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The Gear You Need to Make Barista-Level Coffee While Camping

By Svati Kirsten Narula

May 26, 2021

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Making coffee while camping is as simple as having the right gear.

Courtesy of VSSL

Making coffee while camping is as simple as having the right gear.

How to make the best camp coffee? So glad you asked.

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Camping is a great way to escape the doldrums of daily life, but if you’re a coffee drinker, there’s no escaping your caffeine addiction. And while instant coffees have gotten better and better over the years—we’re partial to Alpine Start and Kuju Coffee—they hardly provide the same satisfaction as brewing a fresh cup (or three) of camp coffee from your own beans. The following gear, from coffee makers to mugs, will help you make a cup of joe in the wild that tastes even better than what you get out of your coffee maker at home.

VSSL Java Coffee Grinder

Buy now: $150, vssl.com

A superb cup of camp coffee starts with freshly ground beans. This grinder is durable and well worth the space it will take up among your camping gear—at six inches tall and weighing just 14 ounces, it’s not much. With stainless steel burrs and 50 unique grind settings, it allows you to create the perfect-sized grounds for your preferred brewing method. It’s made out of aircraft-grade aluminum to stand up to abuse and grinds 20 grams of beans at a time, enough for one strong cup of coffee.

MiiR Coffee Canister

Buy now: $30, rei.com

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Coffee beans begin losing their freshness the minute they’re roasted, but storing them in an airtight container helps slow down that process and contributes to a more flavorful drink. This BPA-free canister is made from medical-grade stainless steel with a grippy powder coat for easy handling. After carrying it around in a car or backpack, you’ll find that this sleek-looking item—available in in black or white—is equally at home on your kitchen counter.

GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip Coffee Maker

Buy now: $11, rei.com

This 0.4-ounce contraption may look like it should only belong to ultralight backpackers, but it produces such delicious coffee that it could seriously replace whatever ceramic or glass cone you use for pour-overs at home. (More than a few online reviewers of the product say they’ve made such a switch.) The GSI Ultralight Java Drip fits on any cup or mug with its surprisingly durable plastic legs, and no paper filters are needed: just scoop medium-fine coffee grounds right in, slowly pour hot water over, and you’ll be sipping in no time. The process is quick, and leftover grounds are easily rinsed off the polyester filter.

AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press

Buy now: $32, rei.com

Espresso lovers, this one’s for you. The remarkably compact AeroPress Go fits into a container that doubles as a drinking mug. It takes one minute to make a single serving of espresso from finely ground coffee in this thing, and you can add hot water to the espresso pour to create an Americano. We love that you can also make a quick cold brew coffee with the AeroPress, although you need to remember to stir the grounds and cold water together for a full minute before pressing.

Stanley Classic Stay Hot French Press

Buy now: $65, backcountry.com

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A French press is a simple and efficient way to make coffee for more than one person at a time. We’re partial to this insulated version from Stanley because it holds six cups of coffee and keeps the liquid hot for four hours. With durable construction and a large handle, this camping coffeepot will be everyone’s favorite sight at breakfast—as long as you make sure to grind your coffee coarsely.

Snow Peak Field Coffee Master

Buy now: $160, snowpeak.com

This elegant camping coffee maker system can either work as a percolator or a kettle plus a pour-over cone. We like the percolator method: setting the whole thing up atop a stove and letting it brew while we prep breakfast. You’ll have to grind your coffee to medium coarseness and supply your own paper filter, and it takes about 20 minutes to make a whole kettle, but your patience will be rewarded—and the shiny stainless steel kettle, with a removable handle, just might be the most stylish part of your whole camp setup.

Camelbak Camp Mug

Buy now: $19 (was $25), rei.com

Most mugs will slip the moment you try to set them down on a log at camp, but not this one, thanks to a silicone pad on the bottom that keeps your coffee stable on any surface. (Bonus: To avoid a tinny taste and hot lips, Camelbak coated the rim of this mug with a powder finish, so you can sip safely.) Vacuum insulation keeps your liquid hot, the tumbler lid slides open to different positions for varying sip sizes, and it holds 12 ounces.

>> Next: The Best Camping Gear for Casual Campers

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