The next couple of months mark the height of camping season. While the rest of the camping public stocks up on gatorade and beer, we wine geeks are determined to ‘make wine campy’. Whether you’re at a drive up campsite or a day out backpacking on the Appalachian Trail, there are a lot of benefits to packing wine instead of beer or alcohol.
Benefits of Camping with Wine
Bulk, Weight, and Waste
Do you really want to go camping with a bunch of bottles that you’ll need to drag back to civilization? This is where box wine really shines. Box wine’s packaging-to-wine weight ratio is vastly superior to bottles. Box wine is more eco-friendly than bottles as well, and since you are enjoying the great outdoors, it is your karmic duty to do the right thing. You can even remove the box before you leave home and just bring the wine bladder. Check out all the benefits of boxed wine.
Prefer Bottled Wine?
Grab a Pack Tap and fill it with Sine Qua Non Poker Face! A Sea Summit Pack Tap can hold up to 10 liters (yes, 10!) and conveniently attaches to your backpack. Alternatively, you can hang it from a tree at your campsite and use it like a wine tap. Prefer cold wine? Chill it in a river, just be sure to keep the nozzle dry.
When you fill the bladder with wine, make sure to get as much air out as possible and the wine will stay good for up to 5 days.
Superior Alcohol by Volume (ABV)
Wine has an ideal ABV. When camping this means that you get more alcohol for less weight without having to resort to drinking straight whisky. Beer can’t really compare at around 4-6% ABV. One bottle of wine is roughly equivalent to a 6-pack of beer and weighs half as much. Never mind having to recycle all those beer bottles/cans. However, the ultimate ABV is a fortified wine, such as Port or Sherry. Yes, I drink Sherry while camping, what of it?
Camping with Wine Tips
Consider The Menu
Whether it’s weenies on a stick, some fresh fish from the lake, or even vegetarian fare, camping with wine usually accompanies open-fire cooking. The time of year is as important as the food, so even though you may be grilling up some juicy steaks, a heavy high alcohol red wine might not drink that well in the summer heat. As a general rule, pick a lighter wine that’s under 14.5% alcohol. Riesling is a great thirst quenching wine perfect for summer festivities. Also consider having fun with a wine cooler blend or sangria.
What to Pack
Do you have something to drink out of? Can you open your wine? Does your wine need to be cold or can you serve it at ambient temperature? Remember screw top and box wines don’t require any tools to open. You can drink right out of the 500ml box wine and mini-bottles.
Your car will be hot, so keep the wine in a cooler on your way to the campsite and get it somewhere shady as soon as you arrive. Keep the wine out of direct sunlight as heat can cook your wine. If it’s a real scorcher and you are near some water you can float your bottle (or bladder from inside the box wine) in the river or lake to cool it down before drinking. Remember to keep the opening out of the water to avoid bacteria contamination. Using a tie-off point on a nearby tree branch is the most effective way to keep the bottle stationary and spout side up.
Did you know you can camp in wine country?
It’s true! Why take wine camping when you can bring camping to wine country?