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How to Brew Coffee with a French Press While Camping

If you’re looking for ways to brew coffee while camping, you need a French Press. A French Press is everything you need to enjoy delicious coffee, no matter where you are.

Anyone can enjoy the rich, expressed taste of French-pressed coffee. Still, it’s especially appreciated by campers craving their morning brew ahead of an adventurous day in the wilderness.

Keep reading to learn about brewing your coffee with a French Press while camping, including the benefits, selecting the best French press for the job, and tips to brew coffee with a French Press while camping.

brew coffee

What is a French Press?

A French press is a method used to brew coffee with a mesh plunger to push coffee grounds to the bottom until it is ready to pour. It is also commonly referred to as a cafetiére, coffee press, or coffee plunge.

The Benefits of Brewing Coffee with a French Press While Camping

Easy to Use

French-pressed coffee isn’t just delicious. It’s also one of the easiest methods to brew coffee. Easy is especially important when you’re off the grid!


This method to brew coffee is also incredibly versatile, and it’s easy to adjust the strength of your coffee to suit your preferences. A French press allows you to have full control over the flavor of your coffee.


Best of all, French-pressed coffee is environmentally friendly. You don’t have to use K-cups or coffee filters to make this delicious brew, making it the most sustainable coffee choice for campers (and anyone, really).

Selecting the Best Camping French Press

Things to Consider:

When choosing the best French Press for brewing coffee while camping, consider the product’s size and how heavy it is. The best French press for camping will be lightweight and easy to pack with your camping gear.


Your French press should brew coffee for everyone who wants a cup of java, so consider this when buying a French press. Keep in mind that a standard cup in the US is eight ounces.


The best French press coffee pots for brewing coffee are made from a sturdy material like Stainless Steel. Avoid buying a French press made from plastic.

Double Walled vs Single Walled

A double-walled French press insulates your coffee, keeping it warm for up to three times longer than a single-walled coffee pot.


Best for groups: Stanley Stay Hot Fresh Press

Stanley French Press 48oz with Double Vacuum Insulation, Stainless Steel Wide Mouth Coffee Press, Large Capacity, Ergonomic Handle, Dishwasher Safe

You really can’t go wrong with a Stanley French press. This French press also happens to be great for groups because it holds up to 48 ounces or six cups. It also serves the dual purpose of keeping drinks warm for up to four hours or cold for up to nine hours.

Best for travel: Coffee Gator French Press Coffee Maker

Coffee Gator French Press Coffee Maker - Thermal Insulated Brewer Plus Travel Jar - Large Capacity, Double Wall Stainless Steel - 34oz - Gray

The Coffee Gator stores up to 34 ounces or 4 ¼ cups of coffee and is perfect for traveling because it comes with a container to hold your coffee grounds.

Best all-in-one kit: Artemis & Rhodes Camping French Press Travel Kit

Camping French Press Travel Kit - French Coffee Press Set, Travel French Press Coffee Maker Set, Insulated French Press with Grinder, Outdoors Coffee Maker Kit, 34 OZ French Press Gift Set

The Artemis & Rhodes Camping Press kit is perfect for making French press coffee, cold brew coffee, or iced tea, and it comes with everything you need to get the job done. This kit includes a leather case, double-walled stainless steel French press, grinder, measuring spoon, and mixer.

Easiest to use: GSI Outdoors French Press Coffee Maker

GSI Outdoors, 30 Fl Oz JavaPress, French Press Coffee Maker for Camping and Travel, Graphite

The GSI Outdoors French Press Coffee Maker stores 30 ounces or 3.75 cups of coffee and is marketed as one of the easiest, mess-free French press coffee brew makers on the market. It also includes a water-resistant cloth sleeve to protect your hands while the coffee heats.

Tips for Brewing Coffee with a French Press

Tip #1: Use high-quality coffee like Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

Tip #2: Use whole beans and grind them immediately before using them for the best results. When choosing a coffee grinder for camping, look for one portable and lightweight like the JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder.

Tip #3: You should never boil your camping coffee.

Tip #4: Too coarse of a grind, too little coffee, or insufficiently tamping the grounds before brewing coffee can all lead to inadequate pressure for a proper brew.

Tip #5: You should never fill your French press full of water, or you will experience an overflow.

The Steps for Brewing Coffee with a French Press While Camping

  1. Heat water on your camp stove or fire to a near-boil temperature.
  2. Remove the plunger from the French press.
  3. Add medium ground coffee at a ratio of 1.5 tablespoons for every cup of water in the brew chamber. Note you can easily adjust this ratio to meet your taste preferences.
  4. Fill the water to your preferred amount. Remember to avoid filling the French press all the way to the top to prevent overflowing when you add the plunger back. Gently stir for about 10-15 seconds.
  5. Place the press plunger back, allowing it to rest just above the water and grounds.
  6. The coffee should sit and brew now. The coffee brew time will vary depending on your preferences, but four minutes is usually a good place to start. You can brew it longer for a darker coffee or shorter for a lighter coffee.
  7. Add a soft amount of pressure to the plunger to press the grounds from the coffee, which will take about ten to fifteen seconds.
  8. After your plunger is in place on the bottom, your coffee is ready to enjoy!

Cleaning up after Brewing Coffee with a French Press

brew coffee

Clean up as soon as possible because the grounds will become stuck to the plunger.

Remove the plunger from the brew chamber and dump the grounds in the trash, then wash the brew chamber and plunger thoroughly with biodegradable soap. Rinse and repeat until clean before setting out to dry.

Environmentally-Friendly Uses for Coffee Grounds

If you feel guilty throwing away coffee grounds and are looking for environmentally-friendly uses for coffee grounds, this list has you covered:

Deter Pests

Ants, slugs, and snails keep their distance from coffee grounds, so you can scare these pests away by sprinkling them around your campsite or taking the grounds home with you to sprinkle around your garden’s perimeter.

Invite Worms

Coffee grounds help anglers find bait by attracting worms. Sprinkle some around your campsite and start harvesting worms for your fishing outing.

Make Soap

Coffee grounds make an exfoliating soap and are a safe abrasive for your skin. Melt four ounces of glycemic soap, add ⅓ cup of coffee grounds, mix well, and pour over a soap mold.

Neutralize Odors

Deodorize your cooler or mini refrigerator by filling a jar with coffee grounds and placing it, uncovered, at the back of the cooler or refrigerator.

Hand Deodorant

Rub coffee grounds on your hands after chopping garlic or onions to quickly eliminate the odors.

Clean Dishes

Use coffee grounds on dishes to remove stubborn, stuck-on particles.

Cleanse Hair

Massage a handful of coffee grounds into your scalp before using shampoo. This will help remove any residue from other hair products.

Add to Compost

If your campground has a compost bin, toss the coffee grounds in there instead of the trash. If it doesn’t, save them and take them home to add to your compost bin.

brew coffee

Frequently Asked Questions

These are a couple of frequently asked questions by those new to brewing coffee with a French press.

Does a French press have other uses other than to brew coffee?

Yes! Double-walled and well-insulated French press coffee makers are commonly used for making iced coffee or iced tea.

Simply add ice and make the coffee as you normally would to make a delicious iced cold brew, or add tea packets to water and ice to make a delicious cup of iced tea.

French press coffee makers also have tons of other uses for campers. Try making one of the following in your French press:

  • Whipped cream
  • Soup
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Berry Juice

You can also use your French press to strain vegetables, wash rice, and use it as a container for cold items like creamer or milk.

Are there any disadvantages to using a French press?

Some people complain that clean-up is difficult without a paper coffee filter to easily remove and toss. Others say that coffee grounds will occasionally slip into the brew. However, it is perfectly safe to drink a brew with a few coffee grounds, and normal for this to occur.

The French press also has a learning curve, and it can take some time to get used to brewing coffee with it, especially when adding the perfect amount of water and coffee grounds.

Wrapping up How to Brew Coffee with a French Press While Camping

You’re ready to brew coffee with the magnificent French press and experience a whole new level of coffee drinking while camping.

Before you go, check out some more tips on how to make the best camp coffee while camping or backpacking.