How Much Water To Bring On A Hike


Proper hydration is crucial when you are hiking, which makes it important to bring enough water, especially when it is unavailable on your route. It can add a huge amount of weight to your gear, so you need to figure out how much water to bring on a hike. You don’t want to end up being thirsty and at the same time, you don’t want to carry unnecessary weight.

If you are wondering about how much water to bring backpacking or hiking, read on and we have the answer to your question!

Duration of the Hike

To figure out your hiking hydration needs, one of the most important is to determine how long the hike will be. The longer the hike is, the more water you need to bring. The difficulty of the trail, your hiking experience or skill level, and the weather will all affect the duration of your hike.

On average, it takes up to 60 minutes to walk one mile. If you are hiking with kids and if you have a lot of items in your hiking backpack, this can end up being up to two hours.

Do your research to figure out how long is the trail. After this, compute the number of cups per hour. Adults need at least two cups of water for every hour on the trail. This means that if the hike will take you five hours to complete, you need at least ten cups of water in your hydration pack.

If you are hiking for at least 24 hours, you need to bring more than just the cup per hour. Consider the stress of the hike. With this, for a day of hiking, at a minimum, you need 12 liters of water.

Consider the Difficulty of the Hike

In general, you need to drink two cups of water or half a liter for every hour of the hike. However, this is the minimum. You need to drink more as the hike becomes more intense or as it becomes hotter. The more energy you exert, the more water you will need to consume.

Temperature Matters

As you think about how much water to bring on a hike, the temperature is also an important consideration. In the summer months, your water intake will increase, so you need to bring more compared to what you have to bring in the winter.

To minimize the need to drink water when it is too hot, make sure that you stay comfortable. This is possible by making sure that you have the right hiking shoes and hiking pants, among others.

Know-How Much You Sweat

Your sweat rate is another important consideration as you determine how much water to bring backpacking. We’ll not teach you the exact formula to make things less complicated. However, the important thing is that you bring more water if you know that you sweat a lot. You will need to replenish the liquids that your body loses, which is why you need to bring more water.

Bring Extra


Water is not only for hydration. While the latter is the main purpose while a hydration bladder is one of the must-have hiking gears, that’s not all. You will also need it for emergency purposes, such as when there is a wound that you need to clean. With this, make sure that there are two to four cups of extra if that is not too much weight for you to carry.

Consider Available Sources of Water

As you research before the hike, one of the things that you need to know is the available sources of water on your route. Are there rivers, lakes, springs, or any other possible source of water? If yes, then you can minimize the water that you will bring. To be safe, it is wise to invest in backpacking water filters, which will allow you to drink straight from the source without worrying about contamination.

Tips to Stay Hydrated When Hiking

Aside from talking about how much water to bring on a hike, we would also like to give you some tips on how to stay hydrated.

  • Pay attention to what to wear when hiking. Make sure that you have clothes and accessories that will protect you from the sun, including a hiking hat. When you are comfortable, you won’t sweat a lot, and hence, you won’t easily end up being dehydrated.
  • Hydrate before you start hiking. This way, you will lessen the load of water that you have to bring. We recommend that you drink up to 20 fluid ounces of water before the start of your hike.
  • It is also best that you do not wait until the time that you are thirsty before drinking water. It may end up being too late and you might already be suffering from the risks of dehydration.
  • Rest if you must. Find shade and take the time to appreciate the beauty of nature. This will allow your body to recover, especially when you are having a long hike. If your hike is continuous, it will put more strain on your body and will increase the chances of dehydration.

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Dehydration is one of the worst things that can happen when you are hiking. It can result in cramps, nausea, headaches, and physical weakness, among other problems. To prevent this from happening, you need to know how much water to bring backpacking or hiking, making sure that you won’t run out of a precious resource your body needs on the trail.

Based on the discussions above, the duration and difficulty of the hike, the weather, and your sweat rate, among other things, will affect the exact amount of water to carry. Generally speaking, however, you need to have two cups or half a liter of water for every hour you are hiking. If you can endure the added weight, it is best to bring more than what you think you will need. Better be safe than sorry!

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!