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Hot Drinks for Chilly Days

With these twists on classic drinks, you can bump up the energy, vitamins or anti-inflammatory properties of your favorite sip. Try one of these delicious drink ideas for your next hike and meet some of your nutritional needs at the same time.

What is in your thermos this time of year? Cooler temperatures and fall colors have us thinking about toting warm beverages along on our outdoor adventures in the Pacific Northwest. This year, think about what you might carry that provides not only hydration and comfort but also health benefits. With just a few extra ingredients, you can bump up the energy, vitamins or anti-inflammatory properties of your favorite sip. Try one of these delicious drink ideas for your next hike and meet some of your nutritional needs at the same time.

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Photo by Erika Haugen-Goodman.

Boost your coffee: Take your coffee up a notch with the latest trend in java. Adding grass-fed butter or coconut oil to your joe adds extra fat calories that provide longer-lasting energy for pushing up those steep slopes. Shake well!

Kick-it-up tea: Spike your favorite black or green tea with a combination of cinnamon and ginger. Both are known to fight inflammation, which is helpful for post-hike recovery or for motivating you up that steep slope.

Citrus cider: Add slices of orange or lemon, or both, to your warmed apple cider next time you head out the door. Who couldn’t use more Vitamin C in cold and flu season?

Fiery hot cocoa: Spice up your hot chocolate with a sprinkle of cinnamon and cayenne for a drink that is sure to put a smile on your face and radiate extra warmth to your fingers and toes. Like the Kick-It-Up Tea, these spices are flavorful and known to be anti-inflammatory.

Broth: Broth isn’t just for home recipes. Choose your favorite, whether meat-based or vegetable, add a sprinkle of salt, and enjoy this hearty beverage warm on your next hike. Filled with vitamins and minerals that should be replenished in our bodies after time out on trail, broth is sure to leave you satisfied.

Almond Joy hot cocoa: Mix up your favorite hot cocoa with coconut milk and stir in a packet of almond butter! Your hike mates will be envious as you enjoy this delicious indulgence.

Collagen: This powdered supplement can be made into a warm beverage you can sip on while wandering in the woods. It’s touted as good for joints and muscles. You can add a touch of vanilla and your favorite sweetener if desired. It can also supplement any of your regular trail beverages for extra nutrition.

Golden milk: Coconut milk mixed with ginger, turmeric and black pepper is a centuries-old health blend. It is known to improve immunity and fight inflammation, which can help to keep you out on trail more during the fall and winter season.

Golden Milk Recipe

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1-inch piece fresh turmeric or ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½-inch fresh ginger or ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Heat all the ingredients in a small saucepan and let simmer for 5 minutes until flavors meld. Strain if using fresh spices and add the drink to your thermos. If needed, add a touch of your favorite sweetener.

Warm Up

  • Keep it warm: These new cups from GSI Outdoors are vacuum insulated, which means they’ll keep your drinks warm for hours on trail. We tried the Microlite 500 Twist, a thermos-style container that weighs only 7.7 ounces, and the Microlite 720 Flip, which has a lid that can flip open for easy drinking. Both kept drinks reliably warm. And, because they’re so light, it’s extremely easy to toss them in your pack for a day on trail.
  • Warm it up: If you want your drinks piping hot on trail, the Jetboil Flash will warm up a liquid extremely quickly. It can boil 2 cups of liquid in about 2 minutes.