Once the weather becomes a little more hospitable for being outside for an extended period of time, it’s important to know how critical it is to stay hydrated in colder weather. It’s easy to think about taking a swig of water as you bask in the warm, summer sun, but perhaps much less so when you can see your breath and your toes and fingertips are tingling. We need to drink water in the winter!
Here are a few tips for having water handy and available during freezing weather:
1) water in a bottle generally freezes from the top down. Simply store your bottle upside down and the cap/spout area will be the last to freeze up;
2) wrapping a few layers of duct tape around the middle of your bottle makes it more comforting to grab with your bare hands. This is especially helpful with metal bottles where that surface can “burn” from the freezing cold;
3) You don’t need heat to melt snow to replenish your bottle, simply add snow crystals to remaining liquid before it freezes and that warmer water will melt the snow gradually. However, know that even “pure” snow can contain contaminants and that meltwater should be treated before drinking.
I also found that bringing a small, well-insulated cooler/ice chest along in freezing weather can keep water liquid longer, while also protecting it from piercing cold – at least for several hours during the day.
You can also add hot water to a small bottle and use that heat to chase the chill from your boots or mittens while taking a warm-up break. After it cools down, you’re all set quench your thirst as well.
And, one more thing, make sure you don’t dribble on yourself, a frozen zipper can be a real day spoiler!