Sub-zero, taste free, hydration reservoir system...

5:45 a.m. on December 29, 2008 (EST)
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For use in -10°C and below weather coditions (resists freezing!), which can hold 2.0 litres of water (hot or cold), and is flexible enough to compress small when empty.

Can anyone recommend, or have any experience of using, such a drinking system?

Many thanks in advance
Andrew

3:33 a.m. on January 2, 2009 (EST)
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I think you can use water bag with a cover and put a hand warmer in the cover, but I didn't try if it work, just an idea, hope it can help.

1:52 a.m. on January 5, 2009 (EST)
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Chris is right in that if you want something for outdoor activities (skiing, snowboarding, snoeshowing, nordic) the winter hydro pack is the way to go. Pretty resistant to freezing with a couple hand warmers and the extra insulation the pack provides.

As far as winter backpacking and extended tripping goes, I have yet to find a solution to that. If you put a bladder in a standard backpack you can count on it to freeze almost instantly. As for holding hot water, i'm not too sure. Your worry would be about melting the reservior i suppose. Not sure if you have to worry about thing like BPAs in that realm, another poster would be better informed i'm sure. For now i'll continue to carry 2 thermoses complete with the latest hot meltwater.

10:08 p.m. on January 5, 2009 (EST)
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Andrew,
Knowing that you want the hydration bag for Antarctica, I would recommend the method I have used successfully in Antarctica and on Denali, plus lesser places. You will have to work out personal variations, but basically, I use a simple basic bladder, the Camelbak "Classic" (a bit over 2 liters) or SnoBowl (about 1.5 liters), in their foam-insulated carry bags, worn under my windshell or deeper in layers, with the hose encased in a foam sleeve, run down my sleeve to my wrist. The bladder and pack will sit under your climbing pack, but being like a pillow, is not at all uncomfortable (once you get the arrangement right). Body heat keeps the system liquid, and having the bite valve at the wrist lets me drink at any time while hiking or climbing. I often mix the water with a hydration mix (preferably Bill Gookin's Hydralite, since he designed it for endurance activities). This also has the effect of lowering the freezing temperature. It helps in severe cold to blow the liquid partway back down the tube to keep it away from the wrist where you might be leaving the bite valve exposed to the severe cold. You should not blow the fluid all the way back to the bladder, though, since you will end up having a hard-inflated air bag sitting under your pack - just blow back about 2 or 3 inches of air (takes practice when the hose is hidden in your sleeve).

I have also tried keeping the hose running from the pack under my armpit and clipped at my chest. But this requires unzipping the layers to get at the bite valve (letting warm air out), digging around for the hose, then tucking it back in and re-zipping everything. Still works, though for most skiing, snowshoeing, and ice climbing.

I have to credit this arrangement to a friend, Andres, who guides many high altitude very cold mountains, though I don't think it was original with him. Try it out is some of the Scottish cold weather this next couple of months.

5:28 a.m. on January 6, 2009 (EST)
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Hi Bill,

Many thanks for the info. The 3.0L Alpine Explorer and 2.0L Zoid, both from the CamelBak range, also look very interesting.

regards
Andrew

4:21 p.m. on January 6, 2009 (EST)
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Bill,

This is a nice setup. I will have to try it on my next trip. For less demanding conditions I just use a Platypus that I keep in my inside jacket pocket. When empty it take up no room and is the most durable bag I have ever found. You can even put hot water in it (not boiling) without damaging the seals. Platypus aslo offers a similar system to the CamelBak. I have used the sleeve from an old wet suit for insulation, but the hose was always a problem. Even blowing the water back up the hose, the mouth pice would freeze. I never thought to run it up my arm...

January 23, 2020
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