A Thermos water bottle is a handy way to carry your hydration needs while out hiking. I currently use Thermos water bottles but I am considering purchasing a bladder but will leave that subject for another post.
When choosing a water bottle you of course want something light, durable and reliable. It also must be able to carry a reasonable amount of fluid too of course so you will be looking to get anything from 24 ounces up. I would normally take two 24 ounce flasks on most of my hikes. A standard Thermos water bottle like this one is fine for simple water carrying needs.
Moving on from a standard Thermos Water Bottle a good option to purchase is a Thermos Flask.
I've noticed, as I'm sure you have depending where in the world you are of course, we are moving further and further into the colder months.
As the seasonal temperature drops, and with the temperature dropping an average of 1.8 Farenheit / 1 degree Celsius with every 100 meter ascent, a warm beverage to sip on with your lunch or while taking a view in on the trail, is a nice comfort to have with you when hiking.
When I was hiking last weekend, we had to stop in high winds on a peak to take a bearing as the visibility had gotten very poor. We needed to be certain we were on the right track as we didn't want to veer off course as we only had three hours of comfortable light left to get to our final summit and safely down off the mountains.
As a party of four we decided we'd take a bearing each and then compare results just to be ultra certain we were going the right direction.
This took us all a bit of time as the winds were playing havoc with our maps (I so need to purchase a proper map bag). Anyway to cut a long story short, I noticed how quickly the chill set in and how cold we were all getting.
I felt very lucky to be able to reach into my pack and pull out my Thermos flask with hot tea in it! A couple of cups of that really hit the spot and warmed my body right up! It's not only a very functional pleasure to have a hot drink on top of a cold mountain while out hiking, but I find it is also a real morale booster too if you're getting pelted with rain or snow.
The Thermos flask is one of man's simple but great inventions. I actually have two of them one 16 ounce Thermos Nissan Flask and the other a 26 ounce ($29.00) one. They're both ideal for day hiking but I generally take the 16 ounce with me on shorter hikes and the larger 26 ounce one on longer hikes or if there's more people in my hiking group. Someone is always grateful for a hot cup of tea or coffee so it's good to have extra sometimes.
As a general rule, a Thermos flask will keep your beverage hot for up to 12 hours and cold up to 24 hours. I find that I normally drink my tea 3-4 hours into a day hike at lunch and again maybe 2-3 hours later on a final break before making my way off the mountains. My tea is always hot so I've never had any issues as yet with it cooling down with those time frames.
Oddly I've never actually used a Thermos steel flask for carrying cold drinks and it has just occurred to me how silly that is. How many times while hiking in the heat I would have loved a nice cold drink of water than one from a standard water flask which had of course warmed up in the sun! Ah, sometimes simple and obvious ideas are just staring you in the face!
I highly recommend getting one of these Thermos flasks if you'll be out hiking over the fall and winter. With one of these in your hiking day pack, the only thing you'll need to think about is what beverage you'll take with you to warm the cockles. Tea, sometimes coffee, is my drink of choice but you could bring soups too. I must try that soon actually.
What hot drink do you like to take on the trail with you? Can you recommend any Thermos flask you've had good experiences with? Let us know in the comments below.