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  1. #1
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    Default Carrying Water in Winter

    What is the pro way to keep your water from freezing while hiking in the winter?

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Fill the water bottle with hot/warm water. I stuff the bottle in an old think wool sock. In my experience bladders just don't work in the winter. Even with the insolated lines, the tubes freeze.

  3. #3
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    Pack a warm water bottle in your pack, in an extra secure plastic bag, surrounded by any insulation you're carrying. You can pack lunch next to your water, if you want to keep it warm. And the bottle could be a hand warmer if needed.

    I usually carry a down vest in winter, for survival reasons only. I make a cylinder out of the vest, put in the bottle, then cap that off with an extra clothing. Occasionally I've needed an extra hat or gloves, and what a feeling when they're nice and warm. Once I had warm, left-over pizza for lunch, in the lee of a snow cornice at 13,000'.

    If taking off on a day hike from home, this is easy. If you're backpacking, and have access to surface water, you may need to use your stove. If you're melting snow, you're using your stove anyway, and let it get warmer than just thawed. You'll need extra fuel for this, of course.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrum View Post
    Fill the water bottle with hot/warm water. I stuff the bottle in an old think wool sock. In my experience bladders just don't work in the winter. Even with the insolated lines, the tubes freeze.
    Thanks. Can you carry the bottle outside your pack of does it need to be inside the pack?

  5. #5
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    https://40below.com/product-category/bottle-covers/

    If you want some of the best gear.

    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    https://40below.com/product-category/bottle-covers/

    If you want some of the best gear.

    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk
    I just recently last winter purchased 1 of these and they sell a plastic water bottle with wide mouth you keep upside down to keep the lid freezing I still had to put a hand warmer in the cozy as well . The plastic bottle is flexible so you can smack a little to break up any ice. Good to single digits especially well moving. Good thread diversion from all this heat!

  7. #7
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    Hunnersdorf bottles work well in the Winter. It's all I use. One liter in a 40 Below bottle boot and one in my pack. Works in Sub-Zero temps and I know and keep an eye on my water levels. Tragic fact, in Winter, since the air is so dry, a person dehydrates quicker. Kate Matrasova was found with three, full, frozen water bottles. Dehydration contributes to hypothermia which contributes to poor decision making. In these mountains in the Winter, it's a death sentence.

  8. #8

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    https://www.outdoorresearch.com/us/e.../2426960001222

    Boil your water in the morning and put it in the bottle still warm. Depending on the temperature, a good insulated bottle parka can keep it warm for many hours.

  9. #9

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    I boil my water in the morning, 1 part boiled to 2 parts cold. Slip my water bladder into a foam sleeve I made out of a cheap blue foam sleeping pad.

    An upside down wide mouth bottle works too. Make sure the bottle seals well beforehand and watch for ice in the threads.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
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  10. #10
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    When I did winter camping, we had flask canteens that hung by a cord around our necks, inside our outer layers. At night the canteen goes in the sleeping bag with you.

  11. #11

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    Insulated bottles and cooking water on the spot if camping, hot nalgene to sleep then drink/cook when you wake up


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  12. #12

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    Be aware, ice particles can mess up your bottle's seal. Not good if you sleep with your water bottle. Some care can prevent this though.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Bill View Post
    Be aware, ice particles can mess up your bottle's seal. Not good if you sleep with your water bottle. Some care can prevent this though.
    Why is it not good to sleep with a water bottle to keep if from freezing? Don't many people put their water filter in their sleeping bag at night?

  14. #14

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    As long as you ensure that the water bottle lid is fully threaded down, you're okay. Plenty of stories around of people who -thought- theirs was, only to wake up wet as water slowly leaked out overnight.

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    Many people do including myself and many people heat up water before going to bed to use the water bottle as a foot warmer. The trade off is if you are using a cheap bottle with seals then that tend to leak you can end up with a wet sleeping bag which is a bad thing in winter. If you are paranoid, seal the bottle in a ziplock freezer bag. Odds are if the bottle leaks the ziplock acts like secondary containment. In really cold conditions (-20 F) . I pour hot water into two Nalgene lexan bottles (the clear ones) and put one in an insulated bottle cover. When the first bottle has cooled off I take the one in the cover out and get a couple of more hours of warmth. The concept of using a bit more fuel to stretch gear ratings is a valid one. Liquid fuel is over 100,000 btu/lb and gaseous fuel is in the 80k range. Hikers are carrying fuel so they can elect to use it to heat up water to stay warm at night and then possibly have to resort to cooking over wood later on in the hike. Note many folks who winter camp use a pee bottle and they trust the seal, the consequences of leaky pee bottle tends to be more unpleasant than a water bottle . Note the milky colored Nalgene bottles and most disposable type bottles like gatoraide bottles and soda bottles do not hold up well to heat and they can warp and leak if really hot water is used.

    FYI, S&R folks in the whites carry hot water mixed with jello at half strength in the winter. The mix doesn't freeze as quickly as the sugar depresses the freezing point and it gets slushy instead of hard ice. The other big reason is someone who is hypothermic no longer can digest food for energy as their stomach has shut down. They can still absorb the jello mix by direct absorption so its a way of getting "fuel" back in the person with hypothermia.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Many people do including myself and many people heat up water before going to bed to use the water bottle as a foot warmer. The trade off is if you are using a cheap bottle with seals then that tend to leak you can end up with a wet sleeping bag which is a bad thing in winter. If you are paranoid, seal the bottle in a ziplock freezer bag. Odds are if the bottle leaks the ziplock acts like secondary containment. In really cold conditions (-20 F) . I pour hot water into two Nalgene lexan bottles (the clear ones) and put one in an insulated bottle cover. When the first bottle has cooled off I take the one in the cover out and get a couple of more hours of warmth. The concept of using a bit more fuel to stretch gear ratings is a valid one. Liquid fuel is over 100,000 btu/lb and gaseous fuel is in the 80k range. Hikers are carrying fuel so they can elect to use it to heat up water to stay warm at night and then possibly have to resort to cooking over wood later on in the hike. Note many folks who winter camp use a pee bottle and they trust the seal, the consequences of leaky pee bottle tends to be more unpleasant than a water bottle . Note the milky colored Nalgene bottles and most disposable type bottles like gatoraide bottles and soda bottles do not hold up well to heat and they can warp and leak if really hot water is used.

    FYI, S&R folks in the whites carry hot water mixed with jello at half strength in the winter. The mix doesn't freeze as quickly as the sugar depresses the freezing point and it gets slushy instead of hard ice. The other big reason is someone who is hypothermic no longer can digest food for energy as their stomach has shut down. They can still absorb the jello mix by direct absorption so its a way of getting "fuel" back in the person with hypothermia.
    Interesting. I'm actually in the process of becoming involved in SAR. When you say they carry hot water with jello...is that while they are moving and the bottle is carried outside the pack? Moving and inside the pack? Or is that while they are sleeping and the bottle is in a sleeping bag?

  17. #17
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    They are carrying it in insulated bottles inside the pack. Many of the insulated bottle covers have belt loops but on nasty days they are best kept in the pack.

    On a somewhat related note you may want to pick up this book https://www.amazon.com/Where-Youll-F.../dp/0996218157

    It goes into an attempted extreme weather rescue a few years ago in whites. Lots of detail on the entire effort and how bad decisions get made. There is a two page section on how hypothermia progresses that is quite scary.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    They are carrying it in insulated bottles inside the pack. Many of the insulated bottle covers have belt loops but on nasty days they are best kept in the pack.

    On a somewhat related note you may want to pick up this book https://www.amazon.com/Where-Youll-F.../dp/0996218157

    It goes into an attempted extreme weather rescue a few years ago in whites. Lots of detail on the entire effort and how bad decisions get made. There is a two page section on how hypothermia progresses that is quite scary.
    I remember reading about that situation.

  19. #19
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    Outdoor Research used to make insulated Nalgene bottle holders that strap to a pack's waist belt. I bought & still have two from my days in the Adirondacks of NY where water would begin to freeze even inside your pack. I have seen others successfully use socks w/ a hand warmer stuffed inside with the water bottle.

    When camping, bury the filled bottle in the snow and it will not freeze!
    Be Prepared

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    As long as you ensure that the water bottle lid is fully threaded down, you're okay. Plenty of stories around of people who -thought- theirs was, only to wake up wet as water slowly leaked out overnight.
    Yep, that's me. I'd rather others not do the same.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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