When we talk about day hiking, we are assuming that you will be hiking for a few miles at the most. Although you have the whole day to do your hike, you generally won’t be hiking more than 5 miles or spending the night on the trail. So, with that in mind, it’s important to bring water with you when day hiking. But, how much water to bring for day hiking?
We’ll get to that shortly, but first. The reason we need to be drinking water on the trail is to keep hydrated and allow our bodies to operate properly. Without water you will become dehydrated and that is hard on your vital organs. You will also tire much faster and you may find it difficult to finish your hike. Water is also a good way for your body to flush out wastes that it no longer needs to carry.
So How Much Water?
So, how much water do you need to bring for day hiking? Well, the answer is, it depends. It depends on the weather, the terrain you are hiking, and how much weight you are carrying. As a general rule of thumb, it would be about 32 ounces per 2 hours of hiking. The total amount you will need will vary, and after you’ve done a few hikes you will know what your consumption rate is.
If it is your first time, its always a good idea to carry more than you need. Even at 8.3 pounds per gallon for water, having extra water will be well worth it. To estimate how much water you may need, you will have to know the distance you will be hiking and your hiking pace. A general estimate is that you can hike at 2 miles per hour, for some people it will be less or more, depending on your pace. Most trails in state parks tell you how long the trail is, otherwise you’ll have to estimate the distance using a map.
Things To Keep In Mind
Some other things to keep in mind before you head out for that day hike. Since, you’ll be drinking a good amount of water, you’ll have to flush that out more often. Yes, you’ll need to take pee breaks. Another thing to keep in mind is that you should keep your water easy to get to, so you don’t have to search in your backpack every time you need a drink.
Other options that you can consider include obtaining a hydration pack so you don’t need to carry those water bottles. Make sure you get one that holds enough water for you hike. You may also consider obtaining a water filter that you can use on the trail if you are near lakes and streams on your hike. Some water bottles already have the filter built-in so filtering the water is easy to do.
If you have any feedback, questions or experiences related to how much water to bring for day hiking, I would love to hear them. Simply drop a comment below, and I will be sure to get back to you.