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  1. #1
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    Keeping Camelbak/water from freezing

    So what is everyone doing to keep Camelbak tube from freezing?

  2. #2
    Jammin' Econo
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    Wearing it under my layers, with the tube routed underneath my armpit. Be sure to 'clear' the water out of the tube after you drink by blowing it back into the reservoir.
    I dream of a day when my children will live in a world without the shackles of cause and effect.” - S. Colbert


  3. #3
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    I start with hot water in the bladder, insulated sleeve on the tube, and blowing it back.
    Small sips on a regular basis helps too.

  4. #4
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    The big two, hot water and keep the tube clear.

    After that. A little bit of vodka to lower the freezing point (good down to 15F). keep the bag under external jacket, extra couple towels around bag to create more insulation. Last resort, if needed, a small handwarmer packet shoved by the water bag.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

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    Thanks guys. I've tried a few of these and I'll be adding the vodka and heater pack to my routine.

  6. #6
    Jammin' Econo
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    A little bit of vodka to lower the freezing point.....
    I like the way you roll, watts.
    I dream of a day when my children will live in a world without the shackles of cause and effect.” - S. Colbert


  7. #7
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    I thought vodka would help more.

    If you're seriously cold weather riding, it's not going to get you there without "getting you there". remember that vodka is only about 40% ethanol, so you're not getting a whole lot of freeze point depression unless you're doing a 4:1 ratio or more. Assuming a 2L camelback, that's a fair amount of vodka for a bike ride. Luckily, even a few degrees of freeze point depression can help.
    Ethanol Freeze Protected Water Solutions
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  8. #8
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    I thought vodka would help more.

    If you're seriously cold weather riding, it's not going to get you there without "getting you there". remember that vodka is only about 40% ethanol, so you're not getting a whole lot of freeze point depression unless you're doing a 4:1 ratio or more. Assuming a 2L camelback, that's a fair amount of vodka for a bike ride. Luckily, even a few degrees of freeze point depression can help.
    Ethanol Freeze Protected Water Solutions
    Yeah, I tried the vodka technique one year. Meh. Wasn't worth the expense of the alcohol, to be honest.

    The blowback technique has been more reliable for me, especially if I take frequent small sips to keep the water moving.

  9. #9
    is buachail foighneach me
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    Blow back and tuck the bite valve into your jacket. You can also use a low profile hydration pack and keep it under your outer layer, still blowing back. I've used both methods with success down to some pretty cold temperatures. If you're using hoods on your jackets, it's easier to keep the pack under your jacket.

    Hydroheaters work better than anything else at getting the water flowing if the tube or bite valve does happen to freeze. They require a lot of batteries, but those batteries will last a really long time and can be used in headlamps and gps as well. It's rare that you'll need to use the Hydroheater, but when you need it, it well worth it. I've brought one on multiday trips with temps well below zero F, and I don't think I've had to use it to thaw the tube more than 5 times. If you're just going for a few hours, you'll be fine without it, even if your tube does freeze. If you're out for more than a day, it's worth considering.

  10. #10
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    Odd story: After you blow the water back in, make sure you close the bike valve. I had some mechanical issues, stopped, leaned over, and the water flows down the tube, out my bite valve, down my arm and into my gloves. Don't do that. It was cold and miserable.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

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    I use a shot of rum and a tablespoon or two of Hammer citrus mix. It has not failed me yet, plus it encourages me to drink more while riding
    "Wait- I am confused" - SDMTB'er

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dnek1999 View Post
    So what is everyone doing to keep Camelbak tube from freezing?
    Blowing doesn't do a very good job of clearing the hose. I have had much better success gravity draining the hose. Lift it above your head, squeeze on the valve, allow the water to drain, release the valve. Done. Also, keep the pack and the hose under your gear next to your skin. No heater needed. I have been able to thaw accidentally frozen hoses with just running the hose next to my skin and zipping up all of my gear in less than an hour at temperatures below -25F.
    --Peace

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