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Keeping water / food from freezing on day hikes -
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Chris Caisse
(Chris748s) - F
Keeping water / food from freezing on day hikes - on 11/19/2005 14:55:02 MST Print View

My 1st post here, so please take it easy.......LOL

Anyway, I've ventured into winter hiking, starting with day hikes. As the temps drop I have been having problems keeping things like a PB&J sandwich from turning into a rock.

For instance this morning I went up to Mt. Liberty in NH. It was single digits at base and who knows what on top. My camelback tube froze if I didn't at least take a sip every 10 minutes and this was with it wrapped.

Basically things that are common on day hikes (Candy, Sandwich, etc..) how to keep from becoming rocks.

Note: I prefer not to bring cooking gear with me on a simple day hike.


Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Keeping water / food from freezing on day hikes - on 11/19/2005 17:36:35 MST Print View

Welcome to the forums Chris,

try wrapping your food in newspaper, it works as a good insulator.I have used it to keep food cold before, but I bet it will work the other way as well.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Keeping water / food from freezing on day hikes - on 11/19/2005 17:47:17 MST Print View

You need to change to foods that will not freeze, IMO.What's the camelbak tube wrapped with? Be sure to blow the water back into the camelbak after drinking. On here somewhere Ryan has instruction on making a thingy for a tube so it will be less likely to freeze.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Keeping water / food from freezing on day hikes - on 11/21/2005 14:53:43 MST Print View

It can be done...bladders won't usually freeze deep in your pack-but you do have to insulate the tubing. Keep water bottles upside down, and inside the pack.
For food..well, carry your bars and candy on you, in your coat. :-)
As for other stuff, insulate it with whatever you have, clothing, newspaper, a cozy, etc.
I actually do carry a stove, small pot, a spoon and a cup on winter trips...I got into it last year, and I carry a freezer bag meal with me to eat. I got into doing a new recipe for my website every weekend-and then it was: "Dang! I love eating hot food when everyone else is eating Powerbars!"
It is nice if you can handle carrying an extra lb of gear and food :-)

Tim Garner
(slowhike) - F

Locale: South East U.S.
keeping food/water from freezing on day hike on 11/21/2005 15:05:37 MST Print View

if anyone knows where to find ryan`s method for making a tube insulater that john mentioned, please let us know. thanks...slowhike

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: keeping food/water from freezing on day hike on 11/21/2005 18:07:29 MST Print View

Everything below is from Ryans thread....

"I use an MSR Hydromedary when I climb in the winter.

After filling the bladder (with boiling water), I add some chic-drink (eg Gu2O, Cytomax, etc) - the increased salt concentration also delays freezing in addition to the other hydration benefits. The sack gets shoved down into the pack's pad pocket and buried in gobs of insulation in your pack, the drinking tube comes up through your hydration tube hole (I use a McHale w/guide harness so I hacked a hole above the shoulder strap and reinforced it with a rubber gasket). The tube goes down the strap as normal (you may need to buy a longer Tygon tube if your bladder sits low in a bigger pack, stock tubes are usually too short for this). Tube is insulated with REFLECTIX (not neoprene, reflectix is way lighter), which is that bubble wrap insulating stuff you buy at Home D. One layer of Reflectix, then some thin duct tape strips to keep it in place.

Then you home sew a TUBE SOCK shelled with silnylon and lined with fleece, with an inside diameter large enough to slide over the reflectix-insulated tube. Both ends are open. You slide the fleecy tube sock over the tube, tuck in one open end into the rubber hydration hole gasket (it stays in place fine). Make sure it's long enough to go past the bite valve by at least 3 or 4 inches. You know the eskimos that wear the huge parka hoods with 8" front face tunnels fringed in fur? that's the effect you're working on here. You could even fringe the end of your tube (Google Fur Trim but don't come crying to me if your p0rn flags get overloaded ). And use one of those camelbak winter bite valve caps as well. It helps.

So then, when you need to drink (you can do this 1-handed), slide the fleecy tube sock up the tube, pop the bite valve insulating cap off, suck away, blow back into the bladder, pop the cap back on, and pull the tube sock back down.

This rig works remarkably well down to well below zero, assuming you are actually drinking your water and not letting it fester in your bladder all day. it should keep water for you for 6 hours, by which time you should have probably burned thru 2 or 3L of water anyway assuming you're moving up on a climb etc."

And, in good lightweight style, consider the dual use nature of your new fleecy tube (hopefully with fur trim) :o"

Edited by jshann on 11/21/2005 18:08:29 MST.

Tim Garner
(slowhike) - F

Locale: South East U.S.
keeping food/water from freezing on a day hike on 11/22/2005 19:44:09 MST Print View

john... thanks... i`m going do one of those. ...slowhike

Chris Caisse
(Chris748s) - F
Re: keeping food/water from freezing on a day hike on 11/24/2005 18:59:32 MST Print View

Thanks for the tips, just have to find some food that won't turn to rocks.
Also thinking of those chemical hand / foot warmers if wrapped in some foam around food may do the trick.

Marius Bunes
(marius) - F
Winter Water on 11/25/2005 14:42:43 MST Print View

How about carrying a thermos? The old plastic and glass type is fairly lightweight, and warm drink is good on a cold day. A 1l bladder (no hose) around your neck inside your parka? Works well for me, but careful with the neckstrap, chafing & blisters might result.

Tony Burnett
(tlbj6142) - F

Locale: OH--IO
Re: Winter Water on 11/26/2005 08:04:48 MST Print View

The bladder is fine for day trips, but what about multi-day setups?

Do most folks put a nalgene inside of an insulator holder? And put the rest of their water in a bulk storage inside their pack?

I believe this is what Jordan suggested in his winter water management article.

Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Multi-Day Hydration on 11/30/2005 07:17:56 MST Print View

Abort operation. Danger Will Robinson!

Edited by Al_T.Tude on 11/30/2005 07:23:16 MST.

Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Multi-Day Hydration on 11/30/2005 07:19:26 MST Print View

Tony, The beauty of a 3 Liter Camelbak with Camelbak's neoprene tube cover and bite valve cover is that your immediate and "bulk" fluid supply are one and the same buried in the insulation of your pack contents and pressed against your heat radiating back. As suggested by others,you suck the fluid out of the bladder buried deep in your pack and when finished drinking you blow it back into your bladder thus evacuating the tube of fluid. You should be using electrolyte and sugar fluid (such as Gatorade) which keeps your muscles and mind working and protects you from hypothermia as well as depressing the freezing point of your drinking fluid. If you have frequent access to water don't "bulk-up" too much on water. It's heavy stuff. When travelling on snow and ice I stop occasionally to throw some snow or ice and some Gatorade powder into my Camelbak and let my bodyheat melt snow all day. This saves fuel weight and vast amounts of time to not have to stop and melt snow with a stove during the day's travel. If I do stop while the sun is shining I dig a shallow basin in the snow, line it with a foam pad and lay a thin black plastic sheet on top and cover that with snow. On a bright high altitude day this will make prodigous amounts of water with out consuming any fuel. Don't let all the snow melt. Keep some in your puddle of water to keep it from warming above freezing and wasting energy. You want all the energy to go into pushing solid 0 degree centigrade water through the phase change into liquid 0 degree water.
Another multi-day technique is to melt your snow through solar or burning fuel in the afternoon and early evening for the next morning's needs. Again - you're only melting the water, not changing it's temperature. After dinner, fill your bladder with water and Gatorade powder and put enough water in your pot for breakfast, dish washing and tooth brushing and bury all of this in a shallow snow pit and cover it with 4" of snow. Even if the air temperature at night drops to well below freezing, the snow will insulate your water from the cold and it will not freeze. The approximately 0 degree snow will not conduct heat out of the 0 degree water because there is no temperature differential necessary to drive heat transfer. This means that in the morning you pull out your pot, heat the water up to cooking temp, eat, wash up, exhume your Camelbak and you're off. Before I used this procedure I found I was chewing up 1/2 the morning melting snow rather than adventuring.
Cheers, Al

Mike Storesund
(mikes) - F
Winter Water on 12/02/2005 14:08:07 MST Print View

The Denver Area Council (BSA) has a camp in the Rocky Mountains that holds Okpik (pronounced oo-pick)cold weather training. They also recommend the 1L platy bag hung from the neck between your body and your jacket.