How To Make Percolator Coffee Camping?

how to make percolator coffee camping

Making coffee while camping can sometimes feel like a tough task. Did you know that percolator coffee is one of the best ways to enjoy your brew in the great outdoors? This article will guide you through picking the right gear, brewing steps, and tricks for a delicious cup.

Get ready to elevate your campfire coffee game!

Key Takeaways

  • Pick the right percolator for camping by considering enamelware, aluminum, or stainless steel based on durability and ease of cleaning.
  • Use a coarse grind coffee and maintain an ideal water temperature between 195°F to 205°F for the best taste.
  • Follow a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:15 to 1:17 and adjust percolation time (usually 7-10 minutes) for strong flavor.
  • Keep your percolator clean with hot soapy water after use and store it dry to ensure great tasting coffee every time.

Choosing the Right Camping Percolator

When camping, picking the right percolator is crucial. Consider enamelware, aluminum, or stainless steel options based on your needs.


Enamelware is a popular choice for campers who love making coffee over a campfire. This type of pot is coated with enamel, which makes it resistant to rust and easy to clean. It’s perfect for brewing up your favorite coarse ground coffee in the great outdoors.

Unlike other materials that might react with acidic foods or drinks, enamelware keeps your coffee flavor pure.

You can enjoy your cup of joe without worrying about odd tastes.

This durable material also handles high heat from campfires or stoves well. So, you can set your enamelware percolator right over the flames and watch as it works its magic, turning water and ground coffee into a delicious brewed coffee.

Just make sure to keep an eye on it since enamel can chip if dropped on hard surfaces.


Moving on to aluminum, this type of material is popular among campers for coffee percolators. Aluminum is lightweight, making it easy to pack and carry. This quality is essential for backpackers who count every ounce.

These percolators heat up quickly, reducing the time you wait for your coffee in the morning. They work well over campfires or portable stoves.

Aluminum can be more affordable than other materials. If you’re camping on a budget but still want to enjoy brewed coffee outdoors, an aluminum percolator might be right for you. Just keep in mind that they can dent more easily than stainless steel options and may affect the taste of your coffee over time due to corrosion if not properly cared for.

Also, consider using a paper filter inside to help keep grounds out of your cup and make cleanup easier after enjoying your dark roast or decaf coffee by the fireside.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel percolators shine for coffee-making while camping. They’re tough and handle the heat from a campfire or stove easily. You don’t have to worry about rust, and they’re simple to clean.

This makes them perfect for brewing your favorite coffee in the great outdoors. Stainless steel also keeps your drink warm longer, so you can enjoy hot coffee even in chilly weather.

Choose a stainless steel percolator if you want something that lasts many camping trips. They come in various sizes, so you can brew enough coffee whether it’s just for you or for a group of friends around the campfire.

Plus, they look good too! With proper care, this kind of coffee pot becomes a long-lasting friend on all your camping adventures.

Essential Supplies for Brewing

To brew percolator coffee while camping, you’ll need a few essential supplies. These include a sturdy percolator, quality coffee grounds, access to clean water, and a reliable heat source.

Essential Supplies for Brewing

Related: How To Make Coffee While Camping?


When choosing a camping percolator, consider enamelware, aluminum, or stainless steel for durability and portability. Ensure the percolator is suitable for open flame use and has a sturdy handle for easy pouring.

Assemble the essential supplies including the percolator itself, coarse coffee groundswater source, and heat source before embarking on your camping trip. This will ensure you have everything needed to brew delicious campfire coffee with ease.

Coffee grounds

Now that you’ve chosen your camping percolator, it’s time to focus on the essential supplies for brewing. When it comes to coffee grounds, opt for a coarse grind suited for percolation.

Remember, finely ground coffee can result in over-extraction and bitterness. Look no further than freshly ground beans for the best flavor. A general rule is two tablespoons of grounds per six ounces of water, but feel free to tailor this ratio based on your taste preferences.

When heating up the water in the percolator, take into account that boiling water might scald the coffee grounds and lead to a bitter taste. Optimal water temperature ranges between 195°F-205°F (90°C-96°C) could unlock the flavors without scorching them.

Whether using an enamelware or stainless steel percolator, meticulously follow these steps to ensure a robust cup of campfire coffee every time.

Water source

When camping, ensure you have access to a clean and reliable water source for brewing your coffee. Look for nearby streams, rivers, or lakes as natural sources. Alternatively, bring along containers of potable water to meet your brewing needs.

It’s important to use fresh and filtered water to achieve the best flavor in your campfire coffee. Next up, let’s discuss the essential supplies needed for brewing your perfect cup of percolator coffee.

Heat source

When brewing coffee while camping, you can use various heat sources such as a campfire, portable stove, or even a propane burner. These options give you flexibility in choosing how to brew your coffee based on the availability of different heat sources at your campsite.

You can also control the intensity of the heat to achieve the perfect brewing temperature for your percolator.

Moving on to the next section about “Step-by-Step Brewing Process“, let’s explore how to brew delicious coffee using your camping percolator.

Step-by-Step Brewing Process

Fill the percolator with water. Add coarse ground coffee to the basket. Place the percolator over the campfire or stove. Let it percolate to desired strength.

Step-by-Step Brewing Process

Fill the percolator with water

To start, add water to the percolator until it reaches just below the spout. Then secure the basket assembly in place and make sure everything is properly sealed before placing it on your heat source.

It’s important to use cold water for better results, and don’t overfill the percolator as it could affect the brewing process.

Once you’ve added the appropriate amount of water, move on to adding coffee grounds and proceed with your brewing process according to your preferences. Remember, getting this step right sets a strong foundation for a great cup of campfire coffee.

Add coarse ground coffee to the basket

Once the percolator is filled with water, it’s time to add your coarse ground coffee to the basket. Make sure to measure out your coffee grounds according to your desired strength and place them in the basket of the percolator.

Use a ratio of approximately 1 tablespoon of coffee for every 6 ounces of water, but you can adjust this based on your personal preference.

As the percolator brews over the campfire or stove, keep an eye on it and let it percolate until you achieve the ideal strength. Remember that using fresh coarse ground coffee will enhance the flavor and aroma of your camping brew.

Place the percolator over the campfire or stove

Place the percolator over the campfire or stove to begin brewing. Ensure it’s stable and securely positioned. The heat will gradually brew a strong, aromatic coffee for you to enjoy while camping under the open sky.

Keep an eye on it as it percolates to your desired strength, adding to the authentic camping experience.

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Let it percolate to desired strength

Once the percolator is over the heat source, let it brew until you achieve the desired strength. The ideal brewing time typically ranges from 7 to 10 minutes for a robust flavor. Ensure that you monitor the process closely to get that perfect camping coffee taste every time! Adjust percolation time according to your preference and relish a delightful cup of campfire-brewed coffee.

Tips for Perfect Campfire Coffee

Achieve the ideal water temperature for brewing coffee over a campfire. Use the right coffee-to-water ratio and monitor percolation time for the best results. Explore more about perfecting your campfire coffee!

Ideal water temperature

To achieve the perfect cup of percolator coffee while camping, ensure that your water temperature is between 195°F to 205°F. This range ensures that your coffee grounds are steeped at just the right heat to extract all those delicious flavors without turning bitter.

Using a thermometer can be helpful in accurately measuring the water temperature and ensuring an ideal brewing environment for your campfire coffee experience.

Ideal Water Temperature: Ensure that the water temperature ranges from 195°F to 205°F for optimal flavor extraction during percolator coffee brewing while camping. Using a thermometer will help you maintain this ideal range.

Coffee-to-water ratio

For a balanced and flavorful campfire coffee, use a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:15 or 1:17. This means for every gram of coffee, you’ll need 15 to 17 grams of water. By following this proportion, you can extract the best flavors from your coffee grounds without it being too weak or strong.

Remember, adjusting the ratio slightly can help personalize your brew to match your taste preferences and the roast level of your coffee beans.

To ensure that each cup is as satisfying as the last, maintain this ideal ratio while brewing over a campfire or stove. Consistency in your proportions will yield consistent results with every batch of percolator-brewed camping coffee.

Percolation time

Once you’ve got your coffee-to-water ratio right, it’s time to consider the percolation time. This is how long the coffee needs to brew in the percolator to reach your desired strength.

Typically, for a medium grind and an average heat source, it takes around 7-10 minutes for the water to percolate through the grounds and produce a robust flavor. Keep an eye on it during this time to ensure you get that perfect camping brew.

Remember not to rush this process; allowing adequate percolation time ensures that all those rich flavors are extracted from the coffee grounds, giving you a delicious cup of campfire coffee.

Cleaning and Maintenance of the Percolator

After brewing, disassemble the percolator. Wash all parts with hot soapy water using a soft brush or sponge. Make sure to thoroughly rinse and dry all components before reassembling the percolator for future use.

Regular cleaning prevents build-up which can affect the flavor of your coffee and maintains the lifespan of your percolator.

To prevent tarnishing of aluminum percolators, avoid using abrasive cleaners and consider drying them immediately after washing. For stainless steel or enamelware percolators, wiping with a cloth soaked in white vinegar helps maintain their shine.

well-maintained percolator ensures consistently delicious coffee on all your camping adventures.

Remember to properly store the clean and dry pieces in a cool, dry place when not in use to avoid any damage from environmental factors.


Congratulations! You’ve learned how to brew percolator coffee while camping. Remember to choose the right percolator and gather all essential supplies. Follow the step-by-step process, apply tips for perfect campfire coffee, and maintain your percolator well.

Now, enjoy your delicious cup of campfire-brewed coffee on your next outdoor adventure!


1. What do I need to make percolator coffee while camping?

You need a percolator, which is a type of pot used for brewing coffee. You’ll also want fresh water and your favorite grind of coffee. Don’t forget the heat source like a campfire or portable stove.

2. How does percolator brewing work?

Percolator brewing works by cycling boiling water through ground coffee until it reaches the desired strength. The process involves heating water in the bottom chamber that rises through a tube over the grounds.

3. Can I use something other than a percolator to make coffee when camping?

Yes! Besides using an electric or non-electric percolator, you can try different methods like French press, AeroPress, Moka pot, pour-over devices, or even cowboy coffee if you prefer simplicity.

4. Is there a difference between making tea and coffee in the wilderness?

The main difference lies in what you steep – leaf tea versus ground beans. For tea, you might use bags or loose leaves with hot water in a teapot or directly in your cup; for coffee, besides using paper filters in some methods like drip brews and pour-overs, the preparation method varies significantly across devices from espresso makers to simple pots.

5. How fine should my grind be for making perfect outdoor percolated beverage?

Your grind should be coarse rather than fine to prevent it from slipping through the filter basket and into your brewed drink.

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