Road tripping somewhere close to home for the day? Adventuring deep into the wilderness? Either way coffee, for me, is an essential piece of gear. Let's discuss some of the best ways of consuming it.
1: Explore Local Brew:
Sure your national chain makes it easy to ensure you get exactly what you want but if a so-so cup of joe is gonna ruin your trip maybe you shouldn’t have gone on the trip in the first place. Not to say that every cup of coffee you drink needs to be from a new-to-you cafe but live a little, right?
Go old school in your search. I like to find book shops, art supply stores, bike shops, and other local shops, and while there ask whoever is helping you where you can get a good coffee or espresso (pick your poison) in the area. There is nothing better than going to a new city and exploring the city as a local.
When you arrive at that cool, hip coffee shop ask where other cool local shops are in the area so that you can continue exploring, now with a cup of joe. Don’t live in your phone, talk to people. Oh, and If you are traveling to a wilderness destination instead of the city you could still pick up ground coffee at a local shop for some local flavor on your trip. It's a nice way to explore the local taste buds.
2: Bring Your Own Cup:
No matter if I’m in the urban jungle or forest bathing I like to bring not only my own water container but also save some trees and bring my own coffee mug. I’m partial to The Wild Dirt Camper Mug. It is a 14oz insulated metal reusable mug with a press-on lid. The 14oz mug allows for a typical small 12oz coffee to fit inside with room. The handle is wide, the walls insulated, and the lid reduces splashing. Stays hot or cold for hours. It is bound to become your copilot on your next adventure.
3: Travel French Press:
When headed into the woods no matter if alone or with friends I am fond of a good cup of coffee and while a freeze-dried packet can do the trick there is nothing like the relaxing ceremony of brewing fresh coffee. Remember, you are camping. Relax a little and don’t get too uptight about being ultra-lightweight.
There are plenty of plastic french presses out there of a variety of sizes. I prefer the ones that allow you to press the grounds down and then use the press as a thermos. No matter which one you choose they all can get a little messy if you can’t easily get the grounds out. It is important to dispose of your grounds properly. Burning them in the fire pit or tossing them in the bushes isn't a proper Leave No Trace technique. Let's leave the camp better than we found it and make sure we pack out our coffee grounds.
This option is nice if you are in a small group because the steep time is low and clean-up is a snap. It is sorta reminiscent of a mini fresh press with an open end so you can pop the grounds right out. It also brews a smaller amount of black gold so I like to use an espresso roast or a stronger roast. Everyone can then adjust the strength of the brew by adding hot water to taste. The Aeropress, in my opinion, is the easiest option for cleanup of the ground coffee/espresso options.
5: Pour Over:
Nothing beats a nice slow cup of coffee and a pour-over is a classic. I’ve seen a few collapsible options which drop the pour-over into the least bulky category. Remember though, being a good Leave No Trace follower, you should pack out your grounds. Can't say that enough since so many people think you can burn your food trash or toss organic matter out on the edge of the campsite.
6: One-Pot Coffe and Eggs:
This is a great winter option. If you are staying at a cabin on a snowshoeing weekend getaway you can brew some coffee in a pot with eggs. Yep. Eggs. Water, coffee grounds, and eggs. The eggs act as a magnet and the ground stick to them. I’m not sure what the calorie and protein count ends up being but it’s a classic Scandinavia drink. Don’t eat the eggs. And you can rebrew the coffee later in the day if you need a fill-up. It is eggcellent!
Coffee will keep you going while on your next adventure and hope we expanded your mind to think differently about how you consume that black gold. No matter what you are doing out there make sure to Find Your Wild.