Monday, August 25, 2014

Backcountry Caffeination

One of the problems with no-cook backpacking trips is that it means no coffee :-(

Although I'm not a huge coffee drinker (one or two cups per day) I still feel the effects of going cold turkey. If you're used to drinking more you probably feel it worse.

Our last trip in Glacier National Park is a good example. Around noon on the second day I was trying to figure out why I had a headache. Was I dehydrated? Was it the sun? Eventually (I can be a little slow!) I realized that it had been a bit more than 24 hours since my last coffee.

I could just tough it out for a few days but wanting to maximize the enjoyment of the trip I usually bring a coffee substitute.

The easiest alternative I've found is caffeinated energy gels (e.g. Clif Shots or PowerGels or GU). You can usually find ones with either 25 or 50 mg of caffeine, sometimes labelled as one or two "shots" (as in shots of espresso). I find two days of 50 mg and then two days of 25 mg is sufficient to ween me off the addiction. Obviously, your mileage may vary.

Another option (although I haven't tried it) would be some kind of instant coffee that you can make with cold water, like Starbucks VIA Caramel.

Here's another option: VOKE TAB
If Conrad uses them, they must be good :-)

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