Getting up and enjoying the peace and tranquillity of early morning with a hot cup of coffee has become something of a camping ritual for me. It’s the only time of the day when my family are still asleep and I have some time for me.

Making coffee is a deeply personal experience and everybody has their own preferred methods and rituals. Here are a few of my favourite coffee makers which deserve a place on any coffee lover’s camping trip.


My go to coffee making method is with a French press. They are more of a nuisance to clean, but they don’t require as much time as other options. I use the REI Table Top French Coffee Press. I find a lot of French presses don’t filter out the grinds as well as the REI model. It features an extra mesh covering the spout as a backup if the plunger misses any of the grinds. This model also has extra insulation so it stays warmer for longer, and it’s made of sturdy metal so it can withstand the rigours of campsite use.


This isn’t my method of choice. I am too lazy and don’t like standing over the percolator as it boils to make sure it doesn’t boil over and checking to see if it’s done or not. However, percolators are much cheaper and for campers on a shoestring, they make a great alternative to French Presses.

Percolators also don’t require you to carry an extra pot to boil the water, like the French Press. This can be a great space saver. There are loose parts though which can get lost.

The best camping percolator I have found has been the Farberware Classic Yosemite Stovetop. It is metal so you don’t have to worry about it breaking. It also features a plastic handle so you don’t burn yourself when it gets too hot.


Drip coffeemakers are not the easiest things to transport and take camping, but there are some newer models specifically for camping. If it has to be drip and nothing else will do, the GSI Outdoors Java Drip is one model which is built for outdoor use.

Camping drip coffee makers require a whole portable system. Modern versions use a plastic tumbler with a silicone filter and some insulation to keep the coffee warmer, for longer. They are much easier to clean than the other models. They usually come with a reusable mesh, or you can use the paper filters and throw them away. The camping models are much lighter than their stationary use counterparts, but are still fairly bulky and should only be brought if you are camping with a car.

Although I don’t like to wait for my coffee, I was impressed at how quickly the camping models drained and still retained a strong flavour. However, it is difficult to see when the coffee is full as the plastic is often opaque. Also in an attempt to save on weight, the lightweight plastic design isn’t as durable as the metal French presses and percolators.

Kimberly Powell

Kimberly loves camping, cooking, travelling and animals. She's turned her hand to writing to share her experience.