It 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’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.