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#126234 - 01/03/10 10:06 PM Water
Schultzy Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Quad Cities, Iowa
First off, I'm new here, so I would like to say hello! My question deals with carrying water on overnight trips in sub-freezing temperatures. Just wondering if anybody had any "tricks" that they use to keep their water from freezing. I have always just sat the container next to the fire whenever i decided that i was thirsty and thawed it enough to get a drink. Any opinions would be appreciated. Thanks.

Joe

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#126237 - 01/03/10 11:29 PM Re: Water [Re: Schultzy]
Eugene Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/09
Posts: 60
Loc: San Diego, CA
I'm trying to figure this out better too. If you have smaller bottles, you can keep them in your shirt/parka/fleece. If they don't get cold when you make camp, I suppose you could throw them straight into your sleeping bag. You can also boil one of those bottles before tossing it into your bag to make for a nice warm night.

I figure that even if a bottle freezes, if you'll be hiking hard the next day, it'll warm up pretty quick under a shirt.

Still though, I don't have much experience in freezing temps. I'd like to know if those with more experience do things a different better way.
_________________________
www.eugeneleafty.com

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#126260 - 01/04/10 03:30 PM Re: Water [Re: Eugene]
Schultzy Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Quad Cities, Iowa
Yea, I only get out in cold weather a couple times a year. I have a theory that maybe burying them in snow at night may insulate them enough to keep above freezing... Im not sure though. Heading out for a short hike here in a week and a half. The extended forecast looks to be into the single digits overnight and highs in the teens to maybe low 20's. Just thought I'd ask those of you that get out in this weather more frequently.

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#126262 - 01/04/10 04:15 PM Re: Water(botas) [Re: Schultzy]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
I use a good quality wine bota slung under my outer GTX parka when traveling in winter. I replaced the bota's carry cord W/a 3/4" nylon webbing and a quick release Fastex buckle so I could remove it W/O taking off the outer parka.

At night it goes in a stuff sack and to the foot of my sleeping bag after being filled with fairly warm water. Never had it leak yet.
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#126275 - 01/04/10 09:19 PM Re: Water [Re: Schultzy]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Schultzy
Others may disagree but one of the cardinal rules I learned as a boyscout "never ever have any liquid, water or otherwise, above or in your sleeping bag at anytime." I suppose a sealed bottle inside another sealed container might be ok, and I'm sure lots of people get away with this BUT it could leak and I hate wet sleeping bags.
I put warm water - melted snow - into my insulated water bottle and wrap it in my goretex jacket and put it inside my pack. Some people put it lid down since water does seem to freeze from the top down, but I've only once had a problem with this.
Insulated water bottle. Cut pieces of blue foam pad to wrap tightly around bottle, cut a round piece for the bottom and use duck tape, don't worry about the lid.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#126277 - 01/04/10 09:40 PM Re: Water [Re: Jimshaw]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I pack some of my clothes around my boot after putting a full water bottle, top side up into it. Works most of the time. On our trip this last weekend, one guy and his son used a snow fridge, you are right, the water will only get so cold. I never did that, had thought of it, but don't want to dig it out of the snow in the morning. He had a block of snow with a hollowed out spot.

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#126278 - 01/04/10 09:45 PM Re: Water [Re: Schultzy]
Rick Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
At those temps - lid side down in a bottle parka buried in snow.
Anything colder than that the lexan Nalgene goes into the bag with me - after double and triple checking the lid for leaks.

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#126286 - 01/04/10 11:26 PM Re: Water [Re: Rick]
Schultzy Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Quad Cities, Iowa
Hey thanks for all the input guys. Jim, I agree with you. I went through the scouts as well, and would prefer to not have any liquid in the sleeping bag with me. I will most likely give the snow fridge a shot, as there is plenty of that available around here right now. Again, thanks everybody!

Joe

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#126293 - 01/05/10 12:54 AM Re: Water [Re: Schultzy]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
The water won't freeze completely if buried in snow, but do bury it upside down. Unfrozen water doesn't do you any good if it is under an inch or more of ice in a bottle. Alternately, make or buy a cozy for your water bottle. The two reasons I take hard nalgene bottles in the winter are that I trust them to stay closed with hot water in my sleeping bag at night, and the wide mouth make chipping away ice to get to the water easier if a bottle partially freezes.
_________________________
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#126294 - 01/05/10 02:21 AM Re: Water [Re: thecook]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Another thing worth carrying is an insulated bottle. I have a stainless steel one made by Liquid Solutions that cost about $20. It works really well and will keep hot tea warm all day. I made a cozy for it out of blue foam (the cheap pads you can get for $10 at Target or similar stores).

How well it would work at -30C, I have no idea, but it works well down to about +15F or so.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#126304 - 01/05/10 10:45 AM Re: Water [Re: Schultzy]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
Another trick of the trade is I put powdered lemon or grape drink, that contains sodium and potassium, in the water. It:
1. adds a little flavor
2. provided electrolytes that’s hard to get out of frozen energy bars
3. lowers the melting point a few degrees!

Also, on winter trips, I’ll mix up some Welch’s grape juice concentrate. That is good stuff on the trail.

-Barry

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#126337 - 01/05/10 06:26 PM Re: Water [Re: Rick]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I do the exact same thing as this.

My overnight water in wintertime typically sits in a nalgene
buried upside down in snow, and in an aluminum GSI double boiler set with a thick blue foam cozy built around the pot - basically
the potset is enclosed in blue foam.

The top of the pot may freeze in really cold weather, but normally fine.

In the morning I then have water to heat up - and use to start
more snow melting to have water for the rest of the day.

_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#126344 - 01/05/10 09:04 PM Re: Water [Re: phat]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
phat, guys,
I need water in the night. It doesn't do me any good buried in the snow. I might need to take some Tylenol or Diamox or something or just be thirsty, or need to chase some chocolate doughnut. smile As far as water to start the morning melt, some already melted water helps but isn't required.
Note for new winter campers. You cannot melt snow directly on a hot stove, it will scorch the pan and taste horrible and be full of metal ions, thus as phat points out, 3-4 ounces of water to start with is a good idea, then do not add enough snow at any one time to absorb all of the water and again scorch the pan. It will steam and burn without actually melting.

To melt snow without any liquid water to start do this. Light your stove and keep it low. Hold the pan above the stove to WARM it and add one teaspoon of snow - no more, and swish it around until it melts, then add one more teaspoon, don't hurry it, and hold the pan maybe 6 inches above your stove. When the second teaspoon is melted, add a third, in about 2 minutes you will have 3-4 ounces of water and an unscorched pan, then you can add an amount of snow approximately equal to the teaspoons that you used, but never enough to absorb all of the water. If you heat the water in the pan so that its hot before adding more snow it will help eliminate the absorption problem. I personally use the heat it up then add more method, others simply add slowly and continuously, whatever method you use, do stir constantly.
Jim crazy
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#126367 - 01/06/10 01:16 AM Re: Water [Re: Jimshaw]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I don't usually bury the potset - I find the blue foam cozy keeps it mostly unfrozen in all but the worst cold, and even then it ends up just a crust on top. If I need a drink at night I get into that, but usually I don't.

Now peeing on the other hand - that's what an empty wide mouth pepsi bottle is for - fortunatly that usually only needs to get used once a night, so I tuck it into a roll of clothing when done and it usually stays unfrozen enough to empty it in the morning. Having to decide what to do with a frozen pee bottle when packing up sucks! (and no, I'm not getting out of the bag at -20 to pee.. that's uncivilized!)
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#126369 - 01/06/10 03:44 AM Re: Water [Re: phat]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Quote:
and no, I'm not getting out of the bag at -20 to pee.. that's uncivilized!


Just another reason why this female person doesn't camp in winter!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#126402 - 01/06/10 11:05 PM Re: Water [Re: phat]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
phat
I only got my buddy to carry a pee bottle on one trip. The next day it was frozen solid. He wanted to carry out the bottle so we actually had to put it in boiling water for an hour to thaw it out. eek

POUR THE PEE OUT THE DOOR OF YOUR TENT WHILE ITS STILL HOT! goodjob GEEZ...

Mouse, I heard that an all female climbing expedition on Mt Everest had a funnel/tube thingy in their tent but the outlet froze one night. Sadly on a photo op one of the women leaned back in her harness for her picture and she wasn't tied in. I think they called off the trip. eek frown
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#127477 - 01/27/10 07:41 PM Re: Water [Re: thecook]
Rucksack Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 13
Loc: Wisconsin
Originally Posted By thecook
Alternately, make or buy a cozy for your water bottle.


I have a full roll of reflectix insulation and duct tape.Would that help keep the water from freezing?
What about wrapping it around a drinking bladder and tube?
Mabey putting a hand warmer inside the insulation for overnight would help.
The tube always seems to freeze. I like having water ready to drink while on the move.

Any thoughts?

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#127481 - 01/27/10 08:38 PM Re: Water [Re: Rucksack]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Yes. a pouch of regflectix that fite your container snugly will
work well - I find blue foam works a little better but it depends how cold you get.

As for a freezing tube, Blow he tube empty when you take a drink. i.e. drink, then blow into the bag. Empty tube doesn't freeze.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#127495 - 01/28/10 12:01 AM Re: Water [Re: Rucksack]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I have one pack with one o'them new fangle drinkin tubes, but I've never used it, scared it'll freeze or the bladder will leak into the pack. What happens if you take a bad fall onto the pack? Besides it seems too fussy - too many zippers inside.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#127541 - 01/28/10 09:40 PM Re: Water [Re: phat]
Rucksack Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 13
Loc: Wisconsin
Well , last night I decided to see how well the reflectix worked.

I cut and wrapped the the insulation around the water bottle. Cut circles for top and bottom. Duct taped the seam and bottom circle. I just pushed the top circle in the cylinder.

I put out one bottle w/insulation and w/out. ( Out in the open above snow and in the wind.)
Filled both with cold tap water.
Put both out at 9 PM . Checked them at 8AM.
The over night low was 5 deg.
When i checked them in the morning it was 9 deg.

Bottle w/out insulation was almost frozen solid except a hole about the size of a quarter running through the middle.

Bottle w/insulation had a thin coating of ice on the walls and about an inch of slush at the top. About 80% water.

It works. Now I want to try the blue foam.
Although reflectix would be less bulky.

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#127551 - 01/28/10 11:00 PM Re: Water [Re: Rucksack]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
sack
use warm water in bottle with blue foam and (I'll bet) it won't freeze at those temps. I hate drinking ice water. Thats why I use the blue foam warm water method so when I need a drink in the night it doesn't freeze my insides.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#127610 - 01/29/10 07:50 PM Re: Water [Re: TomD]
bmwrider Offline
member

Registered: 07/31/08
Posts: 94
Loc: Michigan, just N of detroit
I start out with hot water in my water bottles and those in cozies in my sled then warm water in my bladder in the pack with a chem body warmer stuck to it for the hike in, over night hot water in the bottles with cozy and in the boots with my insulated snow pants on top and I always wake up with hot enough water for some tea while I get the coffee pot started

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#130559 - 03/11/10 08:30 PM Re: Water [Re: Schultzy]
ClimbHigh Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 2
Loc: Lathrop, California
Hi Schultzy! I have a couple ideas that might work for you. First off, the Nalgene wide mouth bottles are good for winter. Second, OR makes insulated sleeve containers that the Nalgene bottles fit perfectly into. Third, sleep with your water bottles with you inside your sleeping bag. You can put them in the foot area or by your waist. Sometimes I wrap them up in other clothing and use them for a pillow, but need lots of clothing or they hurt your head.

I found out the hard way during one of my first winter camping trips. I left the water bottle outside the sleeping bag next to me, so I could drink at will, and it froze and the bottle broke. I was bummed. But luckily I had a couple more bottles to use.

If you're climbing or camping on a mountain and you've packed in, you will want to monitor using your gas. You don't want to run out of gas and have another day of food and snow to melt.

Water bladders are good too, but you have to be careful with the hose. It freezes where it is exposed to the air (from your backpack to your mouth). Even hiking during the day in the sun, the hose can freeze. Camelback or MSR makes a hose insulation tube. You disconnect the hose and feed it into the tube. Works great. Again though, the bladder would have to be wrapped in clothing and kept inside your sleeping bag. I tried a bladder once in winter and the hose froze. So I decided to keep it for late spring, summer and early fall and use Nagene wide mouth water bottles for winter.

Have fun, winter camping is great fun. I love it!
Cheers!
Patty

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#130561 - 03/11/10 08:44 PM Re: Water [Re: Jimshaw]
ClimbHigh Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 2
Loc: Lathrop, California
Hi Jimshaw! The water bladder works great. But you do have to be careful in winter with freezing hoses. Either Camelback or MSR make an insulation tube for the hoses. MSR makes a great bladder that I use for winter. It's covered in a nylon that makes it more bomb proof. Of course, if you fall a few hundred yards and landed on your back right on your bladder on rocks, it probably will break.

The brands of Camelback and MSR bladders are the best as far as I am concerned. I used another brand, I forget it's name, and it did leak, wasn't fun. Luckily it was summer and I didn't have a frozen clothes problem.

When washing out the bladder, do not use soap, I repeat, do not use soap. Soap weakens the plastics and the washer in the lid will leak. I didn't know that and on a mountain bike trip, my bladder leaked at the lid. Couldn't fill it all the way up. The plastics are made with something that inhibits mold growth. But when you get home, wash it out with warm water and dry completely. Camelback makes hangers you can dry it with or just turn it upside down and use a coat hanger with clips and hang over the shower or tub. There is space between the lid and the edge, you'll need to use a wash cloth to sop up the water that drips down. Usually by the next morning, it's dry.

I use my bladder for late spring, summer and early fall hiking/climbing. You have water ready all the time and you don't have to worry about trying to hike and drink water. There are clips that you can hook the hose to your chest strap and it's only 2 inches away. It's easier to stay more hydrated that way.

Try it out, you'll like it! I was skeptical at first and now I love it.
Cheers!
Patty

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#130645 - 03/13/10 02:57 PM Re: Water & hydration bladders [Re: Eugene]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
I have a 3,000 cu. in day-and-a-half Camelbak hunting pack (Commander). It has a black neoprene hose cover and and heavy duty black rubber bite valve cover. The hose is routed into a zippered sleeve on my right shoulder and this does help insulate it also.

Still I had to make a double thickness fleece cover for the last 6" of the hose and mouthpiece to prevent ice buildup, even with blowing the water back up the hose after every drink.

I've put chemical hand warmers in the zippered back compartment where the bladder resides and this has helped a lot. Keeps the water warm and the warm water melts any ice in the hose & bite valve with each drink until temps get into the 10 F. to zero range.

I'm going to try the larger, self-sticking Thermawrap chem heaters that are made for sore muscles. smile I may even cut one and stick a short piece on the fleece that covers my bite valve.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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