Camping Cocktails: The Essential Equipment You Need To Upgrade Your Fireside Happy Hour

No matter how many hacks or “pro tips” the internet puts out there, eating and drinking well on a camping trip is no easy feat. The combination of no electricity, intermittent running water, and a dirty setup area is not a sure-fire recipe for success. But you can enjoy great food and drinks if you pack the right gear. For better cooking, we recommend you take a look at our review of the best portable grills and camping cookware set, but for better drinking, you need a few extra things.

When we say “better drink,” we’re specifically talking about making camping cocktails. If you want to drink beer or soda water on a car camping trip, this is easy enough. All you need is a cooler. Cocktails are difficult to handle because you have to measure and mix. This is why many suggestions for camp cocktails are prepared in advance, and transported to the campsite in a beaker or thermos. But even if you collect, say, a handful of negroni, you’ll still need to stir them up over ice before drinking. Or you might just be someone who wants to toss a few bottles in the trunk because you like a fresh cocktail (you’re probably solid enough to squeeze a lemon out of your camp chair). The nice thing about bringing the items we’re suggesting here is that you have the option to do both. We recommend sticking to fairly simple recipes, though — Negrones, Manhattans, or Daiquiris, for example — because you don’t want to mess with the delicate fresh herbs or fruits of the woods. No need to subject yourself to any extra messy steps. Read on for a summary of what you need to be an excellent campfire bartender.


High Camp Highball Shaker

A good camping shaker is the foundation of your cocktail collection on the road. Whether shaken or stirred, every cocktail is built here. High Camp’s Highball Shaker features several clever design options that make it an excellent choice for a camping shaker. It is made of three pieces that are joined together and form an airtight seal. This means that there is no chance of leakage during shaking (we rocked it upside down and nothing came off), but perhaps most importantly, during transportation. The vibrator is vacuum insulated and keeps the liquid inside at a fairly constant temperature. So if you choose to collect, you can do it directly in a shaker and then add ice at the campsite (if you’re using any citrus, just make sure you don’t squeeze the juice and add it more than 12 hours before you plan on drinking it). The middle piece of this blender is divided into two parts – one half is a strainer and the other half is open for stirring. It’s also designed to double as a beer cooler, making it easy to mount the contents of a 16-ounce can.

Highball Shaker Bottles

Yeti Tundra 35

Ice is one of the most difficult components of a cocktail to obtain while camping. But a cooler like the Yeti Tundra’s round casting series can keep it close at hand when you’re not near the freezer. We experienced ice retention in the tundra and we still have plenty of solid ice left in it after 72 hours outside. Tundra 35 is a medium sized cooler that is easy to get in, off and walk to the campsite, even when it’s loaded with food. For more cooler recommendations, read our best cooler review here.

Vacuum Insulated Cups

You won’t be sipping from a coupe or an old heavy-bottomed glass in the woods, but you also might not want to drink a well-made cocktail from a red plastic cup if you can help it. Vacuum insulated low ball cups provide a sturdy alternative to favorite disposables in college drums.

Clean Canteen 8 oz. Vacuum insulated tumbler pack of 2

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Yeti Rambler Insulated Vacuum Cleaner 10 oz. tumbler

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Oxo Stainless Steel Small Angled Measuring Cup

We’re big fans of the Oxo’s Small Angled Ounce Measuring Cup as a jigger for cocktails. It’s just the right size, and the pour spout makes it easy to avoid the spills that can come with sleeker looking jiggers. The clear plastic mug will probably stand up to a camping trip just fine, but Oxo also makes a tougher stainless steel version that’s better suited for an outdoor adventure.

Oxo Steel Angled Measuring Cup

Finishing touch telescopic bar spoon

If you plan to stir cocktails, while camping or otherwise, the long bar spoon is the tool of choice. However, this bar spoon comes with a telescope feature. At its shortest, it measures just 5.7 inches in size and is easy to pack. Its longest length is 13.3 inches, enough to easily reach the bottom of a shaker like High Camp.

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Finishing touch telescopic bar spoon

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