How to Make Killer Camp Coffee using an Aeropress

How to make camp coffee with the Aeropress

Coffee is an integral part of my morning routine when I’m off on my car camping adventures. Whether I’m having a slow start over a home (camp)-cooked breakfast or need a quick jolt for a long stretch of driving, that delicious coffee aroma is a necessity to get me going.

Apart from wanting my coffee to be as strong and tasty as it is at home, there’s a few additional considerations for brewing an awesome cup of joe at camp. I like to keep gadgets to a minimum and brewing and cleanup should be quick and easy as possible.

A few years ago I discovered the Aeropress on Amazon. It’s a simple and inexpensive coffee brewing device that has over 5,000 4.5 star reviews. Figuring that many people can’t be wrong, I decided to give it a try, and it has since become my sole method for making coffee both at home and at camp. It takes less than a minute to make a cup of coffee, and the process results in a rich, smooth flavor that I haven’t been able to achieve with drip coffee or a french press.

** I want to note that this is not a sponsored post, and I’m not getting paid to write this. I just think the Aeropress rocks and I want to share it with you. However, if you do decide to purchase any of the products through the links in this post, I get a tiny bit of commission, and that helps keep this blog running. So thanks for the support! **

–What you Need to make the Perfect Cup of Camp Coffee —

Aeropress (Check price on Amazon)

Method for boiling water – I prefer the Jetboil. I’ve found it to be the most efficient, compact stove for boiling water (Check price on Amazon / REI / Backcountry)

Your favorite ground coffee

A mug – I like this GSI Mug for backpacking or this insulated Stanley vacuum mug for car camping

Say goodbye to instant coffee. Get step-by-step instructions for making the best (and easiest) camp coffee of your life using an Aeropress.

— How to use the Aeropress for Camp Coffee —

Brewing coffee with the Aeropress is a total cinch. Here’s step-by-step instructions for making a cup.

STEP 1: Put the two plastic pieces together and turn the Aeropress upside down. I like to have the black plunger aligned somewhere between number 2 and 3.

STEP 2: Add 2 tablespoons of ground coffee.

 STEP 3: Heat water up until it’s almost boiling, and pour it into the chamber. Fill to the top.

Say goodbye to instant coffee. Get step-by-step instructions for making the best (and easiest) camp coffee of your life using an Aeropress.

 STEP 4: Give it a quick stir to make sure all the coffee grounds are saturated.

Say goodbye to instant coffee. Get step-by-step instructions for making the best (and easiest) camp coffee of your life using an Aeropress.

 STEP 5: Place one of the Aeropress filters in the basket (the thing with all of the little holes), and screw the basket into the top of the chamber.

Say goodbye to instant coffee. Get step-by-step instructions for making the best (and easiest) camp coffee of your life using an Aeropress.

 STEP 6: Wait 20 seconds

 STEP 7: Flip the Aeropress over and set it on top of your mug. Slowly press the plunger down.

Say goodbye to instant coffee. Get step-by-step instructions for making the best (and easiest) camp coffee of your life using an Aeropress.

 STEP 8: Add a small splash of hot water to your mug and taste. If it’s too strong, water it down until it’s at the desired strength.

 STEP 9: To clean, simply unscrew the basket. Dump out the grounds (pack our your grounds in accordance with Leave No Trace principles). Rinse out the Aeropress with water and ENJOY!

— Get the Aeropress —

At $30, it’s hard to beat the Aeropress, and you can purchase it on Amazon by clicking the link below.

I would say the only downside is that the Aeropress really only makes 1-2 servings at a time….so if  you are car camping with a large group, you might be better off with a percolator. Also, when backpacking, I prefer instant coffee because I don’t like to deal with carrying out the grounds, and after many, many taste tests, this is the tastiest (and cheapest) instant coffee I’ve found.

Say goodbye to instant coffee. Get step-by-step instructions for making the best (and easiest) camp coffee of your life using an Aeropress.


Bearfoot Theory

Written by Kristen Bor

Hey there! My name is Kristen, and this is my outdoor blog. I discovered the power of the outdoors in my 20s, at the time I needed it most. Now 15 years later, prioritizing that critical connection with nature continues to improve my life. My goal at Bearfoot Theory is to empower you with the tools and advice you need to responsibly get outside.

31 comments on “How to Make Killer Camp Coffee using an Aeropress

  1. I’m a fan of doing pour overs while camping….I bought one of GSI’s ultralight filters that you just clip onto your mug/cup of choice and wa-la. The only thing I’ve discovered is that it’s not easy to pour water slowly out of my jet boil, so while car camping I actually pour the hot water into my hydroflask coffee cup and put the lid on and the pour it out of there over the coffee grounds, comes out at JUST the right speed. I’ve even started using my GSI pour over at home too 🙂

  2. I never thought to brew the thing upside down. That looks a heck of a lot easier and more controlled than doing it by the directions.

  3. Hah this looks like a really cool tool – I need to check this out. Same as you I use instant coffee when backpacking but when just camping I could use something little bit more sophisticated 🙂 Cool tip!

  4. I make a concentrated espresso in the Aeropress – filtered into a small jar – then use that as the base for a rich tasting cup by adding hot water. And there’s enough to share.

  5. My Aeropress makes it into the camping gear tote every time! A must have for my camp mornings. It’s great to see that someone else brews upside down besides me.

  6. We start our camp coffee with fresh ground beans using our Porlex hand crank coffee grinder. Hand grinding beans takes a bit more time, but hey its a wonderful way to start the day. Sitting in a beautiful campsite, grinding your own beans enjoying the view and the incredible scent of freshly ground beans really sets the tone of the day. We currently use a Snow Peak Titanium press, but apparently this grinder fits perfectly inside an Aeropress making it uber compact. Gifted one of these little grinders to a coffee loving friend who initially thought it was just another gadget she’d never use, but is now a total convert and says it’s one of her favourite camp kitchen items!

  7. Thank you for recommending the Aeropress. I have a Jetboil but never could find the right approach to make good coffee while camping. The Aeropress is on my list of things to buy before my next campling trip. Thanks!

  8. We too are fans of the Aeropress. For our first campervan missions we used a stainless steel French press, which works well enough. However, cleanup was a nuisance. With the Aeropress I find I can make the same 2 mugs of coffee I’d get from the French press in the same amount of time, but with much less time spent cleaning up. For heating we generally use a smaller electric kettle (rated just below 1000W to keep our inverter (1000W Magnum) from tripping. Great coffee from an apparently indestructible device.

    Like you, we’ve turned to instant coffee for backpacking trips; we’re there to walk, not cook. Will have to try your favorite brand. Ours is Medaglia d Oro.

  9. Wake up, start fire, boil water in pot, toss in instant coffee and sugar, taste, add more instant coffee, wonder if coffee cup will disintegrate cause it’s so strong, make oatmeal, make second coffee, usually better than the first 🙂

  10. I enjoyed reading the article and I learned a lot how to make killer camp coffee using an Aeropress because I never used this technique before.

  11. Since I am a big coffee drinker I enjoyed the article . I am going to invest in the aero press and try it at home. The problem I do usually drink a small pot at any given time . Cant wait to read your other articles

  12. I love your website – very helpful. I like using Press’d coffee pods. Easy to use, compact, tastes pretty good for instant. I’m not that picky, though, so…

  13. Hey Kristen,
    Yea good choice with the Aeropress! I similarly use it both at home and on the road . It is just hard to beat in terms of taste. versatility, and durability. And the old inverted method is quite a bit of fun (even though I do think that the traditional can also make some superb brews :))

  14. Yea gotta love the Aeropress for the outdoors. The other trick that I have found with using it is that by using two paper filters instead of one the coffee is even more smooth and light. Worth giving a shot if you haven’t already

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