Water Intake?

Moderators: HAZ - Moderators, AZT - Moderators

Linked Guides none
Linked Areas none
User avatar
johnnyo979
Posts: 34
Joined: Feb 01 2016 7:54 pm
City, State: Ky

Water Intake?

Post by johnnyo979 » Feb 05 2016 9:03 am

How much water should I carry out of a water source? How much water should I drink per day in the desert?

User avatar
big_load
Posts: 4347
Joined: Oct 28 2003 11:20 am
City, State: Andover, NJ

Re: Water Intake?

Post by big_load » Feb 05 2016 10:01 am

@johnnyo979

My long-term average water use in cool to moderate weather is 3.5-4.0 liters per day. Above 80F, it increases quite a bit. A bigger person will probably need a bit more.

User avatar
chumley
Posts: 6936
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Water Intake?

Post by chumley » Feb 05 2016 10:07 am

At the risk of sounding a bit harsh, if you don't know the answer to that question, you probably need to learn a bit more about yourself before venturing out into the desert for days on end.

Water consumption is highly personal. Some people don't need nearly as much as other people. But there are many variables and only you can know what your body needs in varying situations (mileage, elevation gain, temperature, humidity, sun exposure, etc.)

As for the AZT, one piece of advice I've read here repeatedly is
sredfield wrote:Never leave a water source with an empty belly--drink till you slosh.
Highway to hell

User avatar
ALMAL
Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 17 2010 8:02 pm
City, State: GILBERT

Re: Water Intake?

Post by ALMAL » Feb 05 2016 11:35 am

Yep, agree totally with Chumley here. Carrying water doesn't just mean in a plastic or metal container. Hydration should be part of your pre-trip routine. I've heard Cody Lundin say to drink until you almost feel nauseous.
You aren't late if you don't show up!

User avatar
The_Dude
Posts: 119
Joined: Jun 10 2011 11:19 am
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Water Intake?

Post by The_Dude » Feb 05 2016 11:47 am

If you are from Kentucky and have never hiked here, I would strongly suggest getting in some day hikes to see how your body responds before you decide to do an 800 mile through hike. While spring can be mild for temps across a good part of the state, you have to factor in the aridity as well. It is quite common to encounter only 5-20% relative humidity in the southern half of the state, and it takes some getting used to especially if you come form a more humid climate. I tend to drink 3-4 liters on a 10 mile day hike this time of year, add another 2 liters to that if you are talking summer time. But then again, I have been living here since I was 4 years old, and I work outside about half my time as well.

User avatar
johnnyo979
Posts: 34
Joined: Feb 01 2016 7:54 pm
City, State: Ky

Re: Water Intake?

Post by johnnyo979 » Feb 05 2016 12:05 pm

Thanks The Dude. That is helpful. Someone recommended that I try to at least carry six liters from the source.

User avatar
rcorfman
Posts: 467
Joined: Oct 17 2008 11:19 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ
Contact:

Re: Water Intake?

Post by rcorfman » Feb 05 2016 12:17 pm

It really all depends on where the next water source is. If it's ten miles up the trail, and reachable that day, then you probably don't need much unless it's hot out. If it's 25 miles up the trail and you won't reach it until afternoon the next day, then maybe six liters. You're gonna have to figure this out yourself using the water report and current conditions.

I suspect this spring, water won't be too much of an issue from Mexico until Oracle as long as you pay attention to the water report.
Go find a LonelyCache

User avatar
johnnyo979
Posts: 34
Joined: Feb 01 2016 7:54 pm
City, State: Ky

Re: Water Intake?

Post by johnnyo979 » Feb 05 2016 12:24 pm

@rcorfman
I don't have a smart phone. Would it be okay to print the water report out a few days before the trip?

User avatar
flagscott
Posts: 333
Joined: Jan 03 2016 7:41 pm
City, State: Flagstaff, AZ

Re: Water Intake?

Post by flagscott » Feb 05 2016 12:36 pm

The advice to drink as much as you can (like to the point of nausea) is potentially dangerous. Excessive water intake while you are exerting yourself and sweating can lead to hyponatremia, which can cause seizures and death. Basically, you lose sodium in your sweat, but you don't replace it if you just drink water. Eventually, your body fluids become too dilute so that your cells start swelling and no longer function. If untreated, it can be incapacitating.

You mostly hear about this in marathon runners on hot days, but a number of cases have been reported in the Grand Canyon. In desert heat, your sweat will evaporate almost instantly, so you may not even be aware how much you are sweating.

Luckily, there are easy solutions: drink Gatorade or other sports drinks with electrolytes, or eat salty snacks to replace your sodium and electrolytes. On the desert sections of the PCT, a lot of us used Nuun tablets to replace our electrolytes. Anecdotally, I felt better hiking on hot days when I had the Nuun than without them.

(I realize that most of you desert hikers already know this stuff--this was intended for the OP)

User avatar
rcorfman
Posts: 467
Joined: Oct 17 2008 11:19 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ
Contact:

Re: Water Intake?

Post by rcorfman » Feb 05 2016 1:53 pm

johnnyo979 wrote:@rcorfmanI don't have a smart phone. Would it be okay to print the water report out a few days before the trip?
What I did, was print the datasheet and annotate it with the water report. The water report is essentially a subset of the data sheet.
Go find a LonelyCache

User avatar
SpiderLegs
Posts: 753
Joined: Jul 12 2012 7:35 pm
City, State: Tucson, AZ

Re: Water Intake?

Post by SpiderLegs » Feb 05 2016 2:20 pm

Through much trial and error I finally settled on Nuun tablets as well in Arizona. One thing that works for me that one of my ultra-marathon running buddies showed me is to soak chia seeds in your Nuun enhanced water. The chia seeds swell up into little gelatinous blobs, essentially making an electrolyte jello. Burns off a bit slower than plain water.
See my pics on Instagram @tucsonexplorer

User avatar
JasonCleghorn
Posts: 471
Joined: Nov 11 2014 1:03 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ
Contact:

Re: Water Intake?

Post by JasonCleghorn » Feb 05 2016 2:53 pm

SpiderLegs wrote:Through much trial and error I finally settled on Nuun tablets as well in Arizona. One thing that works for me that one of my ultra-marathon running buddies showed me is to soak chia seeds in your Nuun enhanced water. The chia seeds swell up into little gelatinous blobs, essentially making an electrolyte jello. Burns off a bit slower than plain water.
I may try the Nuun tablets this summer...
Follow me on Instagram: hikingjason
"It's not the mountains that we conquer, but ourselves"
"HAZ is not a meet-up group. Unless you're in the IN group, then its a meet-up group"

User avatar
trekkin_gecko
Posts: 531
Joined: Nov 17 2008 4:30 pm
City, State: phoenix, az

Re: Water Intake?

Post by trekkin_gecko » Feb 05 2016 5:08 pm

SpiderLegs wrote:gelatinous blobs, essentially making an electrolyte jello
this would make me hurl my guts out

User avatar
Al_HikesAZ
Posts: 1348
Joined: May 16 2005 1:01 pm
City, State: Scottsdale, AZ
Contact:

Re: Water Intake?

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Feb 05 2016 5:12 pm

For electrolytes - also consider Elete electrolytes. http://elete.com/
Excellent osmolality
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
Not if we can help it UNCLE JACK. http://www.sleepingdogtv.com/reel/Uncle-Jack.aspx Not if we can help it.

User avatar
SpiderLegs
Posts: 753
Joined: Jul 12 2012 7:35 pm
City, State: Tucson, AZ

Re: Water Intake?

Post by SpiderLegs » Feb 05 2016 5:22 pm

trekkin gecko wrote:
SpiderLegs wrote:gelatinous blobs, essentially making an electrolyte jello
this would make me hurl my guts out
Actually not that bad, just put in a tablespoon or two, wait 5 minutes and chug it down. The little blobs just float around the glass.
See my pics on Instagram @tucsonexplorer

User avatar
Sredfield
Posts: 1580
Joined: Sep 08 2002 1:07 pm
City, State: Ahwatukee, AZ

Re: Water Intake?

Post by Sredfield » Feb 05 2016 5:38 pm

There are often sufficient gelatinous blobs in AZ water sources without adding more. ;)
Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.

User avatar
sandyfortner
Posts: 146
Joined: Mar 16 2009 9:24 am
City, State: apache junction, AZ

Re: Water Intake?

Post by sandyfortner » Feb 05 2016 5:57 pm

flagscott wrote:The advice to drink as much as you can (like to the point of nausea) is potentially dangerous. Excessive water intake while you are exerting yourself and sweating can lead to hyponatremia
Glad that you pointed this out. It's all about balance. You also need to consider food. Are you carrying the weight so that you don't have to re-hydrate your food? On dry sections this is often a good solution. Or, are you carrying dehydrated foods that will need extra water to hydrate? Carry salt packets with you also. They are lightweight and are good to have on hand. As suggested in previous posts, if you haven't hiked in the desert, put in some day or overnight miles to sort out hydration. In the end, you'll be happy you did.
:M2C: Goldilocks

User avatar
Spiced Rum
Posts: 82
Joined: Nov 03 2014 7:05 am
City, State: California

Re: Water Intake?

Post by Spiced Rum » Feb 05 2016 7:07 pm

I carry three liters and always camel up at water sources. Really depends on the person, the distance daily, where you camp and a lot of other things however. I also use Nunn tablets
"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go."
-- T.S. Eliot

User avatar
RowdyandMe
Posts: 764
Joined: Jul 16 2012 5:48 am
City, State: Deer Valley, AZ

Re: Water Intake?

Post by RowdyandMe » Feb 05 2016 9:58 pm

Well my :M2C: . I hike yesterday with Linda at just 9 miles and today just about 9.5 miles. I did not drink any water either day. Actually I hardly drink water hiking I just don't see to get thirsty. Now Rowdy has no problem drinking water. Now I always carry plenty of water and have gave water to other people in need.
I am just not sure why I don't get thirsty hiking.
Rowdy and Widowmaker

User avatar
big_load
Posts: 4347
Joined: Oct 28 2003 11:20 am
City, State: Andover, NJ

Re: Water Intake?

Post by big_load » Feb 05 2016 10:51 pm

@Widowmaker
If I recall, you're mainly a dayhiker, so you probably make up for it by consuming more water before and after. Backpacking gets the whole answer pretty quick. You can maybe skimp on the trail and get away with it (usually at a cost), but you'll make up for it at dinner or breakfast. Even backpacking you can shortchange yourself up to a liter a day for one or two days, but I don't know anyone who went beyond that without real suffering or worse. Unfortunately, I know several people who became seriously ill from dehydration, including one who died.

Post Reply

Return to “AZT Hiking”


cron