A close friend of mine, lets call her “J”, asked me last week about coffee makers for campers. I had been telling her a bit about my new website here and of course she asked a question that hadn’t been directly covered here… at least until now.
I know that campers tend to come in a few different varieties. There are the campers who take a big well stocked RV to a campground with full facilities. These people are often similar to those campers who like to head out to a distant campground and stay in a cabin that is furnished to some degree.
The there are people on the other end of the spectrum who like to camp in the most basic way possible. They head out into the wilderness with as little on them as possible in the direction of noting but nature.
Obviously every camper will have their own idea of what camping is and the equipment one camper brings with them is different than that of another camper. When all is taken into account however there are a few basic things that tie most campers together as one demographic group – whatever is brought along on a camping trip is rarely electric and is usually a simple product with few (if any) moving parts.
When it comes to coffee makers automatic drip coffee makers which saturate kitchen counters nation wide are not an option. In some cases many cabins that people camp at have no electricity and certainly not outdoor camp sites.
For campers of all types the best bet is to bring a non-electric coffee maker that can be operated by hand over a fire.
Percolators (as pictured above) tend to be perennial favorites among campers as they are metal pots that sit on a heat source like a fire and they just percolate away until you remove them from the heat but an better way of making coffee is to stay away from percolators and use something that doesn’t roast your coffee grind while it brews.
For this I recommend either a good sturdy moka pot or a stainless steel french press. In both cases these units can be purchased inexpensively and in small enough sizes for campers who have a limited ability to hold on to “things”.
Other options include small cup-sized coffee drippers. These are small cones that sit on top of a cup. You take hot water from a pot and pour it through the coffee grind sitting in the cone on top of your mug and out comes coffee. This is kind of like a DIY drip coffee maker.
In any case moka pots, french press pots, and cone-style coffee drippers all make better coffee than percolators. You can see some of the better coffee makers in each category in the store.