View Full Version : Hydration - Lessons learned

MidTenn Trekker
09-12-2012, 23:20
In the Fall of 2011, a friend of mine and I section hiked a 105 mile piece of the SW Virginia AT - roughly from Jennings Creek to Pearisburg. We did well overall, but I think a general lack of water made things pretty tough for us. Water sources were inconsistent and there were some days when we just plain did not hydrate properly. My energy level suffered. This year (July, 2012) I went with my son's Boy Scout Troop to Philmont, New Mexico and we did an 85 mile trek over a ten day period. Because of the low humidity and the altitude (we were mostly in the 7500 - 9000 foot range), we emphasized hydration a great deal with our 12 person crew. Following a suggestion from another adult who had been to Philmont in the past, I employed a hydration system that worked very well for me and the rest of our crew. Note: we had water available either at our campsite or near our camp every day. When I got up in the morning, literally as soon as I got out of my tent, I drank half a liter of water. Then with breakfast - another half liter. Another half liter as I packed my gear, and then a final half liter as we prepared to begin our daily hike. So before hiking each day, I had consumed two liters of water. I had good energy, no cramps, and had "clear and copious" pee all day. During breaks, at lunch, etc. I would drink about 3-4 more liters, so that I usually drank about 6 liters of water by the time we camped in the evening. This worked for me and other members of our Philmont crew. We had a few blisters, but no cramps and everyone made all the uphill climbs well, including Mt. Baldy, for those that have been to Philmont. I realize you can get bloated by drinking too much water at one time, but the described pattern worked for me. I should add that most of my hydration occurred by 5-6 PM, as I drank little after that. I usually only peed once each night. I will continue to use this system on all my future hikes - on the AT and elsewhere. FYI.