Even if you are “roughing it” you can still have a great cup of coffee. There are several ways to make coffee while camping and here are just a few.
Old “Cowboy” Method
- Take a regular tin pot and add your water
- Set it on the fire to warm the water
- Once the water is warm, add your coffee
- Put pot back on the fire and bring it to a rolling boil
- Remove from fire and let sit for 1-2 minutes
- Add in a bit of cold water to allow the grounds to settle in the bottom of the pot
- Let sit about 1 minute and enjoy!
Using A Percolator
Another method is the old style manual percolator whether it’s metal or glass.
- Add water to the coffee pot to fill it just below the basket
- Place the basket and stem in the pot
- Add your coffee to the basket
- Place the percolator on the fire
- Wait until the water boils and then move the pot to the edge of the fire. When the water starts to boil, it rises up the tube and drips over the grounds in a basket. This keeps the grounds separated and is easier to clean.
- Allow the coffee to percolate for 5 to 10 minutes
- Remove the pot from the fire and discard the coffee grounds
- Enjoy your coffee!
The French Press is a similar method to the Cowboy although the screened “press” separates the coffee from the water. Only leave the press on the fire for about 2-3 minutes.
There are several types of pour-over methods which all start with boiling the water in a separate vessel and pouring the hot water over grounds that are in a filter either single cup or larger.
Don’t laugh, one of the most unique cups of coffee I have had was during an outing at a maple syrup farm. Sap from the trees was brought to the Sugar Shack in buckets and boiled in a huge metal trough to reduce the water. As the steam rolled off the bubbling liquid, our host poured a small amount of instant coffee in a Styrofoam cup then ladled some of the liquid into it. I typically drink my coffee straight black, but this sugar water combination was amazing! May have just been the surroundings?
About the author:
Dave Solberg: Managing Editor, RV Repair Club
For the last 25 years, Dave has conducted RV maintenance and safety seminars, developed dealer and owner training programs, written RV safety and handyman articles, authored an RV handbook reference guide and logged over 100,000 miles on the road in an RV.
RV Repair Club is your go-to online resource for enthusiasts who want quality RV maintenance, repair, and upgrade information – a community where passionate RVers can come together to gather knowledge and share their experiences.
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Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA said:
My dad used to toss the shell of an egg into the cowboy coffee pot to settle the grounds. All well and good, but unless you’re using the bottom of the pot to douse your campfire before you saddle up and ride off, the cleanup from this method is a nightmare.
As a full-time wilderness boondocker, I look for cooking methods that make the least mess, because getting rid of trash is not so easy! Organic garbage stinks very quickly, and of course you don’t want to just chuck out coffee grounds where wildlife will come and poison themselves on it. And you certainly don’t want to attract scavengers like skunks, raccoons, possums and BEARS. So I drink tea most of the time. There’s tradeoffs to everything, I suppose…
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Frank McCollum said:
I wake up before my wife. I need my coffee and want to make it with a minimum of noise. A French Press works well. put coffee in the bottom of the pot, wait a minute or two, use the press to push the grounds to the bottom of the pot and pour. Good coffee,no noise,happy wife.
Frank McCollum said:
no noise coffee comment 2. The water you pour into the pot has to be boiling. check Amazon for french press pots.