It is a necessity to stay hydrated when hiking your favorite trail. Planning for a water source should be the first thing on your hiking to-do list. Hydration packs, like the Camelbak, come with a drink tube connected to a bladder for easy access to water. Easy enough, right?
However, what do you do in bone-chilling, freezing weather? Water freezes in the winter, and frozen water would do you no good during your hike or camping. So, how do you keep your Camelbak from freezing?
All you need to do is take some precautions to keep the water in your Camelbak from freezing. The most notable of these is blowing air into the tube after drinking water. This method would clear the tube of water that freezes when exposed to cold temperatures. Another precaution is to keep the tube in your jacket at all times. Finally, take as many small sips of water as you can.
While Camelbaks are a popular hydration pack, are there any good alternatives? And what happens if your Camelbak freezes? Continue reading to find out!
Tips On How to Prevent Your Camelbak from Freezing
Hikers can’t go wrong with hydration packs such as Camelbaks. A Camelbak or similar hydration pack is an indispensable item when out hiking. Hydration Packs are a great way to ensure you’re getting enough water while on the go. But what do you do when it’s cold out, and your water starts to freeze?
Here are some tips on how to prevent your Camelbak from freezing:
- Use Insulated Tube Cover: While this tube cover does not make your drinking tube freeze-proof, it does significantly reduce its freezing tendency. These tube covers are also beneficial in hot weather because they keep your water cool.
- Keep bladder always covered: The risk of water freezing increases when the bladder is exposed. It is preferable to keep it as covered and close to your body as possible. It is often recommended that you tuck it inside your shirt so that your body heat keeps the water at room temperature.
- Sip Water often: If you leave water on the hose for too long in cold weather, it will freeze. However, keeping the hose moving helps prevent freezing.
- Always Blow Water Back: When you drink water from the hose, water molecules are always left behind. When exposed to cold temperatures, these water molecules will indeed freeze. After drinking, always clear the water from the hose by blowing it back into the bladder.
- Keep hose covered: It is always a good idea to cover the hose after drinking water. Tuck it into your jacket to accomplish this. This would help to keep the water and hose from freezing.
- Start hiking with hot water: If you’re going on a long hike, bring some hot water with you. Because the water would have to reach room temperature first, this would help to extend the time it takes to freeze. And there’s no need to bring boiling water.
Are There Any Good Alternatives to Camelbaks?
The Camelbak brand has become synonymous with a hydration pack, but there are other alternatives to this brand. There are several other hydration packs on the market that can do a great job, and some may even suit your needs better.
Here are some good alternatives to Camelbaks:
1. RUPUMPACK insulated Hydration Backpack
This insulated backpack keeps your drinks hot for up to 12 hours and cold for up to 24 hours. The RUPUMPACK hydration backpack is versatile and can be used for any outdoor activity that requires hydration. A 2-liter water bladder, helmet carrier, waist belt, and sternum strap are included. It also has several storage pockets. Lastly, the gear in this backpack stays dry because all zippers are water resistant.
2. Unigear Hydration Pack
This hydration pack is appropriate for both long and short hikes. Its bladder is quite large and can hold a lot of water. It also has storage pockets on the front and sides. Because it has a built-in rain cover, you can use the Unigear hydration pack regardless of the weather. It is made of high-quality material and has straps for easy transport.
3. Osprey Packs Siskin 8 Hydration Pack
The Osprey Pack comes with a 2-liter bladder that will keep you hydrated on both long and short hikes. It is a versatile hydration pack with a rain cover that is suitable even in inclement weather. The Osprey hydration pack also comes with a rain cover. As far as storage goes – this backpack has several storage areas, such as pockets, where you can safely store essentials such as your phone. It is also very light, weighing only 1.5 pounds.
4. High Sierra HydraHike Hydration Pack
This hydration pack has a huge 2.5-liter water bladder. This water storage capacity makes the High Sierra pack perfect for long-distance excursions. It also has a built-in pump that allows you to fill the bladder without removing the pack.
The High Sierra HydraHike pack is designed for maximum comfort and comes with a variety of storage compartments. These areas allow you to keep your hand free during walks by securely storing your phone and camera.
Why Do CamelBaks Freeze?
CamelBaks freeze for the same reasons that any water bottle would freeze – because water expands when it freezes and because the CamelBak is not well insulated enough.
Because the hose is not well insulated, the water inside will freeze if the temperature outside is cold enough.
What to Do If Your Camelbak Freezes While Hiking?
So you’re hiking your favorite winter trail, and you try to sip water but can’t because your Camelbak is frozen. Here are a few suggestions:
- If the mouthpiece gets frozen, putting it inside your shirt is an easy cure. The goal here is to allow your body heat to melt the ice. This should be done for the entire hose to ensure that no other tube pieces have frozen.
- You can separate the hose and bite valve from military-grade Camelbaks and store them inside your shirt or near your body. However, it is best to turn the hydration pack upside down first. This is done to keep water from dripping everywhere.
It is critical to stay hydrated while hiking your favorite trails. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to bring a hydration pack, like a Camelbak.
However, if you’re doing winter or cold-weather hiking, make sure that you take extra steps to prevent your Camelbak from freezing. If you follow the tips outlined in this article, you’ll be able to stay hydrated on even the coldest of hikes!