View Full Version : Time spent gathering and treating water

05-02-2013, 17:53
I was wondering how long you usually spens per day gathering and treating water. I'm going in August from PA to MA. I'd like to wash every day and I'm sure I'll sweat loads.

How much water would I need (two people, my gilfriend and me) per day for washing (socks and bodies), cooking and drinking? How long does it take to treat that amount?

05-02-2013, 18:09
Water will need to be treated only for drinking. When cooking, the water reaches boiling temperatures and that is enough to make it safe. Water for washing does not need to be treated. So the time required will be minimal. It depends somewhat on method used and amount of water treated, but not very long, whether filtering, chemical, or steripen, etc.


Chaco Taco
05-02-2013, 18:23
Carry a Nalgene Cantene. Rolls up nicely and holds a decent amount of water. You can wet down a bandana and drop some Bronners on it and wash up just fine.

Chaco Taco
05-02-2013, 18:23
to answer the question, you dont need very much water to wash up....no biggie

05-02-2013, 19:27
If you want to make washing yourself easier, make sure you pack the kitchen sink :) Here's how: cut the bottom off a plastic gallon milk jug -- maybe two inches or so. This makes a decent size sink and takes up pretty much zero room in your pack if you stick it on the end of a stuff sack. To use, add some water and a couple drops of soap -- it could be warm water in colder weather -- then use a bandana to take a sponge bath. Rinse using clean water from a water bottle. (It goes without saying that you don't do this right next to the creek or spring, right?)

I usually figure I need 4-5 liters of drinking water per day, especially in late summer. If I'm cooking hot food, then I need another liter or two -- maybe 16 ounces for oatmeal and coffee in the morning, and another 16-24 ounces to make noodles and hot tea in the evening. Double that for two people. I usually just treat everything that I will use except washing water. I don't spend a huge amount of time treating water - it's just one of the daily chores on a hike.

05-02-2013, 22:15
Lots of great advice so far in this thread. I'll start by saying what bigcranky, Chaco and Odometer said - good advice. As for my personal water use: I filter water for 5 people and our dog. For general hiking drinking water that's around 1.5 to 3 liters per person depending on temperature, humidity, wind. Cooking and drinks at dinner is around another 1/2 to 3/4 a liter per person. Same in the morning unless I'm doing cold breakfast (breakfast bars, pop tarts, etc.). We usually filter in camp at night and bring spare water so we can hike all day and start cooking while we go get more water from that evening's water source. Time to filter varies with the strength/depth of the source. But usually it's around 20-30 minutes total for our group.

Because we gravity filter, we can hang the filter to do it's thing while we eat or setup camp. Not a big deal. If the water source is far from camp (some are .2 to .3 or more miles away) then it ties one person up to be there just filling platys and bottles. Much nicer when the water source is a quick walk from the shelter/campsite.