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How much water?
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Steven Davis

Locale: SF Bay Area
How much water? on 07/27/2013 02:11:03 MDT Print View

Got 11 miles to cover tomorrow and about the same the next day. Pt. Reyes. Temps 50-70 (night-day). Fluctuating between 200-1200 feet, mostly flat. From what I'm hearing there's only water at the start and at camp, so 11 miles and no water between the 2 spots to filter.

How much water do I need to bring then? I'm 5'8, 165 lbs. I really don't wanna carry more than 2 liters.

Edited by StevenDavisPhoto on 07/27/2013 02:15:08 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: How much water? on 07/27/2013 08:43:04 MDT Print View

Drink lots of water before you start, like 1 liter

Carry 1/2 liter

You'll be a little dehydrated at the end

Maybe you want a little more than that just for safety, especially if there is unlikely to be anyone else walking by

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: How much water? on 07/27/2013 09:33:07 MDT Print View

This is one of those things that will vary for each individual. Some will be fine with 1 liter and others need more than 2. Over time you will learn what works for you.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: How much water? on 07/27/2013 09:38:29 MDT Print View

Yeah, 1/2 liter is on the low end, most people more like what Nick said

But why carry more than you need?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: How much water? on 07/27/2013 09:47:16 MDT Print View

For that I would drink a liter in the morning and carry two liters if there is no water available. Everybody is different. Some would require 1 liter and others 3+ liters.

Edited by jshann on 07/27/2013 09:48:08 MDT.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: How much water? on 07/27/2013 10:26:39 MDT Print View

Point Reyes is my neck of the woods. I'd suggest 1.5 to 2 liters, plus drink up before you start your hike. Also, the water at the campgrounds sometimes has a little old rusty pipe flavor, so flavored drink mixes can be a welcome addition to your menu.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: How much water? on 07/27/2013 12:18:56 MDT Print View

I calculate a liter every three miles but with the temperatures you're describing I'd probably be ok with less. If it was me, I'd tank up at the trail head and carry two liters.

There are plenty of people who would be fine with a liter in that distance but if you're not sure then I wouldn't leave with less than two; (edit) this way you can chalk this up as a learning experience about what you can tolerate and add/subtract from that amount the next time you find yourself in this situation.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 07/27/2013 13:24:58 MDT.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: How much water? on 07/27/2013 16:40:03 MDT Print View

liter for 3mi at 70F? hehe i'd drowned. Last weekend I accidentally did around 18mi on 1 liter.. was only empty for 2.5mi though (that part hurt a bit though). did 11mi out the next day with 1 liter.

definitely a personal experience thing.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: How much water? on 07/27/2013 19:10:45 MDT Print View

18 miles on one liter is pretty impressive. I'd die. Was this in the Whites? Most of the hikes I go on in the Cascades you're hitting a water source every 1/4 mile so in many cases carrying 20oz would be overkill.

I live in the desert side of Washington. I hiked a local mountain this morning. First mile was just 800' in 85* and I killed a liter no problem before the top. Same grade in the Cascades in 70* weather and I doubt I'd drink half of that.

Different strokes for different folks. Per the Army, drinking water cures everything from scurvy to shin splints so old habits die hard I suppose.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How much water? on 07/27/2013 19:29:28 MDT Print View

It was in the Whites.. my TR is in the TR section.

Starting at 6am has it's advantages too. not too hot out. I crossed a half dozen stream/rivers when I didn't need it and then it was dry from the hut until shelter.

I meant to refill my bottle at one of the huts when I went by but got distracted talking to an AT NOBO and forgot. I got to the shelter, drank 1/2 liter immediately, hiked another 1.5ish mile without my pack out and back to another peak then had the rest of the liter with dinner.

I'm also a small guy 5'7 125, don't sweat a ton, and between rock climbing and cycling i'm used to sometimes being without a lot of water. I never felt too wonky.. at that point it was more annoying being thirsty than dehydration. ie. today i rode 42mi with 24oz of NUUN.

Edited by JakeDatc on 07/29/2013 05:20:57 MDT.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How much water? on 07/29/2013 05:57:48 MDT Print View

I mentioned above that I hiked a local mountain on Saturday in 85* weather (daytime highs reached 100.) I live in the desert so the air is very dry. We killed a liter each before reaching the top which is about a one mile hike.

Sunday I hiked the same mountain and incorporated a six mile loop. We started at 6am and the temperatures were 64* with a breeze. We both drank a liter each in the six miles and would have been fine with less.

Just wanted to show what a difference it can make when you change one variable.

As I mentioned before, when I plan a trip I try to determine if I will hit a water source at least once every three miles. If so, then I'll carry 20-32oz of water depending on the conditions. If not then I adjust accordingly.

I still stand by my previous recommendation. If you are really not sure how much water you will need, I'd tank up at the trailhead; drink until your urine is clear. Carry a couple liters on your hike and see how much you have left at the end and use that as a baseline for future trips. Add more when hotter, more elevation gains, less when not, etc.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 07/29/2013 05:58:47 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How much water? on 07/29/2013 09:45:53 MDT Print View

Temperature means everything. Anything near 80+ degrees and I plan for more water or cutting the miles down.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Pt Reyes on 08/27/2013 21:08:15 MDT Print View

I JUST GOT BACK from a 3-day at Point Reyes!! My partner was a water hound and insisted we carry 2 liters each. It was way too much. I could have made do with 1 liter, and I think 1.5 liter would give a nice buffer.

The water in the camps, BTW, is potable but not tasty. (Was told it was stored in campsite tanks.) Quite a bit of chlorine taste. Bring your drink powders to disguise the taste.

Edited by Bolster on 08/27/2013 21:10:34 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: How much water? on 08/27/2013 21:11:55 MDT Print View

My strategy is to carry more than I need and drink most of it early in the hike.