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Which Coffee Pots & Makers are Worthy of Your Camping Adventure Checklist?
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Which Coffee Pots & Makers are Worthy of Your Camping Adventure Checklist?

First aid kit, check! 

Tent, sleeping bags, and extra blankets for cool nights, check! 

Flashlights, check! Uh-oh, no batteries. 

Remember, Rich is bringing extra batteries for the group. He’s so good like that, always coming in clutch with the extras. 

Snacks, and more snacks, check! 

Rain gear and an extra jacket, just in case, check!

Camping stove and fuel, check!

I think we’re all set.

I hope so. I don’t think we can fit anything else in the truck.

The smell of the exhaust wafts in the air, the wheels of the truck slowly propel this eager family back to the end of their suburban driveway…

WAIT! Coffee!

I’ve got the coffee right here, dear.

No, the coffee pot!

Whew, that was close, the trip was nearly ruined before it started!

Camping trips are all fun and games until someone forgets the coffee pot, right? 

But, like most camping gear, from tents to flashlights, even camping-friendly snacks, just any coffee pot won’t do.

Camping often requires a unique set of equipment allowing us to enjoy a few of the comforts of home, like coffee, while away. 

So then, when it comes to coffee, which pot is best? 

Here, we’d like to take a look at several options, so you can be fully prepared on your next trek into the quiet of the woods, equipped to make the perfect pot of coffee to enjoy alone or share, sipping slowly amongst friends and family around the blaze of a fire against the backdrop of the starlit night sky.

Making Coffee While Camping: What to Consider

Before we get into some top coffee pot picks for your next camping adventure, let’s go over some basics. In other words, what are some general characteristics to consider when choosing the perfect pot for your coffee needs while camping?

Construction & Durability

What your camping coffee maker is made of makes all the difference. 

Some camping coffee makers are made of aluminum or plastic, and these can affect the flavor of your brew. 

Other materials used in the construction of a camping-specific coffee maker include stainless steel and glass. 

Both of these materials are great regarding the flavor that results in your brewed pot to share amongst friends while chatting around a campfire; however, some may find coffee makers made out of glass to be a hazard while camping. 

Stainless steel, on the other hand, makes great sense for durability, as it’s sturdy and weather resistant. Just remember, if you’re traveling on foot while camping, carrying gear with you, this material is a heavier option. 

There are coffee makers made of BPA free plastic that are lighter choices for when you’re journeying far on foot, and these have proven to be durable as well. 

If you choose a metal coffee maker, beware of painted varieties as some of these are made of non-stick coatings that can leach into, or actually flake off into, your cup of joe.  If you choose a painted metal coffee pot for use over a fire, just be sure the paint is food grade. 

Weight/Size

As we briefly mentioned above, the weight of your coffee maker can be a factor when choosing the best option to bring on your camping adventure.

So, when choosing a coffee pot, think first of your specific needs:

  • If you’re heading out alone, don’t overdo it with a heavy, large coffee maker. On such trips you can obviously opt for smaller, lighter options when it comes to your coffee pot.
  • If you’re looking to enjoy a getaway spent around the glow of a campfire filled with laughter from friends and family, you’ll need a pot that brews for a crowd, and obviously these are a bit heavier. 

Thankfully, large camping coffee pots are often more durable as well. And, when camping with a crowd, foot journeys are often less frequent, meaning the heavier coffee pot may only be hanging around the campfire, so weight/size is less of an issue. 

Heat

You can choose the greatest coffee maker for camping, but if your heat source doesn’t match the pot’s function/purpose, you could be going coffee-less throughout your camping trip. 

If you’re camping with an RV or a pop-up, you’ll likely have a stovetop burner to use, so a stovetop brewer with a 12 volt outlet suitable cord could meet your needs. 

And, if you’ve got such an outlet, a countertop brewer would be suitable as well. 

The campfire itself often isn’t recommended for brewing coffee, as you can’t control the level of heat put out by the fire, meaning the temperature varies too much for brewing a truly great cup of coffee. 

This is why most people prefer to use a camping stove. If you’re using a stove powered by propane, gas, or your car’s battery, there are generally multiple coffee pot options to choose from, suitable for use on a stove. 

You can also use such a stove to appropriately heat water to use in a coffee maker for best brewing. 

Practicality

Before choosing a coffee maker for your camping trip, it’s just as important to consider these practical issues as well: 

  • Low on space? You may want to prioritize packability and durability over aspects such as flavor and ease of brewing. 
  • Not spending much time on foot, trekking with your coffee maker on your back, go for the gold and find a durable coffee maker that puts flavor as a top priority.
  • Brew time is something to consider when choosing a coffee pot for camping as well. If you’re brewing for a group, you may want something that brews quickly, with ease. But, if you’ve got plenty of time to quietly enjoy the sights and sounds around you as you brew, choices with longer brew times are perfectly acceptable. 
  • Another thing to consider while camping: is your coffee pot complicated? Lots of accessories and parts can be a hassle while camping. So, choosing an option that’s easy to use can be important. 
  • Lastly, you should also consider how you’ll clean your camping coffee pot. Chances are you’ll be leaving your dishwasher at home, and I’m guessing you packed everything but the kitchen sink. So, naturally you’ll want to choose a coffee maker that is easy to clean by hand. 

Seek to avoid coffee makers that contain multiple pieces or small parts, as you’ll want something that can be disassembled with ease for cleaning.

Camping Coffee Pots Prioritized 

Using the list of characteristics we broke down above, (construction/durability, weight/size, heat source, practicality) let’s now take a look at some of the top coffee makers, according to expert reviews, to see which you may find most suitable to your camping needs. 

And, since there are multiple selections for all your camp coffee brewing needs, below each selection, be sure to look out for a list of similar items that are comparable to the primary listing. 

**As needs and desires can vastly vary when it comes to camping, please note these selections are not listed in a best to worst order. We’re simply noting the top options available to you and detailing how these selections fit the criteria we looked at above. 

AeroPress Go Travel

This coffee maker topped several lists for campers, so let’s see how it measures up:

  • This travel coffee maker is made from food safe polypropylene and is free of both BPA and phthalates. 
  • It is considered durable, lightweight, and can easily be packed away without taking up a lot of space.
  • You don’t need an electrical outlet for this coffee maker, but you will need to heat water to use in it. 
  • Most users recommend doing a practice run at home with this brewer, so you can get used to the process. However, once you’ve got the steps down, it’s considered easy to use. 
  • The AeroPress Go Travel also boasts a quick brewing time, great tasting coffee, and easy clean up. 
  • Some users didn’t like the amount of time required to set up this coffee maker. And, if you’re looking to brew for a crowd, it’s important to note this option only brews up to 3 cups at a time. 
  • This option also contains a built-in mug that works as a travel case. 

Similar options include: Wacaco MiniPress GR Portable Espresso Machine or Wacaco NanoPress, AeroPress Original Coffee & Espresso Maker 

Primula Brew Buddy Pour Over

Have mug, will travel. This option is super simple for pour over lovers, so let’s break down its overall features when it comes to camping: 

  • This camping coffee maker requires the need for your own mug as a resting place (when brewing) and is constructed out of plastic and mesh. 
  • This option is affordable, incredibly lightweight, and takes up very little space. 
  • Once you have your method for heating your water down to a science, this device requires little more than a basic knowledge of how to make a pour over, as you simply rest it on top of your mug, add ground coffee to the mesh, and pour water over the grounds. (Pour over lovers do realize this can be an art, knowing how much and how often to pour the hot water to make a truly great cup of coffee.)
  • The Primula Brew Buddy Pour Over is also easy to clean and produces a great tasting cup of joe, though you’ll only be able to brew one cup at a time. 

Similar options include: GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip, Sea to Summit X-Brew Coffee Dripper, Miir Pourigami, Hario V60 Metal Coffee Dripper, LHS Slow Drip

Black & Decker Single Serve Coffee Maker

This one, and the similar options listed below it, are for those who camp from an RV, complete with an electrical outlet happily awaiting your approach to plug in a coffee maker and brew a cup, or two, or more for you and your friends and family as you enjoy time spent camping. 

  • This coffee maker is a single-use brewer, but with the convenience of an electrical outlet, you can certainly brew multiple times with greater ease. 
  • Here, you can cut down on items to pack for your camping adventure as this coffee maker includes a reusable mesh filter made from stainless steel and BPA free plastic. 
  • The filter can also easily be rinsed between brewed cups.
  • This coffee maker is considered easy to use, includes an automatic shut off feature, and is suitable for multiple mug sizes. 
  • While packing space may not be an issue when camping in an RV, countertop space is crucial, and this option has a very small countertop footprint. 

Similar RV friendly options include: Hamilton Beach Single Serve Coffee Maker, Cuisinart Programmable Coffee Maker, Coleman Camping Coffee Maker (able to brew larger amounts as opposed to single serve options), Cuisinart DCC-450BK (also able to brew for a crowd)

GSI Outdoors Java Press

This option, and those listed as similar below it, could be categorized as more of a french press style brewer. Sounds simple enough, but let’s see if this method is best for camping…

  • This coffee maker is considered highly durable. 
  • It works as a french press, has an insulated top, and is BPA free.
  • It is wrapped in a nylon sleeve to prevent heat loss while brewing, and has a patented plunger system. 
  • Like most french presses, you’ll want to use a coarsely ground coffee when brewing, otherwise your cup of coffee can be muddied with grounds.
  • This selection is lightweight while still possessing the ability to brew up to 4 cups of coffee at a time, and easily mimics an at-home french press experience. 
  • Of course, you’ll have to heat water separately to use here, and like any french press, you can vary the strength of your brew depending on how long you leave the grounds in the hot water. 
  • As far as clean up, this option doesn’t have a lot of parts to keep up with, so cleaning isn’t incredibly difficult. 

Similar items include: Stanley Adventure All-in-One Boil And Brew French Press, OXO Venture Travel French Press, Widesea Camping Coffee Pot, Espro Ultralight Travel Press Bottle (single serve), Stanley French Press

GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Steel Percolator

While most of the options we’ve looked at have required you to heat water for use, likely requiring a camping stove, this option requires direct use of a camping stove to make your brew. 

  • This percolator is made of stainless steel and is highly durable. 
  • It is a bit heavier than some of the previous options we’ve looked at, so carrying while trekking on foot for long distances may not be advisable, though many find it to be a perfect match for camping when you don’t venture far from your car. 
  • Whether you’re camping alone or with a large group, this item comes in varying sizes to fit your needs (3, 6, 9, and 12 cup options). 
  • The brew time tends to be a bit longer when using this method, but boasts a strong cup of joe. 
  • Some find the flavor results from using this method to be lacking, but happily exchange quantity for quality since you’re able to brew multiple cups at once. 
  • The stainless steel bottom allows for even heating, and the handle is made from silicone for a protected grip when removing from the heat to serve.
  • Since there are multiple parts in a percolator, this item and those similar aren’t quite as quick and easy when it comes to cleaning up.

Similar items include: Tops Rapid Brew Stainless Steel Percolator, Coletti Bozeman Percolator Coffee Pot, Farberware Stainless Steel Yosemite Coffee Percolator, GSI Outdoors 12 Cup Enamelware Percolator Coffee Pot.

    References:
    https://www.elevatedcoffeebrew.com/best-camping-coffee-maker-for-the-outdoors/
    https://aeropress.com/pages/faq#
    https://www.thespruceeats.com/best-camping-coffee-pots-5183861
    https://www.travelandleisure.com/style/shopping/best-camping-coffee-makers
    https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/best-camp-coffee-makers.html
    https://www.cleverhiker.com/best-coffee-makers
    https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/camping-and-hiking/best-camping-coffee
    https://rvlifestyle.com/best-coffee-makers-for-rv/
    https://www.rvingknowhow.com/best-coffee-maker-for-rv/
    https://www.roastycoffee.com/rv-coffee-makers/#

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