How Much Water Should You Pack

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Did you know that you can survive for over a month without food, but can barely live for a week without water? This is how much important keeping your body hydrated is. What’s more is that when indulging in physical activities, such as working out, hiking or mountain climbing, your body’s reliance on water will be increased. To keep you safe and healthy, you ought to ensure that you carry enough water with you. This brings us to that most frequently asked question; how much water should you pack?


The general rule is that, you should pack more than what you are going to use. To many people, this would be at least three liters of water. If we were to stick to this rule, then your outdoor adventure would become compromised as carrying too much weight-water can slow you down.


There exist quite a number of factors that can be used in determining the rightful amount of water to be packed, such as the prevailing weather. For instance, if hiking during the summer, your body is likely to need more water than it would during the winter. Also, younger persons, such as kids, may require less water than the adults. Being a smart hiker / backpacker, neither of these situations should affect you. Why, you may ask. The point is, nowadays, most trails have a number of natural water sources where you can refill your bottles as you proceed with your adventure. Thus, you won’t have to tire yourself down carrying water from morning to evening. Despite this being the case, you should only use this water after it has been chemically treated (with iodine water purification tablets), boiled or filtered for no matter how clean or fresh it may look, you can never tell if it safe for human consumption.


It’s clear that carrying 3-4 liters of water every day while hiking is going to be a burden. Also, choosing to drink less water may cause you to suffer from heat exhaustion, heat stroke, cramps or even interfere with your cognitive capabilities. So then, what’s the best way forward? The key is to embrace a holistic approach towards all this. This includes:

Drinking plenty of water before starting your day. Doing so will postpone the time when your body will require more water. Always be aware of where the water sources are located so that you can fill up accordingly. Before leaving the water source, drink as much as you can – preferably one liter.

Drink water, in smaller quantities, throughout the day. Drinking one pint per hour can gradually help in reducing the total weight of the water being carried.

Adhering to this simple guide will significantly help in reducing the total amount of water you’ll be needed to pack for the day. Thus, to answer your question, if you plan on hiking without making any stops at any of the water sources, then, you should pack between three and four liters of water for the day. But, if you follow the above guide, you’ll only be required to pack a maximum of two liters.

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