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#152428 - 10/20/08 03:34 AM Re: How to obtain drinking water in cold environme [Re: BigCityHillbilly]
haertig Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1999
Loc: Colorado
Quote:
I'm wondering what the advantage would be in using a titanium mug as opposed to using a mug that's made out of stainless steel.
They are lighter, and they cost much more. So the two possible reasons I can think of are: (1) To save weight, or (2) Personal satisfaction in owning something that is somewhat elitist. I've never seen much point in cutting the handles off my toothbrushes to save weight either, but some do. I guess I just don't go on long enough hikes to where the minuscule weight savings really matter.


Edited by haertig (10/20/08 03:34 AM)

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#152433 - 10/20/08 04:03 AM Re: How to obtain drinking water in cold environme [Re: haertig]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
I like stainless because it’s durable, my Coleman stainless steel mess kit is going on 25-years old and still looks very good.


Stainless steel is also easy to clean up with oven spray without the oven cleaner eating the metal. It eats aluminum & copper (don’t know what it does to titanium?)


Stainless steel does not heat quite as evenly as aluminum, but I have not found this to be a real problem. Just stir the food while cooking.



I have never been one to go for trendy things just because it’s the way the masses go.
_________________________



You can run, but you'll only die tired.


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#152434 - 10/20/08 04:22 AM Re: How to obtain drinking water in cold environments [Re: BigCityHillbilly]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2674
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I can speak to this from direct experience: unless you're downwind of Chernobyl or equivalent, snowmelt is safe to drink. I've been doing it for 20 years, and I'm still kicking.

Note that ice is entirely different: it is only as pure as the stream or lake it came from. That usually means "boil it."

I've been drinking snowmelt since, well, forever. Two water bottles, packed with the cleanest snow I can find, and tucked inside pockets while I snowshoe up a hill, yield drinking water.

If you can heat water, and make tea or hot chocolate, that's a bonus. I always carry a steel cup of some sort. Actually, boiling water is a huge bonus ... that's the difference between 'surviving' and 'living outdoors in style and comfort.' Old-time trappers used to bile-the kittle for a mug-up as standard operating procedure, every few hours.

Another consideration: in cold conditions, you don't feel thirsty. But you need to be well hydrated to "burn" food, to keep the metabolic fires burning. I've sometimes forced myself to drink, and then felt better. Dehydration kills in cold as well as heat.

Like OBG, I'm more scared of the cooties in a T-shirt than the snow.

Not that snowmelt is sterile; it isn't. Lots of bacteria hitchhike on the dust particles that coalesce raindrops etc. etc. etc. Nowhere on Earth is really sterile, even the upper atmosphere. But the cooties that cause us problems are generally in short supply in rain/snow.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Bottom line: Drink The Snowmelt!

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#152440 - 10/20/08 05:25 AM Re: How to obtain drinking water in cold environments [Re: BigCityHillbilly]
Frankie Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 734
Loc: Montréal, Québec, Canada
As others have said, fresh snow gathered away from the road is generally safe to melt and drink without resorting to boiling. Just don't eat the yellow snow. sick

I would consider building and carrying Monty Alford's YuCan type of survival stove (YuCan comes from Yukon, can and "you can" as in "you can survive"). It's made of two nested cans and heated by three parafin tea light candles. No need to gather wood and all that. It gives off less CO than esbit or alcohol stoves so it's safer to use in a snowcave. You use swizzle sticks to stir the snow gradually and you use the ¼" diameter clear plastic tubing or surgical tubing that you thought was only useful in desert survival to drink directly from the stove while it's still warm and so that you don't have to remove the nested can.

If YuCan, try to get the book Winter Wise by Monty Alford.

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#152449 - 10/20/08 07:23 AM Re: How to obtain drinking water in cold environments [Re: BigCityHillbilly]
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
Your cold weather survival gear should include:

A mosquito head net. Often refered to as a barrier net.

A few feet of cord.

A Metal mug or container.

A ferrocenium rod (Best cold weather firelighter).

A 1 litre or bigger thermos flask (minimum, 2 or more is better).

Light your fire. Pack snow into the head net. Hang the head net near to but not over the fire. Position the mug under it to catch the melt. When the mug is full, place closer to the fire to warm it. Boil it if you wish. Pour into flask. Repeat as required.

This will take longer than most people expect. Snow is 90% air and is a good insulator. Which means that it does not melt easily.

You should also carry a plastic mug or cup to drink from. One of the insulated ones for choice. Metal freezes to you below certain temperatures. Which will cause a cold injury.
_________________________
I don't do dumb & helpless.

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#152452 - 10/20/08 07:38 AM Re: How to obtain drinking water in cold environments [Re: Leigh_Ratcliffe]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2674
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Well, sir, I wish you luck.

But you may do well to try it out first, out here in the field.

Cheers,
Doug,
Jack Frost a-nippin' at my heels.

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#152457 - 10/20/08 10:53 AM Re: How to obtain drinking water in cold environments [Re: dougwalkabout]
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
As it happens, that is the technique I use. smile

I am not boiling the water to sterilise it but to delay the cooling. I would boil water from ice to sterilise it (If possible) because it's remarkable how many pathogens can survive freezing. At least short term. And chemical sterilisation is problematic at those temperatures.

I should have mentioned that it pays to stitch a small (4-6") length of cord to the bottom of the net. It makes directing the water into the cup easier.

The moment it hits freezing you are into Arctic/Mountain Survival techniques. It's not an environment that you can travel "light" in.

If it's a high mountain or ice field then your down to the between layers method.

If worse comes to worse, I would drink the water and take my chances.
Hypothermia as a result of dehydration is a far more immediate threat than any water born pathogene.
_________________________
I don't do dumb & helpless.

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#152459 - 10/20/08 11:14 AM Re: How to obtain drinking water in cold environments [Re: Leigh_Ratcliffe]
BillLiptak Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/19/07
Posts: 259
I used to make "vanilla" snow cones as a kid from fresh snow, never had any problems. I'm thinking drinking water from fresh snow melt wouldn't be a problem either. In the scenario you describe I wouldn't bother to take the time to boil it. Just my 2¢

-Bill Liptak

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#152461 - 10/20/08 12:06 PM Re: How to obtain drinking water in cold environments [Re: BillLiptak]
adam2 Offline
Addict

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 414
Loc: Somerset UK
I was told years ago by a soldier who had served in cold climates, that eating snow is actually advisable when and only when exerting oneself.
If dressed for cold conditions, one can easily overheat and sweat heavily with risk of overcooling afterwards.
Moderate eating of snow in such conditions helps cool the body when it would otherwise over heat, and provides needed fluid without useing probably scarce fuel.

I would not worry about boiling water from snow provided that it looks clean.

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#152464 - 10/20/08 12:49 PM Re: How to obtain drinking water in cold environments [Re: BigCityHillbilly]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077

Quote:
I'm wondering what the advantage would be in using a titanium mug as opposed to using a mug that's made out of stainless steel. The stainless steel mug is cheap enough, it's available for only a few bucks at your local Academy store.


Titanium doesn't rust and is lighter than Stainless Steel. I find that it is also a lot easier to keep clean than stainless steel and there is very little after taste using a Titanium Mug.

I prefer the Snowpeak titanium cups, they are excellent and are available in 300, 450 and 600ml sizes. Double walled insulated cups are available also.

http://www.backcountrygear.com/catalog/accessdetail.cfm/SN3305

Personally I don't think paying $30 for a piece of kit that is going to last more than a lifetime as being to much. I actually consider a metal cup to be just as important as a knife in terms of essential survival gear.



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