Dave Brown’s Outdoor Life article, “If you’re active in winter, you need to hydrate”, is a fantastic and informative article. I found that some of the things he discussed I had already heard of, but he also had a few new ideas I had not known.
In the article, Mr. Brown discusses why we still need water in the colder winter temperatures, just as much as we do in the warmer summer temperatures. Under many layers of clothing, our body still heats up and with the cold, dry wind blowing on us, we still lose water. However, there are some pitfalls in the winter that people must keep in mind.
In the winter, it can be more challenging to take water along with you. Carrying a simple water bottle in or on your pack might freeze. Well, why do we need to carry water? There is plenty of snow around us right? Yes, there is, but Mr. Brown cautions us about trying to eat the snow. I had always heard this, but never really understood why – until now. Our body uses up too many calories melting the snow, energy that we need! It is better to melt the snow first. He gives great tips on how to melt snow (remember to put water in your pot first, then add snow – this will prevent your pot from burning) and keep it melted (like carrying it close to your body, keeping a bottle in your sleeping bag overnight and even keeping it in a pot and burying the pot 30cm under the snow)! Wow! I never knew.
In summary, I really got a lot of great information out of this article. As we are entering our final unit on winter camping and survival, some of these great tips just might come in handy. Two of the tips that I might like to try are burying the water overnight and keeping a bottle of water in my sleeping bag. Last year my water was a bit crystalized in the morning. Not this year!
Brown, Dave. “If you’re active outside in winter, you need to hydrate”. The Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa, ON. Saturday, December 29, 2012.