How Much Water To Bring Backpacking Or On A Hike

The importance of knowing how much water to bring with you while going on a hike or backpacking trip cannot be understated.

Your body is made up of 60% water, and every system in your body needs water to function properly.

Water is essential for regulating your body temperature, lubricating your joints, and removing waste from your body. When you exercise, your body can lose up to a quart of water per hour through sweating, which can lead to dehydration.

Dehydration can cause fatigue, muscle cramps, headache, and in extreme cases, heatstroke. It is important to drink plenty of fluids before embarking on a hike or backpacking trip and to drink water regularly throughout the day.

Below are more details on how much water you should bring when going on a hike or backpacking.

How Much Water To Drink

How Much Water To Drink When Backpacking or on a Hike

The general rule of thumb is to drink about 16oz (half a liter) of water per hour in moderate weather. If it is hot or you are exerting yourself more, you may need to drink more. For example, if it is 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) and you are hiking uphill, you may need to drink up to twice as much water.

You should also drink more water if you are sweating a lot, have diarrhea, or are vomiting (yes, this can definitely happen during a hike or when backpacking).

It is a good idea to carry more water than you think you will need and to drink even if you are not thirsty. By the time you feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated so keep that in mind.

How To Carry Water

How To Carry Water

The best way to carry water while hiking is in a hydration pack or reservoir. This is a backpack with a built-in bladder that holds water. The hose from the bladder runs to the shoulder strap so you can drink without having to take the pack off.

A hydration pack is ideal because you can drink hands-free and have easy access to water. They are also lightweight and can hold a lot of water, making them great for day hikes, even longer hikes, or backpacking trips. If you don’t want to invest in a hydration pack, you can also use a standard backpack and just bring along a few water bottles.

CamelBaks are another popular option for carrying water while hiking. These are personal water reservoirs that you wear like a backpack. They have a tube that you can drink from so you don’t have to take the pack off to drink.

CamelBaks are great for shorter hikes where you don’t need to carry a lot of water. They are also very lightweight and can be easily packed away when not in use.

If you are going on a shorter hike and don’t need to carry a lot of water, you can also just use a handheld water bottle. These are small plastic or metal bottles that you can hold in your hand while walking.

They are not as convenient as a hydration pack or CamelBak but perfect for a short hike.

Recommended Hydration Packs

  • Ridgeway Hydration Backpack – Buy now
  • CamelBak HydroBak 50oz – Buy now
  • CamelBak Mule Hydration Pack 100oz – Buy now

Hydration Tips

Now that you know how much water to bring and how to carry it, here are a few tips on staying hydrated while hiking:

  • Drink before you go: drink plenty of fluids before heading out on your hike. This will help prevent dehydration later on.
  • Bring more than you think you need: it is always better to have too much water than not enough.
  • Drink regularly: take small sips of water throughout the day, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Avoid coffee and alcohol: these beverages can actually cause dehydration.
  • Eat foods with high water content: eating fruits and vegetables will help keep you hydrated.
  • Dress appropriately: wear light, breathable clothing to help regulate your body temperature.
  • Take breaks in the shade: rest in a shady spot when taking breaks to stay cool and prevent heat exhaustion.
  • Check your urine color: if it is dark yellow, you may be dehydrated and need to drink more fluids.

By following these tips, you can stay hydrated and safe while hiking or backpacking. Just remember to drink plenty of fluids, especially in hot weather or when exerting yourself. And if you are ever feeling thirsty, it is probably already too late. So drink up!

Preventing Dehydration

Dehydration is a condition that occurs when your body loses more fluids than it takes in. This can happen if you are sweating heavily, have diarrhea, or are vomiting. Dehydration can also occur in hot weather or at high altitudes.

Dehydration Symptoms

  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Extreme Thirst
  • Dark Urine
  • Nausea
  • Camps
  • Fatigue
  • Dizzyness

If you notice any of these symptoms when hiking or backpacking, take a seat in the shade and drink some water until you feel better.

I Ran Out Of Water, What Now? How To Filter Water

I Ran Out Of Water, What Now? How To Filter Water

One of the scariest things that can happen while hiking is running out of water. But don’t worry, there are ways to filter and purify water so you can drink it safely.

Here are a few ways to filter water while hiking:

Use A Water Filter

One of the best ways to filter water is with a water filter. There are many different types of water filters on the market, so make sure you choose one that is appropriate for the type of water you will be filtering.

Use A Water Purifier

Another way to filter water is with a water purifier. These devices use ultraviolet light or chemicals to kill bacteria and viruses in water.

Boil Water

One of the simplest ways to filter water is by boiling it. Boiling water for one minute will kill most bacteria and viruses.

Use A Water Bottle With A Built-In Filter

There are also water bottles on the market that have filters built into them. These are great for filtering large amounts of water at once.

Use A Commercial Water Filter

There are also commercial water filters that you can use to filter water. These are typically used by backpackers and hikers who are going on extended trips.

By following these tips, you can safely filter and purify water so you can drink it while hiking. Just remember to always filter or purify water before drinking it, even if it looks clean.

Recommended Water Filters & Purifiers

  • Brita Plastic Water Filter Bottle (26oz) – Buy now
  • LifeStraw Personal Water Filter – Buy now
  • Katadyn Vario Water Filter Pump – Buy now

In Conclusion

Hiking and Backpacking are great ways to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors. But it is important to be prepared before you go.

Bring plenty of water as well as a water filter so you can always find water nearby and purify it.

By following the above-mentioned tips, you can stay hydrated and safe while hiking or backpacking.

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Article by Kyle

Digital nomad since 2010. I spend my time traveling around the world learning about new cultures and languages. I've lived in 4 continents and still have a lot left to explore!