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What is your go to Camping Coffee/Caffeine system?

Hey everyone! It's nice to start the day with a warm pick me up. Typically when camping I use an instant coffee for the ease of use, speed, low weight and space.

Does anyone have a favorite type/brand of instant coffee and for those that believe that instant coffee is a crime and I should be locked up, how do you prepare your morning drink?


paul trusty
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44 Replies

For instant I like Mount Hagen (organic) or Starbucks VIA packets. As for non instant I’ve bought empty tea bags and filled them with whatever coffee I drink at home and just step them at camp. 

I too find that Mt. Hagen's Packets are as close to ground coffee as possible. 


Coleman propane coffee maker for car camping, and Starbucks Via packets for backpacking. If I'm in a hurry and don't want to boil water, the Via is decent cold as well. 

I do a Pour-Over

Before the trip, I grind my coffee beans and bring the grounds.  Pack enough coffee filters and a coffee-filter holder.  In the field, I just need to boil water.

As an example,


Pour over is also my go to. I have a Black Rifle Coffee Company pour over system and if I feel like splurging, I'll bring along some of their grounds in ziplocs. Otherwise I'll use McDonald's coffee grounds from the stores. 


MSI Fly stove and Coffee Nescafe packets cost is alot less than VIA.  I do admit to using VIA packets as well.  Love to have Mini Moos for cream (cut the acid).


If you follow LNT (Leave No Trace) principles, grinds count. Personally, I think Starbucks is pricey, though a great choice if you like your coffee robust.  I tried Alpine Start this weekend and enjoyed it, but my partner did not.  When thru-hiking, I found the best deal for the flavor honestly was Nescafe Clasico.  If you get it in a jar, you can put it in a bag and measure it out for less microtrash.  Of course then you have to ensure it stays dry...

I personally go with the Trader Joe’s pour over coffee.  Less of a hassle and quick to make. I’ve tried doing coffee presses, biolite coffee accessory and grounded instant coffee. But so far TJs pour over has not let me down as it’s super quick and flavor is just right. Plus I spend less time with cleanup and more enjoyment. It does take once or twice to get the hang of having the bag sit sturdy, but the coffee comes out amazing.

Although, thinking about it, I’ll be checking on the enrivonmental impact with the materials used for this setup. 



The Starbucks Via and the Cusa Instant Tea's are my personal favorites. I'm by no means a coffee snob, but after that stiff morning camp feel nothing makes you feel better....except maybe adding some whiskey.