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Frozen Fluids... Suggestions?

854 Views 11 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Jim Z in VT
Just did the Snake Creek Time Trial... it was 20 degrees, 10 or so with the wind chill... snowing... I opted for the CamelBack thinking the bottles on the frame would freeze faster. I went for my first swig about 15 minutes - frozen. The tube was a rock. No fluids for the race. At least I wasn't sweating much ;)

Wondering if the insulated sleeve would do much - wind chill only effects heat-generating bodies, e.g. us. So, I'm guessing it'd just buy me a couple more minutes before freeze.

Suggestions? I hear vodka has a pretty low freezing point ;)
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Stick the tube into your shirt or windbreaker when not drinking.

Blow the liquid back into the bladder after taking a swig.

Use an insulated water bottle with warm water...
I have the insulated sleeve for my camelback, haven't had it freeze up yet.
I can't believe I didn't think about the blow back thing... damn. I'll put the sleeve on too.

Blowing back works sometimes. I have the insulated tube; it is really nice in the summer to keep your water cooler between drinks. I have had it freeze many times skiing. If you add something to the liquid, it lowers the freezing point. Try gatoraid, camelbak tabs.
flipnidaho said:
Stick the tube into your shirt or windbreaker when not drinking.
This has worked for me down into the teens. I just stuff it down the collar of my outside shirt down in front of me. It makes it tough to get a drink without stopping but at least you can get a drink :thumbsup: .

Mix a little anti-freeze in your camelbak.

Also makes for a great rapid weight loss drink.
Shark said:
I have the insulated sleeve for my camelback, haven't had it freeze up yet.
Don't forget about the bite valve freezing, especially if you use the one with a on/off valve. If you are doing enough rides to justify it, buy the cold-weather hose with bite valve insulator. I use it skiing too...

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a little bit of booze in there can go a long way towards preventing freezing. depending on the temp i'll run the camelbak under my outer layer (if i have room) and run the hose up towards my neck. sometimes i gotta unzip a little to drink, but it's never frozen even down to -10F.
Like someone else suggested, blow it back after every sip. Heck I do this even in the summer, so the first few sips aren't warm. You'd be surprised at how well insulated the bladder is compared to the tube. I'd also get a tube insulator though, just for the insurance.
Under outer layer(actually, over base layer would be more accurate I think. Depending on conditions you may have one or two layers over it.

Filled with warm water

Blow back

Gatoraid/other drink mixes

^All good advice.

If you find it's still freezing up, even with no water in the hose, it's probably the hose/bladder connection. On colder rides, I position a 'chemical' warmer near that connection and have no issues.
If it's not a real long ride (2 hrs. or less) I just drink a lot of water in the hour or so before the ride, and carry a small flat flask type water bottle inside my jacket to sip on when we stop for breaks. What you put in the flask is up to you :)

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