Best methods to hold water on a hike


Let’s face it: water is heavy. OK, so it’s not like mercury heavy (1 litre = 13.5 kg), however it’s nonetheless 1 litre = 1 kg.  One of the golden guidelines in protecting our backpack weight down is to minimise the period of time that we have to carry plenty of water. Apart from strolling in the course of the day, when most of us have a tendency to stay with bottles or hydration bladders, it’s in a single day journeys, once we want further water to cook dinner dinner and refill for the subsequent day, that we have to nail the perfect methods to hold water for a hike.

Now chances are high that except you’re tenting proper beside a water supply, like a creek or river, (Ah, appears like a 5-star campsite!) you’ll want to hold water again to your campsite. Like the creek above, in an ideal world, this isn’t additional than a few okay’s. Given that it’s normally the tip of the day while you’re drained that you simply accumulate this further water, the shorter distance you’ll need to lug these further kilos = the higher!

Choose a route that takes you previous locations to refill and deal with (Credit: Jen Gilmore)

Choose your route properly

Back when planning your journey, search for campsites (with achievable day by day distances) that get you near water. 

High camp bivvy – sunsets and rises are the rewards for carrying all of the water up! Greater Blue Mountains, NSW. (Credit: Jon Bell)
Dreamy fly-only excessive camp. Deua NP, NSW.

The time period, ‘dry camp or high camp’, doesn’t confer with the shortage of completely satisfied hour (perish the thought!), however someplace meaning you’ll have to hold your water far. Not one thing for the skilled bushwalker to draw back from; we all know {that a} excessive camp can typically carry excessive rewards, like unimaginable sunsets and views perpetually, however we’ll have to plan properly.

Methods for carrying water

There’s a bunch of various strategies and containers you should use – some onerous, some smooth. Which approach you go will rely in your private alternative, the capability wanted, price range, and maybe even your type of packing. 

Choose light-weight bottles, not heavy thermos sorts (credit score: Mark Clinton for Macpac)

Hard containers

This is water carrying 101 and the place all of us begin. The humble bottle – pricey god, don’t let or not it’s glass or heavy thermos type! 

Options embrace:

  • Classic Nalgene (or lookalikes) bottles (Tip: go for a large mouth which is far simpler to fill in creeks and water tanks.)
  • Re-used 1.25L smooth drink bottles
  • 1L Soda Stream bottles (these are harder than a 1.25L and final for ages) – control your OppShop!
  • That free plastic bike bottle you bought from the fitness center or boring work convention you slept by way of

Soft containers

I like utilizing smooth options for his or her innate capability to shrink when there’s nothing inside and be stuffed down the within of your pack, taking over no room in any respect! Options are:

  • Goon. For the love of this traditional Aussie invention. There’s a lot to like. If you’re not keen on consuming the goon beforehand (or the style that stays with you want a hangover from Fruity Lexia), search for the 5L or 10L water casks at your grocery store. Drink, rinse, dry, repeat. If handled proper these can final loads longer than the Fruity Lexia hangover – I’ve had my present one for 3 years. (see this video for filling them – I simply prise the faucet plug off with my enamel). Price: The price of a hangover or journey to ColesWorth – price range.
  • MSR Dromedary – the much-lauded resolution for industrial guides and teams, these camels are just like the 1000 denier, abrasion-resistant, food-grade polyurethane lined model of the goon. Not fairly bomb-proof (however shut), these workhorses (work camels?) are available in 4L, 6L or 10L and may even deal with freezing or boiling water. They include a 3-in-1 cap so you’ll be able to sip, pour or fill like a scene from the Sound of Music; and for the fries-with-that choice, you’ll be able to add on a hydration tube to take you into sipping heaven. Dreamy. Not low-cost, however will final you years longer than that goon or Fruity Lexia hangover. Price: Grange Hermitage – Top of the vary.
  • Sea to Summit Watercell X – appears like a superhero, acts like one too. These 4L, 6L, 10L or 20L beasts use 400 denier nylon cloth wrapped round a TPU food-grade lining that’s BPA and PVC free. Not solely is the shell a bit lighter than the MSR providing, however it’s lighter in your pockets too. Price: Peppertree Shiraz – mid-range
  • Somewhere between the Goon and the Watercell X is the Sea to Summit Pack Tap Water Storage. Think a 2L, 4L, 6L or 10L Goon bladder sporting a detachable, powerful, abrasion-resistant nylon coat. Like the Dromedary’s, these could be hung from a tree for straightforward entry. You can even purchase replaceable bladders.
  • Hydration Bladders – So while you might need a customary 2L one in your again for consuming all through the day, it’s also possible to seize an additional bladder or two to spice up your provides for dinner water. 
  • Collapsible Bottles – This type of container makes an look as wine carriers or in your youngsters lunchbox… hopefully not collectively.
The traditional goon.
Hiking Gear to Make Life Easier - Foldable Lightweight backpacks
The gals on their approach again from gathering their goon water for camp
Hiking Gear to make Life Easier
Take a cup with you to assist refill at water holes. Especially if the water is shallow or in a tough spot.

The better of each worlds

Smart contingency planning is all in regards to the shitty issues that would occur on a bushwalk. Imagine you solely carried one smooth water-carrying choice and also you took a tumble, or put it down on a very sharp rock, dropped a full goon (on the spot tsunami) otherwise you used it to protect your self from an approaching zombie apocalyse. It’s a terrific concept to hold a tough water bottle, in addition to a softie, simply in case.

Allow area in your backpack

You know that feeling on a Friday night time when, covered-in-sweat, you lastly click on the buckles shut in your backpack. You did it! You’re a freakin Tetris-ninja-Marie-Condo-maven. There’s not an inch to spare and also you’re all set for all the things you want for tomorrow, together with the 2-3L onboard. Cue Act III on the waterhole, the place you proudly showcase your new superhero, the Watercell X to the ooo’s and ahhh’s of your mates, solely to grasp you could have nowhere in, on or round your pack to now carry this further 6 kg of water weight. If solely you’d up-sized your pack… or downsized the Fruity Lexia for completely satisfied hour. 

Take a cup

Sometimes the water supply you must collect from is hard to manoeuvre into your bottle or bag. It could possibly be due to the entry down beside it, the dimensions of your bottle or if it’s working alongside shallow cascades or rocks. Always seize your cup with you, alongside along with your smooth/onerous container to assist out. For further Macgyver factors, you’ll be able to strive rigging your hydration hose as a siphon.

Take a collapsible backpack

Taking a micro-weight 20L Sea to Summit Ulta-Sil Day Pack will preserve your arms free for that awkward scramble down and up the riverbank, while carrying the unwieldy bundle that water is – particularly if it’s in a smooth container. These scrunch-to-nothing packs are additionally helpful for side-trips in the course of the day while you simply wish to take your necessities to bag a peak or checkout a lookout for lunch.

Size does matter

Whilst grabbing the largest 10L/10kg behemoth would possibly sound just like the type of take-one-for-the-team-martyrdom-caper that you simply’re up for, take into consideration how a lot better it’d really feel if each member of the celebration had the flexibility to hold an additional (say) 4L and unfold the H2O love round.

Do recent analysis earlier than you head out to examine the present state of watering holes, particularly in hotter climate or after extended dry durations. (credit score: Mark Clinton for Macpac)
Planning your stroll consists of planning for contingencies… like what to do if there’s no water the place you anticipated it.

Water contingencies

Having the flexibility to hold further water if you must, particularly for unplanned causes (eg: empty water tanks at campsites or dry creeks the place your mate advised you there was water 5 years in the past) is a good behavior to get into. This is the place having a softie choice, tucked away in your pack, that you could be or might not use, might (actually) be a life-saver.

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