How to Make Coffee While Camping

by Whole Latte Love Updated: January 26, 2021 3 min read
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Brewing Outdoors

It’s that time of year again, when we load up the car with the kids and our weekly supplies to venture out in the great outdoors. One of the challenges is how to produce a good cup of coffee when there is no access to electricity. Some may think that is a challenge that cannot be met; however there are several good solutions on the market today.

Several companies have created products that do not require electricity, to make great coffee. You can choose from a stovetop; French press or the newest item on the market the Handpresso . These solutions only require hot water and coffee to deliver a great cup of Joe. During a camping trip, hot water can be made over the fire. You can use a kettle or even a cooking pot to boil the water. If you bring along a thermos, you can heat the water and take with you for backpacking or simply sitting near the water, which is one of my favorite pastimes. Here is breakdown of the different solutions:

French press

This requires only hot water and ground coffee. A French Press requires a medium to coarse grind, a finely groundcoffee will not seep through the plunging screen. The coffee produced is much more robust than drip, due to essential oils not being absorbed in a filter. Remember; don’t allow the coffee to sit in the press for a long period of time, as it may turn bitter. You can choose from several French press make and models: Bonjour offers one that is called the BonJour Unbreakable Hugo Coffee Press ; it features polycarbonate glass liners that protect against breakage, the perfect solution during an outdoor coffee experience.


Another unique solution comes from Handpresso a company that makes handheld espresso machines that does not require electricity to operate. Pump it up to pressure using simple bike-pump technology; once the machine is up to 16 bars, add ground coffee or a coffee pod to brew the perfect shot of espresso! The Handpresso Wild works with ESE pods and the Handpresso Domepod can brew ground coffee. An ESE pod is “easy serve espresso”. Each pod consists of 14 grams of coffee pressed and packed for the perfect, consistent shot each time. You can make a full cup of coffee, by simply adding hot water to the espresso shot, creating a cafe Americano.


The idea of the stove-top espresso maker came from a simple washing machine. During the 1920s Alfonso Bialettiobserved the local women of Crusinallo, country washing their clothes in a sealed boiler with a small central pipe. The pipe would draw up the soapy water from the bottom of the boiler and redistribute it over the laundry. Alfonso Bialetti hit upon the idea that he could adapt this washing machine and scale it down to make a simple coffee maker that would allow Italians to enjoy real espresso style coffee in their private homes. Water is placed in the bottom chamber of the stovetop, and ground coffee goes into the filter basket, located in the middle chamber, of the pot. Once the unit is placed over heat source, the water will be heated and pushed through the coffee grounds, and finally, into the top chamber of the pot. Within minutes, you’ll be able to enjoy. Then, you can pour into your favorite espresso cup and enjoy.

Aside from being handy in the wilderness, these solutions can also be perfect for individuals with limited counter space. The Handpresso weighs less than 2lbs and can be stored in a kitchen drawer. The French press and Stove top makers are also very space efficient.