Amazingly Easy: How to Use a Percolator Camping for Perfect Coffee

Everything You Need to Know About Using a Percolator When Camping

Camping is a great way to explore nature and get away from it all. But it’s not just about finding a spot and pitching a tent- you need all the right equipment to make your camping trip comfortable and enjoyable. One of the most essential tools for a camping trip is a percolator. As with any tool, knowing how to use a percolator camping can be the difference between success and failure.

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What is a Percolator?

A percolator is a camping stove designed to heat water for boiling. It is usually round, with a lid, and set on three legs. The percolator has a base with a tall center post extending from the center. At the top of the post is a sieve that contains a filter. This sieve is kept in place by a perforated lid.

To use a percolator, all you have to do is add water to the bottom of the pot, place grounds into the filter, and place the lid on top. You’ll then place the percolator somewhere that it can be heated, like the coals of a campfire. Then, the heat of the campfire will heat the water and drive it up to the top. The filter then catches and separates the grounds from the water, and the coffee is then ready for drinking.

Advantages of Using a Percolator for Camping

When camping, there are many advantages to using a percolator. Here are a few:

  • Little fuss or mess. Setting up and using a percolator is usually a very straightforward process. Just add grounds, pour in water, and set it on some coals.
  • Allows for multiple brews. Refilling the percolator with fresh grounds and water means multiple brews of coffee. So if you have a group of campers all looking for coffee, they’ll have it.
  • Very portable. Percolators are usually made of lightweight materials that are easy to move. This means that you can take the percolator on more remote and rustic camping trips.

Coffee Percolating on a Campfire

How to Set Up and Use a Percolator Camping

Now that you know the advantages of using a percolator for camping, here’s how you actually set it up and use it:

  1. Start by preparing the campfire. You’ll want to have some hot coals ready to heat the percolator. Make sure the percolator is far enough from the fire that it doesn’t overheat and scorch the coffee.
  2. Fill the percolator with cold water up to the desired level. This will depend on how much coffee you want to make. Remember to leave some space for the grounds to settle.
  3. Add the desired amount of ground coffee into the top of the percolator. You don’t need to be too precise here- just a few tablespoons depending on how strong you want your coffee.
  4. Place the lid on the percolator. Make sure it’s secured tightly so the coffee doesn’t come out.
  5. Place the percolator on top of the hot coals. As the water heats up, steam will start to come out of the top of the percolator. Then, after a few minutes, you’ll see the water start to rise in the filter as it percolates.
  6. Once the percolated coffee starts to drip into the bottom of the percolator, your cup of coffee is ready! Remove the percolator from the fire, and pour it into your mug or thermos. Enjoy your hot cup of coffee- you’ve earned it.

Cup of Coffee from a Percolator

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Percolator Camping

Here are a few tips I’ve learnt from camping with a percolator over the years:

  • Try to stick to good quality, pre-ground coffee. It’s generally easier to work with and the coffee always tastes better.
  • Always make sure to pour the water into the percolator slowly. If you pour it in too quickly, you could get grounds floating around in your coffee. Bleh!
  • Try to use filtered or distilled water if you have it available. It will give you a cleaner and smoother tasting coffee.
  • If there are multiple people looking for coffee, make sure to make more than one pot. A percolator can make multiple pots of coffee, so make sure you don’t leave anyone out.

Percolator Set Up


Using a percolator camping is a great way to make yourself a hot cup of coffee in the great outdoors. Not only is it easy to use, but it’s also convenient, portable, and can make multiple pots of coffee if needed. So next time you go camping, ditch the instant coffee and make yourself a delicious, homemade cup of coffee with a percolator.