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Winter Hydration Ideas?
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Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Winter Hydration Ideas? on 10/10/2007 11:14:50 MDT Print View

I figured I would just through this out there even though I am pretty sure I know what the answer is. What do people do for hydration methods in the deep winter (i.e. colder than 32 degree's). Typically I just throw a 32 oz platty into an Outdoor Research bottle cover and drink from that. Has anyone figured out a way to use a hydration bladder in these kind of temp's? Some time ago I used a so called tube insulator but that did not work for too long. I have seen the one put out there by Granite Gear that has the built in heat pak holder, but I have heard mixed reviews. I even say the battery opperated tube warmer by TNF but that does not meet my "simplicity" cirteria. Anyone have any clever idea's?

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
winter hydration bladder on 10/10/2007 11:58:07 MDT Print View

I've got a system that works for me but it's finiky. I'm also on bike which adds a 10-20mph windchill and freezes lines FAST.

I wear the bladder under my jacket, cover the hose and always blow back the water into the bladder after drinking. If you start to get ice in the line you have to fix it by drinking the "warm water" in your pack fast to melt it out and maybe chew on the bite valve. Once it's frozen a lot in the line you're pretty much screwed without a major opperation to fix it. I don't like keeping my bite valve in my jacket because I'd rather it freeze than I get wet (we're talking cold temps here down below zero, wet is bad). This year I'm going to be carrying vacuum thermos's for the first time. Heavy? Yes. Worth the weight? I think they will be. I'll still have some water in a bladder but it won't be my only source in case it freezes and I don't have time to stop and mess with it.

Michael Skwarczek
(uberkatzen) - F

Locale: Sudamerica
Winter Hydration Ideas on 10/10/2007 14:01:25 MDT Print View

Andrew, how do you support the bladder under your jacket and what size bladder?

Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
Nalgene and OR Parkas on 10/11/2007 07:12:26 MDT Print View

In winter I switch from my Plays to Nalgenes and Outdoor Research water bottle parkas. I would love a lightweight safe way to use my platys. I keep the OR parkas velcroed to the waist band or the side of my pack for easy access. They can be a little slushy by the end of the day.

I too have that fear of something getting soaked at the wrong time.

I actually carry 3 nalgenes, 2 to drink out of and one very well marked to pee in in the middle of the night.

Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
Anti-Gravity Gear on 10/12/2007 07:14:07 MDT Print View

I have contacted Anti-Gravity Gear to see if they can make a parka for the Platypus to use in Winter. I sent George a link to the Platypus site with the dimensions on it.

I will report what they say.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Anti-Gravity Gear on 10/12/2007 07:22:25 MDT Print View

thats a great idea. Actually Graham at 40 below makes somthing that would probably work.

made of neoprene so it is probably flexible enough.

john flanagan
(jackfl) - F

Locale: New England
winter hydration thought on 10/12/2007 09:39:16 MDT Print View

I typically hang a pint of water from my neck in a chest pouch. 1 pt is a reasonable weight to carry this way. Bottle is wide mouth nalgene to ensure easy filling. It gets buried in whatever clothing I'm wearing. The pouch is essentially a stuff sack with webbing strap. Main supply of water is in nalgene bottles in OR bottle parkas that are then buried in my pack in whatever spare insultation I'm carrying. Water stays reasonably warm for hours this way. Pint bottle gets refilled at rest stops. Inconvenient but it works well. My experience with hydration systems in the winter has not been positive... but I don't like systems that demand a lot of tinkering.

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
Boarding on 10/18/2007 10:19:40 MDT Print View

My use of the tube is platy or camelbak in winter, at the resort in Tahoe mostly. Low temps around the 20's with fair wind chill some days.

I also use the blow-back-the-air into my platy, but use the locking valve off my camelbak for it so it keeps the air and water in when I crash hard - often directly on my pack, the camelbak mule, worn on the outside of my pack. And it's true, it still will freeze a little near the exposed area but unfreezes quicker. The insulated hose is a joke, because the valve freezes first. If it's bad enuf out, you can just stick the locked and air-blown valve and a bit of hose down the neck of your jacket. If it freezes, it's just a bit that you may be able to thaw in your mouth. This is only if I am surprised by conditions. If it's predicted to be a real cold day, just bring a soda bottle, like 22oz in my jacket pocket, or 2x16oz, and refill from the lodge if needed.

Some packs are copying BCA Stash packs and putting the hose into the shoulder straps, but the locked valve should go in there too. The popular camelbak zoid puts a cover over the valve instead:

I haven't had a platy break on me yet, (knocking on wood) but had a tiny hole in a camelbak resevoir. Better that than my back, and being at the resort, I know I won't die from getting wet.

There was a guy here that did a 40 below race with a sled and stuff. Montana or something, and his platy hose froze. He should have carried a simple platy cap to replace the whole hose part.
That is one advantage of platypus over camelbak.

Edited by Paul_Tree on 10/18/2007 10:24:16 MDT.

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
Platy parka on 10/18/2007 10:30:17 MDT Print View

Get a cheap blue foam pad and duct tape and make your own. Now, how to do the bottom pleat so it still stands....

Andrew :-)
(terra) - F

Locale: Sydney, Australia.
Could you keep it warm by... on 11/16/2007 01:11:19 MST Print View

Sticking it in your neck tube?
Sorry if this sounds dumb, (I don't do a heap of uber cold snow hiking), but why can't you pull the free end of the tube up and shove it under the side of your neck tube, or into the side of your hood/collar, after you blow the liquid back into the bladder.
That should keep the mouth piece higher than the bladder so you won't get a heap of water in your jacket, maybe a drip or two at the most.

My winter shell has a waterproof chest pocket that I never use. (isolated from the jacket due to design). I spose this could be used to stash the mouth end of the tube and give a bit of warmth(?)

The small Salewa camelback type pack also has the hydration tube in the shoulder strap idea, it works well.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Winter Hydration Ideas on 11/16/2007 09:52:24 MST Print View

All I do is wrap the hydration bladder in a custom made fleece pouch. The pouch has fabric pockets for those chemical hand warmers. I place one or two in the fleece pouch and then place the bladder / pouch into my packs hydration sleeve.

In order to keep the bite valve and hose from freezing I just blow the hose clear after I'm done drinking. If the valve dose freeze up I simply place the hose into my jacket / long sleeve layer and in a few minutes my body heat clears it up.

Edited by chadnsc on 11/16/2007 09:53:20 MST.

Ryan Hutchins
(ryan_hutchins) - F

Locale: Somewhere out there
I don't use a bladder on 11/18/2007 12:00:14 MST Print View

In the winter I stay away from the bladders all together. My winter trips are typically 2-3 weeks long in the rockies, and I find that with that duration it is a loosing battle with bladders.
Instead I use 2 - .5L nalgenes and a ~1L thermos. The thermos is heavy, but I despise cold water in the winter unless I am trying to move real fast. I try to drink 2L in the morning, one that I made in the thermos the night before and can drink without getting out of my bag, and one from my small bottles. Then I carry a full thermos and the small bottles full and drink them during the day. Then 2L at camp at night. That puts me at 6L total for the day.

I use a 1L gatorade bottle for my pee bottle. It weighs 1/2 what a lexan nalgene weighs, and is easily distinguished from a water bottle. I have friends that just rinse their water bottle real well in the mornings!