Small Coffee Percolator For Camping Caffeine Kicks!

Small Coffee Percolator For Camping Caffeine Kicks!

Last updated on October 26th, 2023 at 15:38

A small coffee percolator for camping is easy to find as there are really only two choices of brewer – a traditional coffee percolator or a stovetop moka pot. Finding the best one for you, the one that best suits your own personal needs, there are a few things you need to think about before you splash the cash.

Size, material it is made from, the ability for you to take it from place to place and the cost. We discuss these aspects and give you our top choice for each of the two different coffee brewers which come in different sizes to suit your needs.

Keep reading as I dig down and get to the details!

What Is A Coffee Percolator?

A coffee percolator is an old-fashioned brewing method of continuously brewing coffee in an open endless cycle by passing hot water over coarsely ground coffee. The technique uses heat to produce the water pressure needed to push the hot water up the hollow central rod.

The water then falls over a metal spreader plate which distributes the water evenly over your coffee grounds and back down into the water chamber as coffee.

The cycle continues until you stop it, which results in a strong well-brewed coffee.

What Is A Coffee Percolator
How A Percolator Works

Read: Moka pot Vs Percolator 

What About A Small Coffee Percolator?

A small coffee percolator that is a miniature version of the larger stovetop or electric versions functions in exactly the same way as described above. There is no difference at all other than it is smaller.

A stovetop espresso maker, also known as a moka pot, works in a slightly different way.

With a moka pot, which is a small coffee percolator, it does not percolate coffee in aan open loop continuous cycle way. The water is heated in the lower chamber which rises under steam pressure of 1.5 bar and passes through the bed of very finely ground coffee and into the upper coffee chamber.

Small Coffee Percolator Camping Options

There are a few options available for you if you want to enjoy percolated coffee on a weekend or week-long camping trip.

Which one best suits your needs will depend entirely on your coffee needs, your own personal likes and how many cups of coffee you will need to make.

#1Bialetti Musa Moka Pot Best Small Coffee Percolator For Making Espresso

This moka pot is available in a small 4-cup size and all the way up to 10 cup sizes. Sure the larger version is perhaps on the big side for camping, and certainly backpacking. Being made of strong durable stainless steel, you can hook the handle into one of the open pouches while trekking for a short distance to your pitching location.

If you really need an espresso, or to be more accurate, espresso like coffee while enjoying the great outdoors, a moka pot is a great option.

The coffee made is espresso-like, a very close option without using an espresso machine. It lacks the thick rich crema on top to be a true espresso. You will still get a rather delicious coffee and the ability to make all your favorite milk based espresso drinks like a latte, cortado, mocha, flat white, macchiato and more.

As mentioned, at 4 cup size it is small and easily portable and doesn’t take up too much space while the 10 cup version is large enough to make coffee for a group.

Bialetti Musa Moka Pot
Bialetti Musa Moka Pot

#2 GSI Outdoors Percolator Coffee Pot – Best Traditional Small Coffee Percolator

The GSI outdoors percolator comes in a variety of sizes that more than meet all your coffee drinking needs starting from a nice small 3-cup version, which is nice and small for sticking in your backpack. The largest available for groups and large families is the 12 cup size.

Regardless of the size, you get a strong percolated coffee that has a strong caffeine kick. The huge plus point is the smaller 3 cup size being easy enough to take on a hiking trip. Obviously the 12 cup size is pretty big. It’s a regular percolator and too big for a camping trip. There are 6 and 9 cup versions available also which are of reasonable sizes yet bigger than the 3 cup and smaller than the 12 cup versions.

The advantage of both of these coffee percolators is that you will not need any filters – so no worries and no problem if you forget to pack them!

GSI Outdoors Percolator Coffee Pot
GSI Outdoors Percolator Coffee Pot

What To Look For In A Small Coffee Percolator For Camping

There are some factors that you can and should consider when you are looking for a small coffee percolator for camping.


The bigger that your coffee brewing equipment is, the harder it is to take with you on camping trips and to the great outdoors.

If it is just yourself and your partner, then a 2 to 4-cup sized percolator or moka pot is a good size. It is not at all an effort to make an extra batch for a top-up should you or your partner want an extra cup of coffee. For a family of 4 a 4-cup coffee maker is about the right size, a cup of coffee each.

For a larger group, count for one cup per head. Sure 9 people, that would mean a 9 cup coffee percolator and 12 cup percolator for a group of 12 people.

The bigger your coffee apparatus, the more difficult it will be to take on long adventures where space is limited. If you are camping with a large group, it will probably be necessary for you to look into nine-cup or more pots (you can look for 12- or 16-cup options). If it’s for four people or less, you can likely get away with something smaller. If it’s just for one person, there are plenty of single brew options that will save you a ton of space


Of course, no item passes the camping test unless it’s highly portable. Whether you’re RV camping, car camping, or backpacking, will play into how much space you can afford for your coffee pot. Keep in mind that most coffee pots are designed to have you heat your water elsewhere, so you’ll want to make sure that you have a small pot or kettle separately that you can use to boil water. If you have the option to use electricity from a car or RV, you can always opt to use an electric kettle, which will make your coffee routine much quicker.


When it comes to any equipment used for camping or outdoor purposes, durable is always better. Materials like stainless steel, aluminum, and cast iron are all break-resistant and heat evenly. Of course, some of these materials are heavier than others, so whether you’ll be transporting the pot in your car or in your backpack will also play a role. Plastics and rubbers are also easy-to-pack, durable materials that aren’t as expensive.


A camping coffee pot can run you anywhere from $10 to $100, so it’s certainly worth considering how often you’ll use the pot as well as how particular you are about your coffee. There are plenty of percolators and French presses that can get the job done and will cost you less than $40, but if you’re a big coffee drinker and want something with a few more features or durability, investing in a more expensive pot (maybe one that offers insulation) could be great for your future camping adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions About Small Coffee Percolator

It depends on how you like your coffee. In essence, it all comes down to flavor and brew strength. With a percolator you will get double brewed coffee and a strong caffeine kick. It is well accepted that percolators brew a notably strong coffee.

A drip coffee maker only brews your coffee once as the water does cycle through the brewing process multiple times. The flavor of the coffee can be deep and full-bodied or clean and crisp with a lighter body or something in between depending on what type of filter you use.

Paper filters produce a clean crisp taste while the mesh filter basket on its own, which is a filter, produces a full-bodied flavor. Something between the two happens when a cloth filter is used.

Follow the 9 steps outlined below to make a coffee in a small percolator:

  • 1. Weigh and grind your coffee beans.
  • 2. Heat your water.
  • 3. Fill your filter basket with your coffee grounds.
  • 4. Screw your small percolator back together.
  • 5. Put your small percolator on your stovetop.
  • 6. Brew your coffee.
  • 7. When ready, remove your small coffee percolator from the stovetop.
  • 8. Discard your used coffee grounds.
  • 9. Serve and enjoy your coffee.

In my opinion, yes, I own a few different coffee brewing devices and have a coffee percolator for when I want to enjoy a good strong coffee. It is one of the most underrated coffee brewing methods and is seen as being old-fashioned and making a coffee that is too strong.

What Is The Shortest Coffee Maker?

The following coffee makers are small and can easily be taken with you when you are travelling.

  • Aeropress.
  • Moka Pot.
  • Vietnamese Drip Coffee maker (Ca Phe Phin).
  • Mini 8oz Coffee Percolator.
  • Mini 1 Cup 12 Ounce French Press.

A good coffee to water ratio for a stovetop or electric percolator is 1:15, 1 part coffee and 15 parts water. For a moka pot, a good coffee to water ratio is 1:12.

For best results, use a coffee scale to weigh both your grounds and your water.

An electric percolator, be it a traditional percolator or a moka pot makes a slightly better quality cup of coffee due to a better and more even distribution of heat. Also, some more advanced models have features like temperature control.

What Are The Drawbacks Of A Coffee Percolator?

The biggest drawback of a coffee percolator is also one of their advantages, – the way that they rebrew coffee over and over in a cyclic fashion. It’s an advantage as you get a strong, bold and double brewed coffee. It’s a disadvantage as it can very easily over brew your coffee if you are not careful.

Do You Put Boiling Water In A Percolator?

It is not absolutely essential that you put boiling water in your percolator, but if you are using high quality single origin or a premium quality specialty grade coffee it is worth your while adding hot water at 70C (160F) as this will reduce the time in which your coffee grounds are sitting there doing nothing but oxidizing and going off.

It also reduces the water vapor that rises and wets the bottom of your coffee grounds, causing them to extract early. The result of this minor act is a notably better tasting cup of coffee.

Frappé-Ing It All Up – Small Coffee Percolator

Picking the best and most suitable small coffee percolator for camping trips with family and friends is not a complicated process; just a little thought is required regarding how many people you are likely to be making coffee for, how portable it is and the type of coffee you and your group like to drink.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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