a mug full of brewed coffee

How to Make Coffee When Camping: Your Guide to the Perfect Morning Brew

Ah, there’s nothing quite like waking up in the great outdoors with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or new to the wilderness, having your morning caffeine fix is essential. Let’s dive into the best ways to make coffee at camping

Traditional Campfire Brewing

There’s something truly magical about coffee at camping. It’s not just about the drink itself but the whole experience that comes with it. The crackling fire, the early morning chill, the aroma of coffee beans mixing with fresh forest air – it’s an experience that brings you closer to nature. Let’s delve deeper into the art of traditional campfire brewing.

The Ambiance

Before we even get into the mechanics, it’s important to appreciate the ambiance that campfire brewing provides. It’s a ritual that slows you down. As the sun rises, and the world around you awakens, the process of making coffee becomes a meditative practice, connecting you to the environment.

Choosing the Right Equipment

For coffee at camping, a durable coffee pot, often referred to as a ‘cowboy coffee pot,’ is ideal. These pots are made of stainless steel or enamel and are designed to withstand direct flames. They come with a long handle, perfect for holding over an open fire, and a spout for easy pouring.

The Brewing Process

Preparation: Start by finding a stable spot over the campfire. It shouldn’t be directly over aggressive flames but rather over glowing embers. This ensures even heating without burning the coffee.

Water: Fill your pot with the desired amount of water. Remember, for every cup of coffee, you’ll need about two cups of water.

Coffee Grounds: Freshly ground beans make all the difference. For a strong brew, aim for a 1:15 coffee-to-water ratio. If you like it milder, adjust accordingly. The coarseness of your grind should be similar to breadcrumbs.


  1. Place the pot over the fire and wait for the water to heat.
  2. Once it’s hot but not boiling, add the coffee grounds.
  3. Stir them in, ensuring they’re fully immersed.
  4. Let the mixture sit over the fire for about 4-5 minutes.

Settling: After brewing, a neat trick to settle the grounds is to add a splash of cold water. This causes the grounds to sink to the bottom, making for a clearer pour.

Savor the Moment

Once you’ve poured your coffee into your mug, please take a moment to savor it. Appreciate the richness, the depth of flavor, and the warmth it provides. This isn’t just any coffee; it’s a cup you’ve crafted with care, in the heart of nature.

Using a French Press

The French press, a press pot or plunger pot, has become an iconic symbol of coffee culture worldwide. Its simplicity and ability to produce a robust and full-flavored brew have made it a favorite among coffee lovers. Let’s look at the charm and technique behind using a French press.

A Brief History

Originating from France in the 1850s, the French press has undergone various design improvements. Its current design, with the mesh plunger, was patented by Italian designer Attilio Calimani in 1929. Despite its humble beginnings, it’s now a staple in many households and coffee shops around the globe.

Selecting the Right Coffee

The choice of coffee beans plays a crucial role in the outcome. For a French press, medium to dark roasted beans are often preferred. They provide a rich, bold flavor that the press is known for. Ensure the beans are coarsely ground, like breadcrumbs, to prevent them from seeping through the mesh filter.

Step-by-Step Brewing Guide

Warm Up the Press: Before adding your coffee grounds, fill the press with hot water to pre-warm it. This step ensures a consistent brewing temperature. After about a minute, discard the water.

Determining the Right Mix: Typically, you’d want to use 1 ounce of coffee for every 4 cups of water. Yet, feel free to tweak this proportion to suit your taste.

Add Coffee Grounds: Place the coarsely ground coffee beans at the bottom of the press.

Pour Water: Use water off the boil (around 200°F or 93°C). Pour it evenly over the coffee grounds, ensuring they are saturated.

Stir: Gently stir the mixture using a wooden or plastic spoon. This ensures even extraction and helps release the coffee’s flavors and aromas.

Seal and Steep: Place the lid on the press with the plunger pulled up. Let the coffee steep for about 4 minutes. The longer it steeps, the stronger the flavor.

Press Down: After steeping, press the plunger down slowly and steadily. This action separates the brewed coffee from the grounds.

Serve Immediately: Pour your brewed coffee into a cup immediately to prevent over-extraction, and enjoy!

Ways for a Perfect Brew

  • Water Quality Matters: Use filtered water if possible. The quality of water can significantly influence the taste of your coffee.
  • Clean Regularly: Ensure you clean your French press thoroughly after each use. Leftover coffee grounds can lead to a bitter taste in future brews.

The AeroPress Method

Compact and efficient, the AeroPress is a camper’s best friend.

  • Add your coffee to the chamber.
  • Pour in the hot water.
  • Press down and pour into your mug.

Instant Coffee: Quick and Simple

For those who prefer convenience, instant coffee is the way to go.

  • Boil your water.
  • Add the desired amount of instant coffee.
  • Stir and enjoy!

Tools and Extras for the Best Brew

To elevate your coffee game, consider these essentials:

  • Freshly ground beans: Always a game-changer.
  • Manual grinders: Perfect for camping.
  • Coffee filters: For a smooth cup.
  • Flavor enhancers: Think cinnamon or cocoa.


The beverage coffee at camping are a great combination. Whether you’re a French press fan or an instant coffee drinker, there’s a method out there for you. So, the next time you’re surrounded by nature, remember these tips and enjoy your perfect morning brew!

About the Author Leman Acosta