How much water to you consume on backcountry hunts?

Gatorgrizz27

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2016
Messages
656
Location
Tallahassee, FL
I used to just start each day with a 3L bladder, but it wasn’t enough without rationing it and it was hard to know how much you’d used. We were always coming down off the mountain empty.

I’ve since added a single Nalgene and my hunting partner carries a steripen. It’s much easier to just drink as much as you want from the bottle and then scoop/purify it at every water source. Only takes a second and you don’t even have to take your pack off.

Where we hunt you might be up high all day without any water, so this way you’re at least starting off full, plus drinking as much as you want before you start climbing.

Last hunt we melted some snow up high in the Nalgenes to avoid coming down before the evening hunt.
 

The_Jim

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
36
Location
Nebraska
I was consistently sipping from my water bladder but never took more than a sip or two at once because I didn’t want to run out too quickly and have to find a water source. It turned out that my buddies consumed more and ran out quicker.
I switched to nalgene bottles from a bladder a few years ago. I drink way more water now because I know exactly how much I have. I think when you have the bladder you tend to ration your water because its buried in the pack and your not sure what is left.
 

Poser

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
4,164
Location
Durango CO
I switched to nalgene bottles from a bladder a few years ago. I drink way more water now because I know exactly how much I have. I think when you have the bladder you tend to ration your water because its buried in the pack and your not sure what is left.

I’m the same way. I just prefer to drink from a bottle in most cases. The only time I’m using a bladder these days to drink from is when I’m out with a day pack (peak bagging or similar) and backcountry skiing (want to drink without out stopping uphill progress).

Usually if I’m doing anything hunting related, I have my SG bottle holster holding a bottle of water that is immediately accessible. If I need more than 32oz, I’ll carry it in a bladder and refill my bottle as needed.
 

GotDraw?

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
1,009
Location
Maryland
Thanks for all the feedback!

I was consistently sipping from my water bladder but never took more than a sip or two at once because I didn’t want to run out too quickly and have to find a water source. It turned out that my buddies consumed more and ran out quicker.

I guess I need to consume more water through out the day to hydrate. I got a headache and didn’t have an appetite the first day, but I assumed it was due to the elevation as I’m a flat lander and went from sea level to about 8K feet in less than 24 hours.
First rule of acclimating from low altitude to high altitude is to stay very hydrated starting before your get to altitude and stay that way during your hunt.

Second rule is that if you have a headache, then you are already showing mild symptoms of altitude sickness.

Sipping water in order not to run out of water is not a plan, that is a reaction to a lack of planning and only leads to earlier dehydration.

Carrying more water than needed when in unfamiliar territory is a plan. Planning for where to find water and filtering water before you need it is a plan. I always carry an ultra light 3 liter roll up bag with me, just in case there's any chance I might need to carry extra water. That's in addition to my 3L camelback. You can't carry extra water if you don't have a way to do it.

Get one of these, they weigh 3.2 oz, pretty rugged, collapse to almost as small as a pack of cigarettes and are CHEAP insurance: HydraPak 3L

Lots of good info here and it's good you're asking questions so you won't get into trouble. You're late asking them, but at least you're there now.

JL
 
OP
L

Loper

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
Messages
330
Very good points, thanks for the feedback.

You are correct, it doesn’t make sense to conserve water only to be dehydrated earlier on.

Yeah moving forward I’ll be consuming more water ahead of time and throughout the day to stay hydrated.
 

justinspicher

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2012
Messages
3,727
Location
Colorado
I am different than most and I have to force myself to drink water. Generally, I drink about 20oz of water when I am in the back country. Most of the time that has some flavor of drink mix in it as well.
 

Clarktar

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2013
Messages
3,322
Location
AK
I probably drink 1-3 liters a day. I get annoyed drinking water.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

Where's Bruce?

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2013
Messages
5,653
Depends on the temp, physicality of hike and altitude but generally 3-4 liters a day not including morning coffee or Mt. House. I want to be peeing 5-10 times a day so I know I'm hydrated.
 

def90

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2020
Messages
723
Location
Colorado
Depends on the day.. If it's hot and dry, I'm doing a lot of elevation gain and I drank a few margs the night before I might go through 3 of the large 1 liter bottles of Dasani, if it's an average day just under 2 liters, on a cold wet day maybe 1 liter.
 

Marble

Senior Member
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
1,832
I generally drink 3 to 5 liters daily while hunting. If there is substantial water present ill bring 2 liters with me. Is not than 3 minimum.

The only downside to drinking more fluid is peeing more. But the benefits out weigh the one pee break in the middle of the night. Just bring an empty bottle with a big opening and pee in it if it's cold out.

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
 

thrashero

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2021
Messages
10
O a recent hunt where we were averaging 10 -11 miles a day, about 4 liters for the whole day. I was probably still dehydrated.
 

Tradchef

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2017
Messages
705
Location
Bozeman, Montana
If I’m around water I’ll drink 4 liters easy. If I have to be conscious about it I can get by with 4 Nalgene bottles worth. But as said above it really depends on how hot it is as well
 

Britt-dog

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
173
Location
Cheney WA
Last week I did my backcountry hunt where I camped instead of staying at a hotel/AirBnB. I calculated that for about every 24 hour period I consumed about 1.5 liters of water. This includes water for dehydrated meals, coffee/tea in the morning and general hydration.

My buddies consumed more water than I did and were surprised how little I consumed.

On average, how much water do you consume in a 24 hour period on a backcountry hunt? How much water to you typically hike in with when you leave the truck? When you need to get more water in the field, do you often fill up to your max capacity, or just enough to get you through the day?
It varies with the temperature and my exertion level, but I can generally count on using around 2 liters a day. Even in the back country I drink a lot of coffee.
 

mtwarden

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
5,457
Location
Montana
from my last three day trip- temps in the upper 40's highs, upper 20's low- 3 liters/day- a little over two drank and a little under one for cooking (breakfast/supper)
 
OP
L

Loper

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
Messages
330
I may consider bringing at least one more water bottle with me so that I can see how much water I’ve drank and how much I have left and remind me to properly hydrate.
 

540-Virginian

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
452
Location
Shenandoah Valley
Since this thread is still going ill add, I try to hydrate before going out. I don’t hunt out west, but i hunt big mountains in Virginia and found if I elliminate coffee and alcohol a few days before my hunt, and drink a lot of water, and adding in a Liquifd IV or similr in the morning, come my hunt day i can get a 1-2x 32oz Nalgene to last me most of the day when hiking in 70+ degree weather for 8 hours.

Again, different scenario for me but hydration is the same.
 

Anschutz

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
96
Location
Fairbanks, AK
In my line of work I plan water requirements for large groups of folks moving about in the backcountry. My cheat sheet says in a temperate climate, I should plan for 1.65gal/day/person for drinking water. I usually just use 2x 100oz water bladders to plan off of. I generally just monitor my pee color in the backcountry. If it's dark, I hike to water.
 

Cameron.25

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
652
Location
Oregon
I drink a ton of water and add LMNT electrolytes to it periodically as well. I also live at sea level and typically hunt at 4000-8000ft elevation several times a year. Electrolytes should help you with the headaches too, ive yet to get any kind of altitude sickness or dehydration symptoms tho. For me it depends on the style of hunt(covering ground vs glassing, ie archery elk vs rifle mulies)and the weather, but i typically drink and use anywhere from 3-6 liters per day including coffee and one freeze dried meal. Backcountry or not, first thing i like to do when i wake up is chug water with my supplements. If im riding out a storm in the tent all day tho, that amount goes down to probably 2-3 liters, especially if its really cold. Im pretty diligent about staying hydrated tho
 
Top