For those of you of age, it’s not hard to cut loose on a backpacking trip when you’re in your element. You climb hard and you travel far, and at the end of the day you would give anything for a cold one. Dehydration aside… I love my backcountry booze, every precious ounce of it that comes in on my back. There is nothing better than sitting on a rock sipping a tasty drink while staring at phenomenal view as the sun sets on the mountains.
Over the last several years, mostly after I turned 21, I started taking good bourbon on many of my backcountry voyages. Sipping on a flask around a campfire at the end of the day feels so natural. I think that it is just the “John Wayne influence”. Even though I left my six-shooter at home, I do feel like more of man. It also helps to take my mind off the fact that the weather guy forecasted sunny weekend skies for my pack trip… and it just started to rain.
I have adopted several ways of lightweight backcountry boozin’… Check out these cool ideas and products…
1. My personal favorite is the GSI 10 Ounce Flask. It is a lightweight, low-profile hip flask that stows easily in pockets and boasts an easy to fill, wide-mouth design and convenient shot cap. It is BPA-Free. The 10 ounce version weighs 3.6 ounces empty, so it is not too heavy to pack out. GSI also has an 18 ounce flask if you’re throwin’ a party.
2. If 3.6 ounces is still to heavy for you…Try a thin plastic disposable water bottle to carry your “moonshine”. The good thing with this option is that the bottle can be used as a secondary water container. It can be useful when cut up for gear repair, or you can crush it when empty, and it takes up almost no space at all. I used this tactic along the PCT extensively. These 16 to 21 oz. bottles can swallow up almost an entire 5th of liquor with a few sips to finish the remainder.
3. Do you love good wine but don’t want to have to take the bottle? The Platypus Platy Preserve Wine Preserver will change your life. I snagged one of these 0.8 ounce beauties for free during an REI promo and never looked back. I use it for travel, home, and parties. Keeps wine “fresh” for a week or two. They don’t last forever under heavy usage (so I’ve bought a few more). But for getting a quality full bottle wine into the bush, this is your container. Screw the cheap Carlo Rossi wine bag…Holy Headache!
Now for a little backcountry bartending…
This hot drink recipe I’ve grown to love over the last few years. I always say, “If you’re takin that lover out for their first backpack trip, nothing says “keep me warm” better, than a spicy hot chocolate on a cool summer evening in the mountains.”
I’ve adapted this spicy hot chocolate recipe to my quality specifi-vacations from an article I read in Backpacker Magazine a few years ago…
-3 tbsp Trader Joe’s Conacado Organic Fair Trade Cocoa
-6 oz water
-¾ oz 1921 Crema de Tequila
-¾ oz Godiva Chocolate Vodka
-¼ oz Honey
-Dash of cayenne powder
At the Casa:
Add hot cocoa mix and a dash of cayenne powder to a “snack size” zip top bag and seal. Add 1921 Crema de Tequila, Godiva Chocolate Vodka and honey to a separate zip top bag and seal as well. I would suggest putting these zipper bags in your cook pot or inside some other hard container for safekeeping.
In the Backcountry:
Add the hot cocoa/cayenne mix to water in your pot, heat until warm. Add 1921 Crema de Tequila, Godiva Chocolate Vodka, and honey to your mug with the hot cocoa. Stir vigorously. For the kid in all of us, float a marshmallow in the chocolate. And for some extra heat add another dash of cayenne on top of the mallow.
NOTE: If you’re lazy…Just take Bailey’s Irish Cream and the Cocoa Powder…It tastes good, but it won’t get you a healthy buzz like the tequila and vodka mixture will.
Stay tuned for more backcountry boozin’ recipes! Drink hearty and love nature my friends!
(I do get a commission when you click on the product links above…Thanks for supporting OregonOutside.net)