Winter camping can be a lot of fun, but depending on where you’re going, it may be a lot different than summer camping. It’s important to stay hydrated all year round when camping and hiking and you need to have a good supply of fresh water at all times.
One common mistake people make in the winter is eating snow. This isn’t a good thing to do because it takes a lot of energy for the body to transfer water from solid to liquid state. This means you can use up a lot of calories and this could end up in hypothermia.
A good way to get water is to dig a hole in frozen streams and lakes that have running water under the ice. But remember, in most instances the water needs to be purified to protect you from bacterial contaminants.
You can melt snow on a stove or fire to draw water out of it, but make sure the snow’s clean. If you have a bit of water in the bottom of a container you should heat it up and add the snow to it.
On average, to get one quart of water you will need about 10 quarts of snow. The bonus is that clean snow doesn’t need any purification.
To keep the water from freezing, you should put it in a pot and cover it with a lid. Then place the pot in about a foot of snow.
The snow is actually an insulator and it should keep the water from completely freezing over. If you carry a water bottle, make sure it has a wide opening at the end instead of just a small spout or hole, as these have a tendency of freezing up.
When hiking, try to carry a water bottle next to your body as your body heat should keep it from freezing. You can use an Insulated water bottle holder for this.
You can carry the rest of your water bottles upside down inside of a sock or something insulated to keep it warmer. If the bottles are upside down the mouths of them shouldn’t freeze. Make sure the lids are tight and keep water bottles in your sleeping bag at night to keep them from freezing.
When purifying water, boil if for 3 to 5 minutes and it’s a good idea to add an additional minute for each 1,000 feet you are above sea level. For instance, if you’re 10,000 feet above sea level, boil it for 15 minutes. A filter pump system isn’t as effective in winter as the water can freeze in the filter and stop it from working properly. Water expansion can also cause a filter to crack.