Water System for super dry Hunt??

Jtelarkin08

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Jul 23, 2013
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1,193
So the area IM hunting elk this year is SUPER DRY. There MAY possibly be some water where im going but not much. Its about a 3 mile pack in but pretty steep.

My plan is to have a main truck camp and also a spike camp. I think I will hike in the day before season and set up my spike camp, spend the night and hopefully be into elk the first morning. Then I will hike out either later that afternoon or the next afternoon. Get a good night sleep and then hike back in before daylight the next morning with more water.

I guess my question is how much water should I pack in the first day, or for each day??
 

oldgoat

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Mar 5, 2015
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Arvada, CO
Depends on how much you use;-) I personally go through probably 2L a day easy, especially if it's hot and dry. If you are going back in and out like that, I'd probably use a 3L Dromedary bag with maybe another 2L at spike camp to put any leftover water in when you go back to spike camp. I'm thinking about going to Nevada one of these years to deer hunt in a place I used to rifle hunt and I don't remember any water up high where I'd be hunting. I'm going to have to come up with similar idea. I have a 10L Dromedary bag now, I might just have to suck it up and pack it in and maybe hunt while I'm going back and forth from wherever I'm getting the water.
 

MCR

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Jan 19, 2017
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Arizona
Not sure how close you live to the area you will be hunting. I would go in the weekend before your hunt and take another guy with you and pack in as much water as you both can. Cover it with a camo cloth so it isn't easy to see for someone else to mess with. Then go in with your camp setup the day before your hunt. That way you can stay in and hunt several days without going back to your truck for water. We do this on some of our pack in coues hunts here in Arizona. As for how much water you will need is hard to say without knowing what the temperatures will be and how much ground you will be covering each day on your hunt.
 

mlob1one

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Mar 18, 2015
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I'll echo previous thoughts on packing in as much as you can early and add that a typical day for me actively hunting is 2-3L per day. I would also recommend really hydrating for the three days prior to the hunt so you don't go into it already needing water.
It is easier for me to maintain hydration than it is to get hydrated when I'm hiking, hunting, & in the backcountry.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk
 

Flashmo

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Nov 30, 2016
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48
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Midway, UT
This isn't meant to be contrary to anyone else's advise, but I will give you my specific situation.

When I lived and hunted in Washington and Idaho, I could get by on about 4 liters of water a day. That is not counting water for food, just drinking.

I now live and hunt archery in Utah. 6'0" tall, 225 pounds with only a marginal gut. August to September is the main season, 10-20% humidity, daytime temps from 70-90 degrees, at 8-10,000 foot elevation, on a mountain with NO water. 3-6 mile round trip for water to get either to the house or the creek in the next drainage. I am not a guy that walks around with a sweat stained shirt, unless working hard.

I use 10 liters of water a day hunting and would love to have access to more. Perspective on 10L is that is a little over 2.5 gallons, weighs 22 pounds. I don't carry a full 10 for each day at once, I have to either swing in for a resupply or try to ration about 5L during the day by glassing in the shade and make it up when I get back to camp. 10 liters of water, and some days on the hunt I will rarely pee.

I have to cache water ahead of the season to hunt this mountain more than a day or two at a time. I will probably cache 15-20 gallons split between 3-4 locations. I do pick up my empty jugs post season, as I hike somewhere on this mountain 3 days a week year round for my normal training and exercise.

To give you an idea of water needs here, I go through a 2L bag running my weed wacker out back for 1.5 hours in August. Today, I drank 5L of water working in my shop (all non-strenuous work) and the weather report said 17% humidity. In the summer, I often start my day off with 1-2L of water after a cup of coffee. The low summer humidity here literally sucks the water right out of you.

Bottom line: take a really good look at where you are hunting, and how much water you need to feel good when working hard. Then start figuring out how to get that water.

I have spent 4 years looking for any tiny water seep on this mountain and found none. The elk are there, they go for water at the creek in the next drainage or the creek near my house in the middle of the night.
 

bhylton

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Jan 28, 2015
Messages
513
Location
-MT-
This isn't meant to be contrary to anyone else's advise, but I will give you my specific situation.

When I lived and hunted in Washington and Idaho, I could get by on about 4 liters of water a day. That is not counting water for food, just drinking.

I now live and hunt archery in Utah. 6'0" tall, 225 pounds with only a marginal gut. August to September is the main season, 10-20% humidity, daytime temps from 70-90 degrees, at 8-10,000 foot elevation, on a mountain with NO water. 3-6 mile round trip for water to get either to the house or the creek in the next drainage. I am not a guy that walks around with a sweat stained shirt, unless working hard.

I use 10 liters of water a day hunting and would love to have access to more. Perspective on 10L is that is a little over 2.5 gallons, weighs 22 pounds. I don't carry a full 10 for each day at once, I have to either swing in for a resupply or try to ration about 5L during the day by glassing in the shade and make it up when I get back to camp. 10 liters of water, and some days on the hunt I will rarely pee.

I have to cache water ahead of the season to hunt this mountain more than a day or two at a time. I will probably cache 15-20 gallons split between 3-4 locations. I do pick up my empty jugs post season, as I hike somewhere on this mountain 3 days a week year round for my normal training and exercise.

To give you an idea of water needs here, I go through a 2L bag running my weed wacker out back for 1.5 hours in August. Today, I drank 5L of water working in my shop (all non-strenuous work) and the weather report said 17% humidity. In the summer, I often start my day off with 1-2L of water after a cup of coffee. The low summer humidity here literally sucks the water right out of you.

Bottom line: take a really good look at where you are hunting, and how much water you need to feel good when working hard. Then start figuring out how to get that water.

I have spent 4 years looking for any tiny water seep on this mountain and found none. The elk are there, they go for water at the creek in the next drainage or the creek near my house in the middle of the night.

im with you. ive been sick from dehydration wildland firefighting before and its no good. i drink about 1gal/ day even during late season rifle and my piss is still dark the next morning. i think in general most people drink less water than they really should. On the hunt your describing i would bring spike camp stuff (8-15lb food included) then 2-3 gallons of water. dont forget to factor in water for coffee/ food and how much more you will drink when you hiking out of some hell hole with an elk on your back :)
 

sn.outdoors

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Sep 28, 2016
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314
Location
NM
Definitely 6+ liters per day needed.

How anyone claims to operate at a high level for extended periods of time on less than 6L/day is beyond me. I'm willing to bet anyone who says they can go on 2-3L/day doesn't put more than 2-3 miles per day, or they are ok with operating at a sub-optimal level. I drink 4L/day on an office day. When actively hiking, I drink anywhere from .5-1L per hour. I rarely ever leave my vehicle with less than 3L of water, even for a quick afternoon hike.

Last year the guy I was hunting with laughed at me when I told him how much water I drink everyday... But I wasn't the one who was too exhausted to hunt by the end of the trip.

So to answer the OPs question, I would bring at least 10L of water. Make sure to drink a bunch before you leave the truck and pound some more as soon as you get back.

As long as you're eating enough of the right food, it's extremely difficult to drink too much water. So don't be afraid to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
 

muddydogs

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May 3, 2017
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Utah
How anyone claims to operate at a high level for extended periods of time on less than 6L/day is beyond me. I'm willing to bet anyone who says they can go on 2-3L/day doesn't put more than 2-3 miles per day, or they are ok with operating at a sub-optimal level. I drink 4L/day on an office day. When actively hiking, I drink anywhere from .5-1L per hour. I rarely ever leave my vehicle with less than 3L of water, even for a quick afternoon hike.

Last year the guy I was hunting with laughed at me when I told him how much water I drink everyday... But I wasn't the one who was too exhausted to hunt by the end of the trip.

So to answer the OPs question, I would bring at least 10L of water. Make sure to drink a bunch before you leave the truck and pound some more as soon as you get back.

As long as you're eating enough of the right food, it's extremely difficult to drink too much water. So don't be afraid to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Its all about what our individual bodies need. I'm 6'10" and weighted about 280 when I was working in the woods and only packed 2 quarts of water a day but generally only drank a quart. I averaged about 5 miles a day but spent 8 to 12 hours on my feet measuring trees and stuff. It doesn't matter if I'm working in 50 degree mountains or 110 degree Arizona desert hiking a mile or 10 I drink the same amount. Most of the time I just filled up a 16 oz soda bottle and carried that for my water. I try and drink more water now but find I will put 3 16 oz water bottles in my Camelbak bladder and drink off that for 2 days while hunting.

I worked with guys that carried a gallon plus of water a day and felt kind of sorry for them as our packs were already loaded down with about 30 pounds of forestry measurement gear.
 

archer wapiti

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Sep 12, 2015
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437
Location
New Mexico
I'd cache water. keep in mind that bears will mess with a cache like that, so don't go in completely empty counting on water when you get to your cache. It might not be there.
 

oldgoat

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Mar 5, 2015
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Arvada, CO
If I drank what some of you guys do, I would be peeing more than hunting. I don't sweat very much. I move slow and stay in shade when available. Body chemistry and hunting style and conditions vary widely!
 

sn.outdoors

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Sep 28, 2016
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314
Location
NM
If I drank what some of you guys do, I would be peeing more than hunting. I don't sweat very much. I move slow and stay in shade when available. Body chemistry and hunting style and conditions vary widely!
I agree that conditions vary... Which is why I never recommend less than 4L/day. You'd be hard pressed to find a survival expert, medical professional, or sports physiologist who wouldn't recommend at least a gallon/day as a baseline for hunting related activities; especially if he's starting his day with a steep 3 mile hike with a pack on.

If you don't know how much water you'll need, it's always best to err on the side of caution. "Better to have and not need than it is to need and not have."

For those who are in the 2L/day range, give drinking more water a try and see how you feel... It won't be worse. Being properly hydrated helps just about every physiological activity in your body.

URC for the Human Sciences - Selected Topics in Athletic Training

The Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive Performance
 
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