These days there’s no reason to skimp on your coffee while adventuring. 

From compact stoves, kettles, and brewing systems (like the AeroPress XL), you can easily bring along all the things you need to brew at your campsite or wherever your travels take you.



VSSL G45 with beans loaded and ready to grind.

The Daily Grind
For us coffee geeks who prefer to grind our own beans, even when traveling, Canada-based VSSL has come out with a new larger version of its premium, G25 coffee grinder called the G45. While the G25 is great for one cup, the G45 holds up to 50g of grinds, making it great for two cups (or one AeroPress XL).


Premium Construction, First-class Feel
Made from water-resistant aircraft-grade aluminum and 18/8 304 stainless, the VSSL G45 stands 7.2” tall and 2.4” in diameter. It weighs 21oz and has an average grind time of 60 seconds. It includes a cleaning brush and a felt storage bag with lid.


VSSL G45 coffee grinder

The G45 feels ultra-premium with tight tolerances, has an excellent finish (available in two colors), and smooth operation.


The VSSL G45 features a large knob on its handle for easier grinding.

The grinding handle stows onto the body like a carabiner. Simply unscrew it, and it pops out, then you can extend the handle for maximum leverage when grinding. A larger magnetized knob is also included which sits atop a smaller knob.


Easy To Operate
To open the G45, you press the aluminum button atop the grinder. Inside you’ll find the high-carbon 420 stainless steel 42mm grinding burr. This is not a one-size-grinds-all coffee grinder. In fact, it has 50 grind settings that can be adjusted on the unit’s bottom.


VSSL G45’s grind settings dial has 50 selections, allowing for coarse grinds to fine powder.

It’s very easy to go from powdery Turkish grinds to larger grinds for French press. It takes some experimentation to find which setting you’ll want when there are so many.

I found the G45 to be easier to use than the smaller G25. This is likely due to its larger conical burrs, twin bearings, and physical size which aids in leverage. Even though the G45 is bigger than the G25, it has the same 60-second grind time as its more petite counterpart. And while space is often a premium when traveling, I found the G45 simply easier to use.


Brewing Joe On The Go
The VSSL grinders are our go-to way to grind fresh whole-bean coffee while traveling. But what’s the best brewing method?


Andy making coffee in Iceland.

Photo by Mercedes Lilienthal

The bottom line is everyone has their personal preference. My go-to travel coffee maker is an AeroPress, specifically the AeroPress Go, which is compact and has all of the components housed within it. We’ve used ours throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico, and Iceland, and it’ll likely head to Europe with us soon.

They’re easy to clean, simple to operate, and make a rich, tasty cup of Joe. If you utilize a reusable stainless-steel filter, you don’t have to worry about running out of paper filters, either. You just eject the grinds into your trash, a fire pit, or into the bush.

The argument against the AeroPress Go is you have the two-piece brewing vessel, filter(s), filter basket, stirrer, cup, and lid—a fair bit to keep track of. Regardless, it’s still my favorite.


The compact AeroPress Go in its stowed form.

Sometimes we don’t use an AeroPress and opt for a pour-over brewing method. This also makes good coffee and only requires a paper filter and the pour-over cone.

There are multiple types of cones from plastic and glass, to folding versions and collapsible silicone units. We keep the latter one with No. 2 filters in our van for when we camp.


The AeroPress Go can be broekn down to these pieces for easy cleaning.

Clean-up on these is simple, but you have to always have filters with you, which can be cumbersome. But in terms of simplicity, a pour-over is a winner.

A lot of people like French presses. This method uses a more course grind, so you don’t have to spin that grinder quite as much. These also make delicious coffee, and we started out using this method thanks to plastic travel presses with metal filters baskets.

For me, the French press’s biggest downside is cleanup. These retain the most grinds after brewing and have parts that need to be individually disassembled and washed. When traveling, I look for simplicity in making coffee, so we don’t use this method much on the road anymore.


French press

Other options include a variety of kettle-style brewers, such as moka pots or percolators. These, especially Bialetti Moka pots (or similar) make strong, rich, espresso-style coffee. However, you’ll need a large pot for multiple cups (or multiple rounds of brewing), and they aren’t the easiest to pack down for travel.

The good news is there’s no disposable filter to worry about. However, moka pots have a rubber seal to deal with and getting them good and dry before packing them again can take time.


Moka pot

One more plus to the kettle style—no separate vessel needed to boil water. It all happens within the apparatus. With the AeroPress, pour-over, and French press method, you generally need to have another pot or kettle to first brew your water.


No Wrong Ways
No matter how you grind it or brew it, fresh delicious coffee on the go is totally doable, and there are so many options. Just make sure you get a good grinder to mill your own beans and try out different methods of making your java at home before lugging your coffee maker with you. This way you won’t have to figure out what works and doesn’t work when far away from home.


Access More Great Stories!
For more informative articles like this, consider subscribing to OVR Magazine in print or digital versions here. You can also find the print edition of OVR at your local newsstand by using our Magazine Finder.