Backcountry Mountain Coffee


If you have been following along on the 1st Rut families blog posts, one of our posts was the Top 10 Comfort Items we can’t live without in the mountains (well at least from my perspective).  Number one on my list was coffee, I love coffee and it is literally my first thought in the morning.  Yes, that seems a lot like an addiction and it is, but we all have our vices right? Coffee, hunting, archery, gear and maybe a few others, but that is another post. The How-To Make Coffee In The Backcountry guide that follows will give you multiple options to brew coffee in the mountains.

Today I want to talk about coffee and how to prepare it in the backcountry.  If you are backpack hunting weight is always going to be a consideration, so we have that to contend with but there are multiple ways to get coffee in the mountains.  For this discussion let’s assume you are bringing a backpacking stove along for the ride and not just for coffee.

How to get my coffee fix in mountains?

Bugle, Bark, and Chuckle this to your buddies!


There are two ways basic ways that I brew coffee in the mountains.

1.  The lightest way to bring along java on your trip is in instant packets.  Starbucks makes some and I am sure you can find Folgers or other brand names if you look hard enough.  It is easy to do, bring 8 oz of water to boil in your stove, add in instant packets and stir and you are set.  This is probably the easiest and lightest way you can go.


2. Folgers and other brands I assume, offer coffee that is in a tea bag.  Yes, it is coffee but in a tea bag.  Brewing is the same process, bring coffee to a boil and drop in your coffee bags.  If you are using the cup on an MSR or Jetboil, the downside will be waiting for it to brew.  This way definitely takes longer to get ready in the morning but will work.

I have done both methods, and they both work. I prefer to drink coffee for the most part throughout the morning and I hate waiting for it to brew. To fix that problem I pay a little bit of a weight tax. I bring along a small thermos, similar to the small Yeti water bottle.  In the grand scheme of things, a small Yeti bottle weighs in at 1lb 2.1oz, which is a small tax to pay for me to have coffee. If I am worried about an extra pound in my pack, I could work a little harder in my preparation and lose a couple of extra pounds to offset it. 

I boil the water first thing in the morning, pour in the thermos and dump my coffee in.  It stays hot to warm until I am finished drinking it.  When I am on a hunting trip, I want to hunt and that is my focus. When I wake up in the morning, I am not waiting around on anything to get moving. 

A little extra tip here, since I am aware of my morning behavior, I set the stove up the night before.  It is full of water, so the first thing I do when I wake up is start the stove, and get it boiling while I am breaking down camp.  As soon as it is boiling, I dump it in the thermos and add coffee.  The timing seems to work out and the coffee mixes while we finish packing.  A couple of drinks of coffee later and I am hitting the trail with a thermos of coffee.  No matter how tired you are the night before, you will be very happy in the morning if you do this.

You could shave weight in my thermos setup by moving to a plastic thermos. The stuff I read about plastic chemicals leaching into the drink do not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

There are other ways you can brew coffee in the mountains depending on how much weight you are willing to carry and how much time you are willing to spend.  If these don’t suit your fancy, google away and you will find other alternatives.  These are tried and true and work for me.

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