How Long Do You Percolate Coffee On A Campfire?

We all know that coffee is a vital tool for those early mornings on the camping. It’s the perfect way to get up and ready for the day!

Here’s how to drink coffee in the wilderness:

  • Make an open campfire
  • Make sure you fill your pot
  • Assemble your basket
  • Include coffee
  • Assemble your percolator
  • Let it simmer
  • Percolate for 10 to 15 minutes

For a more thorough overview of how long you should percolate your coffee, check out the following article.

How Long Do You Percolate Coffee on a Campfire?

It typically takes between 10 and 15 mins to percolate your coffee however it may be as short as five minutes. If you let it percolate longer the coffee will become stronger.

You’re not going to find the perfect cup coffee from the first time you make it So, try it out. At some point, you’ll be in a position to know the moment the coffee’s ready by its hue.

It becomes darker as it percolates and you’ll soon be able to tell the moment when you’ve got a coffee that’s dark enough give the desired flavor and strength.

You should stick to the same coffee brand, however. The brand you choose will alter the flavor, and you’ll need to test the amount of time you drink it over and over and over.

How Do You Make Percolator Coffee?

There are a variety of steps involved in making percolator coffee, however it’s not too difficult. If you’re patient you’ll be able complete this task quickly.

Step #1: Build Up Your Campfire

For the first time the process, you’ll require a campfire which won’t be going out anytime very soon. If you want to find out how long campfires last for, then I’ve an article about that for you. The article will give you some tips for keeping the fire going longer.

You don’t require any specific kind of campfire to do this However, it’s easier to have one with smaller flames. So you can set your percolator on top a grill above the fire pit.

Step #2: Fill Your Pot

Once the fire is set and the fire is lit, you can begin preparing for the brewing process.

A quality camping percolator will come with an indicator of fill. The line is usually used to indicate that you’ve filled it with the appropriate amount of coffee (two cups or four cups, for instance.)

If your percolator does not have a fill line you can measure 6oz of water for each cup of coffee to make the perfect beverage.

Step #3: Assemble Your Basket

The basket that you place in your percolator is the one which holds the coffee you grind. A long stem is inserted into it and boiling water flows through the stem while you make your coffee.

But, you must connect the stem to the basket. Your percolator is usually equipped with instructions on how you can accomplish this.

Step #4: Add Coffee

After you have your basket set up then you can put in your coffee. If the percolator you purchased came with a filter, add it to the basket prior to the coffee.

It’s time to decide the amount of coffee needed to make a drink you love. Typically two tablespoons of grounds from coffee per cup is enough. Although, some individuals prefer one spoon for 2 cups of coffee, therefore you can play around with it.

Coffee making is not all-encompassing science. So be sure to play with your ratios until you find the perfect one for you.

Step #5: Assemble Your Percolator

When your basket is set to be assembled, you can put it together with the remaining parts components of the. The basket will come with an enclosure, so place it on and make sure it’s secure. It’s not advisable to have lids that move in the event that it leads to burns and splashes.

The stem and the basket are still connected at this point and should be placed in your percolator’s pot.

Step #6: Watch Your Pot

It’s a popular saying that a pot watched doesn’t boil but it will, and you’ll have to be vigilant about your percolator.

Place the percolator in front of the hot coals or fire Keep watch over it until it reaches a boil.

After it’s boiling, lower the temperature. It’s possible to do this by moving the percolator away from center in front of a fire, bringing it over flames that are taller or by lower the temperature of a camping stove (if appropriate.)

Step #7: Wait

Once your coffee is boiling on a low heat It’s forming. Begin to watch the coffee heat up.

There’s no need to be glued to it. After you’ve reached the five minute mark, you can begin checking the coffee each few minutes until it boils for around 10 minutes.

After the coffee has been brewed then take it off the heatand then hold the lid shut using an absorbent towel. It is important to prevent any steam to escape, and then burn your skin while the lid will be hot enough to be touched.

You can now serve your cup of coffee. Clean your percolator while you wait for your coffee to cool down, because you don’t want the grounds to get dry and then stick. Clean it as well as you’re able to, then drink the coffee!

How Do You Know When Campfire Coffee Is Done?

The coffee will appear in the percolator’s dome. This is how you’ll know that it’s boiling. If the coffee is doing this, you’ll know to monitor the coffee. If it begins to darken to the shade of the usual coffee after about 10 minutes of percolating, it’s most likely finished.

Choosing the Right Camping Percolator

There are some aspects to take into consideration when selecting a percolator for camping. Let’s look at the top aspects to consider.


If you’re on a solo journey the percolator which can produce only one cup at a time would suffice. However, group trips require a bigger percolator. Find the one that meets your requirements to the fullest extent.

Percolators are available in a range of sizes. A tiny, single-cup percolator would be ideal for a backpacker. They can be difficult to locate, though it is best to make sure you choose the smallest you can locate.

Massive groups might want to think about an item similar to large groups should consider something like Texsport Stainless Steel Coffee Pot. It can make up to 28 cups of coffee in one go!


Percolators made of stainless steel are very common and of high-end quality. Make sure to buy stainless steel, if you are able to. Enameled steel and aluminum are good choices, however aluminum is prone to warping when it’s too hot Be cautious.


There are a few percolators that are stovetops, and you’ll likely need an stovetop percolator to use for camping. This is the one you can put on your flame.

Additionally, electric coffee makers are to choose from which you can select one of these in the event that you’d like. But, it will remove any fire-related steps from the guide on making coffee percolator.

The majority of percolators are stovetop. Electric percolators don’t work well in camping conditions, since you’ll require an extremely lengthy extension cable.

Other Ways To Make Camping Coffee

If a percolator isn’t the most-loved item in the world you can explore these alternative methods to brew your coffee!

Drip Coffee

Pour-over coffee or drip coffee is an amazing method of making your beverage. Boil the water and add the grounds and add the espresso over it.

If you own an Chemex in your your home, you can carry it along on your for camping excursions. A camping pour-over coffee set is a better choice in the event of travel, however there is less chance of breaking.


It’s true that not everyone can take instant coffee. If you are able choose your preferred brand, then go for it and bring it with you when you go camping! This is usuallyeasy to create.

French Press

Cleaning an French press isn’t an enjoyable experience while on the go, but if ready for the challenge then you can prepare coffee in this manner.

When you open the press then add the ground into the container, add boiling water and allow it to sit for five minutes. Press from top to bottom so that the grounds are encased in an air filter. Then pour the coffee and clean the French press as soon as you can.

Moka Pot

If you own an espresso maker or stovetop espresso maker at home, you can bring it along with you on your camping excursion. You can also use a camp fire or stove instead of your stove top.

The lower chamber is filled with water and then pour finely ground coffee to the middle filter in the pot. When the water is boiling over the flame the steam rises into the grounds of coffee and creates your coffee.

Cowboy Coffee

If you’re okay with making a dirt the cowboy coffee will be fantastic. Put your grounds along with water into a container of some sort and let it sit. The grounds should sink into the bottom of your jar. Then slowly pour coffee over the cups.

There’s a possibility that you’ll get ground coffee in your mouth However, if you’re mindful you won’t have to worry about much.

Roundup of How To Percolate Coffee On A Campfire

After a few preparations and 10-15 minutes of brewing and you’ll have your perfect cup coffee in just a few minutes. Of course, alternative coffee-making techniques work great as well!

Be sure to get the proper size percolator for your needs, and also bring an insulated thermos to ensure that your coffee is hot. There’s nothing more unpleasant then cold, iced coffee especially if it’s the summer months and you drink ice coffee.

Was this helpful?
Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Hi, I'm Norah! I have been an author at Dens Camp Guide since 2017 and a full-time nomad since 2012. I love outdoor walking trails, finding new places to adventure, and cooking on camp trips with my boyfriend.