by Diane Spicer
The best backpacking tea in your backpack is not only a matter of taste preferences, but several other factors that can add up to health benefits on the trail.
I'm a big fan of drinking tea after a strenuous day of hiking, for these reasons (click to go directly to why):
Tip: Try each of these teas at home, before you're fully committed to carrying them into the wilds in your backpack.
All of the teas I use and recommend are organic, and prepared by companies I trust after using them year in and year out.
If you're a new backpacker, please realize that "lightweight and useful" is your new motto.
Tea takes up almost no room in your packpack, is virtually weightless, is inexpensive, and can be used to soothe, calm, satisfy and hydrate your body after a long day of hiking.
So let's take a close look at this wondrous addition to your backpacking menu!
One of the biggest mistakes that I've seen hikers make time and again is to neglect their hydration status.
"But I'm not thirsty!" she says.
"It's too much work to filter or treat more water after a long day of hiking", he groans.
You're probably not one of those hikers, but just in case, use this upcoming link to read up on the importance of paying attention to your hiking hydration.
Then you'll understand why brewing a hot cup of tea is the perfect way to sneak in some water which your body needs to:
Best backpacking tea for tempting you into tasty hydration:
If you've been on even one backpacking trip already, you know how sore and stiff you become after Day One.
So many reasons why your body is in a low level state of inflammation!
Sipping a cup of tea made with ingredients known to combat inflammation is an excellent strategy to cut down the levels of damaging molecules circulating in your backpacking body.
Best backpacking tea to fight inflammation:
If you're really into turmeric as an anti-inflammatory strategy, you can get a sampler of 3 different Numi turmeric teas.
Am I the only hiker to experience digestive upset when I'm backpacking?
The change in diet, away from the fresh food I eat at home, seems to give me a gut ache if I eat dinner too fast.
Ditto when I'm famished and gulp down large portions.
Digestive aids are useful in these scenarios.
Best backpacking tea for digestion:
Carry this probiotic powder in handy packets to keep the good guys colonizing your gut.
If you're like me, you're probably pretty keyed up with excitement the first night on the trail.
This is not a good combination, and might make it difficult to fall asleep quickly.
Or to stay in a deep, restful sleep while surrounded by unfamiliar smells, sounds and sensations.
I have a bedtime ritual that I use when I backpack, especially when I'm solo.
Part of that ritual includes slowly sipping tea I know has ingredients to promote restful sleep.
Best backpacking tea for restful sleep:
All of us have trouble sleeping at one point or another on a backpacking trip.
Sometimes it's sore muscles that won't let you find a comfortable sleep position.
Other times it's weird noises outside the tent, or plunging temperatures.
Use these tips to get your best sleep on a backpacking trip.
Women tend to be cold sleepers in their sleeping bags.
And the older I get, the colder I sleep.
It doesn't seem to matter how thick my sleeping pad is, what the R-value of my sleeping bag is, or how many pairs of socks I'm wearing when I curl up to sleep.
So here's my secret weapon: a metabolism boosting tea I ingest right before I crawl into my tent.
Best backpacking tea for sustained warmth through the night:
It never fails to amaze me how wide the spectrum of favorite backpacking foods is with hikers.
What I savor might make you turn up your nose.
Use these suggestions to get started on building your own tea list.
Best backpacking tea for bunches of flavor:
You may already be ahead of me on this disclosure, but here it is anyway:
Drinking warm beverages right before bedtime will probably result in midnight trips to the bushes.
Tip: On nights when the rain drops on my tent lull me to sleep, I skip the tea.
Who loves giving up the warmth of a sleeping bag during a rain storm?
You know that answer!
Ever hear of a tent pee bottle?
It's a wide mouth plastic bottle, dedicated to receiving urine and clearly marked as such.
Female hikers might also need a funnel, or a female urination device (FUD).
If you stick with the organic brands I recommend, you can compost the tea bags (string and all) when you get home.
Tip: Have a separate plastic bag to collect these bags. They're lightweight and won't smell bad in your backpack.
Another benefit of the best backpacking tea as part of your hiking menu is that it's an inexpensive luxury while delivering the six benefits covered above.
One last tip: If you're prone to constipation while backpacking, related to dehydration and dietary changes, try this Smooth Move tea before bed time.
There's no reason in the world to leave loose tea behind when you're backpacking.
But I'm a minimalist, meaning that I like to spend the least amount of time possible in the camp kitchen.
And I avoid generating smelly, wet food wastes whenever possible.
So for me, tea bags are easy to plunk into a hot mug of water and enjoy quickly.
Here's the lightweight MSR MugMate tea filter you can use in a mug for your own private tea time. Works great for morning coffee, too!
Day hikers can brew a cup of healthy hiking tea after a day on the trail, too.
And for cold weather hiking, why not brew up a batch of tea and carry it in your double walled insulated Hydroflask?
It's fun to see the happy smiles when you pull it out of your backpack and share :)
I love to try new backpacking teas, so please send your suggestions and I'll share them with everyone in my monthly free newsletter Happy Trails.
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Best Backpacking Tea
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And it costs you nothing extra.
About the author
Diane is the founder of Hiking For Her.
She's been on a hiking trail somewhere in the world for 5+ decades & loves to share her best hiking tips right here.
All rights reserved.
Photo credits: All photos on this website were taken by David Midkiff or Diane Spicer except where noted.
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