5 Ways to Elevate Your Backcountry Coffee

We all have that one die-hard friend that wakes up with the first sliver of light seeping through their tent eats straight coffee grounds by the spoonful, and follows it with a swig of water to “wash it down.” While we appreciate the efficiency of this die-hard friend, we do not relate. Coffee is an experience – one that will not be eliminated from our morning routine just because we’re camping. 

Below are a handful of helpful hacks to enhance your backcountry coffee experience: 

The Staple: Hot Cocoa Mix

This one is a camping crowd’s favorite. We love this go-to hack because it is equally as easy as it is sweet. Hot cocoa powder and coffee grounds go together seamlessly– and better yet, the ratio can be altered to best fit the camper’s taste buds. Do you say you hate black coffee? Well, add more hot cocoa. Hate overly sweet coffee? Well, all you need is a dash of hot cocoa. Let’s face it, it’s a favorite for a reason. This staple concoction takes a mediocre coffee experience and gives it the life (and flavor) it so desperately needs. For our vanilla latte people: use the vanilla-flavored hot cocoa.

The Minimalist: Powdered Milk and Instant Coffee

Powdered milk’s rightful (and arguably, only) home is in a camping tub, snuggled up to the instant coffee packs. Like many of you, we question powdered milk’s purpose aside from camping. Comparatively, the same could be said about instant coffee. While we wouldn’t choose this coffee combination regularly, we must give credit where credit is due. Powdered milk decreases the bitter taste in instant coffee, and gives you a creamier, more desirable breakfast beverage. Simply mix in the powdered milk, manifest positivity, and drink that pseudo-latte. 

A woman mixes a cup of camp coffee as her black curly haired dog watches intently.

The Indulgence: Caramel Coffee

For some of us coffee lovers, instant coffee does not cut it. We crave the smell of our treasured coffee grounds and yearn for the taste that only real coffee can gift us. For these types of coffee campers, pack your fresh grounds in a portable, collapsible container suitable for the camping world. Next, grab your packable coffee maker and start boiling your water. While the water reaches pristine temperature, drop two Werther’s Originals soft caramels into your favorite coffee mug. Finally (and most importantly) cuddle up on the tailgate of your friend’s Tacoma, pour your freshly brewed coffee into your coffee mug, and bask in your creamy, caramel creation.


The Planner: Premade Camp Coffee

The only thing better than making coffee in the morning is not having to make it– pre-making your favorite coffee concoction before the trip is one of the best hacks. Of course, packing a thermos is not suitable for long backpacking trips, but if you’re car camping for a couple of days, this tip is completely feasible. The beauty of a thermos is its ability to keep liquids hot or cold for at least a day; therefore, you might as well capitalize on that dusty thermos in your cabinet! Give it a rinse down, and fill it with iced (or piping hot) coffee that you can feel excited about drinking in the near future. Nothing makes a mountainous morning that much more enjoyable like your favorite cup of finely-crafted coffee. 

A woman takes a sip from a camp coffee while sitting next to a camp table with a Jetboil Flash system next to her on the table.

High Energy Athletes: Coffee with a GU Twist

For those of us who use caffeine for its ergogenic (performance-enhancing) effect during exercise Caffeine is one of the most researched and validated performance enhancers for endurance athletes. For athletes, caffeine is more than just a morning pick-me-up. Strategically adding caffeine to your nutrition plan before and during exercise can help keep your mind sharp, decrease perceived effort, boost your endurance, and delay fatigue. On a Trail Run or Multi-Day Hike add a little GU Energy to your coffee fix.

Build your Camp Coffee System

Do you already have a Jetboil system? Then you already have most of what you need for a packable, easy-to-use camp coffee setup. Our Silicone Coffee Press comes in two sizes and fits all Flash, Stash, Zip, MiniMo, MicroMo, and SUMO systems. Just boil water, add your favorite coffee grounds, and in just a few minutes press the french press-style plunger down and you have a freshly brewed cup of deliciousness. 

Arguably, the best parts of camping happen during the first few moments of the morning. From unzipping your dew-covered tent to watching the sunrise from the comforts of your camping chair, with a cup of coffee in your hand. Those tiny, fleeting moments create the memories we cherish. We can only hope the coffee tastes as good as those moments feel. 

To finish, we will leave you with an early morning toast: 

Cheers to early mornings spent cradling a hot cup of camping coffee; cheers to creating experiences that we’ll never forget.