(Credit: Bureau of Land Management, via Flickr)
Living an active lifestyle takes a plethora of healthy habits. From consuming nutrient-rich foods, to exercising daily. However, one part of everyone’s daily habits that is often overlooked is staying hydrated.
No, this doesn’t mean to go to a local happy hour during your lunch or to fulfill your daily intake of milk tea with boba. What I mean by staying hydrated is how much water you are drinking! Especially when you are out on a multi-day backpacking trip, you will be using so much energy and on some trails you will be hiking up elevation. Our bodies are made mostly of water. So, it’s important for us to keep feeding our bodies its most important resource.
You aren’t going to be bringing a 24-pack of water with you on the trail, so you’re going to need ways to get clean water. Luckily for you, there are a couple methods that help you save space in your pack and keep you hydrated.
Water that is sitting in nature may seem nice, almost tricking you into thinking it’s “all-natural”. Don’t be fooled, as there are harmful bacteria, viruses, and protozoa in the backcountry. One way to combat this is through the use of water filters. There are 3 common water filter systems: Gravity Filters, Pump Filters, and Bottles with built-in filters. For the gravity filter, one must fill the pouch with water, hang the system, and just wait for the water to flow through the filter to be ready for drinking. Pump filters require a person to manually pump water through the system. It is faster in comparison to the gravity filter, but you will need to be cautious with maintenance. Bottles with built-in filters are becoming even more popular. Since you already will be having a water bottle with you, it’s the easiest solution to clean water. However, you will have to fill it up constantly as it runs out, since its capacity is much smaller than the aforementioned filtration systems.
Though water filters are great at cleaning drinking water, it is also recommended to take an extra step in purifying your water. Chemical treatment water drops are great for those who want to save space and weight while you are backpacking. It is good to note that since it is a chemical treatment, time will be needed between acquiring the water and drinking it and that its taste may be something you are not used to. Besides the time and taste factor, it is a great way to drink safe drinking water while on the trail. Another way is to use the age-old system of boiling water. Yes, there are a couple drawbacks, ranging from materials needed and time. However, when in doubt, you can always resort to this.
Be wary of how you hydrate yourself while out in the backcountry. Do your due diligence and follow the necessary steps to make sure the water you drink is safe.
As always, enjoy your trip, have fun, and ultimately stay safe!