Water Bottles for Winter
Jul 22, 2018 at 2:01 am #3547860AlpineIceBPL Member
I’m trying to get away from using 1L Nalgene bottles & so far, I’ve been successful in non-winter months, however, I haven’t found a lightweight alternative that fits nicely into my -40 Below bottle parka for winter hiking & alpine climbing. What lightweight, 1 liter bottles do you use that fit into bottle parkas?Jul 22, 2018 at 11:02 pm #3547983
I take a few Nalgenes to have unfrozen water in my pack while on the move but use other collapsible containers for in camp storage.
If you do not like Nalgense, you could try the German bottles 40 Below sells.Jul 23, 2018 at 3:09 am #3548007Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
For decades my water “bottle” has been a 1 liter high end wine bota. It has a polymer bag (liner) with smooth, full grain leather cover. This is a heavy duty bota that is very well made, not like the suede El Cheapo botas one usually sees. I store it with water in it to help keep the liner from drying out – literally. It is now 39 years old! Bought it at a hippy head shop, of all places.
**When I was working as a professional trail builder in 1980, building (from scratch) the 9 mile Snow Creek section of the PCT just north of Palm Springs, this bota and a Vietnam era roll-up 2 liter water bag were my main water carriers that I stuck in my daypack, along with my lunch. They both kept my water relatively cool B/C I soaked them in water so evaporation would cool them during the day.
This bota is worn under my GTX mountain parka to keep it from freezing. Works like a charm in the coldest weather I’ve had it in. (-12 F.)
I put a QR buckle on the leather sling so I could quickly remove it from under my parka to refill it.Jul 23, 2018 at 3:48 am #3548012Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
Here is the bottle Bruce mentions which fortunately is something you can buy today.Jul 23, 2018 at 6:21 pm #3548072
The translucent soft Nalgene bottles are bit lower in weight than the more brittle clear Lexan bottlesJul 23, 2018 at 8:03 pm #3548093Valerie ESpectator
@wildtownerLocale: Grand Canyon State
Try a 32oz/1L Gatorade/Powerade bottle in your bottle jacket. My old OR bottle jackets can fit those, so maybe your 40 Below jacket will, too.Jul 24, 2018 at 1:49 am #3548168
Tim T—Don’t go the 40 below Hunersdorf route!!!
I used one for 2 years on all my trips and it stunk of plastic and made my water taste like plastic. My jug in action below—
Dumped it for a regular Nalgene tritan—Jul 24, 2018 at 6:42 am #3548198
Too much cost and weight.
We use 1.25 L fizzy drink rocket-base PET bottles, in summer and winter. They are UL (44.4 g with cap), shatter-proof, leak-proof, and cost us nothing (after we drink the fizzy mineral water). The outdoor gear companies don’t like them because they can’t sell them.
In winter the bottles travel inside my pack essentially against my back. They do not freeze there. At night the ones with water in them nestle at the foot of my quilt, on foam. They haven’t frozen there either.
CheersJul 24, 2018 at 6:24 pm #3548240John VanceBPL Member
@servingkoLocale: Intermountain West
I too, just use repurposed soft drink bottles and haven’t had any issues at all.Jul 24, 2018 at 6:58 pm #3548252
The question remains—what’s the best way to carry water or store water on a winter trip—let’s say between 0F and 10F during the day and maybe -10F at night, common winter temps AT TIMES in the mountains of NC.
** I treat severe cold as a “storm” like any other storm—windstorm, thunderstorm, rainstorm, blizzards etc. I often hunker in during such storms, therefore during a coldstorm it pays to camp by a flowing water source, creek—Walk to creek for daily water needs—no filtering needed—bring to a boil. No storage needed.
** Store carried water in your cook pot over night and let it freeze solid in pot. Melt on stove for the next meal.
** Carried water will freeze if it’s cold enough. Sometimes it’s good to pour boiling water into a container and carry it in wrapped in the pack. Don’t try this in your disposable water bottles.
** In deep cold I put what water I may have outside of my pot wrapped in my down parka and it has never frozen solid. (Take parka off before getting into the bag. Storing a full water bottle in your sleeping bag as you sleep is crazy. Think about it—
You are relying on your down bag to keep you alive all night. You are introducing the one item into the bag which could ruin your trip—Water. Lids leak, bottles leak, caps come off, your feet and legs move around alot etc.Jul 24, 2018 at 9:45 pm #3548273
Storms – we usually have to keep going to get to the other end. Storms in the snow country are ‘normal’.
I have never had water freeze in my pack when placed near my back. It has always remained quite drinkable. I imagine an external bottle could easily freeze though.
We all store our water bottles at the foot of our quilts in the snow. I have never ever had any leaks from one of our 1.25 L PET rocket-based bottles – never. I have dropped tested them over quite a height and they have never failed. Mind you, I have had a large rectangular Nalgene bottle shatter after some year’s use, so I don’t trust them any more.
Works for us.
CheersJul 24, 2018 at 10:56 pm #3548280
Hey Roger—On my last trip (an 18 day thing in the TN mountains with the pit vipers)—I took out some of your writings from your bushwalking website titled “”Shelter FAQ—Equipment—Shelter”.
We agree on almost every point. I’ll include my review in my next trip report on TJs. Gotta type it up and add pics etc.Jul 25, 2018 at 12:32 am #3548299
A trip report with pics would be great for everyone. Go for it!
CheersJul 25, 2018 at 4:42 pm #3548370Paul McLaughlinBPL Member
The only thing I don’t like about the PET bottles (as in all soda and nearly all other beverage bottles) is that you can’t use them for boiling water or they will deform – generally they shrink as well. SInce I like to fill my 1/2 liter bottle with boiling water for tea or other hot morning beverage, and then have it do double duty as a boot warmer, this is important to me. I could do this with a polyethylene bottle, but they tend to taste like plastic to me, and they get pretty soft with boiling water in them. So I stick with a Nalgene for that one bottle. I use a PET bottle also in the snow, but that one is just for cold or warm (no boiling stuff) liquids. I also like an MSR Dromlite bag – 4 liter – so that when I do find running water near my campsite, I can do one fillup that takes me through evening and morning. If there’s no running water around, so I have to melt snow, I’ll usually do all my melting in the evening with dinner, and put some water in the bag for overnight. Shoved into my pack, or if I’m with a buddy, laid between our two sleeping bags, it usually doesn’t freeze much if at all.Jul 29, 2018 at 1:50 am #3548793AlpineIceBPL Member
Just to clear things up a bit:
The disposable Gatorade bottles aren’t an option for me as I usually boil water in the morning prior to leaving for the trailhead. I’m just trying to lessen my winter weight a bit, just as I’ve done for summer hiking.
On that note, I do a majority of my hiking, year-round, in the Adirondacks where some routes can be 19+ mile days in -25ºF weather. I attach a bottle parka to my pack strap as it’s easy access & allows me to drink unencumbered at rest stops. Last winter, I started using an hydration bladder in my pack with an insulated tube. I keep the tip of the tube stuffed inside my softshell when not drinking and blow-back in the tube every time I take a sip. This has helped tremendously in keeping the hose/nozzle from freezing. The bladder, filled with less than boiling water, is surrounded by my insulating layers & has yet to freeze.
I notice I feel a lot better throughout & at the conclusion of my hikes/climbs if I’m well hydrated; even in winter.Jul 29, 2018 at 5:47 pm #3548858
One solution might be to use lightweight collapsible bottles that are convertable for hydration but have big openings and easy to fill when you are melting snow for water like the MSR Dromlite or the Nalgene Canteen. I personally gave up on my hyrdation system for winter snow camping but carry one or two rigid Nalgene bottles, a couple of foldable 1.5 liter Nalgene Canteens, and a 4 liter Dromlite. I usually am basecamping, and at night fill all my bottles with water. The rigid one goes in my bag as a hot water bottle. The others I bury in the snow kitchen or in my vestibule so I have water for breakfast.Jul 29, 2018 at 6:18 pm #3548862Valerie ESpectator
@wildtownerLocale: Grand Canyon State
Nalgene also makes a sub-4oz 1L PET bottle that should fit all your needs, because you can fill it with boiling water, it’s reasonably light, and it will fit your bottle jacket. I own one, and they’re great when you need them for specific purposes (I use Smartwater or similar for 3-season conditions).
Find them HEREJul 29, 2018 at 8:39 pm #3548877Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
Those are what Bruce suggested earlier.Jul 29, 2018 at 10:26 pm #3548892
Those bottles are HDPE, not PET. Very different stuff.
CheersJul 30, 2018 at 2:27 am #3548938Ethan A.BPL Member
@mountainwalkerLocale: SF Bay Area & New England
For very cold conditions my wife and I take 1 hard Nalgene 32 oz each to fill with hot water as a sleeping bag heater and use several Nalgene wide-mouth 1.5L flexible canteens, and when moving carry on us inside front hanging pockets in our jackets one or two 1L bladders (filled a bit less than full for a more flexible shape). Very light and lay flat against you. Bottles should work fine in inside hanging pockets too, but I think the flat shape of the 1L bladders are more comfortable.
Storing bottles upside down at night will help keep the necks from freezing.
Even though there are techniques to keep them from freezing, drinking tubes are a pain in winter even with insulated covers.
One caution that probably applies to most containers – we once melted water over a wood fire and poured that into two of the wide-mouth flexible canteens, and we’ve never been able to get the smoke taste out of those.
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