Over the winter is a great time to noodle about and work on the equipment we use in the field in the milder months, so this is the first in a series of posts about, well, things and stuff. This morning I was washing out all of my bottles and figured it was a good time for a post about this topic.
Water, plain and simple, is the bottom line of survival, let alone comfort or enjoyment of any outdoor activity, so I carry water no matter how short a time I will be out.
For most purposes I favor the Nalgene wide-mouth bottles, as shown here in the 12 ounce, 32 ounce (1 liter), and 48 ounce (1.4 liter) sizes. They are easy to keep clean, very difficult to break, and the retaining strap on the screw top makes it impossible to lose and provides a convenient way to attach it to your pack with a carabiner. The variety of sizes allows for a great deal of flexibility in adapting to different conditions of both weather and time / distance of travel.
For hot or cold liquids there is nothing like the profusion of double-walled stainless steel vacuum bottles that you can find almost everywhere. I think the little blue one is the oldest, from an Aldi store about 6 years ago; it’s still going strong. The olive green (9 ounce) and yellow (12 ounce) are the newest, from 2022. The others are 17 and 25 ounces if I remember correctly.
Whether it’s hot coffee, iced coffee, ice water, Gatorade, or whatever you prefer to drink at something other than ambient temperature, these are what you want! I cannot find words for how grateful I am to have the luxury of having hot and cold beverages wherever I go when operating portable or hiking!
Carrying them, well that’s practically a post all by itself … several of my packs (like this one) have mesh pockets on the sides for water bottles; there is a universal Velcro-strap type that will adapt to any bottle, and of course the smaller ones will fit in a pocket without much trouble. On the smallest (olive green) one you can see how I have rigged a piece of paracord as a sling, which is wrapped and tied as a wrist strap in the picture.
Thanks for visiting driftlessqrp.com! More on this and other topics coming soon!