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6 Tips for Making Coffee Outdoors

There’s something magical about brewing coffee in the great outdoors. Whether you’re camping, hiking, or simply enjoying a peaceful morning in nature, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee can elevate the experience. But making coffee outdoors comes with its own set of challenges and requires a bit of forward planning. Fear not! In this article, we’ll share valuable tips and considerations to help you brew a delicious cup of joe while embracing the beauty of the outdoors.

1. Make a Pack List

Before you venture outdoors, it’s a good idea to make a pack list for your trip. Even if you’ve done the same activity many times before, the simple process of making a list can help to keep items down to a few essentials while ensuring that nothing important is left at home. This will help keep the weight of your pack down and save you valuable time on the morning of your trip.

For a basic coffee brewing setup, you'll want to pack the following essentials:

  • a source of fuel

  • a stove

  • a kettle or small pot

  • coffee brewing equipment (e.g. dripper, moka pot)

  • pre-ground or whole coffee beans

  • a drinking receptacle

Depending on your preferences and setup, you can also consider the following items:

  • coffee filters

  • a portable coffee grinder

  • milk, sugar, and water

  • a water filter

  • a thermos or insulated flask

  • extra cups and mugs

  • spoons

2. Choose a Fuel Source and Stove

A good source of fuel is essential to making a hot cup of coffee outdoors. Consider which fuel type will fit your stove, and don’t rely on buying fuel once you’re already on the road. If you’re purchasing an outdoor stove for the first time, consider the pros and cons of different stoves and fuel types. For example, a gas burning stove can be very lightweight but burns through gas quickly. In contrast, an alcohol stove is cheap and reliable, but takes longer to boil a pot of water than other methods. If you want to build a campfire rather than using a stove, make sure that you have the landowner’s permission beforehand. Many sites don't allow ground fires so it's worth checking.

3. Choose the Right Equipment

Everyone has their own favourite brewing method at home, whether its pour-over dripper coffee, cafetiere/French press, aeropress, or moka pot (to name a few). Whatever your preferred method, it’s worth noting that some techniques are better suited for the outdoors than others. Cafetieres and coffee drippers are particularly effective for outdoor brewing because they tend to be portable, lightweight, and easy to clean up. There are plenty of outdoor shops that specialize in durable and more lightweight/compactible versions of your favourite coffee brewing equipment, so take a look.

4. Freshly grind your coffee beans

For the best flavour, grind your beans just before brewing. Pack a manual grinder or a portable electric grinder to enjoy the aroma and taste of freshly ground beans. If space and weight are an issue, you can grind your coffee beans at home or buy pre-ground coffee, and pack them in plastic Tupperware or freezer bags.

5. Prioritize water quality

Water is a crucial element in brewing coffee, so ensure you have access to clean and quality water. If you’re camping or hiking near a water source, use a reliable water filter or purification system to remove impurities. We personally like the Sawyer Mini Filter. Alternatively, consider bringing pre-packaged, filtered water to guarantee the best-tasting brew.

6. Take everything home with you

When enjoying a cup of coffee in the great outdoors, it’s essential to practice Leave No Trace principles. Remember to clean up after yourself and pack out any rubbish, including used coffee grounds, filters, packaging, and cups. Leave the natural environment as you found it, or even better.


Brewing coffee outdoors is a delightful experience that connects you with nature while enjoying your favorite beverage. By selecting the right equipment, prioritizing water quality, mastering the campfire technique, exploring alternative brewing methods, and packing the essentials, you'll be well-prepared to make a satisfying cup of coffee wherever your outdoor adventures take you. So, grab your gear, breathe in the fresh air, and savor the joys of brewing coffee in the great outdoors.

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