Thursday, January 10, 2008

Water bottles


As I wrote last time, my kit’s mostly set, but I’m having to buy some new water bottles. Our Nalgenes are all ancient, and they’ve been cracking and failing in use. Besides, I’ve been pondering an appropriate vessel to double as a hot water bottle at night. My circulation has turgidified, and my fingers and toes turn icy even when it’s not exactly freezing out. I take shorter trips here at home, and in chilly weather often tuck in a few of those little chem warmers just in case, but I don’t want to carry the load in Scotland. I’m thinking of a half-liter Nalgene, but I’d rather not add the volume, either. So I’m also thinking of a Nalgene Cantene, which is basically a Platy with a Nalgene top. But I’m worried it might spring a leak. I may wind up bagging the whole idea, but I’m still pondering. I also need a new pee bottle, and am thinking along the same lines and worried about the same issues. Maybe one bottle could...nah.

A friend wondered why I didn’t just send all my disintegrating Nalgenes back to be replaced, since the people at Nalge are usually very good about this. They are, indeed. Many years ago, back when they had the old-style hard plastic top, I bought a liter bottle. The top failed (the loop broke) when our daughter, then a very small girl, fell off a bench at Zealand Falls Hut and the full bottle slammed into the floor and a bunk post at just the right angle and velocity. I contacted the company and was told to screw the top on, cut an inch or so of the top of the bottle off, send the resulting exhibit back for the engineers to take a look at, and they would replace it. The next week, a brand new bottle appeared, and I was happy. The following week, another brand new bottle appeared, and I thought perhaps this was Nalge’s way of saying “we’re sorry we inconvenienced you.” The next week, another brand new bottle arrived. And I was confused. One more week, one more bottle. Concern. After another week and another bottle, I called the company, explained that someone there must have pushed the wrong button, and ended the stream of new Nalgenes. They didn’t want the extras back, and we’ve been using these bottles ever since. They’ve been great until recently, when they obviously reached their expiration date. (The one above burst in our daughter’s pack, adding a little extra dampness to a canoe trip.) Nalge owes us nothing.

I’ve only in the last year or so converted to using a Platy for drinking on the trail. After two instances in the mountains when I felt ill and had headaches, it dawned on me that I was getting dehydrated. I’d always drunk what I thought was a sufficient amount of water, but clearly something had changed in my metabolism and I needed to drink more. The Platy makes that easy, and I’ve had no more trouble.

These adjustments that you learn you have to make as you get older remind me of the process a batter has to go through against a new pitcher. You go to the plate the first time and try your normal approach. The pitcher throws stuff at speeds or to spots that get you out. You go up the next time and the time after with increasingly better information, you modify your approach, and if you’re good, and lucky, you begin to hit the guy. Of course, a good hitter fails seven times out of 10 anyway. That wouldn’t be so hot with dehydration. Though I’d be happy to reach that level with my analogies.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The nalgene cantene is what I am currently using. Had it about a year so far. The one I have is a 3litre, which is about right for an overnight stop. It suffered on my last trip, having been frozen when temperatures went well below zero. So far so good though. By the by, I am Dawn, re Dawn-outdoors.blogspot. Weird Darren has me book marked if you cannot find me. Dawn

Mark said...

Dawn:
I was just given one of these. Looks pretty nice. I'll check out your blog when I'm not hopping from one computer-not-mine to another. Cheers.