Escaping for a refreshing day hike along the ocean or a longer adventure into the mountains will create lasting memories. Packs, sleeping bags, tents, food, are all part of the planning depending on the scale of the trip. Although its important, hydration is often an afterthought consisting of basic filtered water.
…but there is something small and light that can raise that adventure to the next level...Loose Leaf Tea!
Light and inexpensive, loose leaf tea takes up a relatively small amount of space and is a healthy hydration option that is so much more functional and enjoyable than water…
5 benefits to having tea in your backpack
*"Tea" includes both traditional and herbal teas *
Products mentioned listed at bottom of article.
1. Tea keeps you in the present
The ritual of making tea is a solid benefit, inspiring you to stop, reflect and get wrapped up in the fortifying aromas.
Tip: when you shop for teas, use your nose. You'll appreciate an amazing aroma when you're surrounded by towering trees and mountains!
2. Tea stabilizes energy levels
Avoid those coffee-driven energy peaks and valleys with tea's milder, slower-releasing caffeine. You will stay focused and sharp on the trail and avoid unwanted coffee jitters!
Tip: think carefully about your personal level of caffeine when selecting a tea for the trail. While mate may be a great way to start the day for caffeine lovers, it may not sit well with those that are more sensitive. Green tea may be a better choice for those that are more sensitive.
3. Tea keeps you hydrated
Whether they are caffeinated or caffeine-free, all teas are hydrating.
Tip: When it tastes great, you drink more. Simple.
4. Tea relieves tired and sore muscles
After a full day of carrying a heavy backpack, setting up camp and anticipating a night of sleeping on the ground, feeling some aches and pains is inevitable. Limit your discomfort by including tea blends with anti-inflammatory benefits that help tie up some of those free radicals that will cause your muscles harm.
Tip: Ginger and Turmeric are the most widely known ingredients with anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. Cinnamon, fennel, and licorice root may also help.
5. Tea improves sleep
How do you calm your mind and get the sleep you need? Chamomile, verbena, and lavender have been used for thousands of years to help with relaxation and sleep. The best part is that the aromas are almost hypnotic. There is zero chance you'll be stressed out with these herbs steeping!
Tip: Pair a cup of relaxing tea with some light reading or relaxation breathing for the ultimate nightly nap!
Any of these yummy backpacking blends can be enjoyed hot or cold. They are an easy take-along with a little planning!
Sample Daily Tea Routine
6am wake up: The birds are chirping, the sun is rising and it's time to get your day started.
Choose a warm cup of higher caffeine Yerba Mate like Undercover Bean or a full strength black tea to get your motor started.
7am-4pm on the trail: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Any tea or herbal blend that you enjoy will work here
Depending on the time of year that you are hiking your body will crave either cooling iced teas or warming teas. Fruit-infused herbal iced teas or green teas can be the perfect addition to summer hiking. Warming sips of warming, milky chai can lift your spirits on an invigorating fall hike.
Tip: to make cold brew tea, add loose leaf to your tea infuser bottle the night before and by mid-morning you'll have a colourful, perfectly steeped bevy for the trail.
Tip2: If you want to use a larger hydration bottle just bring along a couple of disposable tea infuser bags to put in your bottle and tie with a long piece of string that you can pull out when its steeped.
5-10pm Relieve sore muscles and relax
Put the kettle on the fire and stick to warm and nurturing herbal blends that will calm your mind.
For relaxing try blends with chamomile, lavender and verbena
Pamper those sore muscles before bed with a warming cup of tea with ginger or turmeric.
Tip: Our favourite is to take along Hario's portable Latte shaker (you literally froth milk by shaking it) and make a Tumeric latte (warm or cold) with our Turmeric Latte Powder! It's warming and comforting and sooo luxurious at camp :)
*Be sure to fully test any new tea before you leave for a hiking trip. The last thing you want is to experience something that doesn’t agree with you out on the trail!
Some medical groups warn that detox teas containing senna may have a laxative effect, which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea — and impact the body's ability to absorb medications, including birth control. (CBC)
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Do you find it tough to avoid illness in the fall and winter? Fight back by choosing hydrating, nurturing teas that can help strengthen your immune system, soothe sore throats and sinuses, and control coughs. Check out our all-star list of 5 herbal blends that will curb a sore throat and cough!