What Quantities of Water Should one Carry when Hiking?

Most people would think water is not heavy but that could not be further from the truth. It can be quite exhausting carrying water around. Therefore, one should not carry more than necessary. As you find the best water bottles for hiking, it is wise to have information with regards to quantity so as to determine on bottle capacity.

What Quantities of Water Should one Carry when Hiking

Water Carrier Types

The main categories are the normal bottles, made of different materials and bladders. With regards, to bladders, most come as backpacks equipped with a hose that allows easy sipping. They also have weight distributed evenly at the back. As such, they would hardly lead to fatigue though that depends on the amount of water carried. On the other hand, conventional water bottles vary in size, shape, color, and material. The weight of water in bottles is not evenly distributed, weighing down the hand of the user.

Amounts used and Tips

An average person needs to consume about 2 liters in a day. However, if the day is spent hiking, the body requires more. Still there are many dynamics involved, such as the geographical area involved, and weather of the day. In such situations more than 2 liters will be required, some escapades requiring even more than 4 liters. No need to carry water in excess though as there are bottles that come with purifiers that ensure clean drinking water on refills. That is one sure way of carrying minimal amounts to be refilled later. Otherwise, you can convert your car into a refill point and reroute your track to circle back every time you need to hydrate.
Most importantly, it should be noted that carrying less does not translate into drinking less. Hydration needs should be met fully, all you need is change the amount carried around plus reschedule routes for refill suitability. Basically, 2 liters should be enough every four hours. For those hiking in the company of children, they too should carry their fluids. Their hydration needs will depend on terrain as well as heat levels. Thus, to avoid overdependence and running out of water fast, it is wise to have them carry their own fluids.

Tips on Beating the System

One of the easiest ways to carry water is through your stomach. So, why not pre-hydrate before the hike? To achieve that, take up about a liter of water 2 hours prior to running. You can then pack up two liters to be taken up, a pint every hour. Route planning also plays a major role as refilling points help immensely in reducing the water load. When refilling you can also drink to your fill, it helps the bottled water go longer than scheduled. Lastly, after hiking, one should drink up to one liter to cater for post-race hydration needs. Maintaining such a schedule will sure bring nothing but positive results.
Those who have been hiking should cut on their loads by half, based on past experience. As for amateurs, they need to put into consideration factors such as fitness levels and terrain difficulty. Another key determinant on amounts carried is the temperature levels. Determined by seasons, you will easily gauge how it feels out there and the amount that best serves hydration needs.


When it comes to the question of quantity of fluids carried, there are plenty of dynamics involved. As argued out above, most of these factors are quite rigid. Nonetheless, ingenious ways such as filtration provide loopholes through which one can go around the issue at hand.

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