Backcountry Hydration Tips
One of the most important things to consider while hiking or backpacking is staying hydrated. Proper hydration is essential to avoiding dehydration, ensuring you have an enjoyable time, and maintaining your energy levels… you know for outrunning the bears 🐻😉
Here are some best practices for hydration while hiking and backpacking:
Start Hydrating Before Your Hike: Drinking water or water with some electrolytes before your hike can help prepare your body for the physical activity ahead. Depending on how intense your hike will be, check this blog out for tips on preloading hydration.
Bring Enough Water (if there won’t be water sources along the way): The amount of water you need to bring will depend on the length and intensity of your hike, as well as the temperature and humidity of the environment. As a general rule of thumb, plan on bringing at least 2-3 liters per person for a full day of hiking. You may need more hiking in hot or dry conditions or depending on each person's needs.
Use a Reliable Water Filter: While there are plenty of natural sources of water available on hikes, it's important to treat or filter your water to ensure it's safe to drink. Grayl water filters are a great option for filtering water while hiking. It is a combination bottle + filter, easy to use, and can remove bacteria, protozoa, and other harmful substances from water. Additionally, the Grayl water filter can help improve the taste of water by removing sediment, chlorine, and other impurities.
Add Electrolytes: When you sweat, you lose electrolytes, which are essential for regulating hydration and muscle function. Adding Skratch Labs electrolytes to your water can help replenish these lost electrolytes and keep you performing at your best. A great way to determine how much sodium you’ll need on average is to get a sodium sweat test, but if you don’t have access try the DIY version.
Plus, Grayl now makes a water filter compatible with electrolyte mixes. With the new Grayl filter systems, filter your water, then add electrolytes without fear of damaging the filter thanks to its one-way silicone valve.
Take Frequent Water Breaks or Sips: It's essential to take frequent water breaks while hiking to maintain your hydration levels. Plan on taking a drink every 15-20 minutes or so, and drink enough water to quench your thirst.
Don’t Forget to Drink After Too!: Dehydration is common during exercise, and we want to minimize that loss as much as we possibly can, before, during, and after. For every pound of body weight lost during exercise, we should be trying to get 16-24 ounces of water to help rehydrate as well as adding in electrolytes (could be Sport Hydration, Recovery Mix, Clear Hydration Mix, High-Sodium, or Wellness Mix) for excessive loss in hydration (especially after those hot or humid workouts!). In milder cases, even adding salt to your recovery meal or eating hydrating foods (soups, fruits, vegetables) can help you get back to equilibrium.
Filtering water and staying hydrated is crucial when hiking because it ensures that you can enjoy the great outdoors in a tasty and safe manner. The last thing any hiker wants is to become sick in the woods far far away from the potty.