How To Keep Water From Freezing While Hiking

How To Keep Water From Freezing While Hiking

If you intend hiking in the cold, it is important to avoid freezing your water. If your water freezes and becomes solid, it can no longer be consumed or used for cooking. To keep this from happening, there are several methods available that will help maintain the quality of your drinking and cooking water in the great outdoors.

During the Trail

When hiking outside, the air temperature can drop to as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. When you are working and moving about on your trip, that leaves you with little time to stop and let your water freeze. For this reason, it is recommended that you keep your water a liquid during your hike and bring no more than one quart of drinking water at a time. To do this, try to find all the sources possible that will offer you clean water such as streams and wells.

If there is no running or frozen water in an area where you intend to camp out when possible fill up from a river or other flowing water source. Filter and purify your water as needed to remove impurities.

While in Camp

Obviously, while you are out on the trail with you hiking sticks, you can’t take your water with you. This means that you will need to keep your water warm. This is done most effectively by bringing along a metal rifle cartridge case. You can use these for boiling water or cooking and heating meals right on the stove. The heat from the camp stove will retain the temperature of the water inside the cartridge case, keeping it from freezing even in very cold weather.

Another alternative is to place a small amount of food-grade glycerin in some clean plastic bags and then tie them off at each end. Place these bags in a cooler and place them inside your sleeping bag. In this way, the glycerin will absorb body heat and keep the water you are carrying from freezing.

While traveling

While on the road, when you find a source that supplies clean drinking water, always be sure to fill up all of your containers with this liquid before allowing them to freeze. This will ensure that they don’t reach the point of no return and that you can still use them for cooking or washing without fear of losing any liquid due to freezing.

What You Need To Know To Keep Your Water From Freezing While Hiking

The water in your water bottle must not freeze while you are hiking, especially in winter. It is important to store all of your drinking water in a way that will not allow it to freeze, and more importantly, make sure it won’t freeze until you are ready to use it.

Sleep With Your Water Bottles On Your Person:

When you sleep, be sure that you don’t let your hiking water bottle or bladder freeze. A great way to keep water from freezing is by keeping it close to your body all night long. This will keep the water from losing its heat and let it retain as much of its liquid form during your sleep as possible.

Before Setting Off, You Ought To Heat Up Or Warm Up The Water:

When you go out on a winter hike, prepare your hot water for the cold temperatures. You should either heat up or keep water warm before setting out on your hike so that it will be ready for consumption when you are.

Utilize Your Hydration Packs:

Always be on the lookout for a better container to keep your water in. If you have hydration packs on your hiking backpack, you can use the water that you bring along to fill up empty spaces and pockets. This will keep your warm water from freezing until you are ready to use it later on.

Use Insulated Water Bottles:

Insulated water bottles are ideal for keeping your drinks from freezing while on a hike in cold weather. These bottles have their own insulating layer that keeps the water from freezing even if it is kept at freezing temperatures outside.

Bury Your Bottle:

If you don’t have a container to hold your water, bury your bottle in snow or ice. A great place for burying your water bottle is under an overpass or bridge. This will keep the water’s temperature from dropping anytime, keeping it from freezing and causing you problems on the trail.

Make Sure To Keep Your Water Bottles Under Your Clothing:

Also, to prevent your water bottles from freezing, you could store them under your clothing. This provides a layer of insulation between the outside and inside the bottle, keeping them from freezing.

Put The Water Bottle’s Lid Upside Down:

Half of the lid is not only an opening that you pour your water into from the bottle, but it is also a source of heat. If you put the lid upside down, this will add another layer of insulation between the outside and inside of your water bottle.

Adopt Wider Mouth Bottles To Reduce Freezing:

When you are hiking through the snow and freezing temperature, be sure to wear you snow boots and try finding a wide mouth bottle so that the icy wind won’t have any easy access to your water. This can prevent it from freezing.

Water Should Be Kept In The Tent:

When you are winter camping out in the woods and temperature is below freezing, your water should be kept in the tent. This will ensure that it does not freeze and that it is at a temperature to use for cooking.

An Old Wool Sock:

You can use a wool sock if you do not have a container to contain your water or cannot find a way to prevent your water from freezing. This should be big enough to fit around the neck of your bottle.

What Kind Of Canteen Or Another Container Should I Get

Whatever type you choose, make sure the container is made of stainless steel. You can find these containers at an outdoor equipment store. The material of the container should be stainless steel because it prevents rust and corrosion which would cause the lid to not seal completely, thus allowing air to get in and freeze the water.

*Arctic Water Bottles: These are popular choices among campers. They’re perfect because they have pumps that draw water without removing the bottle from your pack straps. The downside is that they take up more room in your bag, which is more expensive.

*Plastic Bottles: If you prefer plastic, there’s a wide variety available. Some cheerful sport colors and fun shapes; others are dull and unappealing. Either kind can be with a metal screw-on or flip-top cap, which is preferable to plastic for obvious reasons.

*Gravity Feed: If you’re looking for the most minimalist option, grab a bottle with just a mouth and hole. You can gravity-feed it by turning the lid upside down until the mouth is under a stream of water. When you are done munching on marshmallows in your sleeping bag, just flip the lid back up.

*Canteen Vests: If you plan on hiking with more than one pal, opt for a hiking vest with two or more pockets to hold canteens. It will increase the weight that you carry, but it’s worth it if you don’t want to walk that last mile to your campsite with a dry mouth.

*Insulated Bottles: Like the insulated hiking boots, these bottles contain a vacuum or foam layer between the two walls of stainless steel. Water from the container is not supposed to freeze when exposed to subzero temperature, so you can leave your canteen out on a negative night and still have water by morning. But the truth is, it just doesn’t work. Insulated bottles can cost as much as twice what regular bottles do.


During the winter, cold water can freeze as quickly as it can thaw. If water is frozen solid, your hike can be wasted because of the time it takes to melt the ice. When cold water freezes, ice crystals begin to form around the dissolved air in the liquid, and vapor pressure is created, pushing the liquid into the air spaces of ice. This causes an increase in pressure within the ice crystal system and a decrease in pressure within its surroundings. With less pressure available for melting, it takes more time for this to happen. The result is that water can take an extra hour longer to melt. Depending upon the duration of your hike, you may need to start bringing extra water (500 ml) in a plastic bag or flask rather than a heavy bladder or canteen because it will not freeze as easily.

Extra precautions are required when checking a water source. If you are using an insulated bladder pack, put two full water bladders into it first and then place your spare bladder too into it. Put one bladder inside another, to begin with for extra protection against freezing; remember to take the outer bladder pack if you have to stop because of freezing conditions.