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Winter Hiking Needs

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
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Re: Winter Hiking Needs

Postby chrismjx » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:56 pm

Ha ha, yeah I've been thinking about that... So blowing back into the tube helps keep it clear? Tucking the hose into my outer layer would probably keep it warm enough to keep from freezing too right? I was thinking about how long one of those HotHands heat packs would take to thaw out any frozen stuff in there...? What other methods do you folks use?

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Re: Winter Hiking Needs

Postby jsdratm » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:33 pm

I used to hike with a camelbak in winter and then I got sick of it freezing up and switched to one of these giant nalgene bottles:

http://www.rei.com/product/402058/nalgene-space-saver-bottle-64-fl-oz

It no longer freezes up and I can keep better track of how much water I have left. (I also had a problem with not drinking enough water and getting dehydrated) I've decided to stick with the bottles year-round since they have worked out better for me. Carrying one of these is also lighter than carrying two 32oz nalgene bottles.

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Re: Winter Hiking Needs

Postby mtngoat » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:48 am

chrismjx wrote:Ha ha, yeah I've been thinking about that... So blowing back into the tube helps keep it clear? Tucking the hose into my outer layer would probably keep it warm enough to keep from freezing too right? I was thinking about how long one of those HotHands heat packs would take to thaw out any frozen stuff in there...? What other methods do you folks use?


If your bladder freezes...seek shelter. The tube is the most likely to freeze and I have found that sliding it down between the pack and your back (either in your jacket - faster or outside - drier) works pretty well. The insulated tube deals are okay for skiing around a resort but for a long extended hike in the BC - Upside-down nalgenes work best (water typically freezes from the top-down.)

Hiking Pike's Peak via Crags TH later this month if you wanna experience some high-altitude adventure. :-)
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Re: Winter Hiking Needs

Postby Scott P » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:28 am

Tucking the hose into my outer layer would probably keep it warm enough to keep from freezing too right?


It depends on how cold it is. Winter weather and temperatures vary so much from day to day that something that works on some days will not work on others. When it's really cold outside, it is almost impossible to keep a Camelbak working properly even if you keep the tube routed through your sleeve. Personally, I do not use them in winter (but do in other seasons). If they fail it can lead to a dangerous situation.
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Re: Winter Hiking Needs

Postby Dex » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:06 am

chrismjx wrote:Ha ha, yeah I've been thinking about that... So blowing back into the tube helps keep it clear? Tucking the hose into my outer layer would probably keep it warm enough to keep from freezing too right? I was thinking about how long one of those HotHands heat packs would take to thaw out any frozen stuff in there...? What other methods do you folks use?


The issue is where the water in the tube would freeze.

Check out your pack to see where the tube is exposed/not covered.

Mine comes out the top of the pack and goes to the shoulder strap below my chin. Blowing into the tube gets the water out of the exposed area and near the bottom of the bladder. If the water in the tube was to freeze that is the area to watch. That is also the are to place the Hot Hands. You can search the net for how long they last or do an experiment at home in your freezer.

So 'tucking' probably won't improve the situation much.

You should put the hot hands in before the water freezes.
-----

Water freezing in the bladder is another issue. It would be more difficult for the water in the bladder to freeze then the tube because of the mass of the water, retained heat, less exposure to the air and your motion. All things being equal the water in the tube would freeze before the water in the bladder.
Last edited by Dex on Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Winter Hiking Needs

Postby randalmartin » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:15 am

I will never take a Camelback on a winter trip again. Even with blowing out the line after every use I have found little bits of water remaining in the area around the mouthpiece, those freeze and build up. Way too much risk. I typically take a 1 liter REI insulated thermos of something hot, another liter of water or sports drink in my pack. You can get heat patches (similar to the hand warmers but with a sticky side) and attach to your water bottle(s) for an extra measure of security and so that you are not drinking ice cold water (which quickly lowers your core temperature).

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Re: Winter Hiking Needs

Postby Dex » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:20 am

randalmartin wrote:
I will never take a Camelback on a winter trip again. Even with blowing out the line after every use I have found little bits of water remaining in the area around the mouthpiece, those freeze and build up.



That happened to me once. It was recommended to blow out the tube then hold up the mouth piece part vertically so the water runs down the tube. It worked for me.
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Re: Winter Hiking Needs

Postby lpyle » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:27 am

It's not just the hose that can freeze - I've had the whole bladder freeze solid on Rainier. Should have been carrying a water bottle in a jacket. Not a good situation - no one in our party had water for most of the final day of the climb. One member of our party ended up getting minor frostbite on his toes and I'm sure dehydration played a part.
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Re: Winter Hiking Needs

Postby Dex » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:07 am

lpyle wrote: I've had the whole bladder freeze solid on Rainier.


Was that a company guide lead climb? If so, did the leader advise people not to use bladders?
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Re: Winter Hiking Needs

Postby I Man » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:15 am

In winter I use a 1L Platypus and keep it inside my jacket (held in place by my hip belt). It never freezes and does not get in the way. After trying many other systems I find this to work the best for me.
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Re: Winter Hiking Needs

Postby Monster5 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:16 am

I do not trust camel back style reservoirs in any season and especially during winter. They are too fragile and a pain to clean/refill/keep unfrozen. I'll probably give the UD roll-top version another chance at some point, but I still don't like them.

I generally use gatorade/powerade bottles in an Outdoor Products 1L insulated parka that hangs from my belt (or side pocket if there is a lot of scrambling). The extra bottles inside my pack are in simple sleeves. During summer, I'm switching over to wide mouth collapsible cantenes. I'm not sure if they can handle hot water yet, but it isn't a big deal in summer. The small mouth versions are annoying for transitioning fluids or water treatment.

REI recently stopped selling the 1L OP parkas and transitioned over to Nalgene brand parkas. The Nalgene version is absolute crap. The granite gear versions don't seem too bad, but the bottles fit a bit too tightly for my taste. They do still have the 0.5L version, but it would require more bottle transfers.
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Re: Winter Hiking Needs

Postby shearmodulus » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:17 am

Bean wrote:
pvnisher wrote:
Bean wrote:But it's not a softshell.


Ok, I'll play along... :roll:

"The Ultimate Hoody is made from the proven full-stretch, highly breathable GORE® WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shell for freedom of movement and absolute wind resistance."
http://www.mammut.ch/en/productDetail/101005171_v_5426_L/Ultimate-Hoody-Men.html

Are you saying that "softshell" is just what it is called, but not what it is? :wft:

I could call a chicken burrito a softshell too, but that wouldn't make it anything but a burrito (though it would be closer to a softshell than a WINDSTOPPER® garment). It's all marketing, and Gore is one of the worst at spreading disinformation. Softshells rely on the weave of the fabric to provide weather resistance, not a membrane; WINDSTOPPER® uses the same PTFE membrane as everything else from GORE®, but without a PU coating. Look at the other part of the sentence you quoted - "proven full-stretch." Have you ever tried stretching your Ultimate? I had to go with a large instead of a medium because the sleeves are too short on the medium - it'd be fine if there was some stretch to the garment, but there isn't. It's a nice jacket, but the marketing on it is BS.

Mine is the "dark cruise" (I think) and I'm pretty happy with the appearance. Goes well with my yellow pants, though I'm considering picking up a "yolk" one too for biking.



So, I used to be like, "What's the difference?" I have a Marmot micro-fleece lined softshell (a medium weight jacket), a Marmot ROM jacket (with Gore Tex wind stopper) and then I got a TRUE softshell with no liner. Combined with my Schoeller fabric pants and appropriate base layer for temps, and it's perfect. The ROM is a great jacket, but I found that I would get sweaty wearing it on long ski slogs or snowshoe trips. THe MH softshell works perfectly as a mid-layer with my MH hardshell. I still keep hardshell pants handy for when the weather really turns crappy.
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