Eating Snow and Ice Cream

Should you eat ice cream or snow? Ice cream, maybe, if you’re indoors. Snow, no, unless you’re warm already. Either one raises your temperature; but snow takes a lot of energy to melt it, which is probably true of anything frozen, including any frozen food, and, if you’re marginal, you don’t want to use up your energy for the wrong purpose.

By one estimate, the energy it takes to melt snow to a cold liquid (from 32 degrees F. to 32 degrees F., the same temperature from a solid to a fluid), if applied to cold liquid water, would more than boil it (some might disagree).

If you’re too cold, you need your energy. Don’t blow it off by eating snow. Find water that’s already liquid and drink that. Boil snow into water. If you’re going to boil snow into water, either start with some water or use a heavy frying pan or heavy pot, because a fire will bend and destroy a thin saucepan that lacks water under the snow. The fire will boil the water, the hot water will melt the snow, and the saucepan will be reuseable.

Or use your energy to move to a warm place. Then, even if the air is a little nippy, you can enjoy ice cream while everyone stares at you.

Red crabapples on branches and covered with ice.

Eating snow is a bad idea. It burns too much energy when your body wants water. Find or make liquid water and drink that.

Websites of Interest

These websites have some interesting content, although I disagree with some of it:


Hiking organizations:

General retailers of outdoor products:

General information: