Is there any way I can balance out drinking water when taking a trek, or simply taking a hike to one of the local peaks around here? Even if I come stocked, I tend to end up run out of water close to the peak, or halfway through a trek, which leaves another half to deal with.

Are there any ways I can effectively conserve water? Is there any way to balance water consumption?

  • What is 'local/around here' for you? Do you have water access points (stream, lake, etc.) in the area you trek? Would they be an option for a refill?
    – ppl
    May 19, 2013 at 2:14
  • Some of the local parks around here have water access points, the majority don't, so I have to rely on myself to bring water
    – yuritsuki
    May 19, 2013 at 4:44
  • Related: How do I achieve/maintain optimal hydration?
    – Roflo
    Jul 1, 2016 at 14:27
  • One more thing to reduce the amount of water you need to drink if there's OKish (looks OK but you're not sure its drinkable without treatment) water available: wet your shirt/hat/arms/legs so you don't need to sweat that much. Depending on weather and how strenuous your hike is going to be, obviously. Apr 19, 2018 at 18:52

4 Answers 4


If you run out half-way, perhaps you should bring twice as much? That being said...

One option for day hikes is to hydrate well before hitting the trail. Also, have readily available water for your return. e.g. leave a water bottle in your car.

An other option is refilling from natural water sources during the trip would allow you to consume an adequate amount of water during your trek or short hike without having to cary extra water. It should be possible to plan in advance water gathering points.

Depending on where you trek, you may want to consider water treatment. On short trips you may prefer readily available treatments such as the Sawyer Squeeze Filter, SteriPen or the Aquamira Frontier Pro.

  • This was my first thought... if 1 bottle is not enough, next time bring 2!
    – Pulsehead
    Jun 5, 2013 at 13:18

Maybe not a real way to get water inside your body, but what helps with me is chew on chewing gum. It distracts from the feeling I'm thirsty or drinking too much water without really needing it. Also chewing gum is very light to take with you. Of course the gum is not a substitute for water which is needed anyway.

  • 3
    The books I've read about explorers etc often talk about putting a small stone in your mouth. Same concept I believe. May 30, 2013 at 12:23
  • @KateGregory: Yes probably, but I can assure you chewing gum is more tasty :-), but don't throw it away in nature. May 30, 2013 at 14:32

We have tried a couple of things. I'm not entirely sure that all would agree up on these measures, but let me state them none the less.

  • Hydrating before you start off the trek (Already stated)
  • Trekking in regions with enough natural water supplies. (Already stated by others)
  • Stashing water along the trek. This works only if you are going to return the same route. We did it during a few treks in Indonesia, Western Ghats(India) and the Himalayan range. Just make sure you carry more water before you start off so that you can stash the water (water bottles of course!) along the way. But make sure you don't forget to carry back the stashed water bottles.
  • As already stated, keep additional water bottles in your vehicles/base camp for re-hydration once you are back to your camp.
  • Good point about stashing, +1 for that. Just one concern: Over a long trek, its kinda bit odd to memorize the exact location of the water bottle stashed. Though making marks that won't mean anything to other people, or may be marking the coordinate on your GPS/tracker application (if you are carrying), or a picture might be helpful. Sounds good. Nonetheless, glad to see you back in here at TGO buddy!
    – WedaPashi
    Oct 28, 2014 at 12:25

Once I was advised not to drink too much, but rather just sips, to get rid of the thirst: a camelback + a drinking tube in your backpack should be handy in this case. Of course, apply with reason: do not get yourself dehydrated! drink a lot before the trek (as advised in other answers), and not only: being well-hydrated in general is good for your health (not just drinking 2 liters of water before a hike). Also, experiment with this in advance on smaller few-hour-long hikes, to see how does it work for you.

I noticed after several hikes that I tend to take back home 1/3-1/2 of my water. After trying this method I found it useful, but only for one-day trips, and also if the weather is suitable for it - if I hike in 30+ degrees (Celsius) for a whole day then yes, I definitely need more water than that. And again, it is a great exercise of self-discipline: how to drink just a sip once you started drinking :)

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