When packing for a hike or any other outdoor trip, most people often only think about the foods and snacks that they are going to take. They seldom spare a thought about what beverages they will take with them, except, of course, water. Yes, water is crucial to help you stay hydrated, but that’s not the only liquid you should be bringing.
Beverages like juice, liquid condiments, and coffee can also help you stay fresh and motivated as you take a long, strenuous trail. While coffee can easily be carried in an insulated flask, liquid condiments can quickly create a mess in your backpack if you are not careful.
To avoid this problem, many hikers just don’t bother with carrying liquids with them. They rely on plain old water to keep their bodies sustained. Having other beverages on you besides water can help you stay charged. In fact, some drinks are actually better at rehydrating during intense activities like hiking than water. Take sports drinks and electrolyte solutions as examples. Research studying their rehydration effects shows that such drinks are not only superior to water in hydration, they are also helpful in regulating your body temperature and perceived rate of exertion.
So, what are some easy to carry drinks and liquids for hiking that you can consider for your next trip? We have created a list below.
Easy To Carry Drinks and Liquids For Hiking
When you start exploring the drinks to take on a hike, countless options pop up. Juices, fizzy soda, coffee, energy drinks, etc. are all fairly easy to carry, but not all of them are going to prove useful on a hike. Not to forget the liquid condiments like oil, ketchup, soy sauce, etc. that will surely make your food more flavorful but are a bit difficult to carry. So, what liquids should you actually take with you? Check out our list of drinks for hiking below!
Water is the most essential liquid for hiking. Good old water makes you feel good by providing the fluid that your body needs. It is recommended that you drink four ounces of water after every 10 or 15 minutes while hiking on a mild day. But if the weather is hot and humid, or you are at an extreme elevation, double your water intake to eight ounces. The goal here is to drink water before feeling thirsty because being thirsty means you’re already dehydrated and not performing at the top of your game.
You can easily carry an adequate amount of water in a reusable water canteen. And if your supply runs out, it can be easily replenished on the trail from rivers and streams.
A sip of hot coffee can easily freshen you up while hiking in the cold, snowy season. Besides its warming effects, the caffeine present in coffee can also give your energy levels a boost on a hike. Coffee is mostly water, so drinking it is a good way of getting water into your body.
That said, consuming too much coffee can cause headache, irritation, or make you crash. One cup a day is a good amount to get all the benefits while hiking without suffering from any side effects. You can easily carry this hot hiking drink in an insulated thermos or flask.
Fruit juice is another easy to carry liquid while hiking. However, just like coffee, you should also use fruit juices in moderation because of their high sugar content. Fresh juices may have naturally occurring sugars, but artificial ones are made sweet by mixing a large amount of sugar. The blended sugar may improve their shelf life, but it lowers the actual water content in the juice so they are not as hydrating as you would like them to be. Freshly squeezed orange juice is much more delicious and healthier. Fruit juices are packaged as bottles and boxes, so they are can be easily carried on a hike.
Sports drinks are fantastic hiking drinks because of their nutrient-rich composition. Liquids like Gatorade and Vitamin Water are also said to provide better hydration than water because they help maintain a healthy balance of your body’s electrolyte levels. These electrolytes control your various body functions, such as nerve impulses and muscle contraction.
Intense activities, such as hiking, can quickly make you lose these, so you gradually become tired. Ingesting a sports drink replenishes and restores the electrolyte levels so you feel energized and ready to take on the remainder of the hike. Sports drinks are excellent hiking liquids because they come pre-packaged as sealed bottles for you to easily carry.
When you are tackling a difficult trail, finding time to eat your meal can become difficult. And that’s where meal supplement liquids come in. Liquids like vegetable stock, bone broth, and thin soups are excellent hiking liquids as they are easier to digest than solid food and are a good source of much-needed calories.
You can cut out their preparation time on the trail by making them ahead of the hike and carrying them in a flask or thermos. Besides being tasty and nutritious, these meal replacements serve as useful drinks for hiking because of their high water content.
Coconut water is a recent health drink trend that does hold some value. Unlike regular tap or spring water, coconut water contains some of the electrolytes that we need when engaging in intense physical activity. Its electrolyte content may not be as high as sports drinks, it is certainly higher than what you get by drinking water. However, coconut water does contain some calories, so you have to be careful about this when you simply can’t have enough of it. Coconut water is also packaged as sealed bottles and boxes, so it’s one of the easiest drinks to take on a hike.
Hiking and camping food can become bland because of lack of supplies. You can easily spice up your hiking meals with the right condiments. But carrying liquid condiment bottles on a hike can be a messy affair. That’s why many suppliers package these in small easy to carry packets that you can stow in your backpack without worrying about the mess.
These liquids are extremely convenient for a hike because they are lightweight and leakproof. Plus, being sealed, there is no chance of spilling or spoilage. So, the next time you hike, don’t hesitate to reach for those small packets of ketchup, olive oil, mustard, mayo, soy sauce, and many more.
Water enhancers are sold as both powders and highly concentrated liquids. These formulations enhance the flavor of water so you can enjoy healthy hydration with a tasty twist. Some options also include vitamins and caffeine to help keep your energy levels up. These are a great option for hikers who have a hard time ingesting water. If that little flavor is all that you need to keep yourself hydrated on the trail, make sure to pack all your favorite flavors.
Liquids Should You Not Carry on a Hike
In addition to these nutritious and healthy drinks to take on a hike, there are some other easy to carry and as readily available liquids at the stores that you are better off avoiding including:
Alcoholic beverages, like beer and wine, may look like easy to carry drinks and liquids for hiking, but you should avoid taking them with you because they are incredibly dehydrating. Plus, hiking under its influence is also dangerous and not something you’d want out in the wild.
Sodas certainly look very refreshing, but their high sugar content can leave you feeling dehydrated. Plus, too much sugar can also tire you out pretty quickly.
Despite their claims of providing instant energy, these fizzy drinks are even worse than soda. Their high caffeine content makes you pee more, so you end up losing fluids more quickly.
The liquids and drinks you carry with you on a hike should certainly be easy to carry, but they should be healthy and useful for the purpose. You should pack liquids like water, coffee, sports drinks, fruit juices, etc. to stay hydrated, and condiment packets to make your foods and snacks more flavorful. But avoid packing drinks like sodas, alcohol, and energy drinks because they’ll end up slowing you down, rather than speeding you up on a hike.