One of the main issues when starting out in hiking is wondering just how and where to bring your gear with you.
Of course, some things are optional and don’t always need bringing along, but the one thing you want to make sure you always bring with you, regardless of where you’re going or how long for, is water.
Not only will you need to stay hydrated while out on the trail, but water can also be extremely useful when dealing with things like cuts or injuries, as well as being a way to cool yourself down if you get too hot.
Of course, venturing out into the wild and wonderful landscapes can be amazing. But when you do head off of an adventure, what’s the best kind of water bottle to have, and more importantly, how exactly do you carry it with you?
Keep reading on to find out just how to carry a water bottle while hiking.
What You Should Know About Hydration?
There are varying statistics stating how much of our body is made up of water, and although many of them contradict each other (50%, 70%, 90%? – who knows?) the point still remains; our bodies are made up of a lot of water.
When we lose that water, through exercise, high-temperature and any other means, it needs to be replaced in order for us to function.
It’s even more important to take in water whilst exercising, as the extra energy we use will cause us to sweat, and therefore become dehydrated.
So, when it comes to hiking, especially in high temperatures or challenging terrains, we’ll be losing a lot more water than we would in our normal day-to-day, and it’s, therefore, crucial that we keep drinking water to maintain good levels of hydration.
In short, although a 1-liter bottle might be fine to sip throughout your day at work, if you’re going on a long hike, you’ll be wanting to take at least double that.
That’s why it’s important to know how to carry a water bottle while hiking.
Best Ways to Carry Water While Hiking
Although there are various alternatives out there, most people carry their water – both in daily life and whilst hiking – in bottles.
But nowadays there seem to be many different types of bottles out there, so which is best for you, and why?
Despite the flack they can get for their worldwide wastage and ocean-pollution, disposable bottles are actually extremely convenient, and super cheap too.
Although the supermarket-own brand ones can be flimsy and leak, branded bottles can be refilled and used as a ‘reusable’ bottle for a long period of time before any issues arise.
With many shops selling them for less than $2 – some as low at $1 – you can’t really go wrong. After all, if it breaks, starts leaking, or gets scuffed and damaged, just buy a new one.
The one thing to bear in mind is that, because of their material and nature, these bottles can suffer from plastic pollution/leakage, so after 6 months, we recommend replacing them with another.
Collapsible bottles have become increasingly more popular in recent years due to their versatility, making them ideal for a variety of scenarios.
As the name suggests, when empty, they collapse into a disc-like shape, and can be tucked away virtually anywhere – even in your pocket! Because of this too, they’re often extremely lightweight and can go unnoticed.
Although they’re extremely convenient in their size, they’re not the most convenient to fill, as their moveable shape means that they can’t stand on their own. It’s almost like filling a sack with water.
Not only this, but they’re not the most durable, and can be known to break or tear after long-term use.
Hard bottles are a good choice for those looking for something durable and tough.
They’re often cylindrical in shape, making them easy to hold and drink from, and many come with a wide opening at the top, allowing you to add things – flavored powder, nutrients and vitamins – with ease.
The main downside with hard bottles is their weight, as they’re often a bit heavier than ordinary bottles.
And because of their rigid design, they don’t flex or bend, meaning they can be cumbersome and uncomfortable in backpacks.
Hydration bladders are the ideal choice for those who approach trails with a fast-paced attitude and don’t want to slow down or stop in order to take in water.
They’re essentially large sacks of water – varying from 1 liter all the way up to 5 liters – that you place inside your backpack.
A long straw or tube is then attached to the shoulder or chest strap of the backpack, allowing you to take regular sips of water without breaking stride.
They’re a popular choice amongst trail runners of endurance hikers, as they allow you to keep going at all times, without having to worry about stopping to rehydrate.
The main downside with hydration bladders is the hassle of filling them up, as – like collapsible bottles – their moveable, sack-like shape can make this difficult.
But provided you bring enough water with you, this shouldn’t be an issue.
There’s no doubt that bringing water with you on the trail is essential, especially if you’re heading out for most of the day.
A small bottle is better than none, but you should really want to be taking at least 1 liter with you for every 4 hours of hiking you plan to do.
There are various options to choose from, as well as various ways to make use of those options – clipping it to your belt, holding it in your hand, shoving it in your backpack.
But whatever you choose, just make sure to hydrate before you go, and bring a little bit more than you think you’ll need, just in case.
Hopefully, now you know how to carry a water bottle while hiking!