Info and Guides

How to Keep Yourself Hydrated When Hiking or Camping

Keep Yourself Hydrated When Hiking or Camping

When you finally set out for your hiking trip, there is one factor that even the seasoned hikers or campers seem to forget. That is, how much water to carry. Keeping yourself hydrated is an integral part of whether you’re going camping, hiking, or any other outdoor activity.

The worst part of going out for a hike or camping is finding out that you don’t have enough water to last you throughout the entire period. It could set you back a couple of levels on the targets you are trying to achieve. It happened to me the first few times when I was starting on my hiking hobby.

I used to realize when I was not even halfway my hiking that the water I carried will not last me the entire trip. It made cancel on my plan for the whole weekend until I learned a few tips that have served me well since. Having gone for several camping and hiking trips, I rarely run out of the water to last me the journey.

I am going to give you the best tips that will ensure that you carry enough water for you and your group. That way, you will keep yourself hydrated and even maybe help out that newbie that still hasn’t got to grips with the necessities of hiking. The following tips will help you determine how much water to bring while hiking.

Figure Out How Long you Will be Hiking

For people who have gone hiking on several occasions, this wouldn’t be too much of a task. Depending on the terrain, this will vary with different people. If you are going hiking with seasoned hikers, a mile can take you to close an hour to complete if it’s steep terrain. Thirty minutes will do you fine for relatively easy terrain.

Therefore, calculate or estimate the distance that the entire hiking trip will take you. It would be best if you also remembered to factor the way back to your starting position. Knowing the distance to be covered will enable you to estimate the volume of water to carry with you.

Maps of the local area can help you determine the distance and time that the entire trip might take you.

Calculate the liters per hour you will need

For people that I have hiked with, and they are seasoned hikers, we generally take half a liter for every one hour of hiking. That is a general estimation since different people take less or more per hour.

Therefore, if the entire hiking trip will take you eight hours, you will need to carry four liters of water. The liters per hour approach is generally a useful guide since terrain difficulty differs from location to location. You will keep yourself well hydrated to finish the terrain. It would be in stark contrast if you were calculating it by liters per mile.

Always factor in the weather condition

The weather dictates that more water is required if it’s too hot. The body loses more water when its hot and humid than when it chilly. Therefore, if it is likely to be warmer in the day you are to go hiking, you will need a liter per hour of hiking. If it is probably going to be cool, then you will need less per hour of hiking.

Check on your map if there are reliable water sources in the hiking location

Checking for a reliable water source can sometimes be tricky. You might see on the map that you have a river or stream on the terrain only to find it dry because it is the summer. You can ask around the among the locals or find out from your local guide if you are likely to find a good water source.

If there is a water source, then you can carry a water bottle that will take enough water until you can refill. The most important thing to remember is to never drink directly from the river or stream since you can end up with a parasite such as giardia. Always carry your water filter, which will be enough to purify the water you drink.

The best water filter bottle that I always carry with me is the LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle, which has a two-stage integrated water filter. It always ensures that I can purify water from any source I find when I’m camping or hiking. My hiking partner- my wife usually uses the Sawyer Mini filter to purify her drinking water.

Factor in your level of thirstiness

When going camping or other outdoor activities, your level of thirstiness will determine how much water to bring. My wife usually drinks more than I do; therefore, she always brings more water with her than I do.

Don’t only calculate the amount of water to carry based on journals you read or stories you hear from other people since we all have different bodies. Therefore, always factor in the amount of water you usually take and then double it for your hiking or camping trip. Chances are, you will probably drink more than double the amount you take on regular days.

Other Water Tips

  • Always err on the side of caution, especially if you don’t know how much water to bring. Carry more water than you think you will require for the entire trip. Double the amount if you are going for your first hiking trip. The water will come in handy if you happen to get lost.
  • Drink water before you set off for your hiking. If you know that there is a water source ahead, then this will help you cut down on water weight.
  • Always take small sips as you continue with your hike. It is essential to take water before you feel thirsty as it will help you from getting dehydrated.
  • If you are hiking in cold conditions, then you should have a water bottle that can carry hot or warm water for the journey. It will help you keep warm for the entire hiking trip.


If you’re the first-time hiker, the tips will help you estimate the amount of water to bring in any hiking or outdoor activities you are planning. The most important thing to remember is always to have enough water to prevent you from dehydrating in your hiking trip. Always check the weather as it will determine not only how much water you bring but also if you will need to carry warm water.

About the author


Leave a Comment