Here are some tips for staying hydrated on long treks through public lands: Pack plenty.
Count on a minimum of two quarts – four pounds – for a long day afield.
Drink before you are thirsty.
Drink plenty before the outing and have water waiting for you when you return.
For longer trips, particularly in hot, windy, or humid weather, you may need to supplement that with salts and other minerals.
Your body needs fluids when air temperatures are cold, but cold water may be unappetizing.
Lightweight insulated bottles keep hot drinks warm.
Modern packs have hydration systems, which have several advantages over water bottles and canteens.
With the drinking hose, water is readily at hand without shedding your pack.
Drinking beer under the hot sun only makes dehydration worse.
After I strapped the elk quarter to the packframe, I rinsed my hands and knife with the last contents from my water bottle. Big mistake.
Half way back to the truck, I was thirsty. It just went downhill from there. My head throbbed and my muscles ached. When I finally closed the tail gate on the job, my thigh muscles locked up in cramps.
Lesson learned. Dehydration can cripple a public-land hunt or it can make you miserable when you fish all day in the sun. Top endurance athletes have dropped from cardiac arrest triggered by dehydration. Even relatively mild dehydration will reduce your physical strength and your mental sharpness. That’s not what you want to happen in the backcountry.
Here are some tips for staying hydrated on long treks through public lands:
Pack plenty. At eight pounds a gallon, water is heavy. It’s tempting to save weight by scrimping on water. That’s generally a bad investment. Count on a minimum of two quarts – four pounds…