As a thick white cover of snow blankets the ground, my mind turns to thoughts of snowshoeing and winter camping trips. One of the things I enjoy in the colder weather is a hot drink to warm me from the inside out. Coffee and tea are great standbys but sometimes I like to jazz things up a little and make something out of the ordinary.

Often, I will fill a good quality Thermos with boiling water in the morning before heading out on the snowshoes. When I stop I have water that is hot enough for hot chocolate, green tea, or instant coffee. Black or white tea and ground coffee need to have boiling water, as do drinks such as the Kermode Bear Hot Chocolate. I save those drinks for when I plan to have the stove out.

Here are a few winter drink recipes that will warm you up when you are out on the trail in the colder weather.

Chocolate Almond Coffee
© A Fork in the Trail 2008

Makes 4 servings

This drink tastes like almond biscotti dunked in a cup of hot coffee.

4 tablespoons creamer
4 teaspoons sugar
4 teaspoons instant coffee
8 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure almond extract

At Home
Mix the dry ingredients and almond extract together, and place them in a ziplock freezer bag.

At Camp
Shake the bag of dry ingredients to ensure they are well combined. Place 4 tablespoons of mix in a cup and carefully fill it with 8 ounces of boiling water. Stir until the ingredients dissolve. Repeat for each desired serving.

Kermode Bear Hot Chocolate
© A Fork in the Trail 2008

Makes 4 servings

The Kermode bear, also known as the Spirit Bear, is a rare, white subspecies of the North American black bear indigenous to the British Columbia rainforest and Princess Royal Island.

1/4 teaspoon anise seed
1/3 cup white chocolate
1/2 cup Nestle Nido or whole milk powder

At Home
Grind the anise seed and white chocolate in a coffee grinder or blender until the chocolate is in fine pieces. Mix in the milk powder, and place the powder in a ziplock freezer bag.

At Camp
Shake the bag of dry ingredients to ensure they are well combined. Place 3 tablespoons of mix in a cup and carefully fill it with 8 ounces of boiling water. Stir until the ingredients dissolve. Repeat for each desired serving.

Tip: Don’t use chocolate chips for this recipe. They tend to clump because they are made to hold their shape, to an extent, when heated.

Hot Chocolate Banana Smoothie
© WildernessCooking.com 2008

Makes 8-10 servings

One evening my son Tobias and I sat and watched the thunderstorms from the safety of the house. After it was over, Tobias asked for a cup of hot chocolate but remarked that he wanted one of my special ones. So I made him a Hot Chocolate Banana Smoothie. We often enjoy hot drinks the trail and I just happened to have everything needed to make this mix stashed in the cupboard. This recipe is perfect for a rainy or snowy day.

1/2 cup instant banana cream pudding mix
3/4 cup hot cocoa mix (hot chocolate mix)
1/3 cup powdered milk

At Home
Mix the dry ingredients together and place them in a ziplock freezer bag.

At Camp
Shake the bag of dry ingredients to ensure they are well combined. Place 3 tablespoons of mix in a cup and carefully fill it with 8 ounces of boiling water. Stir until the ingredients dissolve. Repeat for each desired serving.

Orange Cream Smoothie
© Laurie Ann March 2008

Makes 6-8 servings

I love the flavor of those orange ice cream treats from my childhood and this hot smoothie is reminiscent of that. The smell brings me back to warmth of those sultry summer days even when it is bitter cold.

1/2 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
1/4 cup Tang or similar orange flavored drink mix
1/3 cup powdered milk

At Home
Mix the dry ingredients together and place them in a ziplock freezer bag.

At Camp
Shake the bag of dry ingredients to ensure they are well combined. Place 2 tablespoons of mix in a cup and carefully fill it with 8 ounces of boiling water. Stir until the ingredients dissolve. Repeat for each desired serving.

Latte Face © Michael Cline

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