Dehydration is a risk for anyone exercising outdoors. It is also a risk for those working out in the gym, but indoor training at least has the benefit of readily available water. Extreme temperatures and humidity can mask the early effects of dehydration, so everyone is advised to carry water. Camelbak hydration reservoirs and bottles are a convenient way to bring your water on outdoor excursions, and this is even more important for backwoods hiking and camping trips. Learn more about the water safety precautions for hikers and campers.
How Much Is Enough?
Some backwoods visitors bring all their water, and others only bring enough to last until they are able to locate natural sources. The choice of how much water to bring for filling your Camelbak hydration bottles and reservoirs depends on both your general understanding of the risks of drinking water from backwoods sources and specific risks associated with the area. Since one person can go through a gallon or more per day, bringing along water for everyone and every purpose isn't always practical.
Risks of drinking backwoods water from your Camelbak hydration bottle include industrial toxins, agricultural run-off and biological toxins. It is easy to judge the risks of contamination. Simply look upstream for industrial complexes, runoff, or other risks. If it is a favorite camping spot, you might take water samples back home for testing.
With a clean source, you still face quality issues and biological contamination. Both of these are handled easily by purifying water before storage in Camelbak hydration bladders. You might use a diluted chlorine solution or chlorine tabs designed specifically for this purpose. Be sure to give the chlorine time to evaporate before drinking the water.
Studies show, however, that the risk of biological contaminants is extremely small. Most cases of intestinal upset that occur on camping trips are the result of poor hygiene and improper cleaning of utensils. Campers and doctors often blame Giardia or other pathogens without a diagnosis based on lab testing. But, it’s still better to purify or bring your own water source before you go drinking out of a natural source of water that you find. To store water that’s safe to drink, trust Camelbak hydration gear to do the job.