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asia9900 Jul 24th, 2013 03:55 AM

Bringing enough water on Utah hikes?
Hi all- My 9 yr. old child and I are visiting the national parks of southern Utah from Aug. 5-15th. Everyone says to bring lots of water while hiking, I have heard about 1 gallon each/day. I am curious about the best method to do this: should we bring a bunch of 32 oz. water bottles in our back pack? Do I need to buy a Camelpak water carrier? Other ideas?


Myer Jul 24th, 2013 04:11 AM

My daughter has a camelback but I don't like the taste of it.

I keep to 2 500ml (16 oz) bottles on the sides of my backpack. Usually that's enough. If it's really hot I may drop an extra bottle inside.

I do very few hikes that take all day. So even if we do a couple in a day I can always take another couple of bottles when we get back to the car.

It's amazing water that's not cold can taste ok when you're hiking.

J62 Jul 24th, 2013 04:20 AM

A Camelback water carrier is handy because it distributes the weight evenly. There are many different brands, including some lower cost generic models at places like WalMart that work just fine. But a camelback is not necessary by any means.

Even if you have a Camelback that should not be your only container. You should also carry some 32oz bottles of water or electrolyte.

You will see a lot of people out hiking with just a single 0.5 liter water bottle in their hand, and it'll be 2/3 empty only a half mile down the trail.

But unless you are doing long day or overnight hikes in the back country you will probably be able to refill your water supplies throughout the day so you don't need to carry 1 gallon with you at all times. I have a Walmart camelback that holds 2 liters, and has side pouches for two 32oz bottles plus room inside for more things. Food (just as important as water!), camera, sunscreen, etc.

mabella101 Jul 24th, 2013 06:46 AM

We're one of those families that started the Queens garden trail with a 20 oz water bottle each. Yes near the end of the hike we were all rationing our water. We went to the parks with one bottle each. I was planning on purchasing extra bottles at the park. Guess what? They don't sell them. This surprised me as I didn't recall reading about it in my research. They sell reusable bottles for you to refill, and there are water filling stations in the park, but an actual bottle of water filled with water, you can't get. I realize this is good for the environment, I just wasn't expecting it and wasn't Prepared to buy thermoses for everyone in my party. So therefore we started the hike with the water we had brought with us. Lesson learned.

peterboy Jul 24th, 2013 10:44 AM

On our last trip we began our 11 mile loop hike through Chesler Park in Canyonlands Needles with 9 quarts of water between the two of us. Good thing too since the hike ended up taking us 8 hours!

We buy the large tubular plastic botlles of Arrowhead water. They fit in the pack nice. We always carry several gallons of gallon jugs of Arrowhead (we like the flavor of Arrowhead best). in the car to refill the tubes for the pack.

You should always carry more water than you think you'll need in case you take longer than you think or run into some poor soul who planned happens.

Another poor soul was lost this week at The Wave even though it isn't a long hike.

You can never have too much water.

WhereAreWe Jul 24th, 2013 11:07 AM

Actually, you can drink too much water if you aren't eating. It's called hyponatremia. The Grand Canyon has made a push to educate people about it.

I prefer a Camelback because it's easier to keep drinking water throughout the hike - I'd rather not have a bottle in my hand the whole time and I don't want to stop to get it out of my pack over and over. I also find it easier to keep the water cold in a Camelback, just fill it with ice and cold water in the morning and it stays cold most of the day.

peterboy Jul 24th, 2013 11:13 AM

Good point about the food...we wished we'd brought more on our Canyonlands hike.

Since we hike as a couple the bottles in the pack aren't a problem...we just get them out of each other's pack. This also promotes "staying ahead" on our water consumption since we both drink when one of us has the inclination...drink before you become thirsty.

If we can, we'll freeze the tubes of water the night before longer hikes.

StantonHyde Jul 24th, 2013 07:49 PM

Each person needs one gallon with them--at all times. You can get lost, injured, etc. You never know. Use a Camelbak because it is easier to drink from as you go--you take little sips as you hike. (I use them when I run and bike as well as for hiking). You actually end up drinking more water with a Camelbak--which is good. For every 4 hours of hiking, you will also need to drink a quart of Gatorade or something like that with electrolytes. Pack some salty snacks--not hard, most things have plenty of sodium these days. And, then, keep a quart per person in the car. it doesn't matter if it gets hot--water is water if you really need it. For emergencies, you should also keep some iodine tablets with you. That way, if you came across water and needed it, you could sterilize it to drink it.

StantonHyde Jul 24th, 2013 07:50 PM

Be sure to hike as early in the day as possible--6 am. or go at 5 pm. The middle of the day is ghastly. And, if you plan a hike longer than half a day, you need 2 gallons.

rockie Jul 24th, 2013 08:12 PM

As others have suggested, I highly recommend a CamelBak. Ours serves as a backpack as well for snacks and other supplies. It keeps water very cold for most of the day, which is a must for me as I only enjoy cold water. My hands are free and it is convenient to sip throughout the hike. We have at least 2 CamelBaks for the three of us if the hike is more than 2 hours. Enjoy!

asia9900 Jul 24th, 2013 08:41 PM

Thanks to everyone for their helpful and thoughtful advice about water!! Much appreciated.

Melnq8 Jul 25th, 2013 03:55 AM

A gallon of water weighs 8.3 pounds...I doubt the nine year old will be able to carry that much. Heck, I can't even carry that much :)

StantonHyde Jul 25th, 2013 09:57 AM

My kids carry small Camelbaks that hold a quart or so of water. I carry the rest. It's heavy at the start, but it goes quick!! But I am used to carrying a 40+ pound backpack so even a 20 pound day pack is easy. Carrying weight is part of overall conditioning for hiking. Just carry a day pack with water when you walk the dog or walk around the neighborhood or whatever.

InSandy Jul 25th, 2013 08:51 PM

Just don't forget the salty snacks as well. Just as important as the water.

InSandy Jul 25th, 2013 08:56 PM

And I think how much water you bring depends on what hikes you are doing. If you are doing a two mile level and well traveled hike (like the Bristlecone Pine trail in Bryce or the Riverside walk in Zion ), then a full gallon each really is overkill. You can fill back up before you take off for the next hike. I have a couple gallons jug and a cooler of water bottles in the car, so we just grab more when we are touring the parks or taking the short hikes. If you are planning a long hike or a more remote and less traveled hike, then you should always carry more than you expect to need.

asia9900 Jul 27th, 2013 04:01 AM

We are probably the "moderate" hike kind of people, as in a couple of miles. I got very helpful advice for this question and appreciate the help!!

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