When you go day hiking, it’s important to bring water or a source of hydration. Water is vital when you exercise, as it replaces the fluids you lose while perspiring, flushes waste products out of your body, and keeps you more alert. By not carrying enough water, you increase your discomfort level and, by carrying too much water, you increase your weight, possibly slowing down your pace. So… how much water do you really need and how best to carry it?
One Liter Every Two Hours
Research has shown that when you are hiking, you should be drinking one liter of water every two hours. Depending on the climate, humidity, temperature and your body weight, you may need less or more, but one liter every two hours is a good rule of thumb. The best place to carry your water bottle is on the outside of your backpack, so it’s easily accessible. A backpack with a side pocket is best for this, as you can easily reach back and grab your water. If you can’t remember to be sipping on water, stop for some minutes every hour and take a few minutes to rest while you drink water.
How To Know How Much Water To Carry
If you are hiking a well-known route to you, calculate how long it takes you to complete the trail. If you’ve never hiked there before, then calculate the total distance of your hike, and divide the number of miles by your pace per hour. Normally, this is around 3 miles per hour, so if you are hiking 9 miles, carry 3 liters of water.
What If I Don’t Like Water?
Any non-alcoholic fluid is good for hydration, but skip any sugary drinks, such as fruit juice or soda. If you don’t like the taste of water, you can drink iced tea, or add an electrolyte mix to your water.
There’s No Such Thing As Drinking Too Much Water
Overhydration, while possible, is very unlikely on day hikes. Excess fluids will be flushed out of your body when you pee, and it’s normal to do it on a hike. A good indicator of your hydration level is your pee color. If it is copious and clear, then your hydration level is good, but make sure to drink more water if it’s thicker or bright yellow.