Friday, February 10, 2012

Cold Weather Living: Water Management

This post is about another crucial topic—water management, or more correctly, how to ensure you have drinkable water when you need it instead of a frozen block of ice. 

Sleep with your water.  Anything that you want to be unfrozen in the morning should be in your sleeping bag with you when you turn in for the night.  I keep a Nalgene in my bag with me so I have water for the morning. 

Sleep with hot water.  If you’re going to be sleeping with a bottle of water anyway, you might as well make it hot first, which will keep you and your sleeping bag nice and toasty.  Once the water has cooled off during the night, move it down to the foot of your sleeping bag so it won’t cool you off, too.

Bury your water.  If you need a larger supply of water or want to avoid melting snow or ice in the morning, place your extra water in “the fridge.”  Make a mound of snow and dig out a space in one side of the mound slightly larger than your water container.  The hollowed-out mound will stay barely above freezing (snow is a great insulator), keeping your water in a liquid state all night.

Invest in a pee bottle.  This is also an important part of water management.  You want to stay well-hydrated in the field, even when you’re in the tent, but you may not want to go out into the elements to relieve yourself.  Keep a dedicated (and clearly marked!) pee bottle on hand and empty it every morning.

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