How to Make Excellent Camp Coffee

Published On February 3, 2023

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For those of us that appreciate a really good cup of joe in the morning, this one’s for you. When camping, especially on chilly mornings, there’s nothing like a steaming mug to lift the spirits and get you ready for the adventures ahead.

But when you are camping in a tent or RV, that fancy coffee machine you have at home just is not practical to bring with you on the road. Luckily, there are ways to make excellent coffee when you are “roughing it.”

As a quick review, here are the five major types of coffee makers.

  • Electric – While some RV’s come equipped with drip coffee makers, they are woefully inadequate. Instead, opt for a good countertop model with a stainless steel carafe. It is great for keeping coffee warm and they’re tough to break. Or, if you are a coffee pod fan, you can’t go wrong with an affordable Keurig. They do make smaller sizes that would fit nicely in an RV.
  • Propane – If you don’t have an electrical hookup and don’t want to fire up the generator, a propane coffee maker is ideal. Just add your coffee and water, hit the ignition button and you’ve got coffee brewing for the whole gang.
  • Presses – coffee presses are all the range and deliver an excellent cup of coffee. Just boil some water and pour it into a sturdy French press, wait a few minutes for it to steep, press down the top and you’ve got rich European-style coffee. Take it up a notch with the Aeropress; a lightweight coffee press designed to take all the bitterness out of the coffee. It may look like a science experiment, but this simple plastic tube makes a killer cup of espresso, as well.
  • Espresso Aficionado – if you must have a genuine espresso, you can easily pull delicious shots for your lattes or mochas with a portable espresso maker.
  • Old School – if you don’t want to go fancy and don’t want a strong cup of coffee, a lightweight drip filter coffee maker or percolator will do just fine.

Barring all coffee makers, cowboy coffee is always an option. Simply fill an empty coffee can with water and ground coffee, about 1 cup water to 1 tablespoon of coffee grounds. Let it come to a boil, take it off the heat, and add a bit of cold water to help the grounds settle to the bottom. Then pour out a wicked up of pure prairie java. It will put some hair on your chest, if you don’t have some already!

Coffee Making Tips

  • Grind your beans before you leave for your trip, then store in an airtight container.
  • Bring milk, half & half, liquid creamer or coffee syrups in easy-to-store plastic bottles.
  • Bring a thermos along to keep extra coffee warm.

Coffee Recipes

These delicious, coffeehouse-style drinks will satisfy your taste buds and leave your wallet happy, too!


  • ½ cup strong coffee or 2 shots espresso
  • ½ cup heated milk
  • 2-3 Tbsp. chocolate syrup
  • whipped cream

Combine, coffee, milk and syrup in a warm mug. Top with whipped cream.

Caramel Macchiato

  • ½ cup strong coffee or 2 shots espresso
  • ½ cup heated, foamed milk*
  • 2-3 Tbsp. caramel dessert topping

Combine coffee, milk and caramel in a warm mug. Top with additional caramel, if desired.
A battery-powered frother is an easy way to foam warm milk.

Iced Vanilla Latte

  • 1/2 cup strong, cold coffee or 2 shots espresso, cooled
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2-3 Tbsp. vanilla syrup (available in the coffee aisle)

Combine coffee, milk and vanilla syrup in a tall glass. Add ice and a bendy straw.