There’s no better feeling than having a nice refreshing drink after completing a nice adventurous hike. Since hiking is a pretty lightweight activity, there’s a common problem of figuring out how to keep drinks cold without a fridge or cooler.
After hiking for a couple of hours, when you take that first break it’s the perfect time to sit down to enjoy a nice cold drink surrounded by the sounds of nature. That’s when you become aware that instead of the ice-cold drink you were expecting you have a lukewarm liquid, neither hot nor cold, that does nothing to satisfy your thirst!
When this first happened to me I thought there must be a better way of keeping drinks cool while hiking so that they can be enjoyed later on during a break. Thankfully, there are a few quick and easy ways to make sure you don’t end up with a warm and flat drink.
Here’s How to Keep Drinks Cold in Your Backpack
These are my four favorite ways to help keep your drinks fresh and ice cold for when you want them.
Nobody wants to carry extra weight in their backpack, so even a small cooler doesn’t seem like the correct solution. Instead of a cooler, you can get the same functionality by buying soft insulated bags designed for school lunches.
They have enough room to take a can or bottle and can even fit some ice. It’s best to use one for each drink, that way you don’t have to open each bag to only get one drink at a time.
Since they’ll be buried at the bottom of the hiking backpack and won’t let the warm air in, this is my favorite tip on how to keep beer cold while hiking for hours at a time!
Keep Out of Sunlight
Do not let the sunshine on your cool bags for very long or the bottle may warm up. Keep them in the dark, in the bottom of the backpack.
Even if you have insulated bags, warming the outer bag will still have an impact on the inner container. If you’re someone who enjoys having an adult beverage after a hike, this is an important tip for keeping beer cold on a hike.
If it’s extremely hot, put the individual cool bags inside an insulated shopping bag. Load up each individual bag inside and then fold it over to take the smallest amount of space.
The downside of this method is that the double insulation causes it to take more space and can fill the bottom section of your backpack.
Sleeve for Your Can or Bottle
After all of the steps above you’re ready for your ice-cold drink. You get out the bottle or can and grasp it, ready to sit and have a leisurely drink and then realize that the ambient temperature and the temperature of your hand have warmed the can and the drink.
The solution is to buy one of those can or bottle sleeves and as you remove the drink from your cool bag, pop it inside the sleeve. This will let you drink at whatever pace you want without any worry about liquid warming up from your hand.
Tips For Keeping Drinks Cool
Make the ice colder – Add salt to the ice which will make the ice react and stay colder for longer.
Roll up your soft individual bags – Keeping the bag’s compact helps to reduce the amount of warm air that gets in the cool bag.
Bring multiple cold drinks with you – Having more than one drink will make them last longer as the drinks cool down everything else in the bag.
Pack small ice packs at the bottom of the bag – These square packs keep cold for hours at a time and don’t take up a lot of space.
Freeze empty plastic water bottles – Put a small amount of water in a plastic water bottle and freeze overnight for homemade ice packs.
Having the right type of water bottle is the easiest change to make that will help solve your problems. A stainless steel bottle that’s insulated provides the best temperature control for those long long hiking trips.
Final Thoughts – Using a Backpack To Keep Drinks Cold
Using sleeves, additional ice, more insulation, or cold bags are all great ways to increase the time that your drinks will stay cold.
It may seem like a lot of work but nothing beats reaching that perfect place to rest, looking out over a beautiful lake, and then digging into your bag and getting a perfectly cold iced drink to enjoy as you enjoy the nature around!