In the summer holidays, many of us choose places where we feel at one with nature, strip back to basics. Live the simple life. Where the daily responsibilities are swim, eat, nap eat, read, eat, swim (wait 20 minutes), read, sundowners, eat, card game, sleep. We ruminate philosophically to our friends that this is what life should be like, and just maybe we should think about packing it all in, buying a caravan and moving to the bush. Ideally next to a billabong. With a waterfall. And within a seven minute drive to the cafe and a reasonably priced supermarket.

We may go off-grid, but we are cultured human beings who have tasted good coffee and will not go back. Here’s how you live the simple life without being a simpleton:

If you’re on a powered caravan site

You’re essentially living in a tiny house, so bring whatever fits. Bring your home espresso machine if you want, definitely bring your electric grinder. Bring your entire coffee set up and don’t try to pretend you’re roughing it. You’re not.

If you’re in an unpowered caravan

You’re space luxurious, but power poor. Bring your Porlex, gooseneck kettle, scales, Aeropress, ceramic v60, all your papers and your favourite mugs. You can use enamel ones if you want to feel a bit rustic. Unnecessary, but I understand if you’re going for the outdoors aesthetic.


You’re getting down to the essentials. With a couple of frills. You’ve got your car right there so you still have some space. You just have to think about whether you pack the extra coffee gear or the kid’s inflatable pool doughnut, but I know you’ll make the right choice. You can pack your Porlex, scales, gooseneck kettle, Aeropress if you’re making coffee for one, or plunger if making for more. I think an enamel mug would be appropriate in this instance, in case said child throws a tantrum because you ‘forgot’ to pack their inflatable pool doughnut.


Here’s where it may be sensible to make a few concessions. You can still have great coffee, but you need to be smart. Pre-grind your coffee (gasp! horror!), only bring what you need, and eyeball your measurements (mon dieu! sacre bleu!), but when you’re waking up amongst the trees and mountains, hips stiff from yesterday’s seven hour hike and leaky blow up mattress, that coffee will be the best you’ve ever had. Aeropress Go’s are pretty light, as is a plastic v60. No gooseneck kettle for you, you’ll splash the water in from your titanium billy can, straight into your thermos. Or breakfast bowl, pre dehydrated bircher muesli. Then off you go for today’s eight hour trek. The coffee will give you the brain power you need to convince yourself you’re having a good time.