Camping & Wine: The Basics
by Dirk Hampson on June 18, 2013
Should you take wine camping? Maybe… but you better answer a few questions. It is not as simple as it may seem.
To bring, or not to bring: that is the question!
1) Are you backpacking? Wine does not fit with the concept of light and portable. Therefore, it is best to leave the wine as a reward when you get home or use my brother’s method: stuff it in a friend’s backpack when he isn’t looking and then share it with him when you are cooking in the back country. Advice remains split as to whether you should reveal that he lugged the extra weight.
2) Are you driving to your campsite? Easy answer: bring wine and be nice to the people in the camp sites near you. But, did you remember wine glasses? A corkscrew? Bear-Be-Gone?
Wine glasses give a certain “je ne sais quoi” to your camping but if you try to speak French in the campground, people may look at you funny. I prefer the waiter’s corkscrew but some of those nifty Leatherman tools can make you look pretty “handy” around the campsite.
Wine is better enjoyed out of wine glasses but they are a pain to clean. Go for standard Libbey glasses. Riedel are too fussy and so fragile that you won’t want to clean them—cleaning up all the shards of glass by the light of your headlamp after a bottle of wine is not a great vacation or team building activity!
Corks also are a sign of living BIG in the world of camping, where bag-in-a-box simplicity seems to trump tradition.
Bear-Be-Gone? What is that doing in a wine blog?
Turns out that bears like camping.
Turns out that bears like camp grounds.
Turns out that bears like WINE!!!!
You need a bear strategy.
You can’t use bear spray, as that will ruin your campground and your wine. What about using those bells that people use on their walking sticks? Nope, they’re proven to attract bears.
We are still looking for the answer, but this picture, taken by our very own Jennifer, proves that this is a subject worth your consideration before heading out to our National Parks and National Forests this summer.
Suggestions include: a) shouting b) playing Fiddy Cent really loud on your iPod (there will be certain follow-up questions if you have that on your iPod), c) taking photos knowing that you were smart enough to bring another bottle to enjoy after the bear meanders over to the neighbor’s campsite, or d) all of the above. (This is just like the SAT without a math section.)
However, if the bear sniffs, swirls and then enjoys… It may be a pretty fancy campground and enjoy the Kodak moment.