Whisky Chai Tea

 Whisky Chai Tea

Whisky Chai Tea

Yes you read the title right. This is one of my favourite drinks to have whether its the winter or the summer. Sometimes you feel like a tea. Other times you want something with more of a kick. Why not merge them together for the ultimate drink experience.

This actually came up while on the Steel River this year when we found ourselves getting really into drinking tea. We haven't always been big tea drinkers but before we knew it we were having at least one per day. Then the idea came up to add a little whisky to our tea and our lives have been changed. Whisky Chai was one of the first creations that took us by surprise. Whisky actually also goes very well with lemon based tea and surprisingly with a liquorish flavoured tea as well. While these are some of our favourites, don't be discouraged from experimenting with other booze and warm mixes as well. If your feeling really crazy, I will also mention that whisky goes quite nicely with coffee as well.

I would take time to say we have an official recipe for this but we all know its personal preference. Start with a little and add more as needed. You can also try different strengths of tea, or even mixing tea if you are really looking to try something new. With the variety of different whisky's on the market, your combinations are endless. If you happen to come up with something new that you like, make sure to let us know. We are always looking for new recipes. 

Dehydrated Meal Review - Backpackers Pantry & Alpine Aire

Dehydrated meals are something new that we have been tying for our trips this year. Noah had access to a dehydrator from a friend, and it was the best way for us to reduce our pack weight for our trip to the Steel River. We tried dehydrating things like chilli, beans, and shrimp and we were very happy with how they turned out. The picky eater may struggle with the texture of a dehydrated meal, but the overall taste is still very good. 

I recently decided to try my first solo trip, and I was trying very hard to reduce the amount of weight that I had to carry with me. As I didn't have time to prepare any dehydrated meals myself, I thought I would try out some of the pre-made dehydrated meals you can purchase from your local outdoors store. As I was buying two different meals I figured I might as well try one from two different companies called Backpackers Pantry and Alpine Aire. 

I was very happy with both of these meals that I sampled. I tried the Cashew Currie Rice with Chicken from Backpackers Pantry and Teriyaki Chicken from Alpine Aire. Both meals took a similar amount of time to rehydrate and were also both packed with flavour. Unfortunately I did not have any measuring cups on me and a nice thing that Alpine Aire provided was a fill line on the side of the packaging. The Backpackers Pantry I was forced to guess how much water to add. Once rehydrated they both had the typical dehydrated meal texture, but again, unless you are a picky eater I am sure you wont mind as the flavour was still great! Both companies are priced very similarly, with meals ranging from $8-$15. They both also have a wide variety of entrees and deserts to choose from so you don't have to bring the same meal with you on each trip.

I would highly recommend both of these companies if you are shopping for a dehydrated meal for your next trip. While you pay a bit of a premium to have it pre-made, it does save you time in preparation. Dehydrated meals are the way to go when you are trying to pack as light as possible.

3 Camping Tricks For Your Cooler

1. Pack Your Eggs In A Bottle

This is something that has changed the way I think about packing my food. No chance of cracking your eggs, no spills, and no soaked carton to pull out of the cooler. Depending on the size of the hole in the bottle that you pour the eggs into, you might not even need to whisk them up. If you prefer your traditional sunny-side-up egg, you still can! 

2. Freeze Your Food To Double As An Ice Pack

Whether you like to bring steaks, burgers, sausages, or a breakfast mash, a great way to keep you food from spoiling is to freeze them. Not only will it keep itself from spoiling, but it also acts as an ice pack for the other food that you carry in your cooler. 

3. Bring Condensed or Powdered Mixes for Drinks

Whether you like your whisky neat, your vodka punch or just get bored of plain old water, there are many alternatives out there that don't require you to bring heavy bottles. Things like Mio, Dasani Drops, and Tang offer a way for you to reduce how much weight you are carrying because you can mix these with lake water (after filtering the water of course) once you need it!

Simple Ways To Improve Basic Meals

I think something that every camper looks up at some point during planning for their trips is easy meal ideas. I have done this a fair share myself, however I am now trying to find new ways to spice up the meals I already have to make them better. I would like to share some of these with you in hopes that it might just make your meals a little better

1. Homemade Oatmeal

The reason I say homemade is because there is nothing exciting about plain oatmeal, although they do make some good flavours now. However, a friend of mine decided to go to bulk barn and purchase oatmeal, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, walnuts, and almonds to mix up his own oatmeal recipe (as much as you can call it that). The way that the hot water brought the dried fruits back to life was amazing. Another way to spice up your oatmeal is to bring either peanut butter or nutella and add a scope in with the hot water. 

2. Proatmeal

Another oatmeal based idea comes from adding a scoop of protein powder to your oatmeal before adding the water (at which point it becomes proatmeal). This is a great way to add protein in with your carbs for the day and also add a bit of flavour to your oatmeal (provided you have a good flavour of protein) 

3. Protein Pancakes

A great way to spice up your pancakes is to add protein powder to the dry pancake mix. If you have a good flavour it really helps to spice this simple meal up. Another great benefit is that it adds a bit of protein to your food giving you a little more energy to get through your day. If you didn't want to bring sticky syrup with you on your trip a great alternative is once again peanut butter and nutella (I think you can see a bit of a trend here). 

4. Mr.Noodles with Veggies

I might be the only one to say this but I am a big fan of Mr.Noodles when I am camping. One way I have found to make this meal a little better is to chop up some fresh onion and pepper and cook it in with the noodles. The veggies make the meal a little heartier and also make you feel a little more healthy while eating it

5. Cooked Summer Sausage

This was something new that a stumbled upon last summer. Summer sausage usually does not require refrigeration and keeps for quite a while. Although it tastes good to just cut a piece off and eat it, a way that I have found to really spice this sausage up is to cook it. I would cut a few thin pieces and put them in a frying pan to cook. It doesn't take long to crisp the outside and bring out some of the juices inside. We found this to really bring a new great flavour to this already delicious food

6. Tuna Mac and Cheese

Another pasta based meal would consist of Mac and Cheese as the base. I have found success in making this without butter or milk as long as your not too picky about your mac and cheese..Adding in either a can of tuna or bag of tuna as some companies now make, adds both flavour and protein to make this meal that much more solid. 

 

 

 

Things To Consider Before Packing Your Food

There are a few different thoughts on what and how to pack food for your trip. Some people pack lots of food, others pack as little as possible. Some people pack all dry foods and others pack the better foods that weigh a little more. It all depends on where you are camping, how many portages you might have, the length of trip, and your own value of having a good meal on your trip. If you are in an area known for wildlife, you might consider being a little more cautious about the food your bring. If you have a lot of portages you probably don't want to bring a cooler with food - unless this is important to you. If you are on a long trip you might also consider not bringing a cooler as it is a lot of weight to carry around. In my opinion the most important factors to consider are amount of food, expiration, weight, and scent.

Amount of Food:

This is important when planning for longer trips. Depending on the amount of people that are going and the amount of activity planned for each day, you need to be ready give people the energy they need. Snacks are important as it becomes essential to be able to have a quick snack on the go. You don't always want to have to prepare your food so having trail mix, cliff bars or other foods like that are important. If you do a lot of fishing and you know there are fish where you are camping, you might consider packing a little lighter knowing that you will be able to eat some fresh fish. This does pose a greater risk as with fishing there is no guarantee.

Expiration: 

If you plan on packing foods that expire, you need to plan effectively. When I bring a cooler on my trips we will freeze items like steak so that that they act as an ice pack to keep the  rest of your food cold, and also keeps the steaks good for longer. Pre-cooked sausages are a good food that keep a little longer. Also the scent if fairly well contained until you open them up to be cooked. You want to eat the foods that are going to expire the quickest, first. 

Weight:

This is where I will mention the cooler once again. When you bring food that needs to keep cool, you will have to carry them on your portages. If you don't have many portages it would be a reason to bring a cooler with you. If you have lots of portages you likely want to pack as light as possible. Some people like to do a comparison of weight vs. calories. Ideally on trips that you need to pack lighter you want the most calories for the least amount of weight. This will help you to pack more effectively. Again, If you are doing long trips you are likely looking to pack more dehydrated foods as they weigh very little and still have a lot of nutrients. They do tend to be expensive if you do not own a dehydrator to do it on your own.

Scent:

You must always remember that the more scents you have, the more risk you have of running into wildlife. Whether it be racoons or bears, both can find their way into your packs and find the food you thought was well hidden. The last thing you want is to be in a remote location and have all of your food taken or ruined by animals digging through it. If you know you are in a wildlife heavy area, you will want to cook responsibly, clean well, and pack effectively.