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Life Hack: Two Liters At A Time

August 28, 2018

Do you need it chilled?

I was in Guangzhou, China. I was at dinner with a group of Chinese adoption specialists, and my new 2 year old son. The person asking the question was “Richard,” our guide/adoption facilitator.

I’m sure Richard wasn’t his real name. I’m also sure I would have struggled to pronounce his Chinese name. As the only American at the table, I was conscious of my conspicuousness. I had ordered a Coke. Having travelled in other parts of the world before, I knew to ask for it still in the sealed can.

Did I want it chilled?

Americans have a reputation internationally. We are known as being loud, rude and requiring ice in our drinks. I didn’t want to be that American.

No, that’s okay. It doesn’t need to be chilled.

It arrived feeling like it had sat in the South China sun for an hour. But, I wasn’t that American.

In fact, I don’t often chill my drinks. I drink a fair amount of water and soda. I cut out soda for a long time, but the sodas “hencho en Mexico” sucked me back in. They are made with real sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup. And best of all they come in glass bottles.

My point is that I’ve become accustomed to drinking them at room temperature. It’s just too much work to go find ice and take up space in the refrigerator.

But, not everyone is like me. Many people can’t stand to drink water if it’s not cold. I understand that. This post is for you.

I go hiking a lot in Utah’s deserts and mountains. Water is life in the desert. We push the boy scouts to drink enough. As leaders we also have to set an example, and drink enough ourselves. If you don’t like warm water, it’s horrible.

I have a solution for you. At least if you only hike for a few hours. It’s a 2 liter bottle solution. I think 2 liter bottles are great. We use them at home for water storage. I take them on campouts. Even a weeklong campout, you can take a bunch and toss them in a bin and use them as you need them.

For backbacking, they are wonderful. They fit into a backpack and you don’t have to worry about them leaking. And if you lose your bottle, you aren’t out anything. And finally, if you are reusing the bottle for hiking or camping, it’s not going into a landfill.

I’m a big fan of 2 liter bottles. But, how to keep them cool? Sure, you could store them in the refridgerator. But, they take up a lot of room. The mouth of the bottles is too small to try to shove ice cubes down.

Instead, store them in the freezer. Not full, because a solid chunk of 4 lbs of water is not really convenient. But, you can still use the freezer to help you chill your hiking water.

Start with an empty bottle

Fill it with enough water so the water level is below the mouth when you turn it sideways

Now freeze it on its side. Make sure the water is still below mouth.

When you are ready to head out hiking, fill it with water. The ice will keep it cool for hours.

One other story about that Chinese restaurant. At one point the waiter brought out a roasted pigeon. The entire pigeon. Richard said,

The guest of honor gets to eat the head.

Ah. . .thanks, but I’m really not that important

I’ll just sit here and drink my warm coke.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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