Best Ways to Make Great Coffee While Camping

Best Ways to Make Great Coffee While Camping

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Nothing is greater than waking up, crawling out of your tent or RV to hear those birds chirping and breathing the crisp morning air while the sun begins to peak through the trees, except one thing, COFFEE!!

I love coffee and having a hot cup of joe while sitting by the campfire in the morning is one of my favorite things to do. It’s that moment in the morning time where you can relax, take in the scenery, and begin to plan your day before the heat and bugs come out to play.

Coffee has been a staple in households around the world for many generations, so it’s only obvious that one must take coffee camping. But how do you make coffee without electricity? We are so used to our Kuregs and Coffee pot brewers that knowing how to make coffee any other way is a little foreign. I get it!

Well, I am here to tell you that there are plenty of ways to get that perfect cup while enjoying the great outdoors without the luxury of electricity.

1. French Press

This is our favorite way to make coffee! I remember when I had no idea what a French press was or even how to use it.

When camping it’s as simple as warming up some water on the propane stove (if you have one) or the campfire in a kettle pot. Then pour your favorite coffee grains in, pouring in the hot water and letting it sit. The amount of time you let it sit depends on how strong you want your coffee to be. Once your hot water has set in the coffee grounds for the desired time, simply press the top with the strainer and screens in slowly. Once pressed all the way in, it’s time to pour that perfect cup or two of coffee.

The French press is a classic way of making great coffee and perfect for any camping trip!

How much Coffee does it make: Usually 2 cups
Ease of use?: Yes. It’s very easy to use and quick way to make a great cup of coffee.
Where to purchase?: Amazon or your local store. They usually have some decent French Presses in stock depending on the quality you prefer.

2. Instant Coffee

Before we discovered the French press, and when we moved into the RV fulltime, instant coffee packs from Starbucks was our go-to for coffee. They are fantastic and a great way to get a quick cup of coffee when you’re running out of time. I still use instant coffee for those situations when I just want a quick cup and don’t care about the kind of bean or precision in making the perfect cup.

I definitely do recommend this when camping because of how easy it is! All you need is a hot cup of water, and you pour in the pack of instant coffee. That’s it! You have a great cup of coffee in an instant.

How much Coffee does it make: 1 packet makes 1 cup
Ease of use?: Super easy and the quickest way to have a cup of coffee.
Where to Buy?: You can purchase from Amazon or Starbucks sells the packets of 7 in the coffee aisle at most grocery stores.

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3. Classic Percolator Coffee Pot

Percolator Coffee pots are the most common way many make coffee while camping. They come in different sizes and styles. The Enamelware percolator coffee pot is a staple when it comes to camping. The classic blue speckled enamel makes me want to pack up the truck and go tent camping right now!

If you’re not into the enamel look, they have great stainless steel options as well that work wonders. The great thing about the percolators is they can make multiple cups of coffee depending on the size of the pot. Usually, it is about 8 cups total. So if you’re camping with a larger group, the percolators are fantastic!

How much coffee does it make: usually about 8 cups
Ease of Use: Pretty easy, just takes some time to brew.
Where to Buy: Amazon

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4. Single Serve Collapsible Coffee Dripper

I first saw these on Amazon and thought how cool! They are single serve and collapsible so you can take it anywhere with you. These are nice so you can still have the fresh brewed tasting coffee as the hot water runs through the grounds, but not have to have a pot of any sort to carry or bring along. Plus they are BPA free silicone and super lightweight.

These are great for camping trips if you’re the only one who drinks coffee or you’re not going with a big group of people.

How much does it make: 1 cup per use
Ease of Use: Easy to use, but must have the paper filter along with it.
Where to Buy: Amazon

5. Coleman Propane Coffee Maker

Coleman, of course, is a huge name when it comes to camping gear. Of course, they would make a propane coffee maker. I honestly think this device is really cool and has the potential last many, many years! Coleman products are great products.

The propane Coffee Maker works just like your pot coffee maker back at home. It has an Instastart push-button ignition that will light your propane and start the brewing process. Great for camping, hunting, or anywhere that you will be outdoors without electricity. Also, it’s the best for larger groups because it can make up to 10 cups of coffee and one propane tank can keep the coffee hot for up to 4.5 hours.

How much does it make: 10 cups of coffee
Ease of Use: As easy as your Coffee Pot Maker at home
Where to Buy: Amazon

6. Portable Car Charging Single Serve Coffee Maker

If you’re camping, chances are you have a car of some sort. Cars have your 12v power outlets in them that you can plug in a phone charger or other adaptable items. Now, they have come up with the idea of a Portable Car Charging Single Serve Coffee Maker.

Since it is a single server it can use either a k-cup or ground coffee. When it comes to the hot water, you have a choice to either place the hot water in the cup or you can pour non-hot water in and it will warm up the water in about 10 minutes. Once you have hot water and the coffee is in, then all you do is press the button and it begins to brew a cup of coffee for you. It’s great for traveling and camping trips.

How much does it make: 1 cup 150 ML
Ease of use: Seems easy, according to instructions.
Where to Buy: Amazon

7. Manual Coffee Brewer for K-Cups

These are pretty cool for those individuals who love their K-cups. Now you can take your k-cups camping! These manual brewers are fantastic for camping or pretty much anywhere because the cleanup is so easy!

All you need is hot water, a coffee mug, and a k-cup. It’s also great for the whole family so they can pick their favorite coffee or hot beverage like tea or hot chocolate k-cups.

How much does it make: 1 cup
Ease of use: Easy and cleanup is a breeze
Where to Buy: Amazon

Every single one of these options is fantastic for getting that great cup of coffee while enjoying the outdoors with your friends and family. Whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong!

As I mentioned, my favorite is the French press but if I’m going to be camping with a lot of people who love coffee the Propane coffee maker or the Percolators coffee pots are great options. If you love the ease but hate the clean up then the instant coffee packets or the manual coffee k-cup option is perfect.

I hope you enjoy your camping trip and most importantly enjoy that amazing cup of coffee however you choose to brew!

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How to Find Free Camping in the USA

How to Find Free Camping in the USA

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Free Camping! Doesn’t that sound amazing?

Well, if you’re here you either love to camp or maybe you actually live full-time in an RV like us. I am sure you have come to notice that camping in many places can either cost you $10 a night for a tent camping site or the upper cost of $110 for a full hook-up RV site.

When you’re on a budget, like we always are, finding anything for ‘free’ is a huge win!

Now, can you imagine being out on the road and spending on average $20 to  $35 for a full hook up for your RV? That’s about $1000 a month and for us, that was a month’s rent on a 1 bedroom apartment. We moved into an RV to eliminate those costs. We were tired of spending over $1000 a month to live in a 700 sqft apartment. It made us feel stuck and we were working to just pay the basic rent and food. I don’t know about you, but for us, that just wasn’t worth it.

Therefore finding camping spots for free was a no brainer for us. But how is that possible? Is it possible?

It totally is possible!!

You just have to research it out. Luckily we have put together our knowledge from our research right here for you! Whether you are looking to boondock in your RV, van, car,  or bus aka dry camp or enjoy the week or weekend tent camping.

You can camp for FREE!

Option 1: National Parks

 As of 2019, America has a total of 61 National Parks. The newest national park added to the list is the Indiana Dunes National Park along Lake Michigan. If you’re objective or goal is to see them all, just know you only have to go to 29 states and two U.S. territories.

Within these National Parks, you will find the beauty of this Great Nation, amazing Wildlife, Mountains, and Beaches. In order to camp for free, be prepared to boondock or dry camp. National parks do not have the same amenities as RV parks such as your full hookups. That means no running water and no power.

Also, if you are in an RV and plan on finding a spot in a national park to stay it is advised that you plan out your route. Many places in the parks can be tight fits, winding and/or narrow roads. Also, keep in mind the size of your RV, this will help determine where you can go in the park with your rig.

Although camping is ‘free’, many National Parks may not allow Dispersed Camping, meaning camping outside of a designated campground area. To determine designated campsites there will be fire pit rings and/or picnic tables. Check the website for the park you are going to be visiting to see what that specific park allows and ensure yourself that you know the rules.

 

What kind of camping is allowed: RV, Tent, Van, Car, or Converted Bus
How long can you camp: The length of dry camping in one site on National Park land is 14 days.
How you can find National Parks and get more details just visit: https://nps.gov

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Option 2: Bureau of Land Management or BLM

What is it? BLM or Bureau of Land Management is defined as undeveloped public land. They are great camping spots for your campers who love solitude and enjoys the great outdoors. The majority of camp spots found on BLM is dispersed camping sites.

However, if you’re lucky you could find a spot someone has camped before by simple markers like a fire pit ring. Every free campsite on BLM grounds is first come, first serve. This is your true 100% boondocking on remote sites. This allows you to find some hidden gems and explore areas many people don’t even think about.

If you don’t like the first come, first serve option you can reserve a campsite on the BLM land for a price at recreation.gov.

 

What kind of camping is approved? RV, Tent, Van, Car, or Converted Bus
How long can you stay? The maximum time one can stay on BLM land is 14 days.
How you can find BLM camp areas: BLM areas include National Wild and Scenic Rivers, Historic Trails, Landmarks, Recreation Trails, and National Wilderness Areas. You can find BLM campsites at recreation.gov

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Option 3: Parking Lots & Small Town Venues

There are many different options you can stay at if you are in a Car, Van, or an RV. These are free short-term overnight options and we highly suggest always asking management before spending the night. Another great tip to find free overnight rest areas when traveling in an RV, Car, or Van is to stop by the local Sheriff office.

Also, keep in mind these are free one night stays, so don’t set up camp, and leave your slides in (if possible). If you have a fifth wheel, bumper pull, or towing anything keep everything hooked up. Also, always park in the far back away from general parking or traffic.

Here is a list of potential parking lots you could stay overnight at:

  • Truck Stops
  • Casinos
  • Walmart
  • Nightclubs
  • Cemetery
  • Fairgrounds
  • Parks
  • Churches
  • Hotel Parking Lots
  • RV Dealerships
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Movie Theaters
  • Highway Rest Stops
  • Big Box Retailers: Sams Club, Costco, ect.
  • Roadside Parks and Picnic Areas


What kind of camping is approved?:
RV, Car, Van,  or Converted Bus …. Sorry no tent pitching
How long can you stay?: 1 night (Depending on Management)
How can you find these spots?: Google Maps or stop by the local Sheriffs office.

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Option 4: Google “Free Camp Spots Near Me”

I know it may seem obvious but I’m serious, sometimes just googling something can bring up places that you never even thought of. For example, I just googled “Free Campsites in Texas” because that is where we live and actually found a free RV site with hookups. Those are completely unheard of, but it has great reviews and can exist anywhere.


Here are some Online Resources to find great camping spots for free:

There you have it! If you enjoy camping, are on a strict budget, and don’t mind “roughing” it, then Boondocking aka dry camping is right up your ally. If you have an RV, investing in solar panels is a great idea if you still want electricity and don’t want to burn up a loud generator and gas.

To sum this all up, if you don’t want to spend over $1000 a month just to stay at the campsite every night, you don’t’ have too. You can travel the nation and visit all the amazing scenery and not pay a single dime on a site. It does take some planning and adjusting to the Boondocking lifestyle, but the amount of money you will save is amazing.


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Tips on Staying Cool During a Summer Camping Trip

Tips on Staying Cool During a Summer Camping Trip

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Camping and Summer go together like peanut butter and jelly. For many families, it’s a super fun activity when the weather warms up. For my family, this was definitely the case.

We absolutely loved and still love going tent camping in the summer. My first camping trip was when I was barely a year old. I can still see the picture of my dad laying on the camping chair and holding me up in my little bathing suit making me laugh. Oh, the memories!

Then, my family and I would always camp on the water at Lake Texoma in Oklahoma. It was about a 4-hour drive from where we lived in North Texas. While camping we enjoyed swimming, playing, skipping rocks, setting up the camp, building fires, and making smores and hot dogs. Camping with my brother and sisters was a highlight of my childhood.

Along with camping, I also remember it being extremely hot at times. So, staying cool was essential and of course, we got creative.

Tip 1: Water, Water, and more Water!

Staying hydrated is the most important thing you can do when camping in the summer heat to stay cool. Your body is 60% water therefore if you become dehydrated, not only will it make you hotter but there can be extreme risks that could end you up in the hospital. So drink a lot of water.

Another reason water is so important to stay cool is it can be used in other ways. We would pour water over our heads, wet our hats, and even take a cold bottle of water and hold it on our neck for a few minutes. These worked wonders to get cool quick when you just can’t take the heat. So always have water in your cooler.

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Tip 2: Portable Fan w/mister

I remember when this option came out! Each one of us had our own personal handheld mister that ran on batteries. It was the talk and must have for years. I honestly still think they are amazing and work wonders for camping in the summer heat. Plus they come in multiple sizes and colors for the whole family.

Also, If you’re camping near a plugin for the electricity they even have larger stand up misting fans you can bring along. Just another great way to stay cool in the summer heat.
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Tip 3: Stay in the Shade and Relax

I know how tempting it is to get that nice sun-kissed tan while on a camping trip. Just the thought of laying out and soaking up the sun is intriguing. However, the sun is not only extremely hot but it can dehydrate you as well as de-plenish your energy levels. When camping I always try to listen to my body and when I need to cool off I find a nice shaded area, grab a bottle of water, and relax.

Staying in the shade protects you from direct UV rays, it keeps you cooler than being in the scorching sunlight and allows your body to recharge. So stay safe and cool by staying in the shade. You can even bring along a shade tent like this Portable Shade Canopy.

Tip 4: Swimming pools/Lake swimming/Kayaking/Paddle Boarding

Depending on where you choose to camp at, this one is either a great idea or doesn’t apply. As a kid, we would always go camping in Oklahoma right on Lake Texoma. Therefore swimming was a given when we camped.

We all had our individual floats to go swimming and cool down during the hottest time of day. I say “all” because there were 6 kids and 2 adults and camping was a cheap and fun vacation. It truly was the best time! The water always felt so amazing and kept us cool, especially when the temperatures reached above 90 degrees.

So if you have floats, a Kayak or two, or paddleboard, these are great to take camping. They keep you cool, active and enjoying the great outdoors.

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Tip 5: Take a quick trip to town

This one is kind of a splurge. I mean we all “forget” something we need whether it’s marsh-mellows for the smores or batteries for the misting fan. Finding an excuse to go into town was something us girls mastered while camping. It gave us the greatest opportunity to get some nice cold air conditioning. (We didn’t have an RV).

After spending all day in 90 plus degree weather, there is nothing better than walking down the freezer section in the grocery store. Talk about a way to cool down!

Tip  6: Wet Towel or Bandana

This one I learned not only from camping trips but also all the softball games I played as a kid. Having a wet towel or bandana wrapped around your neck is amazing. They actually make special cooling neck towels now with the ability to put ice cubes in, and they are made out of a special kind of material that stays cooler longer.

On top of the neck towels, they even have cooling full body towels that can be used for camping or any activity outdoors. I love how things can develop over the years!

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Stay cool and enjoy your camping trip! I hope all or some of these tips will help you when planning and going on your next camping adventure. They are essential techniques for me to make sure I stay cool, safe, and hydrated. Like I mentioned these are tips I grew up learning and implementing while camping in the summer heat.

I truly believe they are great options for everyone in the family and I especially love the personal misting fans!

Enjoy your next camping trip with your spouse, family, or friends and take these cooling tips along with you!

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The Essentials for a Safe Camping Trip with your Dog(s)

The Essentials for a Safe Camping Trip with your Dog(s)

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Tips on Camping with your Dog 2 - The Essentials for a Safe Camping Trip with your Dog(s)
Camping with your dog or dogs should always be an enjoyable experience. However, camping season is smack dab in the hottest time of the year for most people, depending on where you live. Since your Dog’s fur acts like a sweater or coat for them, high temperatures can cause a numerous amount of problems. The last thing you want to do is rush your beloved pet to the vet for a heat stroke or exhaustion. 

We know first hand about having a dog who overexerts himself to the point of having seizures. He would play fetch until his muscles gave out and would seize from being overheated. We have now learned and have been working with him to calm down and rest.

We have learned many lessons by having three dogs, therefore, we make sure that when we camp, we take these must needed essentials.

These essentials are to keep your pets happy, healthy, and enjoying the trip as much as you and your family. 

They include more than the ability to keep your dog cool during the heat of the summer. They include keeping your dog safe from predators, pests, and more. So, let’s get to it… 

1.  Extra Water and Collapsible bowl

These bowls are amazing! I seriously wish I came up with the idea. Whether you are camping, going to the dog park or on a gorgeous hike with your beloved pet, water is a must. However, no one wants to lug around a bowl that just gets in the way. If you own a dog, these are a necessity!! 

Another great product to add to the bowls is the Pet Cup. This allows you to bring extra food and water specifically for them and are great for day hikes. They also keep you from having to share your personal water because you need to stay hydrated too! 

Both are great purchases if you’re camping and planning on hiking with your dogs. (Images are clickable and will send you directly to Amazon)
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2. Doggy Travel Bag 

Dogs can be somewhat like children because they require a lot of things like toys, food, and treats. These items can easily be forgotten when packing for a weekend getaway camping trip. The last you want to do is to get to your campsite and realize you forgot the dog food. These bags are super handy to keep the dog’s items all in one place together to ensure you don’t miss a thing. 

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3. Hiking/Camping Dog Backpack

Don’t carry your pet’s stuff for them on hikes. Seriously, most dogs love to work and placing a doggy backpack on them stimulates their brain in a great way. Dogs like to feel like they are working and contributing as a pack member. 

These backpacks allow them to do just that by carrying their own water, food, and bowls for rest time. Plus, it frees you up from having to carry their stuff and your stuff while hiking and/or camping. 
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4. Tie Down/Rope/Portable Fence and Leashes! 

For most, if not all campsites and national parks, having your pets on a leash or contained is a must. In many places, it is actually the law. Making sure your pet is tied down, behind a fence, or always on a leash is protection for them as well as others.

I can’t imagine losing one of my dogs in the wilderness and not knowing what could be out there that could hurt my pet. It’s also safety from other pets attacking your pet. I have heard of many stories of dogs getting into fights simply because the owner did not have the pet on a leash. Safety, Safety, Safety!

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5. Tick/Flea Medicine

Summertime is camping time for many people. This is also the time of year where your ticks, fleas, and mosquitos come out to play as well. These pests can wreak havoc on your beloved animals as well as yourself. So having some type of protection whether it’s a collar, spray, or a monthly pill like my dogs take is essential. Whatever you choose for protection, just know something is better than nothing! 

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6. Dog Bags

I know, when your camping it’s easy to think that you’re in the wilderness and there are so many other animals out there doing their business, so why would you have to pick up your dogs poo? Well, it just a simple courtesy for the next campers that choose that spot. Also, if you’re RV camping it’s usually apart of the camp’s rules.

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7. Pet First Aid Kit 

This one is important! You never know what could happen during a camping or hiking trip. There are many sharp rocks and objects that could cut your dogs paw or legs. They could get an allergic reaction to some type of plant or bite. The list could go on and one, therefore, having a pet emergency kit is super smart to always have handy.
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9. Outdoor bed or blanket 

If your pet is an inside dog and a little too spoiled like ours, sleeping on the ground at night just doesn’t cut it. Even if it’s not a fancy blanket or bed, having something so they don’t have to lay on the hard dirt outside is nice.  We always bring a blanket for them to sleep on at night in the tent. 
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This list is a lifesaver when camping with your pets! Keeping your dogs safe and happy will make them love the outdoors even more. Plus, it gives you peace of mind so you can enjoy the trip as well! 

I hope you use this list and have an amazing camping trip and summer with your family and pets. 

If you found this list helpful, please leave a comment! I would love to hear! Also, don’t forget to share with your fellow dog owners. Thanks for stopping by! 

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Tips on Camping with your Dog 2 - The Essentials for a Safe Camping Trip with your Dog(s)

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