Always carry adequate drinking water when hiking ANY area. Be sure to factor in drinking, cooking food, and wetting down hats and bandana’s. During the summer be sure to carry at least 1 gallon of water per person if your next source is the whole day away.
Always bring your initial source for filling bladders, with you in your vehicle. Also make sure you have an additional backup for the day you hike back to your vehicle. Know your available sources along any route you take. Don’t depend on “seasonal” sources.
Before you pull off main highways to head for remote destinations be sure you have adequate drinking water, and adequate vehicle fuel for any round trip.
Many caution that plain water is not enough to simply hydrate. Especially in the summer months. Electrolyte replacement is recommended and may be necessary.
I personally have done just fine on 3 or 4 day backpacking trips drinking plain water. I have never had a problem or felt different than normal. But I do not have issues with my electrolyte levels.
I hope someone with medical knowledge will take the time to write us an article we can post. Recommendations suggesting best products, quantities, and the reasoning of the “why”. Until then, you know your body the best.
HOWS DO I CARRY/STORE WATER WHILE IN CAMP?
Let us change subject slightly. If you are camping multiple days, you may wish to bring some collapsible water storage/carrying vessel. I mention this because many recommend these. I don’t.
Smaller Pack bladders can be inadequate unless you don’t mind walking to perhaps a distant water source on a daily basis. To me, packing something extra is not worth the additional weight. Just up your bladder size. I make sure I have capacity for at least 1 gallon. I also make sure I am fairly near a source of usable water when I set up my camp.
SHOULD I FILTER???
While many use “back country” water unfiltered and never seem to have problems, I have suffered the ill effects of eColi.
You can’t tell by looking at water, believe me. Should you pick up something from water it can really make you miserable for several weeks and require hospitalized medical attention.
The time I suffered from E. Coli, it landed me in the hospital for 3 days on IV’s. So I do filter. Period! At any location water is unfiltered or untreated. Also be aware simple filters are not 100% effective either. If you are buying a filter, invest in a quality product that protects you from the wide range of hazards.
I would definitely boil or filter with a high end filter & viro cartridge before using. There can be contaminants even if water appears pristine. There is often unseen animals and runoff from their waste.
A note on filter choice and reasoning why you should:
Using a filter (based on life experiences and having problems) is a must by me. It is a personal choice. I use a high output Katadyn Vario which pumps on both the up stroke, as well as the down stroke. It also direct attaches to the most popular water bottles and hydration bladders. You can also attach a virus/iodine cartridge. Most of even the best filters do not remove some of the microscopic threats. There are better rated filters, than I even carry.
Chancing not filtering is not worth taking the few extra minutes for the added safety.
E.Coli is just one of many problems. E.Coli is a common one caused from microscopic particles of feces, either human or animal. Fine restaurants even struggle to avoid this contaminate when it comes to food safety.
To me it is not worth following the lead of many that don’t filter and claim everything is safe and wonderful. You wouldn’t know until it was too late. It has nothing to do with how iron clad you think your stomach is, or how healthy you consider yourself.
It all boils down to personal choice and the risks you are willing to take. If you think you are impervious. Please just don’t try to convince others to follow that thinking. Just stay silent and do your thing. Let them do theirs.