Thursday, 17 November 2011

Don't ditch your Nalgene bottle

Contrary to a recent post on another blog I don't think people should be ditching their Nalgene water bottles, one of the stalwarts of 'outdoor' life in recent years. The blog post in question derided the general public for their dependence on the classic Nalgene bottle for backpacking and, to a degree, there are lighter alternatives, especially in summer conditions. Sure, the humble Nalgene's 89g (for the 500ml/16oz size) is way chunkier than that denizen of UL water carriers, the 23g Platypus soft bottle (500ml). But as Martin and others have been mentioning recently, function trumps weight. There is no point carrying the lightest version of something if it doesn't work for you in the environment you are travelling in. No other season distills this axiom more than winter. It doesn't save weight to carry the lightest water bottle on the market if it freezes solid at the first hint of the mercury heading south. A Nalgene bottle has been the cornerstone of my winter water ensemble for a few years now. Others reasons I still use Nalgene bottles:

  • You can open them whilst wearing mittens
  • You can't lose the lid
  • You can fill them from any open water source with the aid of a ski pole and some 'angling'
  • You can use them as a hot drink mug (hmm, another function. Doesn't that make it UL?!)
  • You can use them as hot water bottles
  • You can use them in the morning as boot warmers (the 500ml size filled with hot drinks)
  • You can pee in them. Try doing that (or any other of these points) with a Platypus...

Don't ditch your Nalgene bottles. They just might be worth the extra pack weight.

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