Nalgene Bottle in a sleeping bag

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by Keithturkjr, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. Keithturkjr

    Keithturkjr Scout

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    Its an old trick.
    I heard about it at least 20 years ago, but didn't try it until last weekend.

    WOW,....DO IT!!!
    Nalgene's 1 liter bottles have never leaked on me in the years I've used them and didn't Saturday night.
    It wasn't that cold outside @ 40 degrees but I wanted to try and be extra toasty. Extra toasty happened.

    I didnt even bring the water to a full boil like people recommend. the water in the bottle was about 160 degrees. I stuffed in a sock a tossed it in the footbox of my bag.
    The warmth floating up the bag was much greater than I thought it would be. It warmed my sleeping bag all the way around up to my knee, and halfway up the backside of my thighs with the way I was positioned.
    8 hours later the Nalgene was about 90 degrees.

    No, I don't need a warmer sleeping bag,...ever.
    It does have me thinking about 16 ounce Nalgenes though.
     
  2. Crusher0032

    Crusher0032 Appalachian Arthfael

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    I started doing that when I was in the field years ago. A hot water bottle and a fleece liner will take a 30 degree bag down into the low teens pretty easy, especially if you wear a down jacket. Chemical hand warmers also work well just make sure you don't burn yourself with them.
     
  3. Malpaso

    Malpaso Tracker

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    Two work even better, one by your feet and one by your core. Used them in a snow cave and they worked like a champ.
     
  4. TRYKER

    TRYKER Guide

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    great idea, butt i'd prefer Sofia Vergaro
     
  5. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    I didn’t realize it would still be warm in the morning... I’ll have try it. Like you I’ve heard about that since forever but never did it.

    But I’ll be using my Heavy Cover titanium canteen wrapped in something rather than a Nalgene.

    “Wrapped in something”... I guess we can mark this down as one more use for a shemagh.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
  6. lopie

    lopie Scout

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    does the bottle put off moisture so that the humidity becomes a problem as the night goes on?
     
  7. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I never had one do it, unless it leaked. The same principal as hot rocks, but more convenient and sometimes ya have water hot enough for coffee in the morning. Not piping hot coffee, but warm enough. joe
     
  8. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Bushmaster

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    It definitely works, but it does makes me nervous introducing water into a sleeping bag that I do my best to keep dry. My brother had a stainless bottle leak on him in the middle of the night and he woke up cold and wet and didn't get his bag completely dry for the rest of the trip. It's a risk reward thing, and if you trust your bottle, it can be really nice
     
  9. FreudianSlip

    FreudianSlip Guide

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    I always take hand warmers, but never tried this method although I’ve heard of it. I went backpacking one winter my woke up shivering. I opened a hand warmer and felt comfortable immediately.
     
  10. Draketake

    Draketake Guide

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    REI has their Brand Nalgene Bottles on sale, through today. Buy One Get One Free. Picked up two last nite.

    Super nice deal.
     
  11. riverjoe

    riverjoe Supporter Supporter

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    I wouldn’t use a stainless bottle for sure but I’ve been using Nalgene a for a few years now . I have a wool bag type stadium blanket that I have sewed pockets onto to place my two Nalgene precisely where needed .
    Also I figure if they ever did leak I’d contain most in the wool bag .
    I don’t trust canteens much either .
    You get about ten times as much heat out of a Nalgene 16 Oz as you do a chemical handwarmer it seems to me .
     
  12. beacon

    beacon Simul justus et peccator Bushclass I

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    I may have to reconsider ditching the Nalgene for a lighter-weight water bottle (e.g., SmartWater)...at least in colder months. This would have been helpful between 4-6am my last two nights out.
     
  13. Dave_Markowitz

    Dave_Markowitz Guide

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    I've used a Nalgene Oasis canteen wrapped in a shemagh. It works well. I like to put it in the bag in the torso area awhile before I turn in, to warm up the bag. I then move it to the footbox when I get in.
     
  14. Chazzle

    Chazzle Sapere aude Supporter

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    I will have to try this, thanks!

    Chazz
     
  15. perdidochas

    perdidochas Guide

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    Why would it put off moisture? It's warmer than the environment, not colder.
     
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  16. perdidochas

    perdidochas Guide

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    I've done this, but only with a nalgene. I wouldn't trust anything else.
     
  17. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Pop bottles work well. No leaks. I have used 2 liter ones stuffed inside a sock. They are good for aches and pains in normal daily life too.
     
  18. Keithturkjr

    Keithturkjr Scout

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    Yeah, I was worried about the bottle leaking and that's why I didn't try it sooner. I should have though lol. Over the years though I have found the Nalgene brand water bottle and USGI 1 qt canteens to be 100% leak-free though (Knock-off imitation army canteens that don't have the rubber gaskets leak really bad though). I'm sure that there are leak free metal bottles but I personally cant testify about them.

    When I did it I had the nalgene in the footbox and actually had a hand warmers at my torso too.
    The hand warmer did put out some heat, but it also seemed to me like the nalgene put out a lot more heat than the hand warmer,...especially when I initially put it in bed with me. In the morning it seemed like the bottle had cooled off a little and the hand warmer was still going.

    So the reason I wrote about the nalgene instead of the hand warmer is that is was:
    -overall a lot more warmth initially
    -if I had wanted to stay in bed I could have boiled a pint of water from the bottle/ re-added it and slept another 6 hours
    -permanent part of my kit that doesn't deplete or continue to cost money to use.
    -stays in my kit even if I don't expect to need to use it.

    In the defense of "hothands handwarmers"
    -lightweight which is a little more comfortable inside the sleeping bag
    -not expensive
    -easy to use
    -better for groups of campers where boiling tons of water is not ideal.

    We had kids on this last trip and trying to load a dozen water bottles would have been a lot of work, and one of the dozen bottles probably would have leaked or a kid or two would decide they didnt like the heavy bottle in their sleeping bag etc.

    So really both have their upsides but having tried it now Ill be running a couple of nalgenes in my bag every winter trip I take til I friggin die.

    I am thinking about getting a roomier sleeping bag like the USGI patrol bag though.
     
  19. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Rattlesnake Charmer. Bushclass I

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    I do have something made just for that. It has a soft cover and is flexible. I will toss it inside my pulk. During winter pack some chemical hand warmers. Overall only used them once when hammock camping. I often hot tent. Going into the bag warm makes a big difference.
     
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  20. Burncycle

    Burncycle Tracker

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    Will a nalgene in a dry bag still add warmth? Then if it leaks it's contained, and some have dry-bags anyway for their sleeping bag.
     
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  21. Crowe

    Crowe Tracker

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    Big feet then !
     
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  22. gargoyle

    gargoyle Scout

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    Yes. Some use a gallon size freezer bag as well.
    I use a SS bottle with a good cscrew in cap. Never any leaks.
    I can place the bottle near the fire to warm the water, nalgenes melt. Then put the cap on.
    The water cools over night and creates a vacuum. Uncapping in the morning can be difficult.

    Great way to prewarm your sleep setup on a cold night.
     
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  23. reppans

    reppans Scout

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    Artificial heat is a game changer when you're cold, and as many have attested, the Nalgene is also my most trusted water container, but I like to reserve the hot water bottle trick for emergencies - eg, an unexpected cold night camping or my EDC/GHB which lacks sleeping insulation.

    The thing that I don't like about using it for regular camping is that it is most effective during the warmest part of night (warmest temp, calories from dinner, fastest metabolism) and least effective during the coldest part ~dawn (lowest temp, calories used up, slowest metabolism)... opposite of what I'd prefer, but none the less, effective when it needs to be.

    I get that many use it to warm-up FOR sleeping, esp. when the sun sets early and there's a lot of time to kill in the cold/dark, but I find the Palmer Furnace trick easier/more fuel efficient for that. For me, a 20 mins Palmer Furance session does the trick just before going to bed, and also in the AM for getting out of bed/dressed. When used with an insulated poncho (sleeping quilt that multi-tasks as an insulated poncho), it actually gets 'hot' with a full-body to-the-bone warmth that I find even more luxurious than a hot tent (and ton less work work). I use my alcohol stove (as a candle) so nothing extra to carry.
     
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  24. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I have some tall socks, thick support socks. They stretch a lot and cramming a 2 liter bottle in one doesn’t seem to hurt it.
     
  25. Paul Caruso

    Paul Caruso Scout

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    I've heard that bush pilots of yore in cold northern climes would drain the hot oil out of their planes into a bucket and sleep huddled against it. Then when it was time to take to the air, the oil would be fluid enough that when poured back into the engine it would not hinder starting the engine.
     
  26. perdidochas

    perdidochas Guide

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    If you don't have too much air in the dry bag for insulation it would still add warmth.
     
  27. charlesmc2

    charlesmc2 Scout

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    A calorie is the amount of heat it takes to change 1 gram of water 1° C. But in dietary terms, we are really talking kilocalorie. So one (diet) calorie is the heat to change on kg of water 1° C. 10° C is 18° F. So, a change of 70 ° F is roughly 40° C, enough for 40 calories. That strikes me as being a significant contributor to comfort, especially when climbing into a cold bag.

    It makes sense to me to insulate that bottle as much as possible to spread out the heat delivered as long as possible.
     
  28. jbutzi

    jbutzi Tracker

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    My 32 oz nalgenes have given off good heat throughout the night until morning when they are still quite warm. Insulate with a heavy sock.
     
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  29. Juany118

    Juany118 Scout

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    I don't use Nalgene bottles (smart water bottles aremy go-to) but I am going to pack one of those old school collapsible hot water bottles on any winter trips coming up.
     
  30. Keithturkjr

    Keithturkjr Scout

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    had to look this up. soft sided looks like a definite plus.

    https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/65008/

    This is a thread of other people talking about this topic.

    Has anyone ever tried a platypus soft bottle in this forum?

    When I did it it did seem like a soft sided object could be a bit more comfortable in the sleeping bag.

    I like the soft hot water bottle idea, but want it to also pull double duty as a lightweight drinking water/coffeee container.

    Sawyer dirty water pouch?

    Yup experimentation never ends lol
     
  31. Juany118

    Juany118 Scout

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    The Sawyer pouches have those kinda sharp ends (and that is my filter FYI)
     
  32. reppans

    reppans Scout

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    Rigged one for my teen son when camping once - he was cold. Didn't use it myself, but I remember how flimsy the normally stiff-ish plastic Platy felt with that near boiling water in it - felt like a wet noodle, I was worried about it failing (we probably doubled it a plastic or dry bag), but it was fine and back to normal in the AM. That's one of the reasons I'll take a 1L Nalgene camping, despite it being heavy.
     
  33. lopie

    lopie Scout

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    How water proof is a dry bag? They seem pretty thick and durable, so...

    Had anyone use a dry bag as a hot water bottle?
     
  34. grey mouse

    grey mouse Scout

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    I have tested this idea before using my Kleen Kanteen non-insulated stainless steel 40oz canteen with boiling water. I placed it inside a wool sock because it was simply too hot to hold and that also allowed it to retain it's heat longer. It took several hours before it was cool enough that I could "snuggle" with it. At about the seven hour mark it was only slightly warm. It can be a real game changer but if I "need it" then I only use a trusted bottle because if I'm in a bad enough situation to need it then I'm in a bad enough situation that a leak would be very very bad.
     
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  35. woodsranger

    woodsranger Scout

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    Interesting. I never tried that, but my Nalgene Oasis canteens have never leaked. Of course, because of their shape they'd never fit inside of a sock, but hey...
     
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  36. Foulwind

    Foulwind Guide

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    Been using hot rocks for the same purpose for many years now (30+) While jeepin in Sierras above 7000 feet it gets a wee bit chilly when sun goes away. I would find a flat oval shaped stone about 2.5 -3" thick near bouts, set near the fire and come bed time, take the rock from fire and wrap in a towel and place in foot of my bag. Feet stayed toasty all night.
     
  37. doulos

    doulos Supporter Supporter

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    I have to agree... I'd take Sofia Vergaro over the Nalgene! :33:

    But in the past I have done the warm bottle trick with success and I also used to keep a bright yellow Nalgene next to my bag so that I didn't have to get out of my warm bed to pee! (It was clearly marked and only used for that purpose)
     
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  38. Spinymouse

    Spinymouse Scout

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    Careful about what you put the hot bottle into to protect yourself from getting burned and to slow down the heat loss so it can add to your comfort all night long.

    I made the mistake of putting my 40 oz. Kleen Kanteen into a heavily waxed canvas pouch. The result was that the heat melted the wax and now both my hammock and my top quilt have wax impregnated into their fibers.

    No material harm done, but my gear did acquire some battle scars.

    Oh, I had no leaks from the stainless bottle. And the heat it gave off felt truly wonderful.
     
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  39. Paul Caruso

    Paul Caruso Scout

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    This past Thursday I was sleeping in -10C/14F temps. I boiled water and put it in my metal Nalgene, put it in a wool sock and placed it between my legs. It contributed to keeping me warm all night. The thing I noticed most is that it kept my feet very warm. I figured that because the bottle was against my inner leg and warming my femoral arteries it was able to warm a large amount of blood that's heading for my feet.

    In the morning the water bottle was still warm.
     
  40. charlesmc2

    charlesmc2 Scout

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    At some time during the night, roles reverse and body heat starts warming the bottle, or at least keeping it from cooling. Of course I could use a vacuum bottle, that would stay hot but it wouldn’t do me much good! Or would it? How about putting a hot drink in the vacuum and drinking a bit every time I wake?
     
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  41. TheRambler

    TheRambler Scout

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    I use this trick often. I have done it probably approaching 500 or more times. There are a few things to keep in mind.
    1) doing this can result in a leak, and if it does it could potentially be a very bad situation.
    2) the key to not having a leak is pouring the hot water into the bottle, doesn’t really matter if its a nalgene or not and Leave the cap off for a min or two before sealing it up. Then before you crawl in for the night openbit back up to let off the pressure and then seal it up again. You should be good. However, the reason they leak is the pressure buildup working the cap loose. To be extra safe put it in a ziploc, or some other plastic bag. I keep a few breadbags...well grocery store produce bags around mainly for feet vapor barriers and always put one over the nalgene for extra security. I personally have never had a leak bit have had companions get leaks.

    3) don’t forget to bleed off the pressure

    4)don’t forget to bleed off the pressure
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  42. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    @Keithturkjr ... figured I should report back...

    Like you I had heard about it forever and never did it, but you prompted me and I did on my last two outings. Made a world of difference. So thanks.
     
  43. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    Good point on releasing built up pressure! It's a simple thing, but not one you notice the first couple times you put hot water into you bottle.

    I was going to likewise recommend placing in gallon ziplocks for safety. The baggies are light and come in handy for many, many other tasks fro carrying water, storing used TP (if you're someplace where carrying out is needed), occlusive dressing, etc., etc.

    The one thing that I will caution is that Nalgene lids will begin to leak as the get old and worn, unless twisted on very tight. That's why Nalgene sells replacement lids. Normally it won't be an issue, but multiply that with the pressure build up that @TheRambler pointed out and you have conditions consistent with leakage. I've got one older wide mouthed Nalgene that goes everywhere with me that needs a new lid. It does dribble once in awhile if I don't pay attention.
     
  44. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Scout

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    The water is also good for adding to snow to melt in the morning.
    A good drink of warm water, then make coffee.

    Ken in NC
     
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