The Difficulities of Water
Getting a consensus with your hiking partner.
My hiking partner is also my husband of 43 years. That being said, have you ever heard the term opposites attract? Well, we attracted. Larry prides himself as being a regular Jeremiah Johnson. Just strike out, no preparation it’ll be fine. He says he’s drank out of mud holes, creeks, and water run offs all over the woods he grew up in, “never hurt him”. One time he drank from water running down from a bluff then found a hog pen above the bluff. His explanation was, “just so water runs over seven rocks it will be ok. Can you say: “Don’t be that guy”? I drink lots of good clean water and I will admit really too much water. Water is heavy. It is the heaviest necessity we will deal with on the trail. Larry on the other hand, drinks hardly any water. I don’t think that’s good for him even worse if it comes from none treated sources. I’ll have to keep an eye on him. How do we come to an agreement that keeps us both healthy and happy?
Facts can’t be argued with. We need water for cooking our evening meal and water to drink with it. Water is also a main ingredient to cook our morning breakfast and let’s not forget the coffee or hot chocolate. We need water to wash dishes, wash down our sweaty bodies to sleep more comfortably, and other unforeseen necessities. Lastly, we need ENOUGH water to carry during the next day’s hike. That’s where our discussion (argument) comes in.
Water in the evening….
Our evening meals on the trail in camp will usually consist of Knorr Sides or Ramen noodle meals maybe even Mountain House. Each require 2 cups of water. To wash this 5 star dinner down will require 20 ounces of water for each of us to mix our Hawaiian Punch, lemonade, or Gatorade powders. After dinner is the clean up by washing all food off dishes and utensils. I might could get by with 20 ounces for that. Wouldn’t want germs accumulating, those little buggers can cause all kinds of problems. Add another 20 ounces to wash up at the end of the day. Total water: 96 ounces or almost 3 liters.
Water in the morning….
In the morning a breakfast of oatmeal, grits or other hot cereals will take water. Most will need at least 2/3 cup for each packet. Two packets (1 1/3 cups) for each person (they’re small) or supplement one packet with nuts and granola. We wouldn’t bother with this except… c o f f e e. Two cups of coffee one for each person 16 ounces. Why not boil enough water for both at the same time. Once again clean up 20 ounces (could use dish water from previous night). Total water: 56 ounces. This may not be every day. Pop tarts or other delicacies to go are no water and no cooking options.
Water when hitting the trail…..
At this point we have used a total of 152 ounces of water. Now it’s time to hit the trail. I think I need two 23.7 ounce smart water bottles full and one 20 ounce Powerade full for powder mix. That is a total 67.4 ounces or a smige over 4 pounds added to my pack! Maybe I should drink one before getting on the trail. Larry will carry one 23.7 ounce smart water bottle full and one 20 ounce Powerade bottle full for powder mix. That is total 43.7 ounces or adding 2.7 pounds to his pack! At this point our water total is 263.1 ounces or 7.8 liters of water.
That’s a LOT of water….
Now that we have an idea of how much water, what is the most efficient means of transporting it from source to camp? Water source distances from camp areas varies and can be quite a hike in of its self. Instead of dragging every bottle we have to the source we decided to get a container to bring water to camp for filtering. Needing, according to my calculations, 7.8 liters of water we chose to get a Sea to Summit folding 10 liter bucket. That should do it! It weighs just 2.8 ounces and holds more than we need. It folds away and has a small pouch that can be clipped onto a belt loop. It pays for its weight in value!
Water problem solved? I hope so!
Any input will be appreciated.
Calculations are subject to change.
Argument settled? It never will be.
That’s just the way it is.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.