Water is the most critical substance your body needs. Without it, your bodily systems will fail and you won’t be able to enjoy a hike, let alone enjoy anything.
While plenty of inexperienced hikers start out with plenty of hydration, they often don't think about how they'll store all that water while hiking.
Here’s what you should do to efficiently pack water on your next backpacking adventure...
If you want to smartly store water, plan out where and how often you’ll drink and where you’ll have an opportunity to store more. You should collect all your hydration gear, including bladders and bottles, to figure out how many liters of water you need before setting a single foot on a trail.
Then you can determine whether you need more containers, like one extra bladder, or have plenty to spare for you and other people tackling the trail with you. This also extends to planning your hiking route around where you can locate new sources of water.
For instance, look at a map and try to determine how long your current water stores will last, or whether you’ll be able to reach another stream or lake to prepare new water by sundown.
When you wake up, your body will automatically be dehydrated (assuming you didn’t drink periodically throughout the night). After all, your body was essentially inactive for around 8 hours!
While you might not feel dehydrated upon awakening, it’s a good idea to have some water right when you first get up. Drink a bottle’s worth and work on replacing that consumed supply from the nearest water source – you should already be camping with one nearby in an ideal situation.
This is a smart storage practice because it essentially lets you store more water than you have room for; you’ve already had some, so all your storage bottles and bladders will go toward future water needs, not short-term thirst.
How do you carry water while hiking?
As a hiker, you no doubt already have plenty of appreciation for the natural environment. But if you want to keep things clean and enjoyable for yourself and for future generations, you’ll want to avoid any disposable containers for carrying water.
Forget bringing a plastic bottle. But how do you keep you water cold while hiking? Make sure you pack stainless steel water bottles that you can reuse time and time again (after thoroughly cleaning with soap and water), of course.
We’d also recommend looking into a hydration bladder for your next hiking or backpacking trip. While they might feel a little silly to wear at first, these bladders are invaluable water solutions while on the trail. They can even help you drink more water throughout the day just by having it close at hand.
Overall, water consumption & storing is an important thing to figure out before you begin your hike, not during.
Following the above practices will help you make the most of your hiking trip and ensure that you don’t run out of water before you get to the next stream.