How to Turn Ice and Snow into Water

Experienced security professional Emblez Longoria specializes in implementing protective measures for Verizon Communications. He strives to maintain a secure workplace by raising awareness of proper security procedures and coaching key individuals. An avid backpacker, hiker, and hunter, Emblez Longoria spends as much of his spare time as possible outdoors.

Wilderness living often implies an ability to convert ice and snow into water properly. When attempting to melt snow, do not fill the heating pan to the top, as you could burn a hole in the bottom of the pan on account of snow’s insular properties. Instead, heat but a small amount, adding additional small amounts over time. If you are concerned about the possibility of germs in the melted water, boil it for at least 10 minutes.

To melt snow without the benefit of a heat-proof pan, improvise with, for example, a t-shirt to create a porous container. Support this container over the fire with sticks or skis so that it will melt into a collection container.

If you have no heating fuel, look on dark rocks where snow and ice are likely to melt from the heat of the sun. Listen for the sound of running water. Collect the water in bottles during the day, when it is more plentiful, and store them in your sleeping bag to prevent their freezing.

Avoid, if possible, sucking on ice or snow. Doing so lowers your core temperature and increases your risk of hypothermia.