When going out camping, there are a few non-negotiable things you shouldn’t fail to carry along; Things that will help to provide comfort and warmth against the cold nights ahead.

And one of those things is – a camping coffee percolator!

In this post, I’m going to show you exactly how to use a camping percolator.

You are also going to learn:

  • What is a camping percolator
  • How to use a camping coffee percolator
  • How to maintain a camping coffee percolator
  • And many more.

Let’s dive right in.

Also See: How to Refill Fresh Water Tank During Camping

What is a Camping Percolator?

How to use a camping percolator

A camping percolator is a jug-like device that’s able to brew up to 12 cups of coffee very quickly on a camping grill or stove.

The coffee percolator is made of a stainless steel body frame that helps it to resist corrosion and wipes down very easily.

It’s also crafted with a base, tube, basket and basket lid, and its lightweight and durability make it the best fit for outdoor use.

This device will help you get your hot morning coffee going after a cold night of sleeping under the stars.

How to Use a Camping Coffee Percolator

Learning how to use a camping percolator starts with getting the right coffee percolator.

Camping coffee percolators have been part of American iconography since the 1880s.

Although new styles and sizes have been developed for this device, space and weight should still be a major concern when choosing a percolator for camping.

The first time of using a camping coffee percolator can be pretty confusing. Unlike usual electronic coffee makers, coffee percolators usually don’t come with any instructions to help you use it.

A camping coffee percolator comes with a pot and vertical tube (with a stand) that leads from the top of the percolator to its bottom.

There is a basket sitting on the tube, which acts as a perforated chamber with lid.

The tube and basket rest inside the percolator pot.

When assembling a camping coffee percolator, first make sure that the tube’s top and the clear bubble spot all line-up.

Note that the bubble spot is where the boiling fluid rises through the tube, splashing against the walls inside.

Now, here’s exactly how to use a camping percolator and check if it’s brewing:

1. Fill the Percolator Pot with Water

When filling the camping percolator pot, don’t overfill it; instead, just a couple of cups will do to avoid causing a hot mess on your hands.

Most coffee percolators have a fill line on the inside that is there to guide you when filling the pot.

When filling the percolator with water, fill it till the water gets just below the basket insert of the percolator.

2. Add Coffee into the Percolator

You will need to buy filters that fit the basket of the percolator when adding the coffee grounds into the percolator. This is required, especially if you are using regular ground coffee.

But you may not need the filters if you are making use of fresh coarsely ground coffee.

This is where testing out your camping coffee percolator is needed. It may take a couple of trials to figure out the tricks specific to your percolator.

Once you’ve figured out the basket needs, add a heaping teaspoon of ground coffee per cup of water (your desired amount of ground coffee with respect to the quantity of water added earlier).

Then place the basket lid on.

Now, place the whole tube and basket assembly into the percolator pot and proceed to the next step.

3. Put the Percolator to a Low Boil

You can do this by placing the percolator on a camp stove or over a campfire and watch it boil.

If you are using a camping stove, keep the flame that the percolator is on at a medium strength.

It’s essential to monitor the entire process. You can’t just walk away from a camping coffee percolator like regular drip coffee makers.

You will know when the process is almost boiled when the water begins to percolate to the top with a clear view through the bubble spot.

When you notice this happening, you have to lower the heat or move it off the center of the campfire for some time. Let it simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes until the color of the water in the bubble spot continues to darken.

4. Pour and Enjoy your Hot Cup of Coffee

Finally, pour yourself a hot cup of percolated coffee and enjoy it.

Blend in with the beauty of nature around you with a cup in your hand to fend off the chill of the fantastic camping mountain mornings.

How to use a camping percolator

How to Clean and Maintain Your Camping Percolator

As you learn how to use a camping coffee percolator, it is also important you learn how to maintain and clean your coffee percolator.

The trick to making the perfect coffee is to keep an eye on the translucent dome.

If the coffee looks too pale, it will not be strong enough; Dark coffee is the real deal – very strong and bitter!

The only flaw of a percolated coffee is that it’s a bit flavorless and charred.

But still, a hot cup of percolated coffee gives you that special dose of nostalgia in the morning after a long cold night camping outdoors.

When you are done preparing your coffee with the percolator, disassemble it by first taking out the stem, then the stem, and clean everything thoroughly.

When cleaning the pot, you will know when it is clean when it gives you that sparkle and sheen. After that, dry the coffee percolator and its respective parts on a drying rack until they are made moisture-free.

Finally, pack the percolator just the same way you had it on your way for the camping adventure.


Coffee while camping has been a daily ritual among campers. Camping without a hand-warming hot cup of percolated coffee just doesn’t seem right.

Percolated coffee gives you that bold smell of perfectly roasted coffee to waft over your camping site every morning.

Now you know how to use a camping percolator; I’d love to hear from you:

Have you ever had a taste of percolated coffee while camping?

Do you think I left a few things out in this guide?

Do let me know by leaving a comment below!