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 Post subject: Smart or stupid?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:00 pm 
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Is it safe and effective to mix in snow with the water in your water bottle?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:11 pm 
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Kinda stupid because you will just end up with ice and no water.
A friend of mine would tape toe warmers to his nalgene and that would help.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:37 pm 
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Personal opinion, get a bladder type hyrdation system, carry what you anticipate needing and then some. I went on a long backcountry hike and mountaineering trip with a friend who continually put snow into his nalgene bottle. He melted the snow by keeping the nalgene inside his jacket. We were out for two days and on the day after our return he was puking and shitting himself silly. I'm not sure if he got something from the snow into his system, but he is convinced he did. (I think he is just a crappy camp cook, but I was not the one on the crapper for two full days while spewing into the sink.)

Sorry to the sensitive ones for that visual.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:41 pm 
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I have done that when it was sunny out, and I ran out of water. Keeping the bottle exposed to the sun helps melt the water. But this only works if the sun is out. In a whiteout, you just get a frozen water bottle. Buuuut... If you add a shot of vodka, it all melts really fast!


Mumbles: I don't see how your friend got sick from melting the snow in his nalgene. Most people, myself included, only keep the snow long enough on the stove for it to melt, and I only boil what I need for cooking. I have never been sick like that, and I have melted snow from some questionable places (like Lunch Counter on Mt. Adams)... Sounds more like your assertion about his cooking ability os more likely the culprit rather than contaminated snow.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:54 pm 
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Otto,
Let's just say that he does not cook for me when we are in the field, so I did not get sick when he did. The only thing I really know he did was hydrate on snow. He could have gotten something from the ground in the shallower and muddier snowpack at the begining of our trek.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:51 am 
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Location: Howell Mt., Napa Valley
I have never had any luck gathering snow to fill my water bottles or camelback to drink. Cold water drains your system of energy.
Your body is overheated by the exertion of hiking/skinning and when you put cold water into the mix, your body expends too much energy.
(cycling info - but can be transferred to our persuits).
http://www.active.com/mountainbiking/Ar ... ink_up.htm

Better trip planning is the wise choice.
Ponder this...
http://www.theorganicreport.com/pages/4 ... _snow_.cfm

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:05 am 
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Not stupid if you do it smart otherwise it may be stupid. :)

Tips.

Only add clean snow. If it just snowed then the top layer should be fine (granted there are not dog or animal prints in the area, yellow snow, etc). If it hasn't snowed in a while, dig down a little to a clean section. Also, if you just went to the bathroom and didn't clean your hands then you could contaminate yourself. Make sure whatever you are using to scoop the snow into your nalgene is also clean.


Don't add so much that it makes your existing water frozen. Just add little amounts that melt into the water.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:34 am 
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I've been adding snow to a flexible water pouch in an innerjacket pocket for ages and never had any problems. In fact, I was under the impression that snow is essentially sterile unless contaminated by an outside source. I also fill a nalgene with snow and put it in between my sleeping bag and bag liner so I have so extra warm water when I wake up, though I sleep pretty hot so that might not be for everyone...


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:43 am 
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Not a 100% sure, but as far as I recall, the water from melted snow has barely any nutrition and should not be used without any supplements or for cooking. I read several times that you can actually dehydrate even if you drink melted snow. Plus the problem of possible contamination, if you don't cook it and just put it in your bottle.
So if I would end up without water, I would cook it and then throw some minerals in there, given that you have all that with you!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:00 pm 
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I read several times that you can actually dehydrate even if you drink melted snow.

That may be the case if your just chewing on snow, but melted snow equals water, and water is water. There may be some discussion on the long term effect of drinking water void of minerals, but I certainly wouldn't expect to become dehydrated after drinking a litre of water derived from snow. Speaking from experience, I've been on winter camping trips where I subsisted almost entirely (except for the approach) on snow water and suffered no ill effects. Besides, most of the vitamins and minerals your body needs are found in the food you eat, no matter what they say on Vitamin Water commercials. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:37 pm 
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Heads up to everyone. Bacteria grows on snow this mainly happens in spring with warmer temps. I would boil the water you melt to be safe. If the snow is fresh its not likley to be growing bacteria but the snow fields that last into june sure are growing some bacteria. Take it for what its worth, I wish had could site this info but it was told me when I asked about the reddish tint found on older shaded snowfields.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:44 pm 
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Location: Meyers, CA
The reddish spring time snow is sometimes called watermelon snow. If you find a ripe patch and smell it you will know why. It is reported to give you the squirts.

IMO fresh snow is a pretty safe bet.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:55 pm 
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