As day breaks, I realize that I am not the first to have awakened by far. The birds have risen hours before me, along with many other woodland creatures beginning their morning routine with loud and vigorous gusto. The loud morning cries outside my tent are the most peaceful noises I’ve heard in months. There are no beeping alarm clocks or email notifications greeting me as I reluctantly enter a lucid state of mind and begin my daily rituals. No, this is camping, and it is full of its own beautiful routines: pancakes and eggs over the fire, hiking until you drop, scarfing down dinner, and collapsing beside the campfire before bed.

However, there is one routine that doesn’t change. Coffee. Camping and coffee are as much a team as chocolate and peanut butter, Hans Solo and Princess Leia, or chicken soup and a cold. While there are many things to be sacrificed while camping, such as frequent showers, clean bathrooms, or a comfortable night’s sleep, my coffee routine will be the last to suffer. Where many resort to instant coffee packets and prepackaged creamer (to mask the taste of the instant coffee), there is no need to give up quality in this area.

In fact, there is something about waking up to crisp mountain air and the smell of freshly brewed coffee, that makes it some of the best coffee you’ll ever have. The french press or the pour over are my go-to methods for brewing coffee while tent camping. I prefer them due to their low waste and low maintenance. No electricity required, and with the french press, there is absolutely zero waste. Just boil some hot water over the fire, grind your beans with your hand grinder, and you’re ready to brew. Afterward, simply dispose of the grounds anywhere you like (since they’re biodegradable), and rinse out the french press!

Below is my coffee for two recipe for a standard 34oz french press:

French Press Coffee for Two – Serves two 12oz servings of french press coffee

  • Grind 40 grams of coffee on a course setting with your hand grinder.
  • Add ground coffee to bottom of the french press.
  • Add 60 (2 oz) grams of water using water kettle, and allow coffee to bloom and release its flavors for 30 seconds.
  • Add 600 (21 oz) grams of water until the french press is full which is a total of 660 grams (23 oz) of water.
  • Allow to brew for 4 and a half minutes (total of 5 minutes brew time).