Fresh Brewed: Camping Advice from a Coffee Snob

I’m a coffee snob. I’m also a lover of nature, camping, and all things outdoors. There’s just something special about how that bit of caffeine can make a sunrise just a bit more enjoyable.  

Coffee is so important while camping. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband and kids, my dog, and I can’t wait to go camping with them. I also know that the sleep I get won’t be quite as restful as usual, so it’s best to be prepared. Coffee is lifesaving for those mornings after. Mornings after a night of squiggly kids and a dog all trying to sleep in my sleeping bag. Mornings after a night of raccoons trying to open the coolers, or rain and thunder pounding the tent. On those bleary mornings when the kiddos wake up at the crack of dawn… coffee. It’s always there for me.  

I’m not talking about the grounds-in-your-cup sludge that is instant coffee, or cowboy coffee, or percolator coffee. Oh no. I’m talking about a delicious cup of fresh brewed coffee you can be proud of. Coffee that’s strong enough to wake you up, but good enough you don’t have to mask it with a bunch of cream and sugar. Don’t worry, I’ll let you in on the secret to making this amazing camp coffee.  

My husband (who is totally more of a coffee snob than I am) and I have tried a few different methods of making coffee at home and while camping. At home we get pretty fancy, we have fresh home-roasted coffee beans each week, ground just before brewing, and hand poured into a Chemex. I do love my Aquapelli mug that keeps my coffee warm all morning so I can savor my cup all day. However, we’ve had to adapt our routine a bit for camping. Here’s what we’ve found that works:  

The beans: This is important! You need to bring good fresh coffee beans. Old beans = bad coffee. If you can hold off, grind them just before you leave for the trip. Alternatively, buy beans from a local coffee shop or roaster and have them ground shortly before the trip.  

The water: it’s better to use filtered or bottled water for flavor, but we’ll often use the camp water. Heat it over the fire (in a pot with a lid!) or on a burner or camp stove. Make sure your water is covered with a lid so it doesn’t get ash in it!  

The brewing method: we use a plastic pour over!  We typically use about 3-4 TBSP of coffee for every 12oz, and fill the rest of the pour over with hot water. There are many versions commercially available which cost anywhere from $5-$15. Ours uses a paper filter and will hold the coffee in the brewer. There’s a release mechanism so when you place it on a cup it will drain down. We then wait for about 2 minutes, and then release the coffee into the cup underneath. Yum!  

Pour-Over Camping Coffee

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



  • 3-4 Tablespoons freshly ground coffee
  • Roughly 12 oz filtered water


  1. Heat your water over the campfire- make sure it has a lid so it doesn’t get ash in it!
  2. Put 3-4 tablespoons of ground coffee into your pour over.
  3. Let steep for 2 minutes, and then release into a cup!

Enjoy that delicious cup of coffee and go conquer the day!  

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