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Carrying Water with Snowshoes
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(jpovs) - F - M
Carrying Water with Snowshoes on 01/18/2012 11:49:19 MST Print View


Edited by jpovs on 02/02/2015 08:47:05 MST.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Carrying Water with Snowshoes on 01/18/2012 11:55:02 MST Print View

Yes, the hydration bladder hose freezes up in winter. You can avoid that if you blow back into the bag to clear the water from the hose, but you still often get enough dripping back to the low point to freeze into a block. Blow back, then extend the hose over your head to let drips run back works pretty well but is a little tedious if you're a sipper instead of a gulper.

Starting from home or camp with warm/hot water in the bladder helps too. And buys you more time before the bladder or other things in your pack freeze up.

Increasingly there are double-wall Nalgene and stainless bottles available but they are hardly UL. Just put a sock or hat (that you brought anyway) around your water bottle that will buy a lot of time for you.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: carrying water on 01/18/2012 12:30:07 MST Print View

When I need snowshoes, they are generally on my feet the entire time, but it's cold enough here that I almost always need an alternate solution for water (I don't carry bottle cozies). I usually have one bottle inside my shirt that I'll drink from during the day. I may have a reserve bottle inside my pack up against my back.

Paul Hope
(PaulHope) - F
Re: Carrying Water with Snowshoes on 01/18/2012 12:47:13 MST Print View

Josh, I am not too sure which snow shoes you are using, but I know that I could attach both of my MSR EVO Ascents to the same side of my Pinnacle? I can also do this is on my CCW Valdez & Chernobyl, as well as my BD Speed 30 and my friend's Variant 37.

This leaves one free side to attach anything else that you need (probe, crampons, microspikes, pickets, tent etc)-- in your case this would free up the side pocket for your water.

If you are unable to do this, then look at:

1) Using a 'biner to affix the nalgene to somewhere else on the pack in a nalegene cozy.
2) Putting the nalgene inside the pack, wrapped in your down jacket.

Most people that I know do not use the hose on their bladder due to freezing-- but packing the actual bladder is just fine, just discard the hose and put a lid on the bladder.

(jpovs) - F - M
Re: Re: Carrying Water with Snowshoes on 01/18/2012 13:43:23 MST Print View


Edited by jpovs on 02/02/2015 08:47:37 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Carrying Water with Snowshoes on 01/18/2012 13:49:30 MST Print View

I never carry any water bottles on the outside of my pack. That solves that problem.
AS OP have mentioned, I too carry my PET water bottles (not bladder) inside my pack against my back. That way they never freeze.

Forgive my hard-line attitude, but I have never undestood this desire to hang stuff around the outside of the pack where it can fall off, get snagged, or get damaged. I carry a pack made of reasonable fabric to keep my gear safe - inside. OK, skis and snowshoes hang outside :-)


Gerry Volpe

Locale: Vermont
snowshoes on 01/18/2012 14:06:49 MST Print View

If I had to carry my snowshoes on my pinnacle I would probably put them on the back and connect the compression straps together across the pack. This way you could still carry your nalgene in the side pocket of the pack. It will make it harder to get into the back pocket though. Unless your pack is several years old it should have this feature. If not it could be rigged simply.

(jpovs) - F - M
Re: Re: Carrying Water with Snowshoes on 01/18/2012 14:09:35 MST Print View


Edited by jpovs on 02/02/2015 08:46:32 MST.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: Carrying Water with Snowshoes on 01/18/2012 14:14:07 MST Print View

When I winter backpack with a pack (I normally use a pulk sled) I'll simply strap my snowshoes to the back of my pack if and when I cross sections where the lack of snow would damage my shoes.

As for the water bottles, I keep them on the sides or hip belt of my pack. I use an insulated water bottle cover from Anti-Gravity-Gear. I've found that when you're moving the water doesn't have a chance to freeze up.

Now if I'm pulling my pulk sled I keep on water bottle on me and one in the front of my sled. When needed snowshoes simply get strapped to the top of my pulk.

Paul Hope
(PaulHope) - F
Re: Re: Carrying Water with Snowshoes on 01/18/2012 15:18:41 MST Print View


RE: things hanging off of your pack-- I guess it really depends on what you are doing and what type of pack you are using. Personally I like to have the following close at hand:

-Ice Axe
-2nd tool

My CCW Valdez, Cherynobl and BD Speed all have a dedicated place for the aformentioned items that prevents them from getting snagged, damaged or from falling off. Now on something like the Pinnacle-- this would be very much an issue since it isn't designed for such loads.

As for water-- I have regularly 'binered my water bottles from the gear loops (designed for a racking and storing a tool holster style) on my hipbelt without issue. I have always preferred the convenience of having water at hand, without having to take my pack off every time and sometimes when climbing, taking your pack off just isn't feasible in certain situations. Granted on my BD Speed 30, I have no such option and so the water goes into the pack either next to my back or wrapped in my belay jacket.

Like I said, it really depends on the pack and the activity that you are doing in the mountains. For simple backpacking or snowshoeing then I don't see anything that should be hanging off your pack unless you are getting into avy terrain.

Edited by PaulHope on 01/18/2012 15:21:26 MST.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Carrying Water inside yoru jacket on 01/18/2012 15:36:47 MST Print View

>"Something like what was mentioned above too have it inside the jacket."

Somebody like Campmor or Coleman makes a thin-walled polyethylene "flask" that has a slimmer shape to it. Sort of the plastic version of a whisky hip flask. That would sit a lot flatter under your jacket. $5 or so.

Cheaper yet, would be the flasks that low-brow alcoholic drinks come in. Jagermeister kind of stuff comes in flasks because (I presume) their customers are serious drunks who always want it handy. Some middle of road stuff, Bicardi Rum and such, come in pretty flat flask-like bottles of 325 and 500 ml sizes.

Just go to whatever empty lot is next to a downtown liquor store. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! But wash it REALLY well, first!

Richard Fischel
never is too strong a word, but on 01/18/2012 22:44:46 MST Print View

in winter i seldom carry a water bottle on the outside of my pack. they are usually wrapped in my puffy layer at the top of my pack. when it's cold i seldom sip water while on the move so there's no reason to have water available. i tend to stop every hour or so for 5-minutes and it's at those times that i'll take a drink.

Paul Hope
(PaulHope) - F
Re: never is too strong a word, but on 01/18/2012 23:09:19 MST Print View


I don't know why, but I am the same way in the winter; I can never seam to get enough water down me but it is very much psychological issue with me depending on the pack I am carrying-- if I use my Chernobyl, then I am constantly drinking from the 1L bottle hanging from the tool loop, if the I use the BD Speed 30 and the water is inside the pack, then I drink much less.

Either way, I find that neither method detracts from my overall speed, however I certainly know when I haven't been drinking enough and that is usually on the descent rather the ascent.

I guess just go with whatever works for the situation you expect to be in-- hence the reason why I switch between packs, no one method will suit all application.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Carrying Water with Snowshoes on 01/19/2012 03:10:08 MST Print View

Hi Paul

Yeah, OK, you win that one. My alpine gear goes on the outside, like yours. But I was talking about walking, not semi-alpine stuff.


Richard Fischel
Re: Re: never is too strong a word, but on 01/19/2012 06:32:42 MST Print View

paul - for me it's not so much about how much i drink in the winter, but when i drink it. i make a point of staying well hydrated even if i don't feel thirsty.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
bladders on 01/19/2012 08:17:47 MST Print View

day hiking in the winter I've had pretty good luck w/ the Platypus Insulator- it's a Big Zip w/ an outer insulating sleeve, it also provides a sleeve for the tube. I still use the technique David describes above, blowing the water back into the bladder after drinking

one more option to consider anyways

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Carrying water in winter. on 01/19/2012 12:11:18 MST Print View

I carry a water bottle in an insulated cover on my Shoulder strap. I can slide it up the strap to make it easy to pull the bottle out, then let gravity pull it down. The cover I have is open on top so if it's much below freezing I will put the bottle in upside down to keep the threads from freezing. I sometimes bring a small thermos instead.

If its warm and I'm sweating a lot I nibble on snow constantly. When I stop for lunch I sometimes make a hot drink and more water.

I'm not overly obsessed with weight, but even on day trips I bring a stove since its lighter than a second quart of water. Plus the hot drink ritual is so enjoyable. When the kids are along it is the highlight.

Richard Fischel
*even on day trips I bring a stove* on 01/19/2012 12:32:12 MST Print View

great point - if there's snow on the ground i always pack a stove.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: *even on day trips I bring a stove* on 01/19/2012 12:41:41 MST Print View

And while on a snow trip, stove = water is true, I'd bring it for another reasonas well.

If you get in a really bad way - someone fell through the ice, had a severe "wardrobe malfunction", broke a leg, etc - you need great kindling to start a fire in winter with wet, frozen wood. The best "kindling" is your stove - start it and put branches right on top until it's a going fire.

I did that once when my wife landed her kayak on a beach of an Alaskan fjord just before a 6-foot wave broke over her. She was cold and wet, but we had a stove and there was driftwood. Had one big fire very fast.