How to Make Delicious & Easy Camp Coffee (Our Favorite Method)

Camping is one of the best ways to enjoy all that life has to offer. It provides a way for us to be one with nature and tune into the most important things in life, like family, fresh air, adventure… and caffeine. We’re sharing how to make delicious and easy camp coffee with a french press in honor of caffeine.

how-to-make-camp-coffee-french-press-method

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Making Camp Coffee

There are many methods of preparing coffee on a camping trip. Some folks like to make percolator coffee, some just boil water, and mix in an instant coffee packet, and some even bring along a small coffee maker. These aren’t bad ways of making your morning cup of joe while at camp, but we’re going to share with you our favorite method. And it is crazy easy!

Coffee drinkers unite! Keep reading to make hot coffee during your next outdoor adventure.

What You’ll Need for Making Coffee at Camp

how to make camp coffee using a french press

You know we like to keep things simple if you’ve been following us for a while. We are big on going with the flow, and starting the morning off with an easy-to-prepare cup of coffee is just our style.

All you need are ten (10) basic items to make the perfect camping coffee:

1.    Propane gas camp stove

2.    Gas for the camp stove

3.    Lighter

4.    Hot water kettle

5.    Water

6.    Camp french press

7.    Pre-ground coffee (we like course ground coffee)

8.    Mugs

9.    Creamer (or sugar) if you desire

10.  Spoon

How to Make Delicious & Easy Camp Coffee

Ready for the instructions? Let’s make fresh coffee!

Step One: Measure Out Coffee Grounds

use course ground coffee in french press

Use whatever coffee you prefer; just make sure it is already ground.

We typically use coarsely ground coffee, so the grinds filter well through the french press (unless you want coffee grinds in your teeth)!

To get the best flavors out of your coffee, you want to use between 1-2 tablespoons of coffee grounds for every 8 ounces of water you plan on using in your french press. In our experience, using a french press to steep the coffee grounds tends to yield more robust coffee, so we air on the side of less is more here.

Everyone has a different palette when it comes to flavor and strength. So start off with one tablespoon per 8 ounces, and if you need more flavor, you’ll know to add a little more next time.

Confession: We aren’t huge measurement or follow-the-recipe people! Honestly, we kind of eyeball this measurement because… we are camping.

Step Two: Pour Coffee Grounds into Bottom of Camp French Press

Once you decide how much ground coffee you want to use, pour it into the bottom of the french press (no water yet).

Step Three: Bring Water to a Boil

Pour roughly four (4) cups of potable water into a hot water kettle and bring water to a rolling boil on your camp stove.

This is one of the essential steps in making camp coffee. If you do not bring the water to boiling temperature, then there isn’t any steam for brewing, which means no delicious flavors will be extracted from your coffee grounds.

We have underheated the water before, and it just doesn’t do the coffee justice. Plus, the water gets colder faster, and nobody likes cold coffee on a cold morning… Make sure you have boiling water!

Step Four: Brewing Method

french press camp coffee coffee making method

Slowly pour hot water into the camp french press (on top of ground coffee sitting in the bottom).

At this point, stir around all those delicious flavors with your spoon so they can start mixing. The top should even be a little foamy!

Need to buy a camp french press? The camp french press in our pictures is over ten (10) years old and still going strong! It is one of the best camp coffee makers. We got it at REI. You can buy a similar version at REI here.

Step Five: Let It Sit

Coffee brewing using camp french press

Don’t press the french press down – let the mixture sit for about two minutes! Now we are talking coffee brewing!

Then, press down halfway.

Step Six: Press French Press Plunger the Rest of the Way

Coffee making using camp french press

After another minute, slowly push down on the plunger so all of those flavors can get together and merge to form one delicious beverage.

The longer you wait, the stronger your coffee will be. So let this one brew away.

Step Seven: Pour, Drink Coffee & Enjoy!

gluten-free-muffins-with-fruit-camp-breakfast

Hooray! Freshly brewed coffee is ready!

Pour the contents into your coffee mug, stir in any desired sweeteners or cream for personal taste, and enjoy!

Easy right?

Do you need a coffee thermos? We love our coffee mugs from Yeti! They are super study and keep beverages nice and hot while camping. Plus, they are multifunctional and can be used as bowls!

Watch How to Make Camp Coffee on YouTube!

YouTube video

Final Thoughts on Coffee Making With a French Press at Camp

Now you know how to make coffee while camping that tastes super great and is easy to prepare to get your coffee fix! In fact, our method creates a french press full of smooth flavor that will rival most home-brewed pots of joe.

A cup of camp coffee just tastes so good. The best part is that it’s easy enough for anyone to master!

Give it a try on one of your next camping trips! If you’re a coffee drinker, we guarantee you’ll love your morning cup. Make enough coffee for seconds. It is fun to sit around camp and enjoy a sunrise over coffee.

Thanks for reading!

Ashlee & Pablo

If you are wondering if investing in a Yeti cooler is worth it. We can honestly say YES! We loooove ours! In fact, we have two. We never camp without one. Get yours from REI!


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Ashlee Fechino

Ashlee Fechino is an outdoor recreation writer and founder of The Happiness Function based in Oklahoma. Her goal is to help inspire people to build a life they love by sharing how simple and fun it is to travel locally, connect with nature, and explore off-the-beaten-path. You don't have to spend a lot of money or use a ton of vacation time to explore close to home. Ashlee holds a BS degree in Biology and MS in Environmental Policy & Sustainability and has a passion for the outdoors. She is married to an expat Argentine, Pablo! They camp in their Aliner often and love road trips and hiking.

10 Comments

  1. Elle Burne on January 19, 2022 at 3:51 pm

    French press is absolutely the best! When I travelled through Greenland and the Faroes it would cost like $10 for a coffee at a shop… no siree, we shall be making our own! Great post 🙂



    • Ashlee Fechino on January 19, 2022 at 5:57 pm

      Hi Elle – We agree, french press is the best! Your trip through Greenland and the Faroes sounds like a great adventure. Thanks for sharing!



  2. Elyse on January 19, 2022 at 5:11 pm

    Great tips, coffee is definitely the best way to start the day, even when traveling



    • Ashlee Fechino on January 19, 2022 at 5:55 pm

      We totally agree! Thanks for reading, Elyse!



  3. William B Randall on January 20, 2022 at 4:07 pm

    This sounds great…coffee is the best. When going to restaurants, I was sure to get 2 cups for paying !!
    (I went to coffee shops all over Chicago .)



    • Ashlee Fechino on January 20, 2022 at 4:39 pm

      Hi Burt! Thanks for reading. Coffee in Chicago sounds so fun!



  4. Karen on January 20, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    I’m not a coffee drinker but it’s always great to know who to make a good pot of it because I often travel with coffee addicts. Thanks for these very clear diredtions.



    • Ashlee Fechino on January 21, 2022 at 1:14 pm

      Hi Karen – it is so quick and easy to make this way. Your travel companions will love it.



  5. Francesca on January 22, 2022 at 11:47 pm

    I am Italian, but I hate coffee! On the other side, my partner absolutely adores it and this post will give us great tips for our next adventure! Thanks for sharing



    • Ashlee Fechino on January 23, 2022 at 2:54 pm

      Hi Francesca – thanks for sharing! Haha. Hopefully you have another fun morning beverage you enjoy 🙂