It’s never a good idea to be drunk while on the trail. Whether you’re just day hiking or overnight backpacking, becoming intoxicated while moving in the wilderness is a recipe for a serious disaster. That said, if you’re 21 or older, if you can drink responsibly, and if it is legal wherever you are (check local laws, campsite rules, park rules, etc.) enjoying a nice alcoholic beverage at a mid-hike picnic or right before you head to bed in your a rather uncomfortable tent can be exactly what you need.
Alcohol weighs a fair amount, though, so you have to think before you pack. Will this be worth the weight? Will it taste good when we actually reach our destination? How will the temperature affect this drink? These are all questions worth asking before shoving your favorite brew in your pack.
To make planning easier for your next hiking or backpacking trip, we’ve compiled a list of alcoholic beverages that are worth lugging over several miles in your backpack.
Beer is a tough one. It can be a great campfire beverage, but warm beer can be vile. In fact, beer companies may advertise that their drink is best served ice cold because it’s so nasty (cold temperatures limit our taste buds’ ability to… well… taste). So, if you’re going to bring beer on a hike, either make sure it stays cold, or make sure it’s one that actually tastes good. Local breweries is a great place to look for something that fits this category. But, for the sake of national availability, we’re going to shout out Sierra Nevada.
First of all, Sierra Nevada makes some very high quality brews. Their original Pale Ale, first brewed in 1980, is a classic tasty beverage, but their other beers stand out as well. Their Hazy Little Thing is easily one of my favorite IPAs available nearly everywhere I go and the Wild Little Thing slightly sour ale is super tasty. They’re also family owned and committed to sustainability, hosting the largest solar array in craft beer and growing their own certified organic ingredients.
If, however, you’re just looking to keep your favorite beer as cold as possible, check out the Hydroflask Insulated Growler.
I am, in no way, a wine snob. You can give me any four dollar bottle of “wine flavored beverage” and I’ll probably find a way to enjoy it. That said, canned wine does tend to be pretty… lame. It often taste pretty off and, perhaps worst of all, it’s even more difficult to reseal than a normal bottle of wine. You can’t really pack a full glass bottle on a hike, though. They’re heavy and very bulky, taking up way too much space and weight. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have good wine on a hike, especially if you turn to Revelshine.
Revelshine offers several very tasty wine options (Red, White, and Rosé) in an awesome, resealable aluminum bottle. Why an aluminum bottle? Partially because 70% of wine’s carbon footprint comes just from the glass bottle. Switching to a 100% recyclable aluminum bottle significantly reduces that carbon footprint. But it also makes for a lightweight and convenient bottle that can easily be tucked away in a backpack, keeps the drink cooler for longer, and can easily be resealed with its twist-off cap.
If that’s not enough, maybe the fact that the legendary Chris Davenport is one of the company’s cofounders will convince you!
Whiskey is fantastic, and if you know anything about our choices, you know we tend to swing towards Tincup. Founded by Jess Graber, who started distilling whisky in 1972, the company is named after Tin Cup, Colorado. Tincup also partners with some pretty solid Colorado organizations, like the American Institute for Avalanche Research, the National Ski Patrol, and the Vail Valley Foundation.
I’m not whisky connoisseur, but I can say that Tincup is a darn fine tasting whisky. Additionally, each and every bottle comes with a small tin cup on the top, so you don’t even need to bring a glass to enjoy this beverage. Glass, of course, can be an issue while hiking, and it can get pretty heavy. There’s no need to stress, though, as Tincup is releasing their aluminum Adventure Pack.
The 375ml double-walled, stainless steel canteen comes filled with their original whiskey. The design keeps things colder, lighter, and easier to pack, making this container perfect to transport and end-of-hike drink. It’s reusable and near unbreakable, too, so it’ll last for plenty of fantastic trips.
This, right here, is my personal favorite pre-tent sleeping beverage. If you’re looking for a specific schnapps to head towards, and you’re in Colorado, I highly recommend Telluride Distilling Company’s Chairlift Warmer. Available in 750ml swing top bottles or 250ml adventure sized bottles, this 100 proof liqueur will warm your insides like very little else, and you’ll be shopping small business, which is always recommended.
Unfortunately, Telluride Distilling Company is only distributed throughout Colorado, so, if you’re in another state, you’re more or less on your own to find the right one (Rumple Minze is always there, if you need it). Just a small taste of a good 100 proof peppermint schnapps will go a long, long way, so just a small flask full of the stuff can last for a several day trip.
Best part? The peppermint flavoring will freshen your breath, reducing the stinky smells found on a hiking trip a little. It’s absolutely not a replacement for regular and healthy flossing/brushing habits, please don’t do that. Please.
Featured Image Credit: Revelshine via Instagram