Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Water: How much?


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Sean Griffin
(GriffinS)
Water: How much? on 03/20/2010 10:33:24 MDT Print View

Hey guys,

Just curious how much water everyone carries on them?

I know it will depend on how available water will be on your travels, but I was just curious about an "on average" number.

Additionally, how much water carrying capacity do you find is "enough"?

Thanks for your time.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Water: How much? on 03/20/2010 10:46:41 MDT Print View

So many variables, but here's me:

2L Platy Hoser + 1L Platy bottle (they're not always filled, but like the option for capacity)

If water is scarce, I'll add an MSR 4L Dromlite

Some are very happy with a 32 oz Gatorade bottle.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Water: How much? on 03/20/2010 10:53:57 MDT Print View

Water is everywhere here, so maybe a liter, sometimes only half a liter.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Water: How much? on 03/20/2010 11:11:15 MDT Print View

Just to demonstrate the other extreme, one year a group of us was doing a dayhike up Telescope Peak in Death Valley, which was over 11,000 feet of climb in a day. We each started with 3 quarts of water at 3 a.m. We found a spring at 6:30 a.m., and we each had 6 quarts or more leaving there. That lasted through the day and we finished before 8 p.m.

Very few hikers even own 6 water bottles.
--B.G.--

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Water: How much? on 03/20/2010 11:41:33 MDT Print View

On Thursday I'll carry 8 liters.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Dry SoCal on 03/20/2010 12:27:54 MDT Print View

Hiking here in dry southern California, I never hike with less than three liters at the start of any day, and for some hikes, I carry up to eight.

Probably because of my SoCal experiences, even in the northern Sierras, where water is relatively plentiful, I always carry at least two liters.

I think where you hike has a huge effect on how much water you carry. And long experience of dry hikes tends to make one carry more water in wetter environments. Does the opposite occur? Has anyone here from a wet area gotten caught in a dry clime with too little water?

Edited by grampa on 03/20/2010 12:30:17 MDT.

Sean Griffin
(GriffinS)
Types on 03/20/2010 16:14:46 MDT Print View

Well, I guess to delve into this further what types of water containers do most people bring?

I have been looking over my system and I am wondering things are redundant. I usually bring a 2L Platy Big Zip, 1L Platy collapsible, and an empty 32 ounce bottle (usually used for cooking water).

Is this type of system standard or overkill? Would I be better off with few larger volume containers or multiple smaller volume containers?

Thanks for your time.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Water on 03/20/2010 17:55:29 MDT Print View

I usually bring two 1 liter Platy bottles. Water is plentiful here, so I start off with about 0.5L and when that's gone I fill up to 1L at the next stream, treat it with a Aquamira pill for 30min and then drink that until it's gone and repeat. That means I'm often without drinkable water, but it's almost never more than an hour until my next drink. I only use the second platy for extra capacity for meals.

I don't hike that hard though since I'm usually with my wife and she likes an easy pace. It's also not that hot where I am and water is plentiful. Water is something you definitely want to play on the safe side.

Gordon Smith
(swearingen) - MLife

Locale: Portland, Oregon
Water on 03/20/2010 19:22:26 MDT Print View

Water is generally plentiful in the Pacific NW, so I typically take only a single 24 oz Aquafina or similar bottle. I use chlorine dioxide tabs paired with a Frontier Pro filter that's mounted on the bottle. So I just scoop, treat and go as needed. Fifteen minutes down the trail I can start drinking. If I think I'm going to have long dry stretches on my route I'll take a 1-liter Platy along for the extra capacity. But I've rarely had to use it. Water needs are highly variable from person to person and are affected by many factors. Over time you'll get a pretty good feel for what you need.

Edited by swearingen on 03/21/2010 00:11:37 MDT.

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Re: Water: How much? on 03/20/2010 19:35:58 MDT Print View

When there is plenty of water I use a 32 oz. Aquafina bottle and carry a 2.5 liter Platypus for dry camps or just for overnight so I don't have to go to the water in the morning.

In the desert of course it depends on water sources but I have carried up to 4, 2.5 liter Playtpus and the 32 oz. Aguafina. My rule of thumb is it takes 5 quarts a day. 1 for each meal (B,L,D) and 1 between each meal. So depending on the time between water sources determines how many quarts I leave a water source with.

5 qts a day, in moderate temperatures, works perfectly for me and this is after many desert trips where we monitored how much we used when we had plenty of water and were not trying to conserve. Some folks can get away with 4 qts. a day and some have to have 6 or more.

Edited by abhitt on 03/21/2010 05:31:58 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Water: How much? on 03/20/2010 19:45:00 MDT Print View

I drink roughly 20 ounces of water for every hiking hour.

. Callahan
(AeroNautiCal)

Locale: Stoke Newington, London, UK.
Filter & Desalinator = Less Carrying! on 03/20/2010 20:06:18 MDT Print View

I bought a Katadyn 06 Desalinator to go with my Katadyn Pocket and Mini Filters, I like the ability to drink the water I Packraft on.

That apart, I'll carry a litre bottle of water.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Re: Water: How much? on 03/20/2010 20:07:45 MDT Print View

I live in So Cal.

I have 2 1-liter platypus container, and one 2.5 liter. I carry a small plastic bottle that I can use to fill them or drink out of or mix up tasty drinks.

The amount of water I carry depends on the conditions of the trail. I also won't carry all those containers if I don't need to. It's best to drink at the source and carry as little as possible.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
water carried on 03/20/2010 20:23:36 MDT Print View

In Arizona I always used a 6 liter dromedary with hydro hose. In the Grand Canyon it almost always had a gallon in it leaving a water source.

Here in Montana (during summer and fall) I carry 2 20 oz bottles, and often leave one empty most of the time. In winter I carry nalgenes when it's really cold, and the dromedary when it's warmer. Not having to melt snow often or at all is worth the weight on the back.

James Naphas
(naphas13) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Too much--I'm paranoid on 03/21/2010 15:32:06 MDT Print View

I'm also in SoCal, do most of my trips in the Sierras. I carry a 2L platypus and a 1L sports water bottle (or wide mouth if I'm using my steripen), and generally have at least 1.5-2L filled unless I'm familiar with my route and have a good idea of where and when I can tank up again. I tend to have to rehydrate more than most people, so I go through close to a liter an hour if it's warm or I'm pushing hard.

The paranoia comes in from a couple of trips where I ran out of water and had no access to a source for a considerable distance. Worst was having to make a dry camp when I could see a river, but had no way to access it from halfway up a gorge. I'm trying to carry less, but there's little worse than spending a night dehydrated and knowing that your next water is 5 miles up the mountain.

Gary Boyd
(debiant) - F

Locale: Mid-west
Midwest... on 03/22/2010 08:05:30 MDT Print View

I have 2 1 liter sports bottles and a 2+L platy bladder for camp. I like the freedom of 2 sports bottles for hiking because I can drink the one while the other is treating. I usually don't fill up the platy unless I know I might not have access to water for awhile. Its nice to have just in case. I've hiked in late September and gone through 9 liters of water in one day at 95 100% humidity with just a 2+L platy hoser and didn't enjoy it at all. I like to know exactly how much water I have.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Water: How much? on 03/22/2010 09:35:46 MDT Print View

First, you need to be in tune with your body's water needs. This varies for individuals. I live and hike in the desert, and am sure I need a lot less water than many others. Given that, there are other considerations:

How far between water sources. In the desert you better be darn sure your source is reliable.

Normally I try to hit water sources with about 1 liter of water in reserve. Sometimes it is "just in time" water, with none in reserve.

Hendrik Morkel
(skullmonkey) - MLife

Locale: Finland
Kuksa on 03/22/2010 10:41:51 MDT Print View

I'm located in South Finland, and I usually carry two 1l Platys with me, and my Kuksa (a wood cup). There's plenty of water around here, and all of it drinking water quality, so the 2l are a bit overkill, but I rather have too much than too less. The further north you go here, the less you often can take.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
yup on 03/22/2010 12:27:42 MDT Print View

+1 gary's style