Essential Hydration Tips & Tricks While Hiking

March 08, 2021

Essential Hydration Tips and Tricks While Hiking

Love it or hate it, we don’t gotta tell y’all that water is the most important thing in our lives. Despite that, however, it’s actually not super easy for us to stay hydrated, or even know when we’re dehydrated. Actually, the reality is that most of us aren’t drinking enough water every day by a longshot

According to the Mayo Clinic, we should be drinking eight 8oz glasses of water a day, and that’s only if you don’t exercise. If you’re already on top of all this, we’re proud of you. If you’re normal and don’t remember that we need an insane amount of water, though, this blog is for you. 

If you’re not sold on why you should be drinking 64oz of water a day, here are some of the most important things that water does for us: 

  • It regulates our body temperature
  • It prevents constipation
  • It allows us to perform all major bodily functions that keep us, you know, alive

And those are just a few! Assuming that convinced you, we’ve got some pretty good hydration tips to share with you (as well as some products that may help with treating dehydration) so stick around and learn a little bit about our friend (and lifeline) - H2O!

How Much Water Should You Drink a Day While Hiking?

Let’s start with the most important hydration tip first! We’ll answer this one for you quickly - if you’re an adult, you’ll need to drink about 2 cups of water an hour while you’re on the trail. For kids, it’s 1-2 cups (depending on their age and height). 

Hiking can be a bit rigorous, even if the trail is easy - so we often underestimate how much water we’ll actually need. If it’s a super hot day, you may want to plan for 3 cups of water an hour or more.

You’ll also want to remember to pre-hydrate and re-hydrate. That’s right! To stay hydrated, you’ll want to drink water before, during, and after the hike. Plus, pre-hydrating allows you to cut down on some of the water you’ll have to carry!

Speaking of which, time for our next hydration tip

How to Carry Water Effectively & Easily

Before you decide to grab a massive gallon of water to take with you into the rockies, consider these important tips before choosing your container and how much water to bring on a hike:

  • Is there water at your destination? 
  • Will your container be easily accessible? 
  • How much weight can you carry easily? 
  • Are you hiking along or with a group? 
  • How long are you hiking for? 

Once you’ve asked yourself about all of those important hydration tips, you can choose your container. Here are some of the best ways to carry water while hiking:

1. Get a Hydration Pack

Hydration packs are absolutely one of the most trendy and best ways to carry water while hiking. They’re convenient, easy to carry, and can hold a lot of water. They come in both a backpack and a fanny pack style, so you can switch up if you already have a lot of stuff on your back! 

2. Use a Sling Cooler Bag

Lean close, because this is an insider hydration tip: this is the ideal camping bag for staying hydrated. This Wise Owl cooler bag is perfect for short hikes, and can safely store all of your water (and food) in a safe, cool, waterproof container. It comes in 20 or 30 liter options, and even has 2 color options to choose from! Take it with you, or leave it at the campsite for refreshing, chilled water, even after hours in the sun.

3. Use a Large (But Portable) Water Bottle

Water bottles are always an option! But, you just have to be careful about how big they are. There are plenty of 64oz bottles out there, but we only recommend taking one of these if you need to stay hydrated over a long period of time, or if your destination has no water. They can get pretty heavy! Try out a 32oz water bottle instead, and refill it periodically using a water filtration device, which we talk about right under this delightful paragraph.

Essential Tools for Filtering Water Outdoors

Camping or hiking for a while? These tools are absolute must-haves for beginner and pro outdoor adventurers alike. They lighten your load by allowing you to not have to carry so much water, they’re great for treating dehydration, and they’re just good to have around in case of emergency. 

1. A Water Filtration Straw

Water filtration straws are exactly what they sound like - a big straw that filters the water as you drink it. They’re relatively new, so you’re getting a pretty good hydration tip here! They’re effective for up to 3 years of constant use, and are super lightweight!

2. A Gravity Filter

A little on the heavy side, but much more thorough. They work by using the pulling force of gravity to move water in an unfiltered reservoir into the filter, and then out again into a storage container. Pretty cool!

3. A Bottle with a Built-in Filter

One of the easiest ways to stay hydrated without having to carry too much equipment! Some water bottles come with built-in filters. Just make sure that the water isn’t completely disgusting - these little filters can only do so much.

4. Purifying Tablet/Iodine Drops

These pills contain iodine and a safe amount of chlorine that effectively filter dirty water. Super convenient, but don’t take too many at once!

5. A UV Pen

These little pens can use UV light to purify up to half a liter of water at a time by killing the DNA of harmful bacteria. Plus, they’re super small and light! The future is truly here. 

How to Fix Overhydration

We know we’ve been talking a big game about how important it is to stay hydrated and given you some excellent hydration tips, but here’s the thing - it is possible to drink too much water, also. 

Overhydration is essentially the overtoxification of water in your system. This happens when the ratio of salt and electrolytes become too diluted in your body, leading to Hyponatremia (when your sodium levels get too low). This is rare, but can be fatal! 

Overhydration is most often caused by an overexertion of activity, but can also be caused by other medical issues such as congestive heart failure, schizophrenia, kidney issues, liver disease, or uncontrolled diabetes. Lastly, overhydration can occur after taking drugs like MDMA, ecstasy, or acid by making you extremely thirsty. 

Symptoms of Overhydration are as Follows:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • confusion or disorientation
  • and if left untreated - cramps, seizures, muscle weakness, or even falling into a coma

If you feel like you’re dealing with overhydration, here are some ways to prevent a more serious health issue: 

  • If you can, find a doctor immediately first
  • Cut back on your water intake immediately
  • Take a diuretic to increase the urine production in your body 
  • Eat something with sodium

Final Thoughts About Hydration Tips and Tricks

So, the final verdict is this - stay hydrated, but also don’t drink too much water. Drink just the right amount. Human bodies are so finicky, but we certainly hope these hydration tips helped you gear up for your next big hike!

Anyway, be sure to check out our blog for other interesting info, and amazing camping gear on our website

Stay safe out there.  

Contributing Writer: Aurora Detor

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