Showing posts with label Drinks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Drinks. Show all posts

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Tramping Food: Great tramping beverages

You are what you drink, or a tale of many beverages!

Does your beverage of choice say anything about you? Trampers have a diverse range of preferences, some people like tea, others coffee, or some other variety of hot or cold drink. I have seen people drinking soup for breakfast, liquid jelly for dessert and you often see tramping parties having a quiet tipple as well. Tea seems to be the leader with coffee, fresh or instant, a close second.  

Cheers...Jon enjoying a hot brew in East Hawdon Bivvy

Hot drinks for tramping...

My preference runs towards Early Grey tea, black with sugar and in large quantities. I don't care if it is bagged or loose just so long as it is hot and sweet. My brand of choice is Dilmah but even the roughest gumboot tea will suffice in an emergency. I also like Cha Nui tea which is a New Zealand brand.

My choice of tea, Dilmah Earl Grey
I sometimes take packets of instant hot chocolate or cappuccino mixes with me as they make a nice change from tea at every meal. If I can find them, I like the Nestle Hot Chocolate with marshmallows the best.

Nestle brand hot chocolate
I usually carry either Nescafe or Jarrah coffee and cappuccino sachets, both are freely available here in New Zealand. The individual sachets weigh 5 gm's and make a perfectly acceptable version of a coffee.

Nescafe Cappucino sachets- 20 per pack

What about a nice hot mug of soup, when I am out tramping I start every evening meal with soup. I use both quick cook packets and the classic Continental Cup-O-Soup.

One of the Continental Cup-O-Soup range

If you are going to have a soup look for ones that just requires hot water or ones that need only a short period of simmering. Personally I like the creamy or noodle filled flavours for added taste and nutrition.

Massive mug of Dutch Curry and Rice Soup, Totaranui Campground 2018

I'm also partial to a mug of hot Raro or Vitafresh fruit powder drink with dinner. I know this sounds strange but its really good. Lemonade is the flavour of choice if you want to drink it is beautiful!

Classic Raro Sweet Navel Orange

Water, iced tea and a hot coffee, Lake Isabel Hut, Victoria Forest Park2014

Sweeteners and condensed milk...

I used to carry sugar for my hot drinks but now I use Splenda sugar substitute. One tablet is equal to 1 teaspoon of sugar, the packet below holds 100 tablets or enough for 50 cups of tea/coffee. The packet is the size of a matchbox and weighs only 22gms, by comparison 100 teaspoons of sugar weighs 640gms.

Splenda sugar substitute

If I have an instant coffee it would be sweetened with Nestle condensed milk. This is a drink I picked up in the Army, it dates back to before WW1, the only way to drink coffee in the outdoors IMHO. It is also excellent added to a brew of tea as well.

Update: Since I posted this in 2012 I have struck several people who also carry condensed milk for their coffee. It really is delicious- no need for sugar or milk with this product. In fact I have seen Ray Mears the survival expert using it on his TV programs.

Forget stupid syrups, classic old timer coffee additive...condensed milk!!!

Condensed milk is still a part of both New Zealand and Australian Army field rations to this day.

Having a coffee at the Davies Bay campground, QCT in 2016

Cold tramping drinks...

.....(actually cool as you have no refrigeration to chill your drinks)
There is nothing better than water for quenching your thirst, but sometimes you want something different.
Powdered fruit drink packets are very popular, there are a wide range of flavours and several brands. My preferred type is Vitafresh especially their Peach Iced Tea, Orange Mango, Blackcurrant and old fashioned Lemonade.
Orange Mango Vitafresh

Raro is the other well known range available here in New Zealand. 

A Raro drink powder three pack

I also use isotonic drink powders, these are basically fruit flavoured mineral replacement drinks. Vitasport is one of the more common brands available here. 

Vitasport isotonic drink powder

I will generally carry one packet of Vitasport/Raro/Vitafresh (12 gms) per day and have it with my evening meal.

Red Vitasport with my meal, Carrington Hut, Arthurs Pass National Park

Beer,  spirits, wine anyone?

A quick snort of something is as old as tramping itself, and is a Kiwi tradition. I would imagine even the sainted John Muir carried a flask of something to make the evenings more convivial.

The outdoor 'Saint'- John Muir, father of the US National Park movement!

Personally I am of two minds about alcohol and outdoor activities, I like a drink as much as the next person but in the right place and at the right time. A glass of a nice red with your freeze dried meal is good, a litre of Vodka with lunch not so much....

I'm partial to a river cooled can of beer and have taken several with me in the past. Nothing like finishing the day with an ice cold brew in your hand! Oh yeaahhhh!

Using nature's beer chiller....some tasty beverages cooling in a river.

I also enjoy a snort of whiskey or rum, normally in a coffee. Leave the hip flask at home and carry it in a tightly sealed plastic bottle- hey, its not going to compromise the quality any worse than humping it around in a pack for a couple of days.

The Bundaberg Rum range...great in your evening coffee...

Just a final word; carry out your empties! Nothing worse than arriving at a hut to see a pile of empty bear cans or wine bottles cluttering up the bench. If you carry it in, carry it out.