Picture it, you’re out for a days hike on a hot summers day. You’ve already put in 6 miles and you’re coming up to the main peak of the day. The sun has been beating down since you hit the trail at 9am and now it’s coming to midday, you’re really feeling the heat.
You’ve been sipping on your water since you started your hike of course but you haven’t had a drink in a half hour or so. You either put the mouthpiece of your hydration bladder to your mouth or stop up to take a water bottle from your bag to take a well earned drink.
You’re waiting in expectation for a refreshing cool drink but … uughgh … the water is warm! Bummer. While it won’t kill you, it isn’t particularly pleasant. How nice it would be to be able to have a nice cool drink while out on your trail on a hot summers day instead of tepid or out and out warm water! If only there was a way!
Well, the good new is, there is. There’s a little trick you can utilize that works pretty good for this purpose.
But how? Read on …
First some context as to how I came across this …
Let me Set the Scene
The title above immediately raises the question, how do you keep your drinking water ice cold on a hot day while out hiking for a large portion of the day in the heat?
It was last July and it was a beautiful and scorching hot day, 80+ F. We were day hiking and so expected to be out for about five to six hours.
I of course had plenty of water with me. In that kind of heat and with significant exertion from hiking at a good pace, I was of course sweating a lot so regular fluid replenishment was a must! This was fine, as I mentioned, I had plenty of water with me. However, as time progressed, the temperature of the ice cold water I had taken from my fridge that morning and put in my hydration bladder of course started to go up.
Soon I was sipping on very warm water which while of course still functional for hydration purposes, was not exactly what I would describe as ‘nice to
I’m sure you’ve experienced this at some point on your hiking adventures or in many other outdoor activities. When your body is hot and you want to refresh your body, warm drinking water ain’t that great but you have little choice when you’re half way up a mountain. There aren’t exactly many cold water or ice vending machines about!
So, on we hiked and a few hours in we were stopping for a breather, some food and a drink. I overheard someone saying something along the lines of, ‘wow, it’s so nice to drink ice cold water up here on such a hot day’. Now we weren’t close to any rivers so My mind quickly put some facts together:
- We’re on top of a mountain
- We’re not near a stream
- There are no visible ice vending machines (kidding :-))
- It’s 80+ degrees
How in the heck does someone have ice cold water up here!? Have they concealed a mini fridge in their pack!? To say my curiosity was piqued was an understatement!
So over I went to investigate and lo and behold, like all great things, what a simple and beautiful little idea I found!
How to Have Chilled Water on a Hike … It’s a snap
My fellow hiker had bought bottles of water the previous evening, about hand size type ones, 500 ml. When he got home from the store, he simply put them in the freezer. When morning came around, he got his hiking boots on, packed up his pack and got the, now frozen, bottles of water from the freezer.
Then when we started hiking, as my water started to warm up, his just started to melt. So by the time it came around to really needing cold water for drinking, he had a half frozen bottle of water with beautiful ice cold water in it to sip on.
This simple idea worked for the whole length of the hike. He just kept one or two bottles in a cooler area of his pack if he wanted to keep it frozen for longer. When he wanted to melt it faster, in preparation for drinking, he just popped it out into a bottle carrier pocket on the outside of his pack and in a few minutes, the sun had done it’s job and he had ice cold water to drink.
I normally use my hydration bladder to carry my drinking water, but I can easily pack a bottle or two of frozen water along as well and either drink straight from the bottle or top up the bladder with the colder water when it melts. Similarly, these days, on a hot day, I often pop a load of ice cubes into my bladder. That also helps to keep the main body of water in my hydration bladder cold for my hike.
However, the water that’s in the tube usually warms up after a while, you can’t really do too much about that except to either spit the warm water out before you swallow or just take a bigger drink, the cold water will be right behind the warmer water as the tube refills from the main bladder compartment. I tend to do the latter as I don’t like to waste any water, especially on hot days.
Now, you may have read this thinking, I do this all the time, this is no big deal. Maybe, but I can honestly tell you, that in all my years of hiking in hot weather, I had neither thought of this or seen anyone else do it. So hats off to the gentleman!
Overall, a simple but glorious idea I put into action at the next available opportunity. I got the same satisfying results and had the pleasure of having ice cold water for the whole of my day-hike in hot weather! Oh joy of joys!
It’s the little things I tell ya 😉
I hope you found this useful, please like and share if you did. If you read this and tried this little tip out for the first time, be sure and leave a comment to let me know how you got on with it.
John Srewart says
As a construction worker who has traveled a lot it’s interesting to note that in some areas this is very common and in others it is not. Bottom line is that it does work.
Hi John, that’s cool you’ve seen it in the construction business, I can see how it would be really useful for that. It’s interesting that some places do it and some not.
I am still quite surprised that in all my years hiking, I hadn’t seen it until relatively recently. A simple and handy little thing to do.
Hi Colm, I have never done this on a hike but did use it when going to the gym. One I used to go to only had a water fountain and the taste wasn’t great so I would make a fruit juice diluted to taste and pop in the freezer the night before. Then before going to the gym I would bring it out and then usually half way through my workout approx an hour after bringing out I would have a chilled drink. Draw back was if I didn’t remove it early enough I would have trouble getting enough out of the bottle as most of it was still frozen. 🙂 Good tip though!
Ah, so you are familiar with this one too 🙂 As mentioned to John there, I can’t believe I never came across this until the Summer just gone by!
That’s a great little touch to add fruit juice for flavor, nice tip!
You’re right, timing is key when you’re doing it, if you don’t get it out in the open with adequate time for it to start to melt enough, you’ll be left with a block of ice to be sipping on … not too appealing at all 🙂