Camping and Coffee... Coffee Over the Fire in a Percolator (or in your emergency storage kit)

This morning my mind is on camping so that is where my posts are going. Unfortunately for me, my husband doesn't like camping so I don't get to go often enough. Fortunately however, he does like looking at and buying the camping gear. And we both like having it as back up in our emergency storage. If the power goes out due to storms or other man made issues, it's a great excuse to have fresh coffee over a fire because really... the best part about mornings at the campsite? That first cup of coffee. That same 'comfort' is needed when you are without power for a couple days due to ice storms or other harsh weather.

So without further adieu, this is admittedly my 'camp coffee' brewer. A basic, aluminum, cheap coffee percolator. Yes, there are other options (which I may post about tomorrow or this week) but today this is the style I actually own.

  • Made of durable, rustproof, high gloss Polished Aluminum
  • Percolator stem and basket included
  • Comes with top and side handles
  • Easy pour spout
  • Heats quickly

It's lightweight so it's good for packing.  It also does not have a side handle as it takes up less space this way.  Instead, you have a metal ring on the side and the wire handle on top.  Have a stick or hot pad or fabric handy to grab the side ring when your coffee is done.  It also helps if you flip the metal ring 'up' when you put the coffee on so you aren't trying to grasp it later when the pot is hot.

Officially it says it's a 9 cup pot but that is assuming you drink little espresso sized cups.  I mentally think of it as a 4 cup pot.  Fill the pot with water, assemble the stem and basket and put some coarse ground coffee in the basket.  If you like it weak, then about 1/2 the basket will do.  We like our coffee strong so we almost fill the basket.  Don't use finely ground coffee as you are more likely to get grounds in your cup.  A courser grind won't go through the basket filter.  Place the top on, put it over your fire or camp stove, and wait for it to 'perc'.  You will see the liquid splashing up into the little clear bulb on top (if you are not familiar with this style pot) and you will know it's brewing.   If your fire is really hot, move the pot to the side or up higher if it's on a tri-pod stand.  You want it to basically 'simmer' not furiously boil.  The coffee gets stronger and darker as it percolates so give it a couple minutes of regular percs before you start to pour some coffee.

Clean up is just dumping out your grounds and rinsing it out.  If you've cooked over an open fire, then the bottom will be black so you'll have to scrub that if you are picky.  I rub the bottom with a bar of soap before using it, which makes it easier to clean the black off the bottom later but I just clean most of it off and call it 'good enough'.  I store ours in a gallon baggy with a second baggy of coffee stored inside the pot.

You can find these from about $9 - $25 depending on the brand and store.  They are currently about $12 at Amazon.

You might also be interested in other options;