20 responses

  1. John B. Abela
    November 26, 2012

    Great article Philip.

    +1 for the Hunnersdorf bottles. Bought mine from 40 below many years ago and still use it to this day on cold weather hikes.

  2. Jon M
    November 26, 2012

    I’ve generally used a wide mouthed Nalgene while winter camping, and can’t quite see the benefits of the Hunnersdorf. The Nalgene weighs 1.3 oz less (3.5 oz to 4.8 oz from the links you posted). I removed the annoying lid keeper years ago, and the caps have plenty of grip to open with even the beefiest gloves.

    • JJ Mathes
      November 26, 2012

      I agree with removing the cap keeper.

    • Earlylite
      November 26, 2012

      I must have heavy Nalgenes then. Are yours’ clear or frosted?

      • Jon M
        November 26, 2012

        Yeah, the frosted polyethylene bottle like the one you posted is a lot lighter than the “indestructible” lexan version.

  3. Matthew Bernier
    November 26, 2012

    Thermos!

    • Xiang
      November 26, 2012

      Thermos is right! It’s a pound of extra weight that I happily carry in winter hikes. Still need other systems to compensate the limited volume a Thermos can hold. But nothing beats a lip burning sip on top of a mountain.

      Hand Warmer in the bladder pocket is a great idea, will try next time.

    • Earlylite
      November 26, 2012

      I’ve carried a small thermos and decided it wasn’t worth the weight. Regular insulated bottles smothered in my down jacket stay hotter just as long.

      • Tom Murphy
        November 26, 2012

        Phil, are you saying that soups stay as hot in a nalgene wrapped in insulating layers in the backpack as it will in a thermos? Or are you saying that water says warm enough and you don’t think soups are worth the weight plenty? I LOVE hot soup for lunch on a winter hike.

      • Earlylite
        November 27, 2012

        The latter. Not worth the hassle. Cold pizza is though. :-) The perfect winter food.

  4. Chris
    November 26, 2012

    I’m of the Nalgene variety, and I prefer to use the very basic, semi-rigid 32 oz bottles over the slightly larger rigid ones. I fill them with hot tea in the morning and then stuff them into a thick spare wool sock. That’s not quite as effective as a neoprene sleeve, but I haven’t had a bottle freeze on me yet.

  5. offtraildog
    November 26, 2012

    I got my hunnerdorf more then 30 years ago … before I bought a nalgene. Does anybody know what plastic is used in Hunnerdorf’s? I have been reluctant to use mine for concern of BPAs.

    Temps in the CO mtns when snowshoeing are rarely below 0F and I have not had a problem with regular nalgenes and can easily remove the lid

  6. AlanR
    November 26, 2012

    Thanks for all the info. Plenty of room for thought.

  7. ROBBOB
    November 26, 2012

    Years ago, someone taught me to put a flexible straw in my Nalgene — makes it much easier to cope with the keeper strap and lessens the risk of spilling water all over myself.

    Good idea to use a hand warmer with a Camelbak. Thanks for the tip.

  8. Josh camp
    November 27, 2012

    I also carry a hunnersdorf everytime out. I use the hunny as a hot water bottle at night and I find they stay warmer longer than a nalgene, although my tests were very unscientific.

  9. mazzachusetts
    December 4, 2012

    I did a trip this weekend and wrapped my Nalgenes in bubble wrap for lack of a better insulator. I just ordered a 40 Below kozy (nice product!) but plan to rotate in bubble wrapped Nalgenes from my pack when I need replenishment. No need in buying three of them and its probably lighter as well.

    Stowing them upside down is a great idea though, hadn’t thought of that.

    • Philip Werner
      November 17, 2013

      I’ve actually stopped carrying more than 1 kozy to save weight. The kozy goes on the bottle outside my pack and the other bottles snuggle inside my pack next to my insulated clothing. Saves about 8 oz.

  10. PamW
    November 17, 2013

    This is a well-debated topic but I have seen a lot of hydration hoses freeze even with insulation (and blow back) when the temps really drop. A little water always stays in the valve and it can freeze solid fairly quickly. Most AMC leaders will not let you on a mid-winter hike with one so readers beware –even if it works for you.

    • Philip Werner
      November 17, 2013

      That’s been my experience in New England too. Anything close to freezing, forget it.

  11. Sam
    November 18, 2013

    NIce! One more detail regarding Hydration Systems: We recommend using push-pull drinking valve in winter (instead of the bite-valve). There’s less chance of freezing the push-pull valve. It has higher flow, no silicone parts. Also: Use tubes with a wider diameter, which makes them less likely to freeze.

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