Freezing with the Skin on to Metal?

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Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
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Berlin
I noticed that Scandinavian knives usually have a tang that is hidden in the handle.

And it seems to me that Scandinavian armies do not issue metal mugs or cups, and also the British army water bottle is issued with a plastic mug.

That's obviously because there is a realistic risk to freeze with the skin of the hand or the lips on to the steel in cold conditions.

From which temperatures on do we need to pay attention about it?

Is aluminium more and titanium less dangerous than steel?
 
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TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,471
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Vantaa, Finland
I would say -5C is about the limit, depending. Yes in theory Ti is better than Al but I have never tried Ti cup in winter so I have no experience on that.
 
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Erbswurst

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Mar 5, 2018
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I think that's less important than the question if aluminium is more dangerous, and that I could imagine.
 

Billy-o

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Apr 19, 2018
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There is a heirarchy of whichever metal conducts heat best being potentially the stickiest. Copper and Aluminium are bad. As TLM says, Silver worse. And steel not really so bad in comparison, but still pretty bad when below freezing and depending on the length of contact time. Though that doesn't much matter when you get closer to -10C for example. But, pick up a steel pole with wet hands at 0C, carry it ten yards and it'll likely peel your paws when you go to put it down.

I don't have a Ti mug ... since burning my lip on one. But, technically, it isn't as good a conductor as those above.
 
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SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
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Ceredigion
I thought most people would use tape to make some lip protections on metal cups/canteens, in which case the tape would protect against the cold too.

For you hands, it depends on whether they’re dry or wet and whether you have gloves on or not, of course. And where you keep your knife etc makes a difference too.
 

Erbswurst

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Mar 5, 2018
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I think that people knew about the problem in the Aluminium Age, forgot about the risk in the Plastic Age and now get in danger, because the metal bottle is back on the market.
 

TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
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Vantaa, Finland
It is not only a question of heat conductivity but also of heat capacity where often the heaviest metals are practically worst, yes I know but capacity is given per kg.
 
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C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
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Bedfordshire
Yeah, what TLM said :). You would struggle to freeze to a sheet of aluminium foil, not enough mass, compared to your hand.

I have a 900ml titanium pot/mug and so far have not burned myself drinking teak from it. Used a steel much for tea at work, didn't burn myself with that either, so there must be a timing or technique thing.
 
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Paul_B

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Jul 14, 2008
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Lancashire
I thought people used those silicone charity bands to protect the lips with metal mugs. You get to give money to your favourite charities and protect your lips from burning all for a few quid to a good cause.
 
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Bazooka Joe

Tenderfoot
Oct 27, 2011
76
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Danmark
If I'm drinking water, I'll most likely be drinking directly from my water bottle. I use the metal cup for heating water up for coffee or whatever, and I'll then either drink directly from the metal cup, or pour it into one of the folding plastic mugs (that I always keep in my pocket) if the metal mug is too hot to drink from.

If it's way below freezing, I think that keeping the water in my water bottle from freezing would be a bigger problem.

Top tip, if it's really cold fill a nalgene bottle with boiling water, and put it in an insulated cover before you set off. It'll take a good while before it freezes no matter how cold it is.
 

Mowmow

Forager
Jul 6, 2016
224
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Nottinghamshire
Yeah, what TLM said :). You would struggle to freeze to a sheet of aluminium foil, not enough mass, compared to your hand.

I have a 900ml titanium pot/mug and so far have not burned myself drinking teak from it. Used a steel much for tea at work, didn't burn myself with that either, so there must be a timing or technique thing.
Aye, there's a trick.

I boil my water in a cup and make the brew. Then keep the lid on (to stop stuff falling in) and let it sit for a few minutes.
The metal cools rapidly but the water holds the heat. You have to be careful as when the hot water makes contact with the cold cup it heats up rapidly again. Your first sip is always cooler than the next one if youre taking one gulp after nother.


Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
 

Mowmow

Forager
Jul 6, 2016
224
119
Nottinghamshire
Ive noticed if i make a brew in my stainless bottle. The hot water at the bottom can burn your fingers where youre holding the cold bit when you go to tip it up to take a drink lol.

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MrEd

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Feb 18, 2010
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I learnt the hard way about sticking to metal - I was in Finland, -18c and took my gloves off at the hut door, held the metal pole of the veranda so I could stand on one foot to undo my bootlace. When I went to let go of the pole my hand was stuck, not stuck fast but enough I had to ‘pull’ it off, didn’t do any damage but did pull a bit of skin off my finger tips and the heel of my palm.

my hand was dry and I only touched the pole for a few seconds, my only thought is the warmness of my hand slightly melted the frost layer on the metal pole before it refroze and I stuck. Next time I didn’t take the glove off the hand I used to lean.
I wouldn’t have wanted to pick that pole! I think I would have still been there now!
 
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Billy-o

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Apr 19, 2018
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Erbswurst, one thing you might look at is a ceramic-coated cup. Dearest wife has a Stoke one that she uses all the time. Mainly for the taste, but there is a degree of protection too. There are loads of options out there at different prices (guessing the quality of the coating is where the difference lies).
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
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Berlin
Do you mean enamel cups or is that something else?

Do we freeze to enamel coated metal cups too? I used them very long but not in cold conditions.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,354
886
Berlin
I also think that this is the best choice, because such a double wall vakuum stainless steel bottle keeps the content very long liquid or even hot and should I get ice in there because it starts freezing I can put the bottle next to the fire with the open closure pointing to it and get rid of the problem like this.

It's pretty heavy though, and that's why I carry a usual steel bottle with neoprene cover and additional a Thermos bottle.

I first empty the single wall bottle and then the Thermos bottle, which I usually keep over night for the next morning.

To use in between perhaps a military plastic canteen would be the best choice.
 
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