I'm getting back into XC skiing this winter and want to keep my hydration bladder/hose from freezing - does anyone wear their backpack under their outer layer or is this a no-go plan?
Does anyone wear their backpack under their outer layer?
- 32,501 Posts. Joined 12/2007
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Not sure about XC but if you are skiing lift served they require you to flip the pack around the front when loading and riding the lift. There are other threads here with suggestions on how to keep the camel back hoses from freezing, vodka jokes and serious suggestions..
Depends on what xc means to you. For an hour or two of high-intensity aerobics an insulated bottle in a bottle belt, with some weak electrolyte powder, is the standard practice. You will drink it before it freezes. I cannot abide anything on my shoulders while xc skiing. An all day tour in the sticks is a whole different thing.
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I define XC as Nordic, not Alpine, gear and bindings; something I've done a few times - and really enjoy lately - on courses. You don't want many layers, or much more than a tiny hydration pack or belt bottle, because if you're doing it right, it's a serious aerobic workout - the highest average VO2 Max's recorded are in XC, not marathon - and you sweat like a (species of your choice). If the weather's so bad you need a parka, not the right sport for that day.
OTOH, I suspect you mean AT, using Alpine or Touring skis in the backcountry. But even then, I'd tend to keep my gear on the outside of my parka, which will be light anyway. Don't have issues with freezing because I don't much use hydration bladders and tubes. Too hard to keep sanitary, too much diddling, too many possibilities for failure. And I pace myself better if I stop periodically to take a swig from a bottle. Now if we could actually get enough snow to do much AT...
You know, it's kind of funny that the one season pass I buy most years is the one for the meticulously laid out and groomed xc area fifteen minutes away from my house ... even though, being only ten or fifteen miles from the ocean, the snow cover is thoroughly unreliable. It's so easy to get to, the skiing is so good, and the workout is so satisfying, that even if it only opens for seven or eight weeks in a bad year it's worth it. The value is there.
I'm taking the OP literally, of course. Maybe he means AT, not realizing that backcountry isn't the same as cross country. It could be confusing, especially around here where as far I can tell cross country skiing goes on anywhere there's a forest service road or well developed foot trail.
A neoprene sleeve for the tube worked well, but the bite valve would freeze in a heartbeat. My solution was to tuck the tube into my jacket, which worked well, although every once on a while I'd push it in too far, the bite valve would get squeezed under a shoulder strap, and I'd feel cold water running down my chest. ACK! However, recently I saw a bite valve cover that was pretty rigid and would prevent that kind of thing.
I do but it's not a backpack really, just a hydration bladder. No room in it for anything at all besides the bladder. I don't think I'd want to wear anything bulkier under my jacket, but this is slim enough that it works fine.
My solution was to tuck the tube into my jacket, which worked well, although every once on a while I'd push it in too far, the bite valve would get squeezed under a shoulder strap, and I'd feel cold water running down my chest. ACK! However, recently I saw a bite valve cover that was pretty rigid and would prevent that kind of thing.
Were you using a 90 degree manual shutoff bite valve? Or just a straight inline bite valve? Camelbak has been selling manual shutoffs since '99, not sure if anyone sells them for the larger hose size like Platypus sell.
I don't think I could ever go back to not using a shutoff valve. Without it, the bite valve always ends up leaking at some point.