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Topic: winter water, what do you do?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
GottaGamble Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2012, 12:44 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a hiker pro and a steripen and tablets for purifying drinking water. During the winter, when temps will drop well below freezing I realise that all 3 of these options are kind of limited, if not useless. The hiker pro can freeze up and crack the element inside of it, and you wouldnt know it was cracked, therefor rendering it useless..the steripen could be problems because batteries could possibly freeze, and tablets I've heard take much longer in colder temps and may not be as effective. So, the only other relable option is to boil water, which I get. What about for drinking while you are hiking? Last winter I was hiking in temps ranging from 15-20 degrees during the day. My bladder hose completly froze up on me as did my water bottles in the side pockets. What do you do when you are hiking and the temps are sooo cold? I am considering not even bringing my water bladder with me this winter since last year the line froze and I couldnt even drink from it while hiking. Any good ideas?

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EastieTrekker Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2012, 12:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Are you using any sort of water bottle "bootie" for insulation?  If not, I'd recommend it.  As easy as getting the EMS branded version, Outdoor Products (sold at REI), or my preference (because it closes with velcro and not a zipper, which I find easier to handle with gloves) 40 Below Bottle Boots (made right in Washington state).  That should help retain warmth if you are keeping your bottles outside of your pack.

Second, boil your water as close to the trailhead as possible.  Sometimes this means boiling at home before heading out, sometimes I can stop at a 7-11 or similar gas convenience store and just use the hot water available for tea/coffee.  This helps, but of course some people hate plain hot water.  So maybe add some tea?  The added benefit here is the mental effect of drinking a warm liquid (even if it's not truly warming your core temp), plus it takes longer to reach the freezing point.

A couple other thoughts...try storing your bottles upside down in the booties, that way if it starts to freeze, it's at the bottom of the bottle, not the top.  Also, my personal preference is one bottle outside of the pack for easy access, and one buried in my pack so it can stay extra warm.  And if you don't want to buy dedicated "booties", try a old, thick wool sock!


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2012, 12:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Leave the bladder home. As you've seen the hose is the main issue. Some try to blow back the water so the hose is empty. I found that to be a PITA.

Water bottles with boiled water and then bottle parkas like the OR model or the forty below model work well to keep a water bottles from freezing

Also adding some sort of flavoring can help. A few have a touch of sodium which can help to keep thing less frozen

I even bring a thermos on some trips with coffee or tea made while at camp


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2012, 1:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(eggs @ Dec. 26 2012, 12:59 pm)
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Also adding some sort of flavoring can help. A few have a touch of sodium which can help to keep thing less frozen

I even bring a thermos on some trips with coffee or tea made while at camp

+1 on both flavoring with a little sodium and the thermos (if you can bear the additional weight  :D )

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2012, 1:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

oooh, I like the 40 below model...very nice. That might just be what I need. I am thinking I can use that. Also, instead of bringing my water bladder and hose, maybe I can use an MSR dromlite bladder filled with warm water, and pack that inside my bag and then just use a water bottle with that there 40 below cozy for sipping on while I hike...

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2012, 1:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I use the blow back method. I have not had any problem with it. I have insulated water bladders including the tubes, but it's not to keep them from freezing. It's primarily to keep them from freezing me when/if I stick them in my bivy at night.

In winter, I use two bladders. One stays in my pack on a sled and the other is in my daypack in the pocket so it's close to my back and it stays thawed out quite easily while I hike.

If I do forget to blow back and the line freezes, I either pull the tube off and stick it in my pot of water, run the tube in through my jacket for a while, or just dump some warm water directly into the bladder and it thaws out within a few minutes.

I usually don't have problems with water freezing up unless the temps are near 0.

I don't filter water so I can't make any recommendations in that regard.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2012, 2:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

+1 on some type of inulated bottle parka. I use the OR ones and have had great luck with them in keeping the water from freezing. Another thing is to not use throw away gatorade type bottles as they break easier if the threads freeze up. So use Nalgene bottles, they may be a little heavier but will hold up better in the winter
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2012, 2:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In CA I have used a bladder with insulated tube for years. Sometimes I do need to blow the water back out of the tube. Dave made a bladder that sits in a pocket against his chest with a very short tube that really works well.

In MN the temps are so low that the bladder tube freezes up no matter what so here I switch to the insulated bottle holders. Of all the brands we tried the Granite Gear Auquatherms work the best.

http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews....strella

In CA I have many times used my Hiker filter to filter snow water that I melted to about 40 F to save time and fuel. (I was making 8-10 L at a time.) I just made sure that the water was pumped out of the system before putting it in a zip-lock bag each afternoon when finished.

MN is too cold for it so here I bring the water to a boil which helps it last overnight and the next day hiking.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2012, 4:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've never been much of a fan of a hydration systems any time of the year. Actually, there are very few times in winter that I can't find open water somewhere and when I do, I fill up.  The other times I just have to melt snow.  I find that if I attach a clip to the basket of my ski/snowshoe pole and loop a wire around the top of a wide mouth Nalgene bottle and hook them together, I can usually reach open water in a creek or stream even when the water is recessed considerably below the top of the snow surface in openings in the creek that remain unfrozen.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2012, 5:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerjer @ Dec. 26 2012, 4:32 pm)
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I've never been much of a fan of a hydration systems any time of the year. Actually, there are very few times in winter that I can't find open water somewhere and when I do, I fill up.  The other times I just have to melt snow.  I find that if I attach a clip to the basket of my ski/snowshoe pole and loop a wire around the top of a wide mouth Nalgene bottle and hook them together, I can usually reach open water in a creek or stream even when the water is recessed considerably below the top of the snow surface in openings in the creek that remain unfrozen.

Great idea there hikerjer. I'll have to try that one out. That's what I love about the forums, you get new and simple ideas from others.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2012, 10:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

i either boil water or melt snow with the stove, or find springs that still run a lot of the winter (they do exist - often have to chop ice loose with an axe to fill bottles).  it may be dumb, but i tend to worry less about giardia and other pests in water during the winter.

i boil water in the a.m., drop a tea bag into a nalgene bottle, pour in hot water, then put the bottle in an insulated jacket - nalgene used to make a bottle jacket, outdoor research is also good.  if i really expect super-cold weather, i take a nissan thermos, steel vacuum bottle that's insulated.  the thermos  will keep tea warm all day.
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