Small Coffee Percolator For Camping Caffeine Kicks!

Small Coffee Percolator For Camping Caffeine Kicks!

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.

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 place 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 a 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.

A Small Coffee Percolator
A Moka Pot

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.

#1 Bialetti 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 size. 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 ability to easily take your brewer with you is an important factor, be it a caravan, RV vehicle, tent or backpacking will play a critical factor on which device you decide to buy. A cool point here is that with a percolator or moka pot you will not need to have a a separate kettle or water boiler.

Size plays a key role is how portable the device is, as does the style of your camping trip.


When investing in a brewing equipment durability of material is a key factor as you want your coffee equipment to last as long as it can. Good quality aluminum, stainless steel and copper will last you a life time. The only part you will need to renew in a moka pot will be the gasket.

This of course adds to the weight, but in exchange you get durability. The last thing you want to take on a camping trip is a glass coffee brewer as it is liable to break.


The cost of a small coffee percolator for camping is not a key issue for me, If I get my hand on a good quality on, there is a fair chance it can be, and will be used for more than just the odd trip. I’ll use it at home and loan it out to friends and family.

A good price range is US$40 to US$100 considering you will get good use out of it.

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 part 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.

Final Thoughts, 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.

Coffee is love, it's more than love — it's a passion of mine. I've had the luck to have travelled and enjoyed the most exotic of coffee's and unique flavors, brewing methods and techniques of making the perfect coffee from Thai hill tribe coffee to Indonesian volcanic coffee, Malaysian coffee that comes in a tea bag and the array of flavors in Vietnam, from Vanilla to Orange to Coconut to Avocado to even salt coffee and the famous egg coffee. The best part of my coffee adventures is getting to mix with the locals over a nice brew and learning how they make it! I'm cited and referenced on Google Scholar for the topic of coffee.

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