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Backcountry golden milk

Outdoor adventure athlete and backpacking guide shares her go-to recovery elixir for the backcountry or at home

By Amy David

During the summer I work as a multi-day backpacking guide, and I spend many days in a row trekking through the mountains and the desert. While guiding is extremely rewarding and hiking through these incredible landscapes is both invigorating and peaceful, my body feels the strain at the end of the day. Add on the residual joint pain from years of hard landings while freeride skiing and several broken bones and knee surgeries, my joints are often inflamed. I’m sure many people can relate!

The best solution for reducing inflammation in my body has been turmeric. When I’m camping, I carry a lightweight kit for making "golden milk" at the end of each day to boost my physical and mental recovery from the day. Just as the sun begins to drop, I whip up this cozy pick-me-up to soothe the body and mind. The next day I feel restored and eager to take on the next adventure.

Backcountry golden milk recipe


Makes 1 serving
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 HANAH Turmeric+ capsules
  • 2 tbsp. dehydrated coconut milk
  • Honey or maple syrup to taste (backpacking tip: look for crystallized honey packets)
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg


  1. Heat up the water and add it to your mug along with the contents of the Turmeric+ capsules.
  2. Add the dehydrated coconut milk and blend it well. If you’re using regular dehydrated dairy milk, be sure to let your water cool slightly before adding the milk or the milk will curdle.
  3. Add honey or maple syrup until you achieve the sweetness you prefer.
  4. Spice it up with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.
  5. Tip: Before my trips, I prepackage the measured amount for each ingredient in small baggies to minimize the waste and weight in the backcountry.

Variations for at home:

If you aren’t focused on lightweight ingredients for multi-day trips and have the comfort of a kitchen to work with, here are a few variations.

  • Use coconut milk or your preference of a creamy base. Heat all the ingredients together over the stove for 15 minutes on light-medium heat, stirring constantly.
  • Other spices to include: cloves, ginger, and/or cardamom.
  • For a final touch, use a handheld frother to whip the top layer and garnish with a dash of cinnamon.

Recipe by Amy David skier, backpacking guide and producer

Want more warming recipes? Check out these blogs:



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