The versatility of ICEPLATE® Curve is no secret, particularly for its cooling, heating and hydration capabilities. As colder months approach, the spotlight falls on its capacity to keep you warm. Whether you're embarking on field duties or venturing into the wilderness for leisure activities like backpacking and camping, ICEPLATE® Curve is an indispensable companion. Let’s delve into the best ways to heat your ICEPLATE® Curve for enduring warmth in various scenarios.
Heating ICEPLATE® in optimal conditions
Before we get into field use, it’s worth noting how to heat your ICEPLATE® Curve when you have access to normal amenities like running water and electricity. Perhaps you are about to step off from a FOB or cabin into the wilderness, there is no reason to squander supplies like camp stove fuel just yet. Allow ICEPLATE® Curve to be the booster rocket that gets you comfortably into cold conditions before needing the water to be reheated.
Heating ICEPLATE® Curve in any case is as simple as heating water and pouring it into the ICEPLATE® port. We recommend using a funnel for this to avoid spilling boiling water.
Optimally, we recommend using:
- Coffee makers
- Electric kettles
- Hot water dispensers
Tailor the heat level of the ICEPLATE® Curve to suit your needs by adjusting the ratio of boiling water to room-temperature water. Filling it with water at boiling point (212 °F) without dilution can make it too hot to handle safely—similar to a steaming coffee without a protective sleeve.
In addition to the environmental conditions, the amount of layers you are using will determine how hot you can run your ICEPLATE®. If the only clothing between your skin and ICEPLATE® Curve is a base layer, such as if you are running ICEPLATE® Curve in one of our IMS options inside of a plate carrier, be sure to mix boiling water with room temperature water to wear ICEPLATE® safely.
For use over additional layers, such as tactical cold weather gear with ICEPLATE EXO®-CRH, ICEPLATE® Curve can be run with less or no room temperature water, so long as it is handled with care while inserting into gear.
Field Expedient methods for Heating ICEPLATE®
In the field, the ICEPLATE® Curve offers 3-5 hours of heat. Once its initial warmth has been exhausted, you can "recharge" it with several methods, depending on your situation. Military personnel, LEO's, or civilians in stealth-required operations will prioritize methods that reduce their visibility. For casual outdoor activities, convenience may be your guide.
One quick and efficient method is to use a lightweight camping stove such as a JetBoil Stash Cooking System. With minimal visible flame and the ability to set up and tear back down in minutes, an option such as this is ideal for those on the move. Simply set up, boil, pour heated water into the ICEPLATE®, put gear back on, tear down the stove and pack up. The Stash is JetBoil's smallest camping stove, but can still boil enough water to fill half the capacity of ICEPLATE® Curve at 27.05 Ounces of volume.
Above: JetBoil Stash camping stove alongside ICEPLATE® Curve.
For those without a camp stove, the ancient methods still work. Boiling water by an open flame in a stainless steel canteen is a less sophisticated solution, but a reliable one all the same. A good option for steel canteens is the standard Stainless Steel GI model that holds 41.6 ounces.
Remember to use a single-wall canteen for efficiency, as double-wall insulated bottles are designed to retain heat and will slow down the boiling process.
Dakota Fire Hole
For a stealthier approach, consider a Dakota Fire Hole. This efficient burning method minimizes smoke and fuel use by keeping the fire below ground level. For those unfamiliar with this technique, read below our quick guide:
How to Make a Dakota Fire Hole
- Select a Spot: Find a wind-protected area with soft, but not wet, soil.
- Dig the Main Chamber: Excavate a hole about one foot wide and one foot deep.
- Create the Air Tunnel: Dig a smaller, six-inch diameter hole nearby at an angle so it intersects with the bottom of the main chamber.
- Connect the Holes: Break through at the bottom to link the air tunnel with the main chamber.
- Ignite the Fire: Light your kindling in the main chamber, then add larger wood as needed.
- Control and Extinguish: Adjust wood for temperature control and put out the fire with water and soil when finished.
The Dakota Fire Hole offers a stealthy, efficient way to keep warm and cook, minimizing smoke and visibility. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics by fully extinguishing and disguising your fire site when done.
Above: The Dakota Fire Hole illustrated
(Image courtesy of Recoil OffGrid, offgridweb.com)
Your choice of water heating method will depend on your environment and needs. The longevity of your heat source is critical—hot water from a machine might suffice for a short stint on the slopes, but for extended outdoor trips, camp stoves or open fires are more sustainable. Also, consider your hydration strategy. To prolong the thermal benefits of the ICEPLATE® Curve, drink from other sources first before tapping into it.
Remember, your ICEPLATE® Curve can be a reliable source of cooling or heating, no matter where your adventures take you. So gear up, stay informed, and until next time, #StayToasty.