September 13, 2021

How to Make Coffee While Backpacking

by Bernice

There is nothing to be compared to the refreshing feeling of taking a stop to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee on an eerie backpacking trip. And learning how to make coffee while backpacking for the first time could be challenging.

At some point, unless you have a walk-through to a coffee shop, you will have to brew your own. It’s always easy for car campers. They are presented with dozens of options for coffee-making equipment. 

The French presses, percolators, and propane-powered java engineered coffee makers are there to contemplate. But for a backpacker with no car, it’s a little bit tricky. 

All that’s there to think is the weight. It’s not the end game, however. If you are a devoted coffee addict backpacker, here are the ways you could use to brew yourself the ecstasy you crave for. Hang on. 

Table of Contents
Making Coffee While Backpacking

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Option 1: Coffee Bags 

The one advantage of coffee bags is that they are a shortcut to getting fine-ground coffee beans in a stress-free way. You have nothing to worry about as long you adhere to the instructions as with the flavor. 

I bet you know how a coffee bag functions. But, the main issue is always failing to take a peek at the instructions. And you have no one to put up to blame but yourself for the bitter or underpowered coffee. 


Here is how to make coffee while backpacking with coffee bags. Boil clean water on a stove. Then undress the coffee bag from the package and put it in a mug. Now, pour the hot water into the bag in the mug. Note that the bag should remain still for a minute. 

Immerse and remove the bag from the water for about 15 seconds repeatedly, throw it away, and you are good to go. 

Remember, the longer you keep immersing the bag in and out of the water, the stronger your coffee gets. Still, you have to ensure that the grounded beans stay inside the bag. 

Coffe and Backpacking How

Option 2: Use a Lightweight Coffee Drip

Although custom-made coffee drippers have been around for decades, they are now made with many backpack convenient features. 

Lightweight coffee drips are user-friendly, require less upkeep, and the ultimate result is delicious coffee. All credit to the silicone make. 


Commence by boiling a few cups of clean water (how much water to carry while backpacking?). Unwrap the dripper and position it on the mouth of the cup. Immerse the cone filter in the drip. To the filter, place the grounded coffee. Pour the hot water on the coffee grounds. 

Further, there are single-serve throwaway pour-over coffee packets. They glue inside your mug, so you won’t have to use a special filter. 

Also, there is a drawback of being left with a wet filter and coffee grounds. You can, however, counter this by carrying a snack bag to keep moist trash. 

Make Coffee While Backpacking

Option 3: Cowboy Coffee

You don’t have to dress barbed wire fences or hop on horses with a pretty stylistic curved hat to make cowboy coffee. Cowboy coffee is the oldest form of making coffee. It’s best for tough guys, and if you forgot your coffee maker, you only need a kettle. 

Despite that, cleaning can be quite stressful as the coffee grounds do not dissolve. It doesn’t get much complicated than that. And It’s the simplest way of making coffee. If you plan to employ this, I will advise you to walk with a spoon for scooping the leftover grounds while cleaning. 

In opt of cowboy coffee, you can go for instant coffee. The upside is that the grounds used dissolve instantly. It’s therefore up to you to choose the best quality coffee grounds.


Here is how to make coffee while backpacking “the cowboy way.” To make cowboy coffee, add the coffee grounds to boiled water. And give it a few seconds so that the watercolor changes. 

How to Make Coffee when Backpacking

Option 4: Try out the French Press Camp Coffee

This, without a doubt, is the heaviest equipment for any backpacker. But for coffee lovers, the taste is always worth it. 

It’s like a cowboy coffee with dissolving grounds. And still, it has a mesh filter that traps undissolved grounds. It’s convenient for car campers but could also work if you are camping as a group.

While some companies, like MSR, make plungers that fit within the reactor cookware, most people will choose a stand-alone press. 

Although your carafe is most likely glassware, camping presses are often constructed of greater quality plastic. The most pronounced is the GSI coffee press, which is light and produces two cups.


Here is how to make coffee while backpacking with the french press. Heat clean water and add it to the coffee press once boiled. Per every cup of water, add two teaspoons of coffee and stir.

Cover the press with a lid and leave it for five minutes. Also, ensure the plunger is up. Then push it down and remove the lid, leaving the plunger in a downward position. 

Use French Press to Make Coffee While Backpacking

Furthermore, when it comes to grinding or buying finely ground, coffee works best in a press. If you encounter resistance when pressing the plunger downwards, move it back up and try over. 

You’ll get either burnt, have a broken press if you push hard. Being burnt and unable to brew coffee is the last thing you want to happen in the bush.


Okay, ladies and gentlemen, I’m not saying these are the only options for coffee-making while backpacking. 

There are dozens of other options, but these four are among the best. It’s therefore up to you to determine the most convenient one in line with your backpacking plans.

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About the author 


Bernice often jokes that she is better at climbing than walking. With avid parents of climbing, her first encounter with the high vertical rock walls was at the age of one. Her favorite style of climbing is bouldering.

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