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View Full Version : PSA: keeping your camelbak from freezing



Deep Days
04-09-2007, 01:43 PM
Have problems keeping your camelbak from freezing on graybird/cold days? I damn sure did. Now I just "sorta" do. I've found that a lot of the problem lies with the bite valve--water freezes on the valve, causing water to back up and freeze in the hose. So what did I do? I lost the bite valve (not intentionally, but I'm glad I did). Camelbak has come out with endpieces (what used to be just the bite valve) that now consist of a mechanical valve in addition to the bite valve. I lost my bite valve, and I just use the mechanical valve to permit or prevent flow. I keep the hose and valve in the "hydration sleeve" on my pack, and I've had a LOT less problems restoring flow of water after a freeze.

The bite valve is worthless. The mechanical valve is where it's at.



...Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

pechelman
04-09-2007, 01:58 PM
in other programming when my bite valve freezes over because of this reason (residual water), i pull it off the hose, and drink straight from the hose.

really so long as you blow out the hose when you're done, and have the ability to remove the bite valve, you're good to go.

and if you dont have a hydration sleeve in your pack, stuff the valve down your jacket either through the neck or a pitzip or whatever.

lemon boy
04-09-2007, 02:00 PM
Using a camelbak for wintertime BC skiing is just a plain old bad idea. Someday, somewhere it'll leave you thirsty. Just not, I'm gonna die thisty but more "wow, it is such a giant PITFA to get a drink that I won't," kind of thirsty.

Danno
04-09-2007, 02:14 PM
Using a camelbak for wintertime BC skiing is just a plain old bad idea. Someday, somewhere it'll leave you thirsty. Just not, I'm gonna die thisty but more "wow, it is such a giant PITFA to get a drink that I won't," kind of thirsty.

With some precautions it rarely does this (blowing the tube, keeping the tube in your jacket). That having been said, when I go on hut trips I always bring a nalgene too, just in case. Can always pour the water into that.

As for gosey's solution, when the water freezes in the bite valve, it should still be no problem if you blow the hose out each time. That way, all that is freezing is the water in the bite valve. Put the damn thing in your mouth for 30-60 seconds and it will unfreeze.

leroy jenkins
04-09-2007, 02:15 PM
Some people hat drinking warm water, but I don't mind it, especially when the weather is cold, so I fill the bladder up with warm water. This helps because well, warm water doesn't freeze as fast, but also because when you first take a drink, you're drinking cold water, as soon as you taste warm water, you know that theres no cold water left in the hose, and you have a few more minutes before it freezes. Having warm water in the bladder will also melt a partially frozen valve if you can get it to pull through just a little bit.

I also blow a bit of air back into the hose after I'm done drinking, and try and remember to drink at least a swallow or two every few minutes.

Do all that, and you shouldn't have any problems.

mmmthmtskier
04-09-2007, 02:25 PM
Wonder if a used wine-box bladder would help(cover the water bladder with the aluminized wine-box bladder for more insulation). With warm water and agitation from movement, should be good to go, methinks.

leroy jenkins
04-09-2007, 02:27 PM
Wonder if a used wine-box bladder would help(cover the water bladder with the aluminized wine-box bladder for more insulation). With warm water and agitation from movement, should be good to go, methinks.

I've always found that the hose is 9/10 of the problem.

SorryBro
04-09-2007, 08:26 PM
Some people hat drinking warm water, but I don't mind it, especially when the weather is cold, so I fill the bladder up with warm water. This helps because well, warm water doesn't freeze as fast, but also because when you first take a drink, you're drinking cold water, as soon as you taste warm water, you know that theres no cold water left in the hose, and you have a few more minutes before it freezes. Having warm water in the bladder will also melt a partially frozen valve if you can get it to pull through just a little bit.

I also blow a bit of air back into the hose after I'm done drinking, and try and remember to drink at least a swallow or two every few minutes.

Do all that, and you shouldn't have any problems.

Winnar! I filled my Camelbak up with warm water in the morning and that lasted until lunch without freezing. This was in 6 degree weather with a -25 windchill. Once the water I was drinking got warm, I knew I had flushed the hose of the cold water. Worked great.

birdboatboy
04-09-2007, 08:42 PM
If your hose freezes and you can pull the bite valve off, usually the ice comes shooting out in one long ice tube with a little pressure and/or suction. That said, hot water and a sip or two every 15 minutes helps. The added benefit is that a constant stream of water into your body is a pretty good thing for staying hydrated.

This End Up
04-10-2007, 09:03 AM
The mechanical valves suck.
When they freeze up you have to spend the time and effort to unfreeze them.
The nice thing about bite vavles is that you can bite them. If you've blown the water out of the hose and the bite valve freezes, you can bite it, breaking up the ice enough to get the water flowing again. Once the water flows over the ice, it will melt.

PowTron
04-10-2007, 09:09 AM
um, or just wear your camleback under your jacket...works for me....I then run the hose up near my grill, and open the top part of my jacket for some tasty goodness....

simple and effective....

Crass3000
04-10-2007, 09:39 AM
Using a camelbak for wintertime BC skiing is just a plain old bad idea. Someday, somewhere it'll leave you thirsty. Just not, I'm gonna die thisty but more "wow, it is such a giant PITFA to get a drink that I won't," kind of thirsty.

They are nice for mountaineering when your in areas where there is large rockfall, serac, etc. hazards where you can't safely stop to drink (such as on Mount Ranier, etc). As long as you blow the tube out it won't freeze so you don't have to stop to drink. Obviously still best to bring a nalgene along just in case though.

jepilot
04-10-2007, 10:53 PM
I just recently bought a Camelbak Hellion, and it actually has an insulated bladder and tube. Additionally, the shoulder strap unzips so that the tube can be stored away from the elements. Inside this mini compartment is also a small slot for a HotHands warmer to keep bit valve from freezing...pretty sweet. Camelbak also has available an insulation kit that includes a bite valve cover. If you don't want to spring for the Hellion or the insulation kit, and only using something like the Classic, keeping under the jacket seems to work well.

ant
04-10-2007, 11:03 PM
put some vodka in it. Or if you are on a ski instructor's budget, metho.

bossass
04-10-2007, 11:05 PM
Whiskey doesn't freeze.



Nancys.

Singel
04-10-2007, 11:31 PM
put some vodka in it. Or if you are on a ski instructor's budget, metho.



Whiskey doesn't freeze.



Nancys.


Thirded. Alcohol is the source of, and answer to all of life's problems.

FreakofSnow
04-10-2007, 11:34 PM
Some people hat drinking warm water, but I don't mind it, especially when the weather is cold, so I fill the bladder up with warm water. This helps because well, warm water doesn't freeze as fast, but also because when you first take a drink, you're drinking cold water, as soon as you taste warm water, you know that theres no cold water left in the hose, and you have a few more minutes before it freezes. Having warm water in the bladder will also melt a partially frozen valve if you can get it to pull through just a little bit.

I also blow a bit of air back into the hose after I'm done drinking, and try and remember to drink at least a swallow or two every few minutes.

Do all that, and you shouldn't have any problems.

Actually..........Given the right set of conditions, hot or warm water can freeze faster than cooler water.

This strange phenomenon was described by the likes of Aristotle, Bacon, and Descartes, yet is named after the Tanzanian high-school student who demonstrated it in 1969. The Mpemba effect only occurs under very specific sets of conditions and is still not completely understood.

Though the effect has been reproduced successfully in a number of experiments, no one can say with certainty why it happens due to the great number of variables involved. However, it is generally believed some combination of factors, such as evaporation, convection, conduction, and supercooling, may account for the Mpemba effect.

You'll be glad to know that however mysterious the phenomenon is, the Mpemba effect is put to good use by many ice-cream makers, who use warm milk instead of cool to help their ice cream freeze more quickly.

You may also be interested to know that for such a seemingly simple substance, water is surprisingly complex, and its behavior is poorly understood. The Mpemba effect is just one of 38 anomalies of H2O.

upallnight
04-10-2007, 11:50 PM
the old trick for the camelbak is to simply blow the water back into the bladder after taking a sip. water in the bladder doesn't generally freeze if you're moving.

some water droplets will still freeze in the tube, but water will get through just fine.

the valve does not suck -- one just needs to understand the limits. an exposed, thin tube of liquid that may face cold + wind (esp while going fast) has a tough job to do.

max, you've really got an issue with the tube, not the valve.

i love camelbaks (i like the platypus better), but for 'mission critical' stuff in the winter (e.g., a 10-day trip somewhere very cold)

Pow4Brains
04-11-2007, 01:27 AM
^^^^^Where have you been all winter UAN? <tapping foot waiting for JH stoke>

trouble
04-12-2007, 11:41 AM
A little bit of this:

http://images.westmarine.com/full/3556610.jpg

Goes a long way