How do you keep your hydration pack or hand held from freezing on long runs in the winter?
If you are using a hydration pack, the water in the bladder doesn’t usually freeze solid (at least I’ve never had it totally freeze). It will get ice crystals in it. The hose is another matter. Over this last weekend, my running partner’s hose froze and we had to share until the sun came out and thawed his. Drinking a sip of water frequently will prevent both the hose and the mouthpiece from freezing unless it is very cold.
I’ve tried to think of different ways to keep this from happening. The first is to not leave any water in the hose. I always squeeze the mouthpiece and hold the hose up to drain any water. You can also blow the water back into the bladder, but this fills your bladder with air and causes it to make a sloshing noise as you run. These two methods don’t always work because some water remains in both the mouthpiece and the hose.
The second possibility is to buy or make a sleeve from neoprene that will insulate the hose. There are snowboarding hydration packs, which may be an option for you.
The third option is to put the hydration pack under one of your layers of clothing to keep it warm.
A fourth option is for you to use a sports drink or at least mix some in with your water. The sugar will slow the freezing down. A shot of alcohol will also do this :0) Just don’t use too much, or you’ll have more problems than frozen water.
Rather than using a hydration pack with a bladder, you can also buy one that uses bottles. However, you do want to get some insulated bottles rather than the ones most packs come with.
For a handheld it is a must to buy the insulated bottles. This will not only stop the water from freezing, but it will stop it from freezing your hand.
Of course there is the option of running a loop and leaving a stash of water in a Styrofoam cooler, but loops get boring after a while.
Let me know what you have tried, any additional suggestions are appreciated especially at the lower single digits.