The best ways to camp with booze

by Jessie O’Brien

A crucial tool for surviving in the outdoors is alcohol, which can be bulky and inconvenient to carry in cans and bottles. Luckily, there are some items to bring with you to the middle of nowhere that are durable, dependable, and keep your booze drinkable. And here they are:

Marsupial style A bag is not the classiest of drinking vessels. One is reminded of the good ol’ days chugging Franzia out of what looks like a blood bag for a broke Nosferatu. But while camping, practicality and functionality outweigh the shame of drinking from a sack. Brands such as Malibu Rum make rum punch, daiquiris, and other flavors in 1.75-liter pouches ($20). Other brands such as Pocket Shot, a shooter in a pouch ($2), will have you nostalgic for Capri-Sun, or you can purchase plastic flasks to transport your own cocktail creations for about $10 on Amazon. A step up from plastic bags, Bandit Wines makes 1-liter ($9) and 500-milliliter ($6) single-serve boxes of wine in seven different standard varieties, including a dry rose to share with a gossiping moose.

The classicThe hip flask, curved to fit comfortably on the drinkers hip, was invented in the 18th century, and the same design remains popular today. The shape makes it a suitable carrier to take on short camping or backpacking trips. It’s best not to leave booze in a flask for more than three days, though, because the alcohol will end up taking on a metallic or plastic taste from the flask. Stick to traditional hard stuff without the addition of whipped cream or other ungodly flavors. says not to put cream liquors or anything acidic into flask, because “cream-based liqueurs will deteriorate fastest and acidic liquids can cause increased transfer of metallic taste to the liquor.” Acids can even break down the metal. Bush Smarts makes a durable polyurethane flask for around $25.

Great outdoor gadgetsCans can be cumbersome and leave behind trash. For camping, the Hydro Flask 64-ounce growler ($65), while large, means not having to worry about waste or piss warm beer. The growler keeps brews cool and carbonated. Other brands such as DrinkTank ($69), KegWorks ($39), and MiiR ($60) make high-quality camping growlers. For something smaller that takes more effort, Pat’s Backcountry Beverages makes concentrated packets of beer that can be added to a carbonating bottle filled with water from a fresh mountain spring. The Pat’s Backcountry website is no longer active, but the carbonating bottles and concentrates can still be purchased online. A full kit goes for about $42 on Amazon and a four-pack of concentrates are $8. If real beer is in your pack, you can use Mother Nature’s cooler and stick that sixer in a stream.

Jessie O’Brien


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