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Thread: How stop water freezing during winter trips.

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    Question How stop water freezing during winter trips.

    Anyone got any tips or suggestions on how to beat your water freezing up while out and about during the winter months ? Anyone have experience in using a thermos flasks for this, they are supposed to maintain the drinks temperature, would this work for freezing temps too ??

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    When nomading around years ago, I'd keep some of my water in 2 liter pop bottles. I'd keep one in my sleeping bag at night smetimes to keep it from freezing, but one good thing about them, you can bang them against your bumper or handy tree to break up the ice and get enough water to brush your teeth.

    Coolers work to keep things from freezing if you're heavy camping. Wrapping stuff in your spare clothes or bedding helps too, just don't want a leak in your bedding.

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    Winter (car) camping I have used a thermos to keep water hot even overnight, and it should keep it from freezing up. Leave some room for expansion just in case and you might find it useful to heat the water also so it's not just air temp before putting in the thermos. The more heat is has to hold in the better it'll work.

    I've also used a cooler, and that's kept 3 gallons of water from freezing up in 15-20 degree weather for a couple of days. A couple hand warmer packets in there doesn't hurt. If you're backpacking, I'd use a neoprene cozy for the water bottle instead of a thermos, it'll be a lot lighter and it adds a good amount of insulation. Hydration packs also have insulation sleeves available for the same purpose.

    Lastly, when at camp for the night, store water bottles upside down and/or in snow so they're insulated and prevented from freezing at the top and preventing you from getting water out
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    I keep my canteen in the US GI cover, which provides a good amount of insulation. During the night I keep it in my sleeping bag. If you have snow, a good trick is the turn the bottle up side down and cover it with a foot or two of snow.

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    Keep your water bottle in your sleeping bag at night

    Carry your water in a stainless container. Dig a fairly deep hole before bed, drop in a hot rock or two from the campfire, put in your bottle sideways but don't let the plastic cap touch the hot rocks. Then drop another rock on top if you want to but not really necessary, then cover with a small layer of dirt. You can add a layer of foil before the dirt and your bottle will stay cleaner. Add a mound of dirt (more insulation) if you're in really cold weather

    in the morning heat up your bottle and then wrap your bottle in a wool sock or some other insulation to carry it through the day, or put it in the middle of your sleeping bag, or carry it inside your jacket next to your body.

    For your question about a thermos the answer is yes, a thermos will keep cold away from the contents.
    Last edited by SixPack; 08-26-2011 at 12:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jloden View Post
    Winter (car) camping I have used a thermos to keep water hot even overnight, and it should keep it from freezing up. Leave some room for expansion just in case and you might find it useful to heat the water also so it's not just air temp before putting in the thermos. The more heat is has to hold in the better it'll work.

    I've also used a cooler, and that's kept 3 gallons of water from freezing up in 15-20 degree weather for a couple of days. A couple hand warmer packets in there doesn't hurt. If you're backpacking, I'd use a neoprene cozy for the water bottle instead of a thermos, it'll be a lot lighter and it adds a good amount of insulation. Hydration packs also have insulation sleeves available for the same purpose.

    Lastly, when at camp for the night, store water bottles upside down and/or in snow so they're insulated and prevented from freezing at the top and preventing you from getting water out
    Also when useing a thermos to keep water/coffee/soup from freezeing/warm for a couple days it helps to prime the thermos....boil a pot of water and fill your thermos...screw the lid on and put it aside for half an hour or so....then dump that out and refill with a new pot of boiling water/coffee/soup....the first fill heats the liner of the thermos up and wont draw as much heat from the final fill, this will keep it warm MUCH longer this way, have kept coffee hot while goose hunting in freezeing cold weather on the colorado plains for a very long time this way...

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    I just melt snow when I need water.

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    Yup, as stated above, anything that insulates to keep the cold in will also keep the cold out.

    Snow shelters work very well for humans to stay warm in with very minimal heat sources because snow is a good insulator. The same principle applies here: dig a smallish snow cave to stash your food/water in. Layer it with boughs or such, set your food on top and cover with some more. A candle in the back (where it won't catch the boughs on fire!) can help keep it warm enough so it doesn't freeze.

    Ditto keeping your primary water bottle in your sleeping bag, or at least as part of your pillow. If you have a decent ground cover, it should stay just fine.

    If your are insane or get caught out in severe cold (below zero to -40) keeping a fire going and keeping your water near the fire or in your coat may be advisable for sure. Frozen water (ice) can be chewed for hydration, but it's a great way to drop your core temp in a hurry.

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    During the day you can do this (from the Conovers' Snow Walker's Companion):

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    i like the arctic canteen
    doesn't hold alot of water but seems to work ok
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