A couple years ago I was talking with an old friend about over night hiking treks, the ones that just last a night or three. We were on the discussion of alcoholic beverages on the trail. From my experience and by talking with others, I find that this is a popular subject. My friend was telling me that she did her first overnighter with her new boyfriend and they both like to have a drink at night while sitting around the camp fire. She goes on to tell me they brought 2 bottles of wine with them, each carrying a bottle. To me this seemed like a lot of extra weight to carry glass bottles when you can go with something harder (like a single barrel bourbon) in a flask. Not to mention once the bottles are finished they still needed to pack them out of the forest.
This got me thinking… What if I was with someone and wanted to pack more than just my hip flask? So, I started contemplating it and it didn’t take long. First objective was to get rid of the bottle, and you can do this a couple different ways. The first of which I didn’t know when I was coming up with this idea.
- You can buy a wine bladder, which are becoming more popular with hikers and can cost you around $9-$11. They are very durable, they are made for being in a backpack, and they also come in different sizes.
- Use your existing water bladder. But doing this, you may be tempted to drink and hike – and I’m not saying this is a bad idea – Just be responsible if you go this route.
- Make your own bladder out of a plastic bag or mylar. To me the leak risk is one I don’t want to take inside my pack. Leaving us with
- My idea! – DIY Packable Wine Hanger
My idea is simple. Use the wine filled bladder that comes inside a box of wine. The only thing you need to do is to remove the box! Done. I find the bag to be quite durable and the tap system reliable. Now, most of the “Box Wine” at the store contains 5 bottles worth of wine. Not a light addition to the pack. I did find wine from one of my favorite (semi-local) wineries that comes in a 3 bottle size box. If there are more than just one person going on the hike, weight can be distributed by one person carrying the wine bladder and the other carrying some equipment from the first person. If three bottles worth of wine is a bit much, try draining some of the wine into mason jars at home for later consumption – or, have a few glasses the night before.
To do this all you need is a hanger from a pair of dress pants. You know the hangers… they are the ones with two planks of wood that clamp the pant legs to hold onto them. If the clamping is tight enough just put it on the top of the bag (opposite side from the tap) and clamp it. If this doesn’t hold tight, like it didn’t for me the first time I tried it, place a small branch at the top and fold the bag over it. Then, place both ends of the bag into the clamp. That should do the trick. The last thing to do is hang it from a tree branch! Now, we are ready for dinner, a fire and a few drinks with friends.
The photos here are from my recent camping trip to the Allegheny Forest and my trick worked great!
What do you think … would you use this trick? Do you have any ways to improve it? Please let us know in the comments below!