3 Ways to Make Camp Coffee with Just the Gear in Your Bag

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3 Ways to Make Camp Coffee with Just the Gear in Your Bag

I think we can all agree that a pounding headache is the last thing you want to be fighting in a bug-out or wilderness situation—which is why packing coffee in your go-bag is a MUST if you drink the stuff regularly.

Today we’re revealing the three best ways to make delicious camp coffee without weighing yourself down. No coffee pot or bulky extras needed—just the gear you already have in your bag (with a one or two minimal-impact extras you won’t even notice).

1. Cowboy Coffee

Cowboy Coffee

This is the lowest-fuss option on the list, and one with a long history in America. The concept is simple: add coffee to boiling water, let it sit, and then pour.

Of course, as with everything, there are disagreements over the “proper” way to prepare your cowboy coffee, but we’ll go with real-deal cowboy Kent Rollins who recommends warming your water first, then adding the coffee grounds, and then bringing the water to a boil. 

The key here—and a critical detail if you want to avoid a mouth full of grounds—is to add a little cold water after the coffee’s been prepared. That should allow the grounds to settle, keeping them out of your cup. 

The best news for bug-out and wilderness-ready preppers is that you don’t need a dedicated coffee pot to make cowboy coffee in rough conditions. It can be prepared easily in the same standard cooking pot you ought to have in your go-bag anyhow.


  1. Implements for fire
  2. Cooking pot
  3. Cup
  4. Coffee grounds


  • 1/4 cup coffee grounds
  • 1 quart water


Warm up water in a pot. Add approximately 1 quart of water for every ¼ cup of coffee grounds you plan to use.

Once water is warm to the touch, add coffee grounds and then bring to a boil. Reduce heat, but only slightly. Allow to boil for at least 4 minutes. For stronger coffee, boil longer.

Remove from heat to cool for a couple minutes. Pour just a little cold water (about ½ cup) into the pot to help push the grounds to the bottom.

Pour very carefully into a cup, minding not to pour out the grounds.

2. DIY Coffee Steep

DIY Coffee Filter

This is another simple method that requires nothing extra in your pack other than a few regular coffee filters and pieces of string (we recommend keeping them in a single Ziploc bag).

Put those elements together and you’ve got your own bootstrap filtration system, similar to seeping tea. It’s quick, simple, and when done right it tastes a lot like a regular cup of coffee.


  1. Implements for fire
  2. Cooking pot
  3. Cup (preferably a mug)
  4. Coffee grounds
  5. A filter
  6. A length of string


  • 2 tablespoons coffee grounds
  • 6 to 8 ounces of water


Pour water into your cooking pot and bring to a boil.

Dampen a coffee filter. Place dampened filter over the mouth of cup, covering entirely to make sure no grinds fall into the cup. Carefully spoon coffee grounds into the filter.

With a string, tie the coffee filter securely closed at the top, creating a “coffee bag” similar to a tea bag. Leave a length of string long enough to pull the bag out once the coffee is ready.

Pour the hot water over the bag, into the cup. Leave the bag to seep for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove bag using the string


3. Egg Coffee

Egg Coffee

This final option requires a little more work but given the right situation could be a great alternative. It makes unique coffee with just the items in your bag…with one important addition.

You’ll need a raw egg.

Now, before you go rolling your eyes and closing your browser window, consider the fact that getting eggs to last weeks on end without refrigeration is as easy as just purchasing the right ones.

It’s true. If you purchase farm-fresh eggs they’ll last at least two weeks unrefrigerated (and three months or more in the fridge). That’s because unlike mass produced eggs that are thoroughly washed, farm fresh eggs include a cuticle (or “bloom”) layer over the shell that prevents air and bacteria from getting in.

If you want to take further steps to preserve your eggs, check out these simple, old-fashioned preservation techniques from Jas. Townsend & Son. People have been using them forever.

Once you’ve got your eggs taken care of, making coffee is simple. You mix your egg and coffee, boil some water, and in just a few minutes you’ve got clear, nearly ground-free coffee. The key is that the egg binds to the grinds, clarifying your coffee and giving it an extra smooth flavor that’s less bitter than your average cup. Some people swear by it.


  1. Implements for fire
  2. Cooking pot
  3. Bowl
  4. A utensil (fork is best)
  5. Cup
  6. Coffee grounds
  7. A raw egg
  8. A vessel for your eggs—a small plastic egg holder will do


  • 1 ½ cups coffee grounds
  • 2 cups water for boiling
  • 1 raw egg
  • Extra cold water for texture and consistency


Crack the egg into a bowl (whatever you’ve got in your pack). You can drop in the shell, too. Whip the egg/shell mixture with a utensil. Add ground coffee and a little splash of water to the egg and mix into a paste.

In the pot, bring water and stir in egg/coffee paste. Reduce heat and simmer for up to 10 minutes. Add a splash of cold water to help the coffee grinds settle. Pour very carefully into a cup, minding not to pour the grounds.

Ready to Try These?

And that’s it. Give these a try and let us know how it goes. Sound off in the comments!