Road Trip Pro Tip: Make Your Own Coffee or Tea on the Go

A few birthday’s ago, I received an aluminum camping tea kettle and ultralight backpacking stove. As it turns out, these two items have been the gifts that keep on giving—for many many road trips that have not even involved camping.

On more than one occasion, I have pulled over to a rest stop, a wayside, or even parking lot to quickly heat up a pot of water for tea or instant coffee. Compared to even gas station prices, brew-your-own hot beverages present an opportunity to save money and also take a stretch and caffeine break so many of us need on long road trips.

Consider this beautiful picnic spot by a stream in the interior of Yellowstone National Park, hundreds of miles from a coffee chain or fast food drive through window.

Other required items are water, an insulated travel mug, MSR fuel, lighter, and (of course) tea bags and/or packet of instant coffee (Trader Joe’s grocery store have a couple of surprisingly delicious options currently).

I, in particular, like the combination of the GSI Outdoors tea kettle and the Etekcity Ultralight Portable stove because both are relatively cool to the touch after removing the heat source. The durable kettle wipes clean with a soft towel and the stove collapses and stores easily in a string pouch.


Beyond convenience and saving money, the simple joy of wrapping my hands around a hot beverage to the backdrop of some of the most beautiful terrain our great country has to offer is priceless.

Happy trails and cheers!

About the Author

Julie Henning
Julie Henning is a freelance writer and journalist based out of Eugene, Oregon. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and owner of the family-travel website She is a recent past member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association and the Association for Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. Julie is the Oregon Coast destination specialist for Bindu Media, an itinerary-focused website launching in Spring 2016 and featuring the work of 200+ professional, indie travel writers. Julie has been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Illinois), the Rochester Post Bulletin, Wisconsin Natural Resources (DNR) Magazine, Sustainable Chicago Magazine, Group Tour Magazine, Student Group Tour Magazine, Silent Sports Magazine, Intercom Magazine,, and FTF Geocacher Magazine. Julie has appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio, Ohio Public Radio, and KCBX FM Central Coast Radio and is an affiliate producer with the Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, a National Public Radio travel podcast. She has blogged for, Travel Oregon, and VISIT Milwaukee. Julie travels with her three kids and black lab as much as possible and lives by the motto, "Not all who wander are lost." Check out some of her best work at