Creative Ways to Make Coffee When Camping or on the Go!

How important is coffee for you? Whilst some people are simply happy with an instant coffee, there are many who can’t get through their day until they have tasted a real coffee. I must admit, …

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Club 4X4 Insurance
Feb 09 2023
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How important is coffee for you?

Whilst some people are simply happy with an instant coffee, there are many who can’t get through their day until they have tasted a real coffee.

I must admit, I am one of them.

If you are going to drink instant coffee, check out the Dog and Gun varieties of instant coffee solutions.

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If you are chasing a better solution than instant coffee while camping or remote… read on.

Are you troubled when you can’t find a good coffee? Do you find it difficult to get started until you have had that coffee fix? If you are away camping, what do you do, to get your coffee fix? In most cases, it’s not like you can simply head into town.

In this article, we are going to talk about a number of different ways to create great coffee results, using simple tools and of course “hot water”.

This is all about keeping things extremely simple.

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In upcoming articles, we will tackle the more detailed approaches for people who want to take things to the next level.

Being passionate about coffee, I just love being involved in creating a great coffee for friends. It is one of my favourite moments in the day.

In your hometown, enjoying coffee in a coffee shop is a common social interaction and it’s clear that coffee brings people together.

When you make great coffee in the middle of nowhere, its kind of like a highlight to a trip, a mini celebration.

Having coffee while camping is not a difficult thing to do, but for many people, it’s simply too complicated.

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Let’s take the complication out of it and look at some of the various ways you can create coffee while camping, or anywhere for that matter, simply by adding hot water. Boiled water created in a billy over a campfire, a basic hiking gas burner or maybe your camping gas cook top. You just need a way of getting access to hot water to create your very own remote coffee fix.

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Cowboy Coffee

This is getting right back to the basics, and I personally don’t recommend it as a daily coffee solution, but I feel this method needs to be mentioned. There are a few different methods to this which if you get it wrong, you might create a really bad experience for yourself. This is simply throwing ground coffee into a pan, boiling it up and creating a coffee fix. Different methods used include adding eggshells or salt, but I can assure you there are better methods following. The biggest problem here is you might burn the coffee and create a batch of mud, but at least we have mentioned it right.

Pour Through Bags or Drip Filter Coffee

Pour through bags are readily available and are the next level up from instant coffee. You either like this style of coffee or you don’t, but it’s simple and easy. It certainly isn’t going to replace the coffee from your favourite barrister but while you are away, simply taking the bag out of its packet and following the instructions to pour the hot water through the coffee creates your brew. There is a system in the pour over, so it’s worth doing some research.

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Dog and Gun Coffee make a great variety of these to suit your style.

Plunger Coffee (French Press)

This is a really simple way of creating coffee. It’s not my favourite, but it’s proven to work well for many.

You will need pre-ground coffee or a course grind from your favourite coffee supplier.

Pre-heat the device, add ground coffee and then hot water just off the boil to half full. Let this sit for 30 seconds and stir. Then, fill the unit and let sit for around 4 minutes. Push down the plunger and pour.

Most systems are glass allowing you to see what’s going on inside, but there are more durable solutions available for the off-road enthusiast.

I don’t have one of these systems, but if I was going to look at one, the Espro Press P6 looks great. It’s made from double-walled stainless steel and has two micro-filters to give you smooth, clean coffee.

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Press Coffee (Push Through Style)

There are many different systems that are compact and easy to use that all simulate an espresso coffee extraction. We have used these systems whilst overseas and with a little tuning of the coffee grind and pressure, the coffee which is produced can be quite good.

My favourite is the Wacaco Nanopresso. It is extremely effective at producing a great coffee extraction.

You simply add coffee grind and hot water, then slowly pump the unit to create a rich crema like a real espresso machine.

This is available in a variety of colours to suit your style.

Follow this link and click on the video to find out more

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Combined with the NS Adapter, you can have the convenience of using compatible pod coffee with the device.


The Aeropress is light weight and whilst it’s not exactly the smallest solution, it is simple to use.

Using finely ground coffee equivalent to a drip filter style. Add the ground coffee and water then press through the filter directly into your cup.

A tip… to standardise the results, keep the measures of water and grind to a standard and you should try to time the “extraction”.

The results are interesting and whilst some say it’s not a true espresso, it will certainly do the job and provide you with your coffee fix.

The Aeropress is a little larger than some but it’s extremely portable and durable for packing in your 4WD. The unit has several parts and requires filter paper when being used.

Its only negative is during the extraction, if you are not careful, you could make a huge mess as there is a lot of pressure being applied.

Follow this link and click on the video to find out more

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Greek or Turkish Coffee

I have personally tried and enjoyed both Greek style and Turkish coffee. I love the passion that goes into these different styles of coffee. If you know someone who is into the traditional ways of making Turkish or Greek coffee, try to create the opportunity to experience this as it is a special experience. It might not be something you want every day, but it’s certainly a coffee style you need to try for yourself. It can be a slightly gritty sensation and is usually quite strong, but you should give it a go.

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The basic difference between Greek and Turkish coffee methods is sugar is added during the brew in Turkish preparation and afterwards for Greek coffee.

See how it’s done with Josh from Alternative Brewing how to “Turkish Coffee”

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The Classic Stovetop Espresso Maker

Now this is my absolute favourite. It comes in many brands, sizes, and styles. It’s also created from aluminium or stainless.

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My favourite is the Bialetti Kitty 6 cup which I have had for many years now.

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The coffee created is quite different to an espresso. They say the results are equal to an espresso from many years ago. Whilst it creates a very different flavour, it is extremely rewarding for the effort made.

You fill the base with water and the basket with coffee grind, slowly heat the unit up on the coals or other heat source and in time the coffee will steam through creating a rich flavoured coffee.

You can drink it as a comes or add a dash of milk.

This is my go-to when travelling in other 4WDs remotely as it always creates great coffee. We have a set-up built into a Pelican case to keep everything together.

A tip: if you are looking at owning one of these systems, whilst being a little more expensive up front, a stainless system is much easier to care for and keep clean. If you wish to utilise one of the many aluminium models available, always keep it clean and dry. Perhaps look at storing some paper towel inside it to help absorb any water which will prevent corrosion.

Another version of the stovetop is the Bialetti Mini Express Stovetop coffee maker.

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If you are after great coffee in the middle of nowhere and you don’t mind experimenting a little, I hope that you can find one or more solutions from these listed.

If you would like to get further into your coffee, we will be bringing you more advanced ways which, whilst they will be needing a bigger investment of gear, like coffee grinders etc, you will be able to explore new opportunities in creating great coffee for you and your friends whilst remote camping.

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Create coffee anywhere and celebrate every moment.


-Michael Ellem

Offroad Images

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