Making The Best Coffee on Your Outdoor Adventures

A crisp morning, sitting around a campfire, cup in hand—what a peaceful way to start your day’s adventure.

At the peak of a hike, or upon return, sitting back, admiring the view  is even more satisfying with a cup of joe. Never mind the scientific studies that show caffeine can help endurance athletes reach their goals.



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Life is too short to drink instant, even in the outdoors. For us, we prefer local roasters for our grinds. With the proliferation of artisan, mom ‘n’ pop coffee roasters, it’s easy to find a local one to suit your tastes. One good option is Kicking Horse Coffee, roasted in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

And while there is a seemingly endless gamut of portable coffee makers out there targeted at outdoor life, from the no-frills to the hi-tech, from the cheap to the pricey, there really is a coffee maker for everyone. Here are just a few options.


The Moka Pot (macchinetta)
The trusty go-to Moka Pot, or macchinetta. If you have space, this workhorse will never let you down. Just fill the bttom with water, the basket with coffee grounds, and let the macchinetta do its magic. While not the lightest offering, and slightly bulky and awkward to pack, the Moka Pot is bomb proof and quite possibly delivers the best taste of any coffee maker out there.


The trusty go-to Moka Pot, or macchinetta. If you have space, this workhorse will never let you down. Photo: Zenon @caffeine_adventure
Photos: Zenon @caffeine_adventure


Snow Peak Coffee Drip
If weight and size is your deciding factor, take a look at the Snow Peak Coffee Drip. Weighing in at around 113g, it still may be too heavy for some backpackers who count every gram. It requires filters and a bit of practice to ensure the filter is placed correctly.




Photo: Zenon @caffeine_adventure


The Aeropress
The Aeropress is a very simple concept; it’s a plunger above your cup. You have a cap which requires a micro filter. Place the cap onto the end of chamber, and place over a sturdy mug. Fill the chamber with your coffee grind (drip coffee grinds work well, or use espresso). Add hot water, and stir the coffee in the chamber.  The chamber has markings on it to assist you.   Give the coffee a quick stir, and then its time to plunge.


How to make coffee while camping with the Aeropress.


GSI 1 Cup Mini Espresso
Exceptionally easy to use, this mini stovetop espresso maker utilizes a lightweight aluminum construction that won’t have you second guessing its weight. This is a very popular unit, and a little more up market. Used on a stovetop, this espresso maker gives you one double shot, in 90 seconds.       It comes in a one cup or four cup design. A benefit of a larger unit is the ability to get your second cup without having to wait for the machine to cool down, clean and refill.




Jetboil Flash Java Kit
The JetBoil has been around for years. Possibly the most efficient was to get hot water for coffee on-the-go, it remains a reliable method (albeit a little bulky).



If you own a JetBoil but not the coffee press, you can purchase the coffee attachment separately and turn your JetBoil into a coffee maker.


JetBoil also sells the entire kit, including the coffee filter, in one package.  Note, the coffee press only works with some Jetboils that are 104mm in diameter, so check before purchase.

The quality of the coffee will depend on the sort of ground coffee you use and how long you let it steep.


The Percolator
The old standard, especially when trying to wake up a whole crew of campers. The percolator is fail safe and can take a beating. Yes, it is in the bulky side, but many can be placed directly on a fire to get the juices flowing. Which is a huge bonus, especially when channeling your inner cowboy.




GSI Outdoors Java Drip
If you can boil water, then you can use the GSI Outdoors Java Drip. Once the water’s hot, lock the drip cone on top of the 30oz insulated carafe and pour that piping hot water in there. When the coffee is done brewing, an insulated lid makes for easy sipping right out of the carafe, while its compact design allows it to be easily stored within the included stuff sack for easy carrying. GSI offers many brew-as-you-go options, so check its site for more options.




Handpresso Wild Hybrid Espresso Machine
It may look a bit like a bike pump, but it makes a fine shot of espresso topped with perfect crema. Pump the unit up to the green bar, pour in boiling water and fill the domepod with ground coffee or ESE pods. Lock on the lid and press out your high-quality coffee.

  • Works off pressure, no batteries needed.
  • Compact design suits business trips or base camps.
  • Works with ground coffee or packable pods.
  • Dimensions are 22 x 10 7cm.
  • Weight: 480g





Check Kicking Horse Coffee for more on select roasts and grinds for outdoor adventurers on the go.

For more images of coffee in the wild, follow: @caffeine_adventure on Instagram



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