17 forum posts
I was hoping that you could give me some feedback on a hydration problem that I experience when I go backpacking or hiking. My problem is this: I don't actually get thirsty while backpacking or hiking, but at the same time, I become noticeably dehydrated.
So here's my usual scenario. I typically go on weekend length backpacking trips due to the constraints on my schedule. While driving to the trailhead, I am pre-hydrating by consuming about 32 ounces of water (1 Nalgene bottle). On the trail is where I experience decreased thirst and I have to completely force myself to drink water. I try to take water breaks every 1/2 hour, but as is usually the case, my body still requires more water than I am drinking. By the end of the day, I am experiencing a severe headache and what I like call trail-fever. Once I am settled in camp, I can really just sit there and focus on replenishing the water that was lost while hiking. After consuming adequate water, my symptoms alleviate. I also usually add Gatorade or an electrolyte tablet to my water. It should also be said that it is not unusual for me to drink more fluids in an average day than I do while backpacking. In fact, I am more thirsty now, at home and in front of my computer, than I ever get on the trail.
Now, it is clear to me that I simply need to drink more water while on the trail, but a decreased sense of thirst is, in my opinion, causing what would normally be mild symptoms of mild dehydration to become a lot more severe.
So here are my questions:
Is it possible that my lack of thirst is just a reaction to the stress of backpacking and my thirst mechanism is simply acting up but would otherwise return to normal function on an extended trip?
Has anyone else experienced a decreased sense of thirst while on the trail. Did your thirst return to normal after the first few days on the trail? How did you otherwise deal with your lack of thirst? And what, if anything, would you suggest I do differently?
Thanks in advance for your feedback.