I am a coffee lover at heart, but I must confess something: I love a good cup of tea.
When I’m sitting around a campfire, nibbling on s’mores and preparing to cozy up in a sleeping bag, no other non-alcoholic beverage hits the spot quite like a soothing cup of chamomile, peppermint or vanilla rooibos.
Here are five reasons why you should drink tea on your next outdoor adventure.
1. Herbal Tea Helps You Sleep
If you need some help tucking into your tent, brew a pot of calming chamomile. Made from dried flower heads from Matricaria chamomilla, chamomile contains apigenin, which is a natural flavonoid that can help with muscle relaxation and sedation. According to Penn Medicine, this tea can also help reduce menstrual pain and stress.
2. Tea Has High Levels of Antioxidants
Did you know tea can help with cancer prevention, fighting heart disease, lowering blood pressure, boosting brain function, weight loss and lowering cholesterol? Green tea is touted as the best for overall health, as it’s rich in the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). This tea contains 28mg of caffeine per 8mL, so it’s better to sip in the morning for energy. If drinking it before bedtime, opt for a low-caffeine green tea. This will also enhance the anti-stress effects of the tea.
3. Tea Helps Battle Dehydration in Cold Weather
On chilly nights, you might find yourself wanting to avoid a refreshing drink of cold water. But you still need to hydrate—especially if you’ve been backpacking, hiking, climbing, canoeing or generally being active. Replenish your fluids with a hot cup of tea! Although it is not a replacement for water, herbal tea does not dehydrate you, making it an ideal hot beverage on an outdoor adventure.
4. It’s Simple to Make
Leave the filters, presses and cold brews for the morning. All you need to make tea is a tiny tea bag (or leaves and a strainer) and some boiled water! This makes tea especially accessible for lightweight backpackers. Car campers should try a portable tea diffuser mug. If you’re experienced in foraging, you can also find ingredients for tea in your own backyard.
5. It Can Soothe Sore Muscles and Fight Colds
After a hard day of hiking, brew an aromatic cup of anti-inflammatory ginger or turmeric tea for a natural pain reliever. Whenever I have the sniffles or tummy ache, I try to sip peppermint, hibiscus and lemon ginger tea. Wintergreen tea, which has a chemical similar to aspirin, helps treat headaches, stomach-aches and fever. It has a subtle minty flavour.
Even if you still pack in a portable French press and a bag of freshly ground coffee, you can still unwind with a warm cup of tea at night or an iced fruity hibiscus tea on the summit of a mountain.