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Climbing, walking, running, skiing, riding: no matter what you do as an activity, you'll end up warm even in the winter when it's cold. Hydration is a key element to enjoying winter adventures. When it's time to take a sip and your water bottle is completely frozen, it can compromise the enjoyment and even the safety of these activities.

Here are some tips to prevent this from happening to you this winter!

1) Favour large mouth bottles such as Nalgene® - The smaller the mouth of the bottle, the faster it freezes.

2.insulate your gourd - Commercial gourd insulation, a large wool sock or a homemade DIY with an old insulating blanket (see photo) Another option is to use an already insulated gourd such as Hydorflask®. However, it is still better to put it in another insulation for a better result.

3. Get into the habit of storing your water bottle with the neck down. It is the contact with the air that favors the formation of ice. This way the bottom of the bottle freezes first, the neck and therefore the water on top remains free of ice.

4. After each sip, take the time to dry the neck before closing the cap. Water that collects between the neck and the cap will eventually freeze if it gets stuck between the neck and the cap.

5. Consider putting hot water in your water bottle when you leave during the day instead of the already cold water. This will slow down the formation of ice.

6. If you keep your water bottle in your bag, wrap it around your jacket and keep it close to your back.

7. Avoid hydration packs if it is very cold. The hose always ends up freezing... If you insist on this formula or the weather is mild consider :

  1. Putting on warmer water when leaving
  2. Insulate the pipe (commercial or DIY insulation)
  3. Blow into the hose after each sip, if the hose is drained of water, it will not freeze. It takes a lot of discipline, but it can save the day!

Hydration is essential in the winter to maximize thermoregulation and therefore have an optimal level of warmth to the tips of your fingers and toes. Don't let a frozen water bottle slow you down!

See you outside, ladies!

Renée-Claude Bastien - professional adventure guide

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