This March I was lucky enough to get two weeks off (thanks, Randy & Nikol!), to join my cousin at the beginning of her Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike.
You may be wondering why my cousin wanted me to tromp behind her for 150 miles… the main reason is that I hiked the trail in 2008, and therefore (possibly?) have valuable knowledge and experience. And I love, love, love to hike, so I was going to follow her whether she liked it or not.
My life has changed a lot since I hiked the trail though– and not just in the oh-no-I’m-eight-years-older department. I wasn’t tea-obsessed last time. I had not yet discovered my beloved oolongs.
This meant that, unlike the last hike, this trip was going to have to include tons of tea drinking.
And loose-leaf tea-drinking doesn’t really mesh with ultra-light backpacking. Tea-brewing implements are heavy, luxury items. When people are cutting their toothbrushes in half and deciding not to wear underwear– all in order to save 4 oz of weight– taking a tea infuser that weighs 12 oz is ridiculous.
In fairness– I only walked 130 miles. That’s a 20th of the length of the entire trail. I had it pretty darn easy, and taking my tea infuser wasn’t a hardship at all. There was a lot of thought that went into my decisions though, and for anyone wanting to take their loose-leaf on the trail, on the river, to the mountains, on the road…
I decided to use my Libre tea infuser, because:
- It’s plastic on the outside, glass on the inside, so I can brew with hot water or cold water, and not worry (too much) about dropping it
- It has a mesh strainer, so I can re-steep the same leaves all day just by adding water
- It works as extra water capacity, which is handy in the southern California desert where water is scarce
I limited myself to two teas– because otherwise I knew I’d go crazy and my tea would outweigh my tent. For my two teas, I wanted to be strategic and get the most bang for the weight. I took my go-to oolong from Taiwan, “Laughing Mountain“. I can drink this every day without getting tired of it. I also took “Iron Maiden”, my go-to herbal tea when I feel like I’m coming down with something and need a boost.
Then we hit the trail, and as you can tell, I proceeded to take tons of Libre pictures. Interested in the day-to-day of hiking? Check out my trail-journal.