Food & Drink

The Art of Coffee While Camping

by Rebecca McCusker May 22, 2019
ReadThe Art of Coffee While Camping Photo by Laurine Bailly

There’s no finer joy than waking up in the wilderness. From the first time you unzip your tent, you can breathe in the fresh air, hear the birds chirping, and enjoy the fact that you have a full day stretched ahead of you.

I’ve always found that coffee tastes better on these mornings, when you’re out in nature, taking it slow. After many camping trips in many national and state parks, I’ve tried brewing coffee a number of ways while at the campsite. Some brews have been weak, some strong, and some just right.

Here’s my favorite way to make coffee at the campsite. It’s simple, requires minimal gear, and tastes just like the drip coffee you’re used to at home.

How to make delicious drip coffee at the campsite

The goal here is to make the tastiest coffee while using minimal gear, especially if you’re backpacking and have limited space in your pack. Remember to carry along some coffee, but be sure to pre-grind it before you venture out into the wilderness.

You’ll need a container in which to heat water over the campfire, such as a kettle or a pot.

You’ll also need a cup that’s light enough to take camping. And finally, you’ll need a coffee dripper, but if you don’t want to carry one in your pack, some cheesecloth will do just fine.

The cheesecloth makes for a perfect coffee filter. You’ll drape it over your tin cup and place the coffee grounds on top. The great thing about cheesecloth? Use it again and again!


  1. Boil water over the campfire. Watch the flames and relax, enjoying a slow morning.
  2. Position the cheesecloth over your tin cup. Pile ground coffee on the cheesecloth. This will be your coffee filter. (Or use a coffee dripper.)
  3. Once the water reaches a boil, slowly pour water over the coffee grounds. Working just like your drip coffee maker at home, the water will filter through the coffee grounds and create a delicious cup of coffee.

*Keep in mind that the slower you pour the water, the stronger your coffee will be. The perfect cup of coffee takes time.

This super simple way of brewing coffee is perfect for the solo camper who wants only a cup or two before getting on with their day. It’s simple, delicious, and doesn’t require you to lug around a bunch of gear that’ll weigh you down.

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