Survival Skills

How To Melt Snow For Survival | 5 Ways



icicles sparkling white water drops ice | How To Melt Snow For Survival | 5 Ways | Featured

Don’t have enough drinking water to last your entire winter trip? Learning how to melt snow is an effective life hack you need to survive! Here are five ways you can turn that ice into a last minute beverage.

Ice to Water: 5 Easy Ways on How to Melt Snow

1. Hot Water

pouring hot water winter sunset | how to melt snow
If you’ve brought a vacuum flask of hot water with you, melting snow won’t be too hard. Pouring this over a handful of snow should do the trick in reducing the ice into water.

Once the melting is done, make sure to transfer the water into an insulated bottle quickly. Leaving it out can cause it to freeze again, so don’t forget to keep the liquid warm.

2. Boiling Snow

kettle stands on fire cooking food | how to melt snow
Boiling is one of the most basic skills you need to learn on how to melt snow. As long as you’ve got a pot and some fire, you don’t have to worry about being dehydrated in the cold.

Having a modern camping stove will definitely be useful, but a pot of snow over a fire pit will also work. Start with a small amount of ice at first, then add more along the way. Never fill the pot with snow to the brim to avoid overflowing.

It’s also important to keep the lid on at all times to maintain the heat. With higher temperatures, the snow will melt easier and quicker.

3. Bonfire Warmth

flames charred logs ash | how to melt snowForgot to pack a kettle into your camping bag? An empty jar or cup can serve as a temporary container for the snow.

Grab a shirt or bandana and place a lump of snow on top. Tie the corners up to form a sack, then hang it around a stick or branch over the container.

Much like roasting a marshmallow, put the bag of snow near a bonfire and allow it to embrace the heat of the flames. This will help the snow melt and drip; it may take some time, but it will fill up the cup.

4. Solar Heat

air atmosphere blue blue sky | how to melt snowRelying on the sun’s intense heat waves isn’t so bad if it will help you quench your thirst! Using a garbage bag, stuff some snow into it and place it on a hot and toasty spot. It should be able to melt the snow in a slow yet effective fashion.

You can also use a sandwich bag if you want something more light and portable. Clear plastic bags can be very handy, especially when you’re learning how to melt snow.

5. Passive Melting

steaming thermos flask on hike | how to melt snow
Heating up snow under the sun is already a form of passive melting, but there’s another way you can try to liquify snow while you are out and about.

Add small amounts of snow into your water bottle when you head out for a hike or climb. As you go further, continue to add more until you have your desired volume.

Your bottle also has to have a little bit of water first before you fill it up with snow. That liquid is very crucial because it will aid the snow in melting, along with your body heat.

You can also watch this video on how to melt snow for drinking water by CBC Life:

Before you decide to melt your snow, you need to check what you have to work with. Make sure to collect clean and fresh snow; you need to avoid discolored and stained ice. Being patient is very necessary since melting can take a while, especially when you’re out in the winter wilderness.

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Do you have any other tips on how to melt snow? Please share with us in the comments section below.

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  1. Margery Smith

    December 30, 2020 at 12:23 PM

    Building a Quinzee – I would think most folks trapped out in the snow won’t have a large shovel as shown to dig with. What could be used instead?

  2. Don Morris

    December 30, 2020 at 1:48 PM

    Your article on melting snow was the most laughable, rudimentary job ever! let me see if i have this right…It takes heat to melt snow. either from a stove, campfire, or the sum. I’ll bet no one would have figured that out on their own…

  3. John

    February 2, 2021 at 11:47 AM

    I got snowed in a bunch of years back. Tent was under a tree and the stuff-bag for the sleeping bag was available, so I filled it and captured the snow-melt. The bag was blue and absorbed the sun’s radiation. Didn’t run out of water, but I got down below the snow-line as soon as I could…

  4. Dave A

    February 2, 2021 at 1:01 PM

    Moving water does not freeze (unless it is SUPER cold). So just take your water canteen or bottle, with some water in it, add snow, shake. Done. You can keep doing this until the bottle or canteen is full.

  5. Tim Williams

    February 2, 2021 at 2:10 PM

    If you need an article like this to tell you how to make water from snow STAY HOME your NOT goin to make it …… just sayin …..

  6. Bullhorn

    February 7, 2021 at 6:21 PM

    You drove there, right? You can put your container under the hood while driving or right after you get there. While driving you could even cook a meal or bake a potato. By the way our ancestors baked potatos to put in their pockets for hand warmers and lunch.

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