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Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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Carrying Large Quantities of Water on Your Back

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Offline Al

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Re: Carrying Large Quantities of Water on Your Back
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2011, 12:14:45 AM »
Been there, done that.  Just don't plan on setting any speed records.  The first time was a 3+ day hike through the bowl in GUMO.  Having no shame I must admit we each carried a 2.5 gallon water container purchased from the grocery store and a couple of 1-liter Nalgene containers to supplement.  It was a hell hike up from Pine Springs but we had no worries once we gained the elevation and consumed some of the water. 

Al

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Offline Homer67

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Re: Carrying Large Quantities of Water on Your Back
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2011, 10:59:02 AM »
A good idea may be to bivy when one must carry a heavy load of water. We did this on our last trip...it was a lot of fun, but I admit, I did sleep with the shovel nearby the first few nights!

Two one-gal jugs fit nicely in the bottom of my pack; I pair this with a 2-L hydration bladder and a 20 oz bottle on the side (for those ____ade or lemonade packs).
« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 11:05:18 AM by Homer67 »
Ah Big Bend, we will soon return to reacquaint ourselves in our ritual of blood, exhaustion and dehydration. How can we resist the temptation to strip ourselves of the maladies of civilization?

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Offline eddie

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Re: Carrying Large Quantities of Water on Your Back
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2011, 12:45:25 PM »
The last time I went out I rigged a small satchel that I got at the army-navy surplus store so that I could carry three liters of water in front, with about seven liters in my pack on back. I hooked it to the rings on my shoulder straps and I also had a flap on the bottom that fit under my waist belt to keep it from flopping. Getting even this small amount of water off my back made everything feel a little more balanced.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Carrying Large Quantities of Water on Your Back
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2011, 05:06:37 PM »
The last time I went out I rigged a small satchel that I got at the army-navy surplus store so that I could carry three liters of water in front, with about seven liters in my pack on back. I hooked it to the rings on my shoulder straps and I also had a flap on the bottom that fit under my waist belt to keep it from flopping. Getting even this small amount of water off my back made everything feel a little more balanced.

Not to be confused with this setup:

Reminds me of my "aquapack" for summer camping in Big Bend. :icon_biggrin:

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Offline PacingTheCage

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Re: Carrying Large Quantities of Water on Your Back
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2011, 10:43:13 AM »
 :rolling:

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Offline Karleen

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Re: Carrying Large Quantities of Water on Your Back
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2011, 03:51:36 PM »
...from mule ears...., "23 pounds just in water!"

I am DEFINITELY gonna get us some of those Platypus containers...
We carried 23 lbs of water for the day hike to Emory Peak last month (June 2011) -- that was for the 6 of us, tho.
We had water bottles, canteens & bota bags.
Definitely put our heavy packs & water bottles in the bear boxes at the top of Pinnacles.
We ended up with a 1-liter water bottle extra for each of us on that day hike.
But I would so much rather have too much than not enough! Especially considering we're 'flat land-ers' without much hiking experience, and an 8 year old boy with us!

Maybe we'll just wait for cooler, wetter weather for our next trip to Big Bend!!

Karleen
Conroe, TX

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Offline jim2

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Re: Carrying Large Quantities of Water on Your Back
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2011, 06:16:07 PM »
The last time I went out I rigged a small satchel that I got at the army-navy surplus store so that I could carry three liters of water in front, with about seven liters in my pack on back. I hooked it to the rings on my shoulder straps and I also had a flap on the bottom that fit under my waist belt to keep it from flopping. Getting even this small amount of water off my back made everything feel a little more balanced.

Not to be confused with this setup:

Reminds me of my "aquapack" for summer camping in Big Bend. :icon_biggrin:
that's a nice sabal minor.

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Offline iCe

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Re: Carrying Large Quantities of Water on Your Back
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2011, 09:41:19 AM »
I like the Platypus and MSR bags ( I have each) because when they are empty they don't take up a lot of space. "Jugs" are fine though... I would rather someone have water than not have water because the bags cost more than they care to or can spend.

When I hike the desert floor I always have a Camelback full of nice cold water. I think that it helps keep my core temp down by absorbing heat. I might be wrong about that but I get away with a fairly quick pass in sometimes brutal temperatures. The only time that I've hiked in the basin was during September and the summer had been pretty wet. There was water "all over the place". It was cool on the way up and almost frosty at the top (low 40's). I carried a lot of water for only 2 days. 2 gallons is the "requisite amount" plus a days ration for "getting lost and I lost my spreadsheet (drive crash) so I can't recall exactly how much water that I carried but it was way too much. Due to cool temps (I guess) I didn't actually need 3 gallons Not even close. It was cool enough that even with a heavy pack I didn't sweat a lot. Two was plenty with some left over at the end, which is a good thing. BTW- don't over load your pack. I went with a lighter weight pack but put way too much weight in it and the straps were brutal.

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Online Flash

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Re: Carrying Large Quantities of Water on Your Back
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2011, 09:58:32 PM »
So far purchased:

2 - 3-liter Osprey hydration units
1 - MSR 10-liter dromedary
2 - 2-liter Platypus bottles

Total of 20-liters ==> 5 gallons  :icon_eek:


Follow up on our August 10-11th overnighter at the Smokey Creek Trail junction on the Dodson Trail: My son and I each carried a 3-liter hydration bladder in our packs. I carried the 10-liter MSR Dromedary in the sleeping bag compartment of my pack. My son carried the two 2-liter Platypus bottles inside his pack. Each of us carried an empty water bottle for drinking in camp to help measure out the use of the water. We figured 3-liters each for the hike in. Once we made camp, we refilled the Osprey hydration packs for the return trip and then left them alone. The remaining water was for our cooking and general consumption prior to the return trip back to the car. We really liked the Platypus bottles because they fit so well inside my son's pack (seemed to disappear against the sides) and were easy to pour from as well. The Dromedary was a big old beast, but did great job, especially with the spigot valve.  We thought we had cut it close on the amount of water we brought, but it turned out we still had 2.5 liters when we returned, so we felt we had been an ok margin, considering how hot it had gotten in the late afternoon.

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Offline Al

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Re: Carrying Large Quantities of Water on Your Back
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2011, 11:28:23 PM »
Thanks, I was going to ask but bit my tongue.  Mule Ears is the man when it comes to optimizing one's pack.  Water good.  Water in the desert is golden!

Al

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Carrying Large Quantities of Water on Your Back
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2011, 07:38:04 AM »
Flash thanks for that update/review.  It is always good to know exactly how much water it takes in certain conditions and a controlled measurement like yours is the best way to do it. 

I came up with my 5 liters a day personal requirement (in temperatures up to the low 90's or so) one March when base camping at Smoky Spring and doing some exploration of the area.  With the low flow of that spring, collecting water was slow and so I was very aware of how much we were using in a normal routine (eating, hiking, general drinking).  We were not trying to conserve water just doing regular activities in some fairly hot conditions (highs in the 90's).  Ever since it has been incredibly accurate for me when planning long waterless stretches to know what I need to carry.

When it is cooler out, 4 liters a day is fine but once it gets above the 60's then the 5 is just right.  Your roughly 8.5 liters for really hot conditions seems a very reasonable number.  You also were smart and disciplined to use a smaller bottle to fill out of the larger ones so you could monitor where you were.  My general rule of thumb, for a 5 liter day, is one for breakfast, one during the morning, one for lunch, one for the afternoon and one for dinner.

Of course, as they say, your mileage may vary, a good reason to check it from time to time.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 08:31:27 AM by mule ears »
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline iCe

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Re: Carrying Large Quantities of Water on Your Back
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2011, 07:54:46 AM »
Not to divert from the topic but if you haven't noticed the blog link in Mule Ears sig line you are missing out on some great info and awesome images.

 


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