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  1. #1

    Default Nalgene 1L for cold months

    I'll be stepping off NOBO on or about 1 March 2020 from Springer for a two month LASH. (I know . . . Better weather, more daylight, lighter pack if I were to wait 6 or 8 weeks to start but, I don't have that luxury. I've got March 1st to May 1st.)I'm a committed hammocker and have my sleep system pretty dialed in for that time of year (0 degree UQ, 20 degree TQ, full coverage tarp with doors, etc.). After saying that, I am a slim, 70 year old, in good physical condition but, I do tend to sleep cold especially, when I first get into the hammock and often between 2:00 and 4:00 am. I've been on many 7-10 day backpacking trips and, in cold weather, I usually bring a 1L Nalgene, fill it with near boiling water, stuff it in a woolly sock and sleep soundly with that as my hot water bottle. The other trick I've used is to bring along one of those chemical hand/foot warmer packets instead of the Nalgene bottle.So, here is my dilemma. I don't want to carry a -20 degree UQ. I'd prefer not to bring the extra weight of the Nalgene and additional fuel to heat the water or extra weight of chemical hand warmers and the trash they generate but, I don't want to embark on a LASH in March and sleep cold every night either.Am I overthinking this? I mean, I will suck up the extra weight of micro spikes for safety's sake. Should I just think of the Nalgene as a safety item rather than a luxury item?

    Any words of wisdom?

  2. #2

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    Me, I prefer to be warm. Mostly that means choosing when I will hike and being prepared for the temp to dip in some way. This could mean that on a cold to me night I am wearing my sleep and camp clothes (warm layers mostly) and rain gear. Nothing worse than shivering all night!
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  3. #3
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Pretend you are hiking in 1979 and even with the extra cold weather gear and supplies you will be 20 lbs lighter Seriously though, it's a winter hike in the beginning. Nothing you can do about it. You have to be prepared for the conditions. Those of us who live and hike in VT, NH, and ME often caution folks that their gear choices that work down south won't keep them warm in New England - even in mid-summer. Different conditions simply require certain levels of minimum gear.
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 10-18-2019 at 16:27.

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    You say you're a committed hammocker, and that you have your system pretty well dialed in for that time of year. To wit, you describe boiling water for the nalgene and/or chemical warmers. Then you say "I'd prefer not to bring the extra weight of the Nalgene and additional fuel to heat the water or extra weight of chemical hand warmers and the trash they generate ...." You also don't want to bring a warmer quilt as an alternative to those things.

    Am I missing something? It seems like you've said your dialed-in system requires the very things you'd rather not bring. If so, sounds like something's gotta give, your system or your preferences.

  5. #5

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    I agree. Do or do not. There is no try.

    Quote Originally Posted by Time Zone View Post
    You say you're a committed hammocker, and that you have your system pretty well dialed in for that time of year. To wit, you describe boiling water for the nalgene and/or chemical warmers. Then you say "I'd prefer not to bring the extra weight of the Nalgene and additional fuel to heat the water or extra weight of chemical hand warmers and the trash they generate ...." You also don't want to bring a warmer quilt as an alternative to those things.

    Am I missing something? It seems like you've said your dialed-in system requires the very things you'd rather not bring. If so, sounds like something's gotta give, your system or your preferences.

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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Yoda has spoken.
    Will your LASH take you thru GSMNP? Your hammock may not be welcome. Check the thru Hiker Rules for GSMNP.
    WAYNE

  7. #7

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    Yeah, I get it. I was hoping someone would have a magic solution to keep me toasty on those cold nights without carrying the extra weight of the Nalgene. I guess I do have the system dialed in IF I bring the Nalgene.

  8. #8

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    I'll bring a pad if I have to sleep in the shelters. Not looking forward to that but I can hope they are full (hike late into the day so the unwashed masses get there before me.).

  9. #9

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    It sounds so crazy when you say it, but you can get an off the shelf pair of down pants with 2oz of fill that weighs less than an empty Nalgene bottle, and probably a pair of both warmer pants and booties from Goosefeet for similar weight.
    They'll cost a bit more than a Nalgene, though...
    And you'll already have a puffy along.

    Those down pants(or some synthetics, like the EE Torrid Apex) also weigh less than most baselayer bottoms that you might bring along for camp use-something I've been giving thought to for awhile now.

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    Registered User QuietStorm's Avatar
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    The other issue is your water bottle freezing during the day while you’re hiking. I hike all four seasons and generally bring nalgenes in bottle boots made by 40 Below. It’s extra volume and weight but better than being dehydrated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orthofingers View Post
    Yeah, I get it. I was hoping someone would have a magic solution to keep me toasty on those cold nights without carrying the extra weight of the Nalgene. I guess I do have the system dialed in IF I bring the Nalgene.
    I’m a diehard nalgene fan when I’m winter camping, however several members here who’s opinion I respect swear that gatorade bottles, which are significantly lighter, work nearly as well. IIRC the only caveat they gave to use water that was slightly less than boiling.

    Also, as Owenm states above, extra down is your friend, especially around camp.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

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    On my 2018 Thru Hike, I left March 15th and had great weather until a Nor’easter hit us at the Ga/NC State Line. That night I learned the importance of checking wind direction, finding Rhododendron Thickets to Block one side of the tarp and the importance of storm mode close to the ground with Doors closed tight. As Others have mentioned, Down is your friend including layers on your head and feet. Check out Shug Emery Cold Weather Hammocking on You Tube. He has gone to well below 0* multiple times. In some ways you May be overthinking it, but always best thing research and feel confident in any undertaking.
    "gbolt" on the Trail

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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Swap your 6 ounce Nalgene for the 3 ounce Nalgene. Same 1 qt. Capacity.
    The 3 ounces saved in the form of MSR fuel would boil a months worth of water in my JetBoil Sol.
    Wayne

  14. #14

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    [QUOTE=Venchka;2257071]Swap your 6 ounce Nalgene for the 3 ounce Nalgene.


    3 oz. Nalgene?

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    [QUOTE=orthofingers;2257072]
    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Swap your 6 ounce Nalgene for the 3 ounce Nalgene.


    3 oz. Nalgene?
    The slightly softer bottles made of polyethylene weigh 3.5oz, versus the more common super hard polycarbonate/tritan bottles that weight 6oz. I own both and find they are basically the same functionally.

    https://www.rei.com/product/402049/n...ottle-32-fl-oz
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

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    Bring the chemical warmer packets. They weigh an ounce or less. How many nights will it be cold enough to really need them?

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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portie View Post
    Bring the chemical warmer packets. They weigh an ounce or less. How many nights will it be cold enough to really need them?
    You won’t know how many nights you’ll need until the night after you use the last one.
    Wayne

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    I have zero experience using a hammock, but for tent/bag camping, I have used a "hot water bottle" thing many, many times in my winter and high altitude climbs to great success.

    I like the idea that you know to put a sock over the bottle to slow the heat loss; if you don't do this, the bottle loses it's heat quickly. With the sock, decent heat will last for hours.

    I just use my "normal" drink bottles, in my case, 1.6 ounce, 1-qt Gatorade bottles for my hot water bottles. I know, I know, you cannot just pour sea level (212 deg) boiling water in those, if you do, they warp badly. I get by with these because I use them where water boils well below 200, sometimes down to 175 or so, plus I pour a small amount of cold water, an ounce or so, in the bottom of the bottle before pouring in the boiling water.

    At lower altitudes, to avoid a weird bottle warping, yeah, use those 3.5 ounce soft nalgenes, save 3 ounces. My wife actually carries a 48 ounce soft-plastic Nalgene when she is with me on uber-cold climbs and such, 33% more heat.

    And speaking of heat, I haven't found the actual numbers, I did try, but the BTU's available in a quart of near-boiling water is probably significantly more than the total heat in a chemical hand/toe warmer. Hand/toe warmers are great for very localized warmth though.

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    I've never used the hot water bottle trick in winter outdoors activities, but just carried a better sleeping bag plus a decent down jacket to back it up.
    Just guessing that the extra weight of the additional fuel you have to carry for the many cold days you're expecting would be more than the extra bag weight.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    I've never used the hot water bottle trick in winter outdoors activities, but just carried a better sleeping bag plus a decent down jacket to back it up.
    Just guessing that the extra weight of the additional fuel you have to carry for the many cold days you're expecting would be more than the extra bag weight.
    Like a lot of things in this greatest of all past times, it's a tradeoff....

    I think the hot bottle is a great option for the OP's particular case.... Most of the nights will be pretty comfortable in his base setup, it's only a night or two here or there that extra warmth is needed, hence the hot water bottle supplement.

    Do you propose carrying a single sleeping bag comfortable for the 3-sigma-cold night on a long trip? If so, then most of your trip you'll have an extra half kilo or more.

    It only takes about 9 grams, or 1/3rd of an ounce to heat a quart of water to boiling. Plus, as a bonus, in the morning you have luke warm water to drink, vs. near freezing temp water.

    In my particular case, not having much to do with the OP, on our Big Climbs, we have to melt snow for all of our water anyway, so it takes very little extra effort and fuel to go ahead and get a quart or two up to near boiling, pour into our bottles, warm up our bags (even before crawling in), and have luke warm water in the morning, ready to go.

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