Reasons We Love Hot Drinks

Posted by: Molly Herber on 12/22/15 9:45 AM

We love a good hot drink at any time of year, but we appreciate them even more when the temperatures drop. Here are a few reasons why:

Hot Cocoa Photo by Katherine Boehrer.

Sleeping warm

A hot water bottle is a great addition to a sleeping bag at night to help keep you warm. You can stash the water bottle in your sleeping bag ahead of time for a little pre-warming, or keep it tucked in your jacket until bedtime.

Staying fueled

Calories give your body fuel to stay warm, so drinking a sugary beverage (perhaps with some extras, like butter or brown sugar, as you'll see in the recipe below) before bed or to start your day is a good way to stock up on some calories to help you sleep warm or start a long day with energy.

Keeping hydrated

Drinking a bottle of icy water isn’t exactly pleasant in the winter, making it hard to stay hydrated, and you don't always notice when you're thirsty when it's cold out. A hot cup of tea or cocoa, on the other hand, is much more appealing, and a good way to stay properly hydrated.

Raising morale

Never underestimate the power of a hot drink in the hands of a cold person. Note that drinking something hot doesn't actually raise your internal body temperature, but it goes a long way toward improving your outlook.

Now here’s a delicious recipe to take on your next camping trip:

Hot Drinks Photo by Katherine Boehrer.

Recipe for Hot Cocoa Deluxe

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups hot water
  • 2 Tbs. cocoa mix
  • 1-2 Tbs. powdered milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • dash of cinnamon

Directions

  1. Bring water to a boil
  2. Pour water into your hot drink vessel
  3. Add the cocoa mix and powdered milk to the hot water (*Hint: You can mix the cocoa and powdered milk at home before heading to the backcountry)
  4. Add vanilla and cinnamon
  5. Stir and enjoy

Variations

  • For coffee lovers: substitute 1 ½ cups coffee for the hot water. Add brown sugar or honey to taste.
  • For extra warmth: Add 1 Tbs. brown sugar and 1 Tbs. butter or butter substitute, or a dollop of peanut butter or cheese (yes, cheese).

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Molly is a NOLS instructor and writer. She loves the smell of her backpack and does her best writing before 7:00 am. When she's not scouting the next post for the NOLS Blog, she's running and climbing on rocks in Wyoming.