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Gear Guide 2012: Food – Drinks

From a morning cup of joe to easy-sipping fireside nightcaps, here are our staff’s most-requested trail beverages.
Backpacker-friendly cold drinks. (by Genny Fullerton)

>> HOT

“Ever since we gave Starbucks Via instant coffee ($10; 12 servings; starbucks. com) an Editors’ Choice Award in 2009, the packets have been a staple in my pack. And with an expand- ing repertoire of blends and flavors, it’s the trail java to beat.” —Anthony Cerretani, deputy editor

Good Earth tea’s original Sweet and Spicy tea ($5; 25 servings; goodearthtea.com) is really flavorful, and you feel instantly warmer after a few sips. It’s the perfect bridge between setting up camp and eating dinner. Also good cold or with rum!” —Shannon Davis, senior editor

>> COLD

“On big dayhikes, singletrack rides, and adventure races, I pack Gu Electrolyte Brew ($20; 12 servings; guenergy.com). The electrolytes and calories prevent the bonk and cramping that can happen after moving many miles on just plain water.” —Jonathan Dorn, editor-in-chief

“Popping a few of Nuun’s Natural Hydration cucumber mint tabs ($8; 12 servings; nuun.com) gives my water all of the good electrolytes I want, but without a cloying sweetness that so many other drinks have. A tube of a dozen tablets is inde- structible, and makes a week’s worth of 16-ounce batches.” —Kristin Hostetter, gear editor

“You can’t beat the smoothness of Gran Centenario Anejo tequila ($30; 750 ml.; proximospirits.com), and a little goes a long way, so it’s not too heavy to schlep on a long trip.” —Dougald MacDonald, Climbing editor-in-chief

Acli-Mate Mountain Sport drink ($1; 1 serving; acli-mate.com) has a rich flavor, like kids’ punch, and just the right amount of effervescence. I’m not sure if it’s the vitamins and herbs or that the taste keeps me drinking, but it feels good in my stomach and keeps me hydrated during long, active days up high.” —Genny Fullerton, photo editor

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