Home sick, with lots of snot and napping, the last day and a half. Beyond being rather inconvenient for a certain long hike coming next weekend, by now I’m just stir crazy enough to write about water bottles.

Joe addressed this issue about as much as it needs to be last fall, but the all-season utility of the wide-mouth 16 oz nalgene is such that it bears repeating.  There are indeed lighter alternatives.  Above, at left and right we have 2.6 oz and 3.1, while a 500ml platypus is a mere 0.8.  Rigid nalgenes are easier to use, work better for more things, and last longer.  The longevity of flexible, plastic bottles (esp. nalgene canteens) has not impressed me.

I cut off the lid retainer because the weight makes an empty bottle tip over when you’re spooning grounds in for turkish cowboy coffee.  The cord loops are for water fishing in winter: pass them over the handle of your pole, they’ll catch on the powder basket and let you retrieve water out of creeks without getting close to the edge of fragile shelf ice.  I have two because when it’s really cold, stashing two in my jacket pockets seems to be the best way to keep water both handy and thawed.  The lexan one is preferred, weight aside, for beverages because it doesn’t retain flavors.  In the sleeping bag they make great hot water bottles and sock dryers (wring the socks out, put them over the bottles).  And when they do freeze shut you can wail the lid against a rock or ski binding to break them loose.

Just one of the little things which serves so many functions and thus makes life more fun.