you brew an Eco-Friendly cup of coffee with the robust flavor of a french press and the convenience of instant coffee? Sounds like we’ve found ourselves a winner! (Okay, we might be a little biased). All you need to do is add your coffee grounds into your mug, pour in hot water, pop in your JoGo, and enjoy. By drinking coffee through a straw, JoGo even helps prevent those unwanted coffee stains by limiting exposure to those pearly whites. With it’s sleek and compact design, the JoGo weighs only 2oz and is made of stainless steel. Light. Durable. Portable. Need we say more? 10/10 ;) 


So before you Jo-Go on your next adventure, remember to bring along your new favorite straw to ensure convenience and durability without sacrificing flavor. 


About the Author:

Nooria is a senior at the University of Minnesota, majoring in Communications and minoring in Political Science. Some of her passions include writing, reading mystery novels & traveling. Nooria is a self-proclaimed coffee addict and reality television connoisseur. She is excited to write for Everywhere Joe!

Nooria Munir, Minnesota