How much Water Should I Take Hiking
If you are going for a hiking expedition, the most obvious question you would ask is ‘how much water should I take hiking’. As far as your safety and health while hiking is concerned, not having enough water at your disposal is the biggest mistake you can make. But water is perhaps the heaviest thing you would need to carry in your backpack. Every liter of water weighs around 2 pounds, which can actually weigh you down if you are carrying too much. Read this oneHOWTO article to know more about what is the right amount of water to take hiking.
Factors affecting your water load
There are certain factors that you need to consider while deciding the amount of water to take to your hike. Let's take a look at them:
- Climate plays an important role in helping you to take the right decision. If you are hiking in hot and humid condition, you would require around one liter every hour.
- Altitude. The same applies if you are going for a hike at an altitude as well. The air will be thinner and drier in such conditions, and you would require more water. If you are hiking in a milder condition at a low altitude, half liter every hour would suffice.
- Difficulty of the track. You also need to keep your exertion level in mind. The harder you hike, the more hydration you will lose through breathing and sweating. You may become dehydrated if you don’t drink enough water at such times.
Therefore, the amount of water that you take with you should not be too much or too less, depending on the above factors.
Use natural water around you
Ideally, you should carry a one liter bottle with you, and keep refilling it with water you find during your hike. If you are hiking in a natural region, there will be springs, river and waterfalls to satiate your thirst and refill your water bottle. You should learn how to filter these waters to make them safe for drinking. Some techniques are:
- Filtration: You pass the water through an element that catches tiny particles, allowing pure water to filter. There are two types of filters that you can carry and use, which are pump filters and gravity filters. Both work differently, but aim at making spring water safe for drinking. You can purchase these in specialized shops.
- Using UV light: There is a small device that attacks water germs with UV light and prevents them from reproducing. This is a light weight device, which is inexpensive and fast to use.
- Chemical treatment: In this method, you collect water from a natural source, and add a few drops of a chemical into it. The chemical will kill the germs and make it safe for drinking.
Tips that can help to reduce the amount of water to take hiking
Now you know the perfect amount and the best ways to always have water while hiking, at oneHOWTO we'd like to give you several tips so you can optimize your resources:
- Pre-hydrate your body by drinking one liter of water just before starting your hike. In this way, you will carry your water inside your body rather than carrying it on your backpack.
- Don’t wait until you are thirsty. Drink 1 pint of water every hour, whether you are thirsty or not.
- Plan your route carefully, taking into consideration the natural sources of water on the way.
- Whenever you find a natural source of water, drink one liter of water on the spot, and refill your water bottle to carry.
- Stay protected from sun. Wear a hat if you are hiking in the sun, as hat will provide you shade that will keep you cooler. Carrying a umbrella will give you even more shade, but hiking with it may to not be a practical choice.
- If you are hiking in hot and humid condition, try to hike during cooler times of the day. For instance, start your hike early in the morning, hike till early afternoon, take rest in shade till early evening, and start again to hike till night. By doing this, you will be resting during hottest parts of the day, therefore end up consuming less water during your hike.
- If you're planing on spending the night, make sure you know what to wear and what food to take.
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