Water from Snow and Ice

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Don’t be fooled by the cold, although you will not feel that you are sweating, dehydration will start to set in very quickly in cold and snow conditions so you must stay hydrated.

Snow and ice are obvious sources of water but always melt them before consuming. Avoid the urge to eat snow or ice as it will lower your body core temperature, hastening the onset of hypothermia and can cause dehydration. Eating ice may also cause blistering and sores in and around your mouth and lips.

It is more efficient to melt ice than snow as ice requires less energy, therefore less fuel, to melt. Melting snow may be your only option. If so, an easy way of melting without a fire is to fill your drink bottle with snow and tuck it up under your jumper/sweater, whilst on the move and our body temperature will slowly melt it.
If you are too thirsty to wait for a whole bottle full to melt, you should melt a small amount of snow first by rubbing it between your palms, over your mouth, and drinking the drips.

In some situations, you may need to melt down sea ice for water. If this is the case, old, blue, sea ice with smooth edges is what you need to look for as it will be low in salt content and therefore good to melt and drink.
In the absence of old sea ice you could distill sea water in order to remove the salt and make it good to drink.



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