Don’t Forget These Hydration Essentials for Your Weekend Hiking Trip

Staying hydrated on the trail is crucial to enjoy hiking without worrying about dehydration issues that can lead to death in the worst cases. We have seen people without water (especially newcomers) on the trails who then ask about where to find the water.

Not only staying hydrated but drinking clean water, especially from the streams, is crucial on the trails where people start drinking water, whether it’s fresh and safe to drink or not. Later on, they complain about vomiting and diarrhea.

In this article, we will explain how to carry water efficiently and how you can drink from streams during your weekend hiking trip. We will also give a few additional tips based on our years of experience on the trail that will help you better organize your hydration resources next time.

Hydration Essentials

Also, you should drink water regularly on the trail instead of waiting to get too thirsty just to save water, which can lead to dehydration.

We suggest aiming around half a liter per hour, but this is just a general rule to do the assessment. This might change based on the weather and varies from person to person, as some people drink more water than others. However, this rule will give you a clear idea of how much water to carry.

How to Carry Water

Hydration Essentials - Hydration Bladder

So, the next question that comes to everybody’s mind is how to carry the water while hiking. Here are the ways:

Water Bottle

This is the most common way to carry water for hiking. Newcomers to, even experienced hikers, use water bottles as the first option.

However, we suggest taking quality water bottles specifically designed for outdoor activities like hiking and travel. A recommended option is the collapsible water bottle if you have space-related issues.

Also, you look for lightweight and BPA-free plastic bottles. Generally, they are safe. Insulated water bottles are available, but they are heavier to take on hiking, and we usually don’t recommend them unless you are ready to take the extra weight with you and you are going on short hikes.

Hydration Bladders

Hydration bladders are hand-free water drinking options, and specially experienced hikers and backpackers carry them to ease drinking water while on the go.

Most backpacks are designed to support the hydration bladder by having a separate portion for the bladder area. Like collapsible water bottles, they are also suitable for space-saving; however, it takes a lot of work to clean them properly.

If you are unfamiliar with Hydration bladders, it’s a flexible bag with an attached drinking tube that passes through the shoulder straps of a backpack. These bladders come in different capacities, like 1 to 3 liters (a common option), to fulfil most of the hiker’s water requirements. Having said that, hydration bladders have revolutionized the way professional hikers stay hydrated during hikes, especially for a few days of backpacking trips.

Hydration Pack

As we discussed, most backpacks support a hydration bladder, and you don’t need a dedicated hydration pack.

However, hydration packs are water backpack systems designed to carry more water easily, even on long hikes. They are not common but are usually preferred by professional backpackers, runners, motorcyclists, and cyclists.

Most of them come with the bladder, so you don’t have to buy them separately. The key advantage of using a hydration pack is its hands-free design to drink water.

Moreover, some models also include additional storage compartments to accommodate small essentials like keys, snacks, or smartphones. Overall, integrating a hydration pack into one’s gear serves as an effective solution to maintaining proper hydration levels during prolonged outdoor adventures.

How to Drink Water from Natural Water Resources

Hydration Essentials - Hiking Water Filter

Do we need to drink water from the stream if we carry our water? Well, taking water is challenging, especially when you are backpacking. One effective way to reduce the weight burden during a hike is to drink water from natural resources such as streams, rivers, and ice.

However, hikers must find reliable information about water sources and quality before leaving for the adventure. Here are a few ways how to drink water safely from natural resources:

Water Filter

There are plenty of high-quality backpacking water filters available that you can use to drink water directly from the stream. Sawyer Products SP128 Mini Water Filtration System and LifeStraw Personal Water Filter are among the most popular options that most backpackers use.

That way, you will at least be sure you are not drinking unsafe water, as you cannot even see with the naked eye.

These filters effectively eliminate impurities from the water source, including bacteria and viruses. They also help remove unpleasant tastes and odors caused by organic matter or minerals.

We will only go a little about how it functions, but there are plenty of resources to find information on how these water filters work.

Boil Water

Another natural way to remove bacteria and viruses is by boiling the water. Boiling eliminates bacteria and viruses by raising the water temperature to a level they can no longer survive.

Most backpackers carry cooking kettles for coffee and tea, so they can boil drinking water and store it in their water bottles and hydration bladder.

Water Purification Tablets

You can also use water purification tablets, which typically contain chemicals such as chlorine, iodine, or chlorine dioxide, effectively killing bacteria and viruses in natural water sources. They are simple and lightweight, so very easy to carry. Furthermore, you don’t need any additional hiking gear to use them, so it’s a good choice.

Additional Tips Hot Weather Hiking

Desert Hiking

Electrolyte Mix

If you hike during summer or hot weather, you will probably sweat more, and the chances of getting dehydrated are pretty high. We suggest taking an electrolyte mix, which is refreshing and helps keep your hydration level below the red line.

Electrolyte mixes usually contain various minerals, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, that help to maintain body fluid balance.

Additionally, they help to combat fatigue, muscle cramps, and imbalances in sodium levels.

Snacks with High Water Content

In addition to the electrolyte mix, we strongly recommend taking snacks with high water content as part of your hiking essentials. Fruits like watermelon, oranges, and grapes can help you to maintain your hydration level.

Additionally, vegetables such as cucumbers and celery are excellent choices due to their high-water content.


Proper hydration is vital for good hiking performance, especially on long hikes. We have explained how you can achieve it by carrying water efficiently, adequate ways to drink from natural resources, and additional tips while hiking in summer and hot weather. Do you have any other tips to stay hydrated on the trails? Please let us know in the comments.


Avid hiker and adventurer who loves to find and hike the most beautiful trails worldwide. Try to enjoy the journey, and you will be satisfied after reaching the destination.

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