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Backcountry Kitchen The Backcountry Kitchen forum is for the discussion of food and cooking gear related topics for backpacking trips (e.g. menus, recipes, stoves, fuel...).

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Old 09-21-2011, 11:42 PM
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garethw garethw is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 20
Hi there
I just grab a handful of pine needles, boil it up and voilà a really refreshing drink... full of vitamin C.
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:28 PM
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Arizona Arizona is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: The Southwestern Deserts
Posts: 8
I get mine from a local Chinese market. It comes in 150 gram tins and is loose whole tea. Specifically Tikuanyin Chinese Oolong, the Iron Goddess of Mercy is what goes in my pack and the same is used at home. I believe the brand is Whole Dragon but with all the Chinese characters on the tin it is hard to know for sure.

It is a fine, flavorful, thirst quenching tea that has some properties of green tea and some of black tea. We just sprinkle a few grams into the boiling pot of water and let it sit, pour into our double wall mugs when ready and sit back and savor. We drink it for both breakfast and lunch. A spot of herbal peppermint tea under the stars before bed is another backpacking ritual.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:49 PM
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ScottInNewHampshire ScottInNewHampshire is offline
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Originally Posted by garethw
Hi there
I just grab a handful of pine needles, boil it up and voilà a really refreshing drink... full of vitamin C.

On the natural side, sasaffras grows quite wild (at least east of the Mississippi) and is easily gathered. It has a very robust root system and often sprouts many small plants very far from the original source tree which can be very large. Easy to recognize by the leaves which are oval, mitten shaped or hand shaped (3 fingers). Pull up a small plant, wash the root, break the root only into a few pieces and steep in boiling water.
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:28 AM
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Haclil Haclil is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Jerusalem, Israel
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One of the first things I do when setting up camp (and before it gets dark) is to look around for herbs for making tea. In the deserts where I usually go there are many varieties of fragrant herbs, fragrant because of the volatile oils in them. My favorite is wild thyme and after that achilea (which possibly grows in the U.S.) and several varieties of mint.The wild thyme has a unique and exquisite flavor like a mix of mint, menthol, vanilla, and something else that's inexpressible!

There's wild lavender too but, since it's flavor is like chicken soup (!) I make soup out of it. A few leaves of saltbush improve the soup coz they add both salt and an oil.

A point of interest is that the volatiles in these plants help them by cooling the leaves and repelling insects.

In a pinch--and this would be in early spring--I make tea from either young clover or even freshly-sprouted grass. The clover's flavor is delicate and sweet.

When using herbs it's best to let the water cool a bit after boil, then add the herbs. You're technically not making tea but rather an infusion.
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:32 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
Sleeping Gear: ALPS +20 mummy
Shelter: Kelty Noah 9x9
Join Date: Apr 2009
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I like a nice black tea. Light to carry, easy to prep. Perks you up nicely without being quite so rude at it like coffee can be.

I switch between loose leaf in a bulb and bags. Bags are nice as you can make your tea in proper fashion (the British way), though without all the creature comforts and accoutrements (milk is notoriously hard to transport in the wild), but one does manage.

Carrying along leaves or bags, both are easy to deal with once used. Leaves can be easily tossed amongst the debris off trail and decompose as readily as any other duff on the forest floor. Bags are not so swift to break down but are not eternal. However both are easy to pack out, being both minimal in bulk and weight. Squeeze both before packing away(but good heavens, don't squeeze them out into the tea! Tannins are harsh.) And you'll have an essentially weight neutral experience.

For brands dragon water tea makes a lovely loose leaf earl Greg that is simply spectacular. In bags I waffle endlessly between twining and Bigelow earl grey.
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