Senior travel editor Andrea Minarcek shows how easy it is to make a flawless cuppa joe at camp


Small comforts can make a huge difference when you’re camping. One of the best treats you can make for yourself at camp is a cup of great coffee to start your day off right. Obviously you’re not bringing your coffee maker to camp, but with our tips, you can make a great cup without even having to use instant coffee.

It turns out that barista-worthy coffee is as simple as getting the right ratio of grounds to water—so the joe is potent—and frothing milk with a battery-powered frother or wire whisk. The tool is small, lightweight, and only costs about $2 online or at IKEA. To make the perfect cup, we like to use a cone filter, paper filters, and camp coffeepot for brewing, but feel free to use a French press or another favorite method. Line a #4 plastic coffee filter cone with a #6 coffee filter (to avoid spilling), add coffee grounds, and set over a camp coffeepot or large thermos. The golden ratio is one cup of grounds to six cups of water, which will produce five cups of potently strong, tasty cups of coffee.

Bring the water to a nice simmer—don’t crank up the burner too high—as boiling-hot water will bring out all the acidity of the coffee and give it a too-acrid flavor. Pour the water over the coffee a little bit at a time. In between pours, heat up milk in a separate medium saucepan over medium-high heat and stir often, until bubbles form at the edges (about three minutes). Once it starts to smoke, remove it from the heat, and froth with a battery-powered milk frother until you have a good layer of foam, or whisk with a wire whisk. Now it’s time to pour yourself a steaming cup. Fill your mug three-quarters full with coffee. Pour milk on top and spoon on some foam. And enjoy!

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