Backcountry Booze: The Best New Ways to Imbibe in the Wilderness

You’ve spent the day paddling, portaging and pondering life from the seat of a canoe. You have earned a refreshment or two. However, adult drinks don’t come easy in the backcountry. Even if you’re willing to schlep some extra weight, backcountry bans will force you to think outside the bottle. Next time you’re looking to relax in the wilderness, consider these innovative drinks that pair well with outdoor adventure.

WINE SNOB

Don’t sacrifice your refined tastes for canoe tripping convenience. Clif Family Winery, associated with the popular power-food Clif Bars, knows that outdoor enthusiasts appreciate good food and drink. Clif’s resealable Climber Pouch is filled with 1.5 liters of high-quality California wine. Available in chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, they are portable, resilient and use less packaging than bottles. Alternatively, pour your favorite vintage into a Platypreserve Wine Preservation System. These reusable, lightweight, food-grade polyethylene-lined bladders hold 800ml of liquid. By limiting exposure to oxygen, they protect flavor and extend pack life for weeks. Plus, the wine chills in just minutes in the fridge—or in your case, the lake.

MICROBREW FANATIC

Leave fragile glass bottles at home and take Klean Kanteen’s Hydro Flask Growler instead. Made with the craft beer connoisseur in mind, this vacuum-insulated growler keeps brews cold while holding carbonation for up to 24 hours. Shatterproof and leak resistant this work of art is available in 32-, 40- and 64-ounce sizes.

Fill your growler with local beer that respects and protects wild places. Brews like New Belgium’s Portage Porter, Kern River’s Class V Stout and Odell’s Cutthroat Ale are location appropriate, and these breweries take the environment into consideration with initiatives like using green power, recycling water and reusing spent grain as fertilizer, compost or livestock feed.

ULTRALIGHT WARRIOR

Paddlers dehydrate meat and vegetables, sauces and desserts to save space and weight. It was only a matter of time before some parrothead took the weighty H2O out of alcohol. Powder Palcohol saves adventurers from having to lug liquid-heavy containers of spirits through the backcountry. One package of powder weighs about an ounce and, when mixed with six ounces of liquid, is equivalent to one standard drink.

Choose from premium vodka or Puerto Rican rum. Available in Cosmopolitan, Margarita and Lemon Drop flavors, these just-add-water cocktails are about as instant as it gets. Shaken or stirred?

GADGET GEEK

Love a good brew but can’t bare the weight? Pat’s Backcountry Microbrew System allows you to put the fizz back in your beer. Their BPA-free, shatter-proof Carbonator Bottle holds 20 ounces of foamy goodness. Pat’s tiny activator packs use food-grade citric acid and potassium bicarbonate to make CO2. Add water and a concentrate beer gel pack to the mix, shake for a minute and watch the reaction occur before your eyes. The carbonator and ingredients to make a six-pack weigh just over a pound, water not included. The bottom of the bottle unscrews to become a cup, if you feel like sharing. These all-natural bubbles turn flatwater beer into whitewater fizz.

 

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