Simple Coffee in the Backcountry

Today I would love to talk about that “black gold” that so many of us have to have every morning. I personally never cared about coffee until recently. I have always been about a cup of hot peppermint tea when lost in the great outdoors. The issue I’ve always had with having a good cup of hot tea or coffee is not only making it but keeping it hot as long as I can. Both hiking and kayaking create their own challenges with this. Let me explain: I just can’t enjoy one cup and be good. I need to take it with me.  Therefore, today I am going to share with you my solution for the perfect cup in the backcountry.


Weight is always an issue when packing, so I try to go as light as possible.  I prefer something light that won’t take up lots of space. I have explored packing a percolator. However, it would only serve one purpose and would be bulky in my pack. Even a french press would only serve one purpose, and like a percolator it would just be added weight and bulk. Instant coffee is not that bad but still not as good as I would like it.  My solution needed to be something I can make using regular grounded coffee beans. My solution is to pack a drip. I have looked at many different ones on the internet and have found one that will collapse and pack easy. I would like to introduce you to the collapsible silicone coffee dripper! You can find them on amazon starting at $5.99.  Light weight, small and easy to pack! Just pack some ground coffee and filters with your food. I also have the ability to clip it to the back of my bag or on top of my kayak with no problems.


The brewing process is simple, and owning a Jetboil makes it quick! Just boil the desired amount of water and place the filter and ground coffee in the dripper with your cup underneath. Slowly, and carefully, pour the hot water over the coffee and boom – you have the coffee or hot tea ready to go! With my Jetboil I can have coffee in less than 5 minutes. Plus, I can boil enough water for a dehydrated meal I packed. You can play around with with how many filters to use and how much coffee is needed to make the desired strength coffee. I found that pouring the water slow will create a stronger brew.


With this dripper I just run a small amount of hot water over it and collapse it back down. Really nothing to it! I will put the used coffee grounds in a ziplock bag and use them a few more times before disposing of them. The Jetboil won’t need to be cleaned because I just boiled water for the coffee and meal. I basically just need to clean my spoon I used for either stirring or eating. To do that, I use copper scrub pads and sometime gravel from a creek. Just something abrasive. Fast, simple and easy cleaning before I head out in the morning.


How do I keep my coffee hot for the morning part of the hike or float? I use an Ozark Trail Thermos. It has a great spot to hook a carabiner to the top of the bottle. I can hook it to my bag or just my kayak. It keeps the coffee hot for hours.  Sometimes I will  use it to store cold spring water for hours as well. It serves a multitude of purposes depending on if I want to store a hot drink, soup or ice cold water. There are a variety of thermos like containers out there, and each will have their own pros and cons. However,  having a way to clip or tie it down makes or breaks it for me.

Final Thoughts

I always look at the chance of being outdoors as a luxury. I’m there to enjoy it and want to make the most of the time I have. I don’t want to pack extra gear or spend time cleaning up after myself. I want to enjoy it while spending time exploring and just having fun. Having a hot drink from time to time is nice and I have found this to be the most simple, easiest lightweight solution. As a bonus, its very inexpensive for only $5.99. What are your thoughts? Have you found a better way of making coffee?