Taking Tea on a Hike

Most people in my neck of the woods probably don’t do much hiking at this time of year – since the temperatures typically exceed one hundred degrees. Humidity in the low single digits makes it even more important for anyone who hikes now to be quite well hydrated. Of course, staying hydrated is important even if you’re not hiking in an inferno and tea should work just as well as many other beverages when it comes to getting the job done.

The Grand Canyon - a great hiking spot but not a tea room in sight! (photo by A.C. Cargill, used with permission)
The Grand Canyon – a great hiking spot but not a tea room in sight! (photo by A.C. Cargill, used with permission)

There is this notion that tea, as well as any other beverage that contains caffeine, is not such a good choice when it comes to exercise and hydration and whatnot. I don’t claim to be an authority on these topics but I wrote a few articles that explore this idea and take a look at the related topics of tea, exercise, caffeine and hydration. Check them out here and here, if you’re interested.

If you are going to take tea on a hike with you, chances are you’re going to choose iced tea, for the simple reason that you can prepare it ahead of time and skip all the fuss of taking tea prep machinery with you. Of course, if you’re going to be out for more than a day and you’re packing accordingly, you might be more lilely to bring said machinery along.

Once upon a time, when I went hiking hereabouts (in my pre-tea drinking days), I’d fill up one of those hydration packs that you strap on your back. Which makes for very convenient transport of a large quantity of liquids while leaving your hands free. Over time I began to find it very inconvenient to rinse, clean, and attempt to dry the plastic bladder that contained the liquid and was slipped into the pack. The simple solution to this was to use a large water bottle in place of the bladder. Which was much easier to clean and cheap enough to be discarded after a few uses.

Nowadays, of course, if I set out on a hike, I’d be sure to skip the water and travel with tea, if at all possible. A nice Assam should do quite nicely for hiking – but then a nice Assam does quite nicely for anything in life, if you ask me.

If you are planning to prepare tea while on the trail, you might want to take a look at an article I ran across recently. It describes a clever gadget that could be of some use as far as this sort of thing goes.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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