Backpacking Booze: 6 Ways to Drink Nature In…the Right Way

backpacking-booze-featuredIt may dehy­drate you, but there are few things bet­ter about a back­pack­ing trip than sit­ting back at the end of the day and reflect­ing on your con­quests (and those to come) with a bit of the strong stuff. It’s a cel­e­bra­tion, after all. The prob­lem is, how can you man­age to get it out there in the mid­dle of nowhere with­out ruin­ing it or let­ting it get warm? Fur­ther­more, what are you sup­posed to drink it out of? Surely you don’t carry wine glasses around in your pack. And that’s all before con­sid­er­ing the added weight.

You’ve got to be a pretty ded­i­cated booze­hound (drink respon­si­bly, folks!) if you’re lug­ging a cooler full of ice and beer into the back­coun­try. Sure, you can put some liquor in a flask and throw it in with your gear, but not every­one is down with liquor, and some folks want a lit­tle vari­ety. Luck­ily, some inno­v­a­tive brew­eries, winer­ies, and other com­pa­nies have made it eas­ier to enjoy your favorite spir­its in the wild. As with every­thing you do while back­pack­ing, please remem­ber to know your lim­its and be respon­si­ble, espe­cially on colder nights as alco­hol can lower your body tem­per­a­ture very quickly.

Pat’s Back­coun­try Bev­er­ages’ Beer Con­cen­trate
You can now lit­er­ally just add water to pow­der, car­bon­ate it, and have beer. Unlike other “pow­der beers,” it actu­ally keeps its alco­hol con­tent because of an “inno­v­a­tive and mod­ern process (patent pend­ing)”, accord­ing to their web­site. You will, how­ever, need to pur­chase a car­bon­a­tor, which dou­bles as a water bot­tle for you teato­tallers. The kit can be used to car­bon­ate any­thing, not just your fancy-schmancy pow­der brew. Now you don’t have to worry about lug­ging all of that extra weight. Instead, just add some water from your cache and you’re set to go. The com­pany claims that it has a craft beer-like qual­ity, so beer snobs shouldn’t be dis­ap­pointed in the taste, either.

hydroflask-growler2HydroFlask’s Insu­lated Growler
If you just can’t get into the idea of pow­der beer, check out HydroFlask’s 64oz. Insu­lated Growler. It is vac­uum insu­lated, so not only will it keep your favorite beer cold, it’ll also keep it from going flat. It also has a wide mouth, so once you need to rehy­drate, you can attach a water fil­ter to it fairly eas­ily. It’s BPA-free (isn’t every­thing these days?), and just like any good ther­mos, it works for hot liq­uids, too.

KRU 82 Vodka
KRU 82, a highly-rated vodka com­pany out of Wyoming, also offers some cre­ative pack­ag­ing geared toward adven­ture junkies. Along with their tra­di­tional glass bot­tle, they also make a stain­less steel vari­ety for the out­doorsy. Like the Climber Pouch, it can be attached to a cara­biner via a lid sim­i­lar to many reg­u­lar water bot­tles. While it isn’t much dif­fer­ent from putting vodka in a flask, it’s con­ve­nient for those who are (hope­fully) spend­ing the night indoors and require a lit­tle more than 5oz. to get where they want to go.

Bota Box Wine
A classier, more eco-friendly take on the tra­di­tional boxed wine, Bota Box car­ries a whole line of vino for the out­doorsy oenophiles out there. They have every­thing from Pinot to Cab, Shi­raz to Moscato. One box serves as much wine as four bot­tles, and you don’t have to worry about glass or corkscrews. Like the Climber Pouch, Bota Box claims that their prod­uct will stay fresh for roughly a month because it isn’t exposed to light or air. The boxes are made of recy­cled paper and use soy based ink as opposed to petro­leum based, and the bag is BPA-free.

Per­pet­ual Kid’s VINO2GO Wine Sippy Cup
If you just can’t warm up to the idea of drink­ing wine from a box or pouch or if you want some­thing a lit­tle closer to “classy” to drink out of, you might con­sider the Wine Sippy Cup. It’s basi­cally a wine glass inside of a double-walled tum­bler with a sippy cup-type lid. Like every­thing else, it’s BPA-free and will hold up to 10oz. of wine. 

Rich & Rare Reserve (in the plas­tic bottle)

Dis­tilled, matured, and blended in Canada, Rich & Rare Reserve is liq­uid fire fit to warm the bel­lies of Royal Cana­dian Mounted Police on the cold­est patrols. You aren’t doing the envi­ron­ment any favors by seek­ing out a prod­uct that comes in a single-use plas­tic bot­tle but after pol­ish­ing off the last of its con­tents in your tent on a cold and rainy night in the Cas­cades you will think of another use for it. Rich & Rare Reserve is only about $13 but pro­vides at least $30 of fun and threat­ens less than a $3 hangover—nothing a few morn­ing dips in the lake won’t clear up. The plas­tic Rich & Rare Reserve con­tainer is vir­tu­ally inde­struc­tible and comes stan­dard with a non-refillable fit­ment piece in the neck that helps ensure a smooth pour but also enables you to send the con­tents shoot­ing out at great speeds in a pow­er­ful con­cen­trated spray when­ever you squeeze the bot­tle. So when the brown bear charges, just take a sip of the fire then spray him in his eyes with the rest of it. The moment will be spectacular.