Gear Guy


What’s the Best Way to Haul Beer (and Other Beverages) into the Backcountry?

Five containers for your out-of-bounds drink of choice

What’s the Best Way to Haul Beer (and Other Beverages) into the Backcountry?
No reason you can't take your favorite beverage, hot or cold, into the snowy backcountry (D. Scott Clark/TandemStock)

A hot cup of coffee or a little nip of whiskey on a snowy day in the backcountry is pure magic and a nice reward for all your hard work on the skin track. Thankfully, there are a lot of options for hauling your drink of choice. Here are five of my favorites.

Stanley Adventure eCycle Flask 7-Ounce ($15) 

Stanley adventure ecycle flask

In addition to the feel-good materials story (all recycled plastic), I like this flask because the entire top pops off, making it easy to clean. This means I can haul sticky sweet pre-made cocktails knowing that I’ll be able to get all the residue out before I fill it with whiskey for another trip. 

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle 32-Ounce ($34)

Hydro Flask wide mouth
(Hydro Flask)

The Wide Mouth is tough, easy to grip with gloves on (thanks to the powder-coated exterior), and works well as a standard water bottle. Often, I fill it with boiling water and two scoops of Skratch Labs Apples and Cinnamon Exercise Hydration Mix for a mid-morning treat that tastes like hot cider but hydrates like a sports drink. 

Vapur Incognito Flexible Flask 10-Ounce ($7) 

Vapur incognito flexible flask

This is the flask for ounce counters who travel fast and light in the backcountry. Made from BPA-free plastic, it weighs less than comparable metal options but doesn’t leak and won’t taint the taste of your favorite spirit. Empty, the wallet-sized flask rolls down to the size of a large tootsie roll. 

Avex 3Sixty Pour Thermal Bottle 24-Ounce ($30)

Avex 3sixty pour thermal

There’s nothing worse than spilling coffee all over the spare puffy in your pack. To make sure that never happens, I transport my java in the 3Sixty Pour thermal bottle, which has never leaked a drop of liquid, even after getting jostled around all day long. That, plus the double-walled construction, keeps everything hot for hours. 

Jetboil Minimo ($130)


On backcountry hut trips, you often need to bring your own heat source if you want coffee or tea. My favorite option: the Jetboil Minimo because it packs down to half the size of a football, only weighs 14.6 ounces, but will boil one liter of water in just over two minutes. Bonus: the stove has a simmer feature so it’ll cook dinner, too. 

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