Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 33

Thread: Carrying Water

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-14-2017
    Location
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Age
    58
    Posts
    10

    Default Carrying Water

    I'm thinking that for the purpose of weight, I shouldn't carry more than a quart of water at a time and reload whenever possible. Sound about right? But also for weight, I don't want to use a nalgene bottle - seems heavy. In what do you folks carry water? And how much at a time?

  2. #2

    Default

    Typically on AT 2 Smart water bottles & 2 liter empty bladder. Gotta be careful though, as there was a drought this Sept. in NY & NJ. Water in some places was real scarce. to be safe a couple of times I carried 5 liters.

  3. #3

    Default

    I'm thinking that for the purpose of weight, I shouldn't carry more than a quart of water at a time and reload whenever possible. Sound about right?

    NO, certainly not an absolute as not everyone is the same doing the same hikes.

  4. #4

    Default

    How much to carry definitely depends on a number of factors, but on the AT I leave camp with 2, 20 oz soda bottles full, having drank 20 oz before leaving. I usually leave town with a 20oz Coke, so I have a fresh water bottle each time I go to town.

    Get into drier sections of trail in mid to late summer any you have to start to carry more. You can step up to the quart size smart water bottle which has a good shape for most pack side mesh pockets.

    I don't use water bladders. I've seen too many problems with them. I do have a water bag which will hold about a gallon and use that to lug water up from a spring or stream. Water can be a long, steep way off in many places and you don't want to do that trip twice.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  5. #5
    John B's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-04-2005
    Location
    .......................
    Age
    59
    Posts
    1,307

    Default

    I always start with an unopened 32 oz. Gatorade bottle and an empty Nalgene. If water is abundant, only keep the then empty Gatorade with water; if things are dry, then always keep one filled in reserve. I've run out of water once before and I vowed never again.

  6. #6
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-02-2007
    Location
    DFW, TX / Northern NH
    Age
    63
    Posts
    7,965
    Images
    27

    Default

    Even in spring, I would at minimum have the ability to carry at least two liters. If sources are close and all are flowing, just fill one. An empty 1 liter Gatorade bottle weighs all of about 2 oz. - less than 1/2 of a Nalgene. Lots of reasons - extra cooking water, you can't find the spring, it's an unusually hot humid day, long hike down and up for water at camp, etc.

  7. #7

    Default

    1L Smart water bottle. Use a 3L Platypus bladder for storage/treatment.

  8. #8
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
    Join Date
    12-13-2004
    Location
    Essex, Vermont
    Age
    65
    Posts
    2,347

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by martinb View Post
    1L Smart water bottle. Use a 3L Platypus bladder for storage/treatment.

    Waaaaaaaay off... obviously one should carry 2 one-liter Smart water bottles and a 2L platy bladder for storage/treatment. I mean reeeealy!

  9. #9
    Leonidas
    Join Date
    04-26-2016
    Location
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Posts
    947

    Default

    I carry a 32oz Powerade bottle for the wide mouth to mix electrolytes and cold soak in. I have a 2L dirty bag if I need additional capacity. If we are in a drought, I might carry a 1L smartwater bottle as well.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail '18-19'

    @leonidasonthetrail https://www.youtube.com/user/tehJC13

  10. #10
    GSMNP 900 Miler
    Join Date
    02-25-2007
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Age
    53
    Posts
    4,442
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    5

    Default

    You need to carry enough to get you to the next water source...
    But something else to consider... Time. If you carry a minimum amount of water, you're constantly stopping to filter water.
    What I did on the JMT where water is pretty much crazy available, I would start with two 500ml bottle full plus a full 2 Liter bladder. I could swap out the 500ml bottles without stopping. When they were both empty, I would briefly stop to refill from the bladder. Repeat until the bladder was empty and then start keeping an eye out for a water source and start over.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-12-2015
    Location
    Rockwell City Iowa
    Age
    59
    Posts
    126

    Default

    We hiked the superfund site near Palmerton on a 95 degree day with no shade. There is no drinkable water for miles. I started with six liters,and got as close to heat exhaustion as I ever have in my life. Luckily a trail Angel left four bottles of water by a tree near the road. You can hike with one liter if you like,but I would pay very close attention to your guide book or app,every water source does not always have water. It is a bad sign when your pee looks like coffee and you start getting dizzy....

  12. #12

    Default

    I use lightest container possible, generally 1 and 2 liter platypus bladders. We adjust water capacity based on our hike and the weather. The rule is not to carry water up to water, so we study the map to decide how much water to carry. You need less in cool weather. And we fill up 2 l per person before camping for the night.

    Fears about dehydration are overstated, if not dangerous. Read "Waterlogged" by Prof Tim Noakes (2012; 448 pages). There is more danger in water intoxication and hyponatremia than in mild dehydration, to which humans have been adapted for millions of years.

    The "hydrate or die", "water is life", and "drink before you are thirsty" nonsense has led to numerous deaths in marathons, where they often offer water every mile on the mile. I've run 75 marathons and ultras, and have had hyponatremia after a race, so I know of what I speak. Preserve your electrolyte balance, don't needlessly wash them out of your body. The scary blather from the multi-billion dollar sports drink industry that began during the 1980's and has been solidly disproven by research by Noakes and others. It's disappointing to see whilteblaze participants parrot hydration lies.
    Last edited by RockDoc; 11-12-2019 at 12:06.

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    You need to carry enough to get you to the next water source...
    And how do you know that to make that happen? Maybe, you actually don't need water at each or the next water source...especially the AT during typical NOBO times! Sometimes water is so abundant it's not needed at every source. I'll be the devils advocate and ask what happens if you get that wrong? Are you able to go further or find alternative sources IF need be? Are you willing to learn how to read maps, avail yourself of seasonal water finding techniques and go off that 30-40" wide AT tread? It's easier on the more forgivable AT during typical NOBO times but the question was open ended. What can occur that can lead us to getting that wrong AND how can we hedge against it if that's going to be the water wt saving approach? It's not the first time someone did something stupid light to save wt. ME! saving water wt/not carrying water is a conditional - situational - not an absolute approach! If ignoring this it sets up a potential stupid light situation.

    This has to be said because this was an open ended location question phrased as an absolutism.

    Consider medical studies have concluded 70-75% of the US public is chronically dehydrated. Why is that the case? Personal choices? Since very very few are doing thru hikes that probably means off trail in regular off trail life. NOW, place those same individuals in these studies in backpacking/hiking environments. The odds of becoming more dehydrated can increase. Why is that now the case? What can that lead to?

    WHY consider this - it factors into water needs on trail?

    WHY consider this - it may mean some % of hikers and backpackers, maybe as high as 70-75%, are hitting their starting TH's dehydrated.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Reeko View Post
    I'm thinking that for the purpose of weight, I shouldn't carry more than a quart of water at a time and reload whenever possible. Sound about right? But also for weight, I don't want to use a nalgene bottle - seems heavy. In what do you folks carry water? And how much at a time?
    If water is readily available and there are multiple sources coming up, I will carry 1L or less and generally not worry about it much. On hot summer days in dry areas it becomes more of a challenge to predict what you need because you drink more per mile (sometimes a lot more) and water may be less abundant.
    There are many other situations that may come up where you need to haul more water, but it's not an issue if you give it its due attention and some planning

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Reeko View Post
    I'm thinking that for the purpose of weight, I shouldn't carry more than a quart of water at a time and reload whenever possible. Sound about right? But also for weight, I don't want to use a nalgene bottle - seems heavy. In what do you folks carry water? And how much at a time?
    This falls into the "If there is a doubt, there is no doubt" category. If you are questioning if a quart is enough, then it probably isn't. A quart of water in 90 degree desert terrain would not get you very far, the same quart of water in 50 degree New England might, the variables are broad between people on different terrain.

    Having run out of water in the past I may be a little hypersensitive to it, but dehydration is akin to hypothermia in my view and measures to avoid either should be taken. Even when water should be plentiful I typically carry 2-liters at all times. I use a 3-liter bladder with bite valve, though some have had poor experiences with them and prefer water or soda bottles, either works. Carrying 2-liters allows me to walk by sources that are less than attractive to what should be better sources a few miles away, which only carrying a quart may not allow. So far, the 2-liter "rule" for me has worked well, I don't stop nearly as often to refill, I can select "better" water sources (even though I filter religiously), have the ability to carry plenty of camp water, and have some to spare for those less prepared.

    Weight issues can be a concern, though for me water is a non-negotiable weight factor and if weight needs to be stripped out I will take other steps. My 3-liter bladder weighs approximately .5 ounces, 2-liters of water weighs 4.4-pounds, so I figure I have 5-pounds of water weight at each fill up. A 32-ounce (.9-liters) Nalgene water bottle weighs about 6.2-ounces. To carry two of these would be about 12.5-ounces making them heavier than bladders but more durable if you are rough with your gear. You can also use repurposed plastic water bottles, however these are less robust.

    Since water weight constantly diminishes as consumed, it can be difficult to figure out weight at any given time outside refill. At one point years ago I used the 5-pound weight as a constant and got curious what I could shed to offset refill weight and found a lot of small things in the pack I rarely used that could stay home or be modified. For example I saved about several pounds of weight with the following simple list:

    Left binoculars at home, which were rarely used but nice to have if weight is not an issue - saving 10-ounces
    Kept the miniature Leatherman tool, left the jackknife at home - saving 3-ounces
    Kept the titanium spork, left the 3-piece set at home - saving .8-ounces
    Used a 3-liter bladder as opposed to Nalgene bottles - saving 13-ounces
    Used a Sawyer Mini filter, left the Katodyne Hiker Pro at home - saving 9-ounces (will bring the Katodyne when there are 2 or more people in the group)
    Went to one dry bag, left 4-stuff sacks at home - saving 2.5-ounces
    Total savings with just these items was 38.3-ounces (2.3-pounds)

    Over time I purchased new gear that lessened tent, sleeping bag, pack, and clothing weight significantly. Some people will cut handles off toothbrushes and other staples modifications to save what seem to be very small amounts but all add up. The point being, some things are luxuries and if use were tracked would likely not be missed, other things can be substituted for weight savings.

    "Water is life" isn't just a saying, if you ever run dry and become disorientated due to dehydration it can be a very sobering event. I will always jettison gear to save weight as opposed to reducing water volume below 2-liters. Of course this is my personal standard, others differ based on their experiences.

  16. #16

    Default

    ^^^ Heed the cumulative trail savviness offered. This is knowing thyself...5 decades of hiking. This is understanding that different situations exist. This is understanding how those different conditions affect the water wt saving approach.

  17. #17

    Default

    Good points traveler.
    The "mental weight" of potentially being short on water outweighs the extra 2 lbs of carrying more in many cases. We've all had different times where we've had to ration water as we walk, and it makes it much less enjoyable

  18. #18
    Garlic
    Join Date
    10-15-2008
    Location
    Golden CO
    Age
    62
    Posts
    5,407
    Images
    2

    Default

    I have developed a ratio of roughly 10 miles of trail (in temperate conditions and well-hydrated to start) to one liter of water. (Plus a liter per dry camp, if applicable.) But I also know my needs can be way different than others. After one tough desert hike of 15 miles, I sloshed in with extra water from my two liters, while my partner was very thirsty after drinking four.

    I haven't carried a Nalgene bottle on a three season hike in nearly two decades. I usually carry one 1-liter soda bottle and from one to three 2+ liter Platypus bladders depending on the conditions. I will carry up to seven liters on desert hikes in hot weather with over 40 miles between sources.

    On my AT hike (I can recall one 20+ mile dry stretch), I carried one soda bottle and one Platy.

    Nalgenes are great for hot water bottles in winter camps.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  19. #19
    Garlic
    Join Date
    10-15-2008
    Location
    Golden CO
    Age
    62
    Posts
    5,407
    Images
    2

    Default

    By the way, I think this is a good topic to review. Carrying too much consumable weight is very common especially on the AT. I often saw hikers tanking up with three liters of water every morning out of habit, even when we were were walking through clean spring water every mile or so. Those days I usually carried no water at all. That's a seven pound weight advantage at no cost.

    A one-liter bottle of water is the heaviest single item in my pack, including the pack itself. I think twice before adding one to my load.

    Of course I err on the side of safety and don't hesitate to add water if I (or a new partner) may need it.

  20. #20

    Default

    I always carry three 20 oz. powerade bottles if it's a dry section. If there's a lot of available water, I'll only carry one and fill up at each water source.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •