For the New guy. How do you slow down on the water consumption?

6:30 p.m. on June 4, 2009 (EDT)
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Just yesterday I decided to head out on a very short, easy hike. Took along a 3L/100oz camelbak bladder for the short trip + some bottles & other stuff to make the pack 11 lbs. by the time I cam back I checked the bladder & had less then .25L left in it. the trip was a total 3 miles. I seem to need to ration my water a little better, what are some tricks/tips you guys have? I'm working my way up to longer hikes, my body can do it just fine, it's the water consumption thats limiting me.

6:53 p.m. on June 4, 2009 (EDT)
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How much water do you drink when your not hiking ? When you are active you are going to drink more. maybe you should invest in a water filter or a extra water bladder to put in your pack. I would rather over hydrate than dehydrate. Possibly you could bring a extra bottle and some Gatorade drink mix as well so your electrolytes don't drop to low. Possibly your body is lacking something and in result making you want to drink water trying to rectify the problem, like sodium.

7:01 p.m. on June 4, 2009 (EDT)
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usually I drink very little. I know when I ride my quad on a 70* day i barely use a 1/2 gallon after 40-60 miles of riding.

 

Most of the local areas I am accessable to day hike have no streams or water sources.

 

Not sure what if anything i'm lacking. guess i could always find out.

7:06 p.m. on June 4, 2009 (EDT)
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To add to that last post, I think mainly I'm drinking more hten I need to simply because the camelbak valve is there to use. I'm starting to wonder how much water I'd use if I had the camelbak stored in the pack on the same hike but relying on bottled water instead and the camelbak as a backup.

10:30 p.m. on June 4, 2009 (EDT)
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I have always heard and been told to sip water when thirtsy and not do "down" the whole bottle. The logic I was told was too if you drink water fast your body doesn't have time to absorb it but it just passes through you and you just pee more out then sweat it out. I will sip on my camelbak whenever I get thirsty and it works for me and keeps the water longer and stops the dehydration. The Key is to always drink when your thirsty and not to see how long you can last without drinking. Depending on the trip too, I also will carry a water filter if I know it going to be a long trip (in hot or cold weather).

Bare in mind, am not a doctor are had and real sports medicine background and this was just told to me a many different people. (Coachs, Drill Sgts, Friends, etc). Though I would like to have it confirmed by someone in the medical arena.

12:51 a.m. on June 5, 2009 (EDT)
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I have always heard and been told to sip water when thirtsy and not do "down" the whole bottle. The logic I was told was too if you drink water fast your body doesn't have time to absorb it but it just passes through you and you just pee more out then sweat it out. I will sip on my camelbak whenever I get thirsty and it works for me and keeps the water longer and stops the dehydration. The Key is to always drink when your thirsty and not to see how long you can last without drinking. Depending on the trip too, I also will carry a water filter if I know it going to be a long trip (in hot or cold weather).

Bare in mind, am not a doctor are had and real sports medicine background and this was just told to me a many different people. (Coachs, Drill Sgts, Friends, etc). Though I would like to have it confirmed by someone in the medical arena.

I'm not a doctor, but I'm a third year medical student and a paramedic. Whoever told you that was full of hooey. Almost all of the water you drink gets absorbed into your bloodstream (a tiny bit stays in your poo). Your kidneys then sense whether or not you have too much water on board and make urine by filtering your blood.

Your stomach and your bladder aren't connected, so if you were drinking water and not absorbing it, it would give you diarrhea, not make you have to pee.

12:54 a.m. on June 5, 2009 (EDT)
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To the OP, I think you figured it out. My guess would be that you're drinking more because it's really convenient. I recently started to use a bladder instead of my old nalgene bottles, and I noticed that I go through water a lot faster too.

It's certainly not a bad thing to stay fully hydrated, but it does sound like you were going a bit overboard, which isn't going to hurt you but will greatly increase the amount of water weight you have to carry (or amount of time you spend pumping/gathering water).

1:53 a.m. on June 5, 2009 (EDT)
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I come back from group hikes less tired and sore than others because I have a water bladder, and most of the group carry bottles. They only drink when we stop. I sip every time I think about it and use my filter to tank up at lunchtime. Depending on the duration I drink 1.5 - 3.5 liters on a hike.

1:12 p.m. on June 5, 2009 (EDT)
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East stingray,

Thanks for the feedback... Glad to know the truth of it....

7:45 p.m. on June 5, 2009 (EDT)
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I would add that it is better to drink water before you get thirsty; by the time you feel thirst, you're already dehydrated.

12:55 a.m. on June 11, 2009 (EDT)
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I second what pillowthread said. constantly sip water regardless if you are thirsty or not. Dehydration can cause cramps, dizziness, faint feeling, and difficulty with the slightest tasks. In extreme cases you can go into shock. all metabolic processes require water. this is important especially when hiking because it expends a lot of sweat and burns glycogen(stored carbohydrates), which require water to release into the blood stream and muscles. when the body has no incoming water supply, it robs it from the muscles and organs to protect the heart and vital organs. be sure to take in sodium, as fluid consumption and sweating drains sodium from the body.

Those are all very important things, but equally important, and often unnoticed is Hyponatremia. this is a condition in which sodium levels get too low, either by not consuming sodium, or too much water. with sodium levels dangerously low, cells malfunction and can cause brain swelling, which leads to coma or even death. This can occur more quickly than dehydration, and symptoms include headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, muscle weakness/ cramps. Not to scare you but this is only in mega doses of water and very low sodium. unless you drink a gallon of water at once and don't eat 24 hours prior or some other over-the-top combination, you should be fine. worry more about dehydration.

hope this helps!

10:08 p.m. on June 13, 2009 (EDT)
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Lose the Camelback. They encourage you to drink too much, and make it hard to tell how much you've had. I know when I was a kid, you were told to drink when thirsty, and everyone did fine. Unlike now, when if you're not walking around constantly drinking, everyone thinks you're not hydrated.

2:06 p.m. on June 15, 2009 (EDT)
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Personally, I like the Camelbak. It makes it so much easier to get a drink without stopping and assuming you aren't constantly sucking it down, I find that I stay at a proper level of hydration (i.e. I'm not peeing constantly or anything) and feel better than if I rely on water bottle stops.

There's already been a lot of points made, but one thing I'd add for the original poster is that maybe he is starting out somewhat dehydrated. We've been focusing on how much water he had during one hike, rather than factoring in if he's starting out with a deficit.

Maybe you need to also look at what you consume during a regular day and figure out if you need to up that water intake to start.

Just a thought.

12:51 a.m. on June 16, 2009 (EDT)
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I think we go through our daily lives mostly dehydrated - the telling thing to watch is the color of the urine. The darker it is, the more dehydrated you are.

I make a point of drinking water during the day at work now, where before I always got too busy/rushed to do so. It's too easy to forget until you're thirsty; by then you're dehydrated.

10:50 p.m. on June 16, 2009 (EDT)
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I second Alicia's notion regarding the camelbak. Though heavy excercise and sweat delays the effects of the water simply passing through the body in urine. on a long, demanding hike you can consume an easy 2 gallons. day hikes should stay around 1 gallon. However, this all depends on your athletic abilities and body type/composition.

what I like to do is keep a few water bottles in the car and drink right before heading out on the trail and keep a reserve so when I get back I will have some water if i ran out.

NotQuiteThere, you're doing what most people should but neglect to do. Before a year ago I didn't care about my hydration. Now I always carry a nalgene whenever I am out of the house to keep well oiled.

12:00 a.m. on June 18, 2009 (EDT)
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Having trekked in a variety of environments (from the Sandbox to the jungle), I can tell you that you can never drink enough water! I'm a large body person, so I sweat more than the average person. That being said, I have spent considerable time finding what works for me.

Some of my observations/advice:

The bigger you are (including muscle) and the worse shape you are in, the more you sweat.

Just because it's not 100 degrees out doesn't mean you aren't sweating and using water for your muscles.

Stay away from Gatorade-type of drinks--too much sugar and salt. Alternately, dilute it by 50% and you should be ok.

BEFORE you start, drink enough water so that your pee is clear. It will be yellow soon enough.

Once your pee is yellow, mix a small packet of sugar and salt with your water and drink up. And drink more water.

Then drink some more water.

If you're not peeing at least once an hour, you're not drinking enough water.

You can live days without food, but in a hot/stressful environment, only hours without water.

I never met a person who suffered from water intoxication in the desert or the jungle.

Don't ration your water. Your body is telling you it's thirsty!

Drink some more water.

I dont know if it's coincidence or not, but the only heat casualties I saw in the Army were skinny guys who thought they didn't need water. Most recovered, but one died of heat stroke (core temp of 111) and another had permanent renal and brain damage.

Just my $0.02

3:52 a.m. on June 18, 2009 (EDT)
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I find in winter I dehydrate quickly, especially if I am skiing and towing a sled. Altitude seems to make things worse. I'm of the "drink plenty" school of thought.

I have a Camelback bladder, but usually just carry a couple of big water bottles and an insulated steel thermos with something hot in it, usually tea.

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