Do you need water bottles riding in the snow, or can you just drink the snow?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Do you need water bottles riding in the snow, or can you just drink the snow?

    Do you have to bring water riding in the snow? or can you just put the snow in your mouth and melt it and drink it?
    It seems pretty silly to bring water when your in the snow.
    Is this what you all do, just melt and drink the snow?
    Thats what id do..
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....:cool:

  2. #2
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    Of course you would think that you poo eater.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    Of course you would think that you poo eater.
    Hold on, you cant hold eating a piece of dried white dog poo when i was a kid against me, thats not fair, i ate a lot of strange things back then.

    My question here is a fair and a serious one, why do people need water in the snow, no body has ever died of thirst in the snow have they?
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  4. #4
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    Depends on where you live. If you lived in the high mountains, then yeah, melt some snow and your good to go. I live in Washington D.C., and there is no way in hell I am melting this snow for water.
    "We can always find excuses if we want to find them, but if we really want to do something, we have to just go."

  5. #5
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    if you were stranded by all means eat/drink some snow. Other wise it's not a great idea.
    Round and round we go

  6. #6
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    I have melted snow for water when camping and it takes a lot of snow to get a useful amount of water. I would guess the snow:water ratio to be somewhere around 10:1. Add to that the fact that snow is freezing cold and I would think that hypothermia and possibly even frostbite would be possible if you were trying to eat snow to get enough water. So maybe you wouldn't die from thirst, but hypothermia instead.
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  7. #7
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    If you had no other choice I guess you could do it, but here I a few points against eating snow for hydration on your rides.

    -You could only have access to "dirty" or contaminated snow, as a previous poster mentionted
    -It would be impractical and clumsy if you had to be stopping to get some snow in your mouth and waiting some moments for it to melt down before you could swallow it.
    -You could get your body temperature too low from ingesting too much cold stuff and get hypothermia. It doesnt have to bee too could outside for this to happen.

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  8. #8
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    Listen to Frank Zappa first : "watch out where the huskies go and don't you eat that yellow snow" (Apostrophe is one of my all time fav FZ albums).

    My water bottle freezes up a lot in the winter so I jus stow it inside of my jersey to thaw enough to drink and you could do the same with snow in the water bottle whooo hooo.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Do you have to bring water riding in the snow? or can you just put the snow in your mouth and melt it and drink it?
    It seems pretty silly to bring water when your in the snow.
    Is this what you all do, just melt and drink the snow?
    Thats what id do..
    The problem is keeping the liquid in liquid state when riding in the snow. Various techniques are utilized there. From spiking the drink to adding salt. I never use just water - it is always some sort of mineral/electrolyte drink. In winter - the perspiration is almost the same as in the summer.

    If eating snow though - it is strongly recommended to avoid yellow snow. Just a suggestion though. Those that like the sleep of deer piss - may find it otherwise.
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  10. #10
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    Tone's - do you hop off your bike to slurp up water from puddles when it rains?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    If eating snow though - it is strongly recommended to avoid yellow snow. Just a suggestion though. Those that like the sleep of deer piss - may find it otherwise.
    Snow cone?



    No, no, no, don't worry. It's lemon.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wbmason55 View Post
    Tone's - do you hop off your bike to slurp up water from puddles when it rains?
    I have been known to slurp water from worse places than puddles, if i can find a puddle its a bonus......
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....:cool:

  13. #13
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    For a serious answer, I wouldn't drink unfiltered water from anywhere except a faucet unless I'm stranded and dying of thirst.

    You're not always going to get sick but when you do, it ain't pretty.
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  14. #14
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    you eat snow.. it's like ice cream. Just bring sugar along. NO one drinks ice cream.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    Of course you would think that you poo eater.
    I really don't think you need to elaborate on what the two of you have been getting up to.

    To answer your question Tones, it is a physical impossibility to drink it but you can eat it. My favourite flavour is the red one.

  16. #16
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    Tone's the more important question is, when you go for long rides with you mates, do you take protein shots / bars with you or do you just get a protein shot from one of your mates bars?.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26 View Post
    I really don't think you need to elaborate on what the two of you have been getting up to.

    To answer your question Tones, it is a physical impossibility to drink it but you can eat it. My favourite flavour is the red one.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    Of course you would think that you poo eater.
    ha, i came in to make the exact same post.

    anyways, no. i bring a bottle. snow can get pretty dirty.

  19. #19
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    Don't worry the yellow snow is just flavoured snow.
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  20. #20
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    Also avoid brown, red, and "chunk filled" snow...

  21. #21
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    Never eat yellow snow!

  22. #22
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    i eat snow all the time. i dig down a little bit, as to not eat the surface grungies. but yeah, you'd need a LOT of snow. Also, when you're really cold, swallowing icy liquid tends to make you feel colder.
    fap

  23. #23
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    I agree with Nicole, if I'm out and I get thirsty with no water I have no problem eating the snow as long as it is reasonably fresh. It hasn't snowed here for a while now so I'd probably avoid it.

  24. #24
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    Fresh snow? Sure enjoy a 5 gallon bucket full. Unless my math is off, 5 gallons of snow equals about a teaspoon of water.

    If you are looking for the ultimate winter treat, mix a 50:50 solution of sunny d and milk together when they are below freezing (i.e., you are camping when no human should be camping). You get the most amazing orange creamsicle money can buy.

  25. #25
    Rod
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    I took water with me today, but it decided to freeze along with the freezing rain on the front of my googles. I still had enough unfrozen water to get a drink after removing the lid, but I will have to add a little salt next time or hop on the trainer.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    I took water with me today, but it decided to freeze along with the freezing rain on the front of my googles. I still had enough unfrozen water to get a drink after removing the lid, but I will have to add a little salt next time or hop on the trainer.
    it was so cold on our ride tonight - my spiked electrolyte drink froze within half an hour... good thing i gulped a few Endurolytes before the ride...
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26 View Post
    Tone's the more important question is, when you go for long rides with you mates, do you take protein shots / bars with you or do you just get a protein shot from one of your mates bars?.
    No, he gets a protien shot straight from his mate. Lol!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    it was so cold on our ride tonight - my spiked electrolyte drink froze within half an hour... good thing i gulped a few Endurolytes before the ride...
    sheesh... what was the temps and what footwear do you have? My shimano boots couldn't hold up to two hours in 20 degrees. My toes were prickly by the time I was done and needed to unthaw. I didn't know they were that cold until I got in my car.

  29. #29
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    I'm thinking of staying inside or cutting the ride short when it's 20 or below or putting something like this in my shoe.

    I dont think the picture is working put it is a picture of chemical toe warmers. You can find them for 1.25 each and lasts for 5 hours.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    sheesh... what was the temps and what footwear do you have? My shimano boots couldn't hold up to two hours in 20 degrees. My toes were prickly by the time I was done and needed to unthaw. I didn't know they were that cold until I got in my car.
    -10C. Shimano MW81 I think. Plus Gator thick socks. No issues. Actually - it was a great ride. Snow was packed down and vertical traction was excellent. Side loads were tricky and require body language or quick unclips.

    X-Bionic first layer is the best product I have ever worn in the cold. Extra warm model. Pricey but worth it.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    -10C. Shimano MW81 I think. Plus Gator thick socks. No issues. Actually - it was a great ride. Snow was packed down and vertical traction was excellent. Side loads were tricky and require body language or quick unclips.

    X-Bionic first layer is the best product I have ever worn in the cold. Extra warm model. Pricey but worth it.
    I have the same boots and it was -6C when I was out today, but I just had on simple wool socks and Shimano MW81. I will have to try some different socks. I hate my rear tire so my traction was not the best. I'm just hoping to wear it out and use it for a training tire. I only had 3 layers on the top and bottom. I had a thermal underarmor shirt, thermal jersey, and windblocking jacket. On the legs I had a wicking layer, riding shorts, and thermal adidas pants like I would wear as a baksetball warm up. I was comfortable except for at the very end. I was actually too warm riding up the 2 mile hill.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    I have the same boots and it was -6C when I was out today, but I just had on simple wool socks and Shimano MW81. I will have to try some different socks. I hate my rear tire so my traction was not the best. I'm just hoping to wear it out and use it for a training tire. I only had 3 layers on the top and bottom. I had a thermal underarmor shirt, thermal jersey, and windblocking jacket. On the legs I had a wicking layer, riding shorts, and thermal adidas pants like I would wear as a baksetball warm up. I was comfortable except for at the very end. I was actually too warm riding up the 2 mile hill.
    Best tires for snow are those with small knobs ie Small Block 8 or Racing Ralph etc. Totally counterintuitive but true.

    Big knobs don't work well. 2.35 width is perfect. I have RaRa in the back - snakeskin model and it is excellent in snow.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    Best tires for snow are those with small knobs ie Small Block 8 or Racing Ralph etc. Totally counterintuitive but true.

    Big knobs don't work well. 2.35 width is perfect. I have RaRa in the back - snakeskin model and it is excellent in snow.
    My rear tire doesn't work in loose, snow, grip over a root, etc. I don't even own a small block 8 or RaRa. I could try my conti race king though, but I'm really just hoping to wear out this specialized fast trac so I can toss it.

  35. #35
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    went for a snow ride this morning. Only 1-2" of snow, so if you tried melting snow to drink you'd be drinking a lot of dirt and leaves, too.

    I brought my camelbak. Blew the water back into the bladder to keep the bite valve and hose from freezing solid. I think it was in the neighborhood of 20F then. Maybe in the teens. Most of the guys I rode with were racer types on a social ride. They would ride a loop (3.5 mi or so for each loop) and then get a drink back at the car so they didn't have to carry water. Bottles freeze. Been there, done that.

    my tires did quite well, except on icy bridges, icy rocks, and icy roots. I spun out a couple of times. Otherwise, they were great. 2.4 Continental Mtn King in the front and a 2.2 Conti Mtn King in the rear. Ran the pressure a little lower than usual which was a good idea (don't know what it was honestly, but it was enough not to ding my rims) because a lot of hikers had been on the trails the last time they thawed and the trails were pretty rough. Hopefully the dozens of bikers started pounding out the ruts. It looked like the soil was getting smoothed by all the traffic after a couple hours out there.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    My rear tire doesn't work in loose, snow, grip over a root, etc. I don't even own a small block 8 or RaRa. I could try my conti race king though, but I'm really just hoping to wear out this specialized fast trac so I can toss it.
    I used to own a set of those. they work well on hardpack, but aren't so hot on anything else.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    went for a snow ride this morning. Only 1-2" of snow, so if you tried melting snow to drink you'd be drinking a lot of dirt and leaves, too.

    I brought my camelbak. Blew the water back into the bladder to keep the bite valve and hose from freezing solid. I think it was in the neighborhood of 20F then. Maybe in the teens. Most of the guys I rode with were racer types on a social ride. They would ride a loop (3.5 mi or so for each loop) and then get a drink back at the car so they didn't have to carry water. Bottles freeze. Been there, done that.

    my tires did quite well, except on icy bridges, icy rocks, and icy roots. I spun out a couple of times. Otherwise, they were great. 2.4 Continental Mtn King in the front and a 2.2 Conti Mtn King in the rear. Ran the pressure a little lower than usual which was a good idea (don't know what it was honestly, but it was enough not to ding my rims) because a lot of hikers had been on the trails the last time they thawed and the trails were pretty rough. Hopefully the dozens of bikers started pounding out the ruts. It looked like the soil was getting smoothed by all the traffic after a couple hours out there.
    It's been nice here for about a week, 50°-60° F. But the week before we were in the single digits for awhile. I keep my Camelbak bladder and my water bottle in the refrigerator in the garage. Both are half full with water. I went to go for a ride the other day and they were frozen solid. What's weird is all other beverages in there were not frozen. All due to a lengthy cold stint.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  38. #38
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    I went out yesterday in 14F weather with a Camelbak Podium Chill water bottle. This is a mildly insulated water bottle that doesn't really keep things too cold in the summer, but they seem to do a good job at slowing down the freezing in winter. My Gatorade didn't freeze in an hour being out, so that was a pleasant surprise.

  39. #39
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    I tend to drink more water when I'm riding in 20 deg cold because I keep sipping out of my Camalbak so the tube doesn't freeze up.

    I usually ride 3 hrs in 20 deg weather. Lake MX300 boots, Smartwool socks with chemical toe warmers from Walmart to keep my toes from freezing. I've been wearing cheap azz ski gloves bought from Menards home center that keep my hands warm, maybe I'll buy some "good" winter gloves one of these days.

    I'm running studded Nokian tires on front and rear. They're heavy as he!! but you rip through icy sections without even puckering!.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricko View Post
    I tend to drink more water when I'm riding in 20 deg cold because I keep sipping out of my Camalbak so the tube doesn't freeze up.

    I usually ride 3 hrs in 20 deg weather. Lake MX300 boots, Smartwool socks with chemical toe warmers from Walmart to keep my toes from freezing. I've been wearing cheap azz ski gloves bought from Menards home center that keep my hands warm, maybe I'll buy some "good" winter gloves one of these days.

    I'm running studded Nokian tires on front and rear. They're heavy as he!! but you rip through icy sections without even puckering!.
    I have the Lake MX300 boots too and am pretty happy with them. I haven't used the chemical warmer packs, but I might give them a try.

    Better than spending money on gloves, Moose Mitts are the way to go.

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    I LOVE the Moose Mitts. You can wear a relativity light glove even in some pretty cold temps.
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  41. #41
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    Eating snow gives me splitting headaches from the cold.

  42. #42
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    I know this has been sidetracked a bit but in case some one still cares:
    Snow is about a 11-1 ratio snow to water. So you would need a lot of snow to quench your thirst which has been discussed.
    The energy required to melt the snow in your mouth or internally is not healthy. It can and will drop your core temp, requiring your body to use more energy to turn the snow into useful water. It is a bit like drinking salt water when lost at sea. It might make you feel less thirsty to begin with but in the end can kill you. Snow needs to be melted first to reduce the risks associated with eating a lot of it. As far as the quality goes, if you are willing to risk a much higher chance of hypothermia why would you care if it was a little dirty? Not like your frozen body is going to notice anyway.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorBehavior View Post
    I know this has been sidetracked a bit but in case some one still cares:
    Snow is about a 11-1 ratio snow to water. So you would need a lot of snow to quench your thirst which has been discussed.
    The energy required to melt the snow in your mouth or internally is not healthy. It can and will drop your core temp, requiring your body to use more energy to turn the snow into useful water. It is a bit like drinking salt water when lost at sea. It might make you feel less thirsty to begin with but in the end can kill you. Snow needs to be melted first to reduce the risks associated with eating a lot of it. As far as the quality goes, if you are willing to risk a much higher chance of hypothermia why would you care if it was a little dirty? Not like your frozen body is going to notice anyway.
    In theory this is correct. I wouldn't eat snow if I was stranded and unable to move to generate heat.

    If I'm moving, riding, and as such producing heat, I supplement my on-board water with handfuls of snow all the time. Means (like the OP asked) I can carry less water, or keep going if I've already run out.

    As long as you're producing heat, which you emphatically do when riding through/over snow, then eating snow is totally fine.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    In theory this is correct. ...I can carry less water, or keep going if I've already run out.
    No, it's completely correct. No theory about it.

    Snow is mostly air and you need a LOT of it to make a little water. I do a lot of winter backcountry ski trips where we often stay in cabins without running water. Melting a heaping pot of snow results in about a 1/4 pot of water. Adding handfuls of snow to a half full bottle of water results in no perceptible change in water level once (if) the snow melts.

    I eat snow from time to time to help cool off and because everyone knows that eating the first snow of the year yields better skiing. But it's not really an effective way to stay hydrated unless your melting lots of it prior to drinking.

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