How To Keep Water From Freezing While Hiking: 7 Simple Ways

When hiking, it’s almost impossible to walk several miles without a thirst for water. Even if you don’t sweat like in the gym during a hike, you’re losing a lot of water in the long run, which leads to dehydration.

Some of our readers may have already faced the challenge of having their drinking water frozen during a hike in cold temperatures, especially if they combined hiking and camping.

Therefore in this article, you will find 7 simple ways how to keep water from freezing while hiking. If you follow these methods, you will never have a problem with frozen water again.

7 Simple Methods to Keep Your Water from Freezing

In the following, you will find 7 methods how to keep your water from freezing while hiking. Keep in mind that you can multiply the effects by combining different techniques.

1. Keep Your Bottles Wrapped in Clothes

Materials made of wool have proven to keep humans warm during cold climates – this also applies to water bottles. Wrapping your bottles with clothes made of wool will keep your water from freezing to a certain degree.

Materials made of wool usually prevent harsh cold temperatures from penetrating, so if you are hiking and have no other method of keeping your drinking water warm, you can easily improvise by wrapping your bottles with clothes.

Other fabrics that can effectively keep your water from freezing aside from wool are nylon, silk, cotton, and synthetic fur.

2. Preheat Your Water Before Setting Out

Taking warm or even hot water for a hike could be smart. If you have the patience and time to boil water in advance, this is the best method how to keep water from freezing while hiking.

No matter the temperature, it takes longer for heated water to freeze. The water will gradually get colder, but this takes a while. If you take extra measures to keep your water warm, such as wrapping it in clothes, your water will last longer being warm.

This method is quite effective, and you can keep your water for many hours without consuming it out of fear of freezing.

3. Use Insulated Bottles

In the 19th century, insulated bottles were invented. Insulated bottles will do the trick; they can maintain hot water temperature for up to 12 hours and warm water for up to 16 hours, depending on the type of insulated bottle.

As a hiker roaming in a harsh climate, an insulated bottle should be your top pick over a non-insulated bottle.

4. Sleep with Your Water Close to Your Body

You would be surprised at the amount of heat the human body generates. While sleeping, you can wrap your bottle around your body to heat it and prevent it from freezing.

Sleeping with your bottle around you might not be as effective as other methods, but it can keep your water from freezing for a while, depending on how much heat you are generating and how cold the weather is.

This method shouldn’t be underrated because it can save you hours of warm water.

5. Bury Your Water Bottles

If you are in a position where you have tried every possible option, or you need to keep your water from freezing urgently, this method might be your next option.

This method will work for you if you have a campsite. Pick a part close to your camp and start to dig a hole. The deeper you dig, the warmer the soil becomes. We advise that you shouldn’t make the mistake of digging too deep because it might become very exhausting to get your bottle back.

This method is stressful, requiring a few tools like a shovel. We don’t recommend digging by hand.

All in all, we recommend using other ways we explained of keeping your water from freezing.

6. Keep Your Water in a Less Static State

You can keep your water moving if you put it in your backpack. While you walk, you tend to shake, and this constant movement keeps your water up and about.

Another option is to hold your water in your hand and consciously try to shake it now and then. Try not to get carried away with other activities.

This method is efficient, but it doesn’t keep your water from freezing for a long time.

7. Carry a Mini Camping Stove with You

This method prevents your water from freezing, and it also helps to defrost your water when it is already frozen.

If you are the type of hiker who is comfortable carrying a little extra luggage while hiking and planning to build a campsite, you can easily get a mini stove and a mini bowl that you can have in your bag.

This stove can also help make other things, such as tea, to keep you even warmer. This is the safest bet for every hiker.

If Water Freezes, What Is a Good Method to Get It Fluid Again?

There are several ways to get your water fluid again, depending on your situation and the lifesaving tools you might have around you.

Once you have a campsite, there’s a high chance you might want to set up a fire to keep you warmed up. Once you have a fire, the best method is to place your bottle or flask closer to the fire.

The heat generated will gradually begin to defrost your water. Be careful not to keep it too close to the fire, so it doesn’t melt or damage your bottle. If it melts, you’ve lost both your bottle and a chance of drinking water.

If you don’t have a campfire, there are other ways of defrosting your water. These methods have proven to be time consuming, so if you have the patience, you can adopt practices like:

  • Wrapping your bottle in clothes.
  • Dig the ground and place your water there to get warm.

More Helpful Tips

There are more helpful tips related to your hydration level:

  • Drink enough water before hiking or backpacking, so you don’t get too thirsty too quickly.
  • Snow can be a good ally if you are ever in a tough position; you can melt snow and drink its water. Important: Eating snow won’t rehydrate your body.
  • Keep your water in your tent when camping.
  • Bottles with wider caps take longer to freeze; you can invest in one.
  • When you are left with no option, you can consume your water at a fast pace, other than leaving it to freeze.

Good to Know: When Does Water Freeze?

Water is predominantly found in a liquid state, but it also embodies other states like solid state (ice) and gaseous state (steam).

Freezing occurs when the temperature of a liquid drops below its freezing point. Generally, water freezes at 0°C or 32°F, but this can differ due to impurities, pressure, or other conditions like movement. But that doesn’t matter when hiking.

Conclusion: How to Keep Water From Freezing While Hiking

In this article, we went over a few ways to avoid freezing water during a hike: preheat your water before going out, use insulated bottles, sleep with your bottle close to your body, or bury your water bottle in the soil. All these methods are efficient in preventing your water from freezing. The best way is to combine different methods.

Last Update: 05. April 2022
About the Author

My name is Thomas, and I love the outdoors. I'm currently living in Germany and I would like to encourage my readers to go outside with this blog. Here you can read more about me.