REI, the go-to co-op chain for all things outdoors, has their own camping checklist. It’s great for anyone getting ready for a weekend in nature, no matter how experienced. It lists everything you could possibly want to have with you on a camping trip so you can pick your items based on what works for your camping style. I’m shocked to report the wise curators behind this REI list forgot to list a camping necessity — a coffee percolator (stainless steel).
For campers that aren’t picky about the quality of their coffee, such a drink might come from instant variety. To make this work, one still needs the means to boil water. A coffee percolator—our preferred tool for delicious camping coffee—can do this alone and make you a cup of coffee much better than the instant stuff.
Why Bring a Coffee Percolator (Stainless Steel) Camping?
Next time you’re packing up for an outdoor adventure, don’t forget the percolator. A coffee percolator is a versatile tool to include in your campground kitchen.
For camping purposes in particular, it’s best to choose a stainless steel percolator. These products are best equipped to handle the rough and unpredictable conditions of the outdoors. A stainless steel percolator won’t rust in the rain, or if it’s still wet when you pack it up with the rest of your camp kitchen. Aluminum percolators can also resist corrosion, but health risks associated with aluminum make stainless steel a safer option.
While we like the percolator best for camping coffee, it has more tricks to offer than just a quality cup of joe. Since camping is sometimes all about making do with what you have, a versatile tool is a welcome friend.
For instance, as mentioned above, you might be extra grateful to have remembered your coffee percolator if you find that you need to boil some water in a pinch. A percolator can be used for this purpose alone; so if you need to make drinking water or heat water for soup, the percolator can help.
Alternative Drinks to Make With a Coffee Percolator
Having a warm drink, whether it’s coffee or something else, adds an invaluable comfort to the camping experience. Starting the day off with a hot beverage adds a boost of energy to the morning. Ending a long day outside with a nice warm drink is equally satisfying.
If you have friends who aren’t fans of coffee, get rid of them—just kidding! Make them some tea, instead, by placing tea leaves in the basket where the coffee grounds would normally go. Kids might like tea, too, or they may enjoy a warm spiced beverage like cider.The internet is home to many recipes for percolator cider that uses juice as the liquid and spices like cinnamon and clove in the basket. Just be sure to rinse out your percolator before using it again for coffee.
Simplicity and Tradition of Brewing Camp Coffee with a Percolator
The design behind a percolator is simple and eloquent. Percolator coffee makers have been around since the 1800s with various versions leading up to the modern percolator we use today. In order to make the perfect cup of coffee with a percolator, the coffee maker needed a way for the user to view the brewing process. Today percolators, like the Coletti “Bozeman” Percolator, have a transparent dome on top of the percolator lid that lets home baristas keep an eye on their coffee as it brews.
Consider the simple, almost meditative act of toasting a marshmallow. There are those who like to ignite the little sugary treats right away for an extra toasted s’more. Then there are those who like to take time to carefully and evenly rotate their marshmallow just so, crafting a lightly toasted masterpiece. The experience of monitoring your camp coffee as it brews in its percolator is something akin to this classic camping tradition. If you’re a marshmallow craftsman, chances are you’ll enjoy becoming a coffee craftsman too.
Benefits of Drinking Coffee While Camping
It’s important to keep hydrated and to eat nutritious snacks when you’re out in the wild. But coffee itself has health benefits that may keep you in good shape in the long run; so keeping up your coffee intake while you’re camping isn’t a bad idea. For instance, studies have suggested that coffee might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
But there are more immediate benefits beyond that. Consider our dear friend caffeine. As long as you’re saying well hydrated, caffeine is a good aid to the camper and outdoor adventurer. With caffeine, coffee (in addition to water and good meals, of course) will help give you the energy you need to tackle long hikes, bike rides, climbs, or whatever adventure you’re seeking.
Making camping coffee with a percolator is so simple that it also serves as a great excuse to take a rest in the middle of a long day outdoors. Stopping for a cup of coffee and a snack gives you and your camp companions a chance to slow down.
At Coletti, we believe taking time to slow down each day is important. This is one reason behind the simple design of our coffee percolator. When you brew with a coffee percolator, you can unplug. And for us – no matter what REI says – no camping trip is complete without access to a fine cup of coffee made with a percolator.
Is coffee part of your camping tradition? How do you inspire moments of slowness and relaxation while you’re camping? Let us know in the comments below!
Katrina Eresman worked for over a decade as a barista in Ohio. Since she left to write full time, she has become a compulsive traveler. If she's not touring with one of her bands, she's scheming her next backpacking trip or a flight to a new part of the country where camping and coffee sipping will both surely occur.