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Water: How much? Type of container? How, When, Where Cache?

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Offline Daryl

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Water: How much? Type of container? How, When, Where Cache?
« on: March 05, 2007, 09:37:35 AM »
OK.  I've picked your brains about hiking boots/shoes/gaiters/socks, trail food, purifying water, securing food away from critters, hammocks, hiking long trails, and various other stuff.  In each case, you've been incredibly helpful.  Now it's time to seek your advice and experience about the most critical element while hiking or taking multi-night trips in BiBe.

 :!:  :!: WATER :!:  :!:

How much do you carry or recommend per day?
    I like to carry a gallon or more per day (a little less in cooler months).  I drink lots of water and my greatest fear while hiking or camping in BiBe is running out.

Where do you put all the water?  (assuming there is no reliable water source in the area)
    Day hikes are easy.  I wear a camelback pack with two 2-liter bladders.
    Two-day hikes arenít too bad.  The same two bladders plus 2-4 (carrying an extra days ration seems prudent) 2 liter bottles squirreled away in the pack.  However, my backpack doesnít have a compartments for the bladders, so I worry about them getting ruptured.
    Multi-day hikes get pretty darn tough and just plain frighten me.  Unless there is a reliable water source along the way, how do you carry all the necessary water.  Forget about the weight (although at 8lbs/gl the weight canít be ignored).  What type of containers are reliable enough and proportioned properly to carry all that water.  Do you stick with 2-liter bottles/bladders?  Or do you use larger containers and risk a major spill if one ruptures?  My 2-liter bottles are round and take up lots of space.  Are there any reliable square sided bottles out there that may pack easier?
Do you cache water?  If so, how, when and where?
    Iíve never used a water cache but plan to in the future.  If you're coming out the same way you went in, just stash a some bottles at appropriate stages along the way.  But what if youíre making a loop or using a shuttle?  Do you plan a series of separate hikes just to rush in a stash your caches?  The logistics seem counterproductive.  Do you alter your route to intersect roads where you can more easily leave your cache?  How do you hide and secure your cache from critters or others who might think they need your water worse than you?
OK, too many questions alreadyÖ  I await your sage advice and humorous quips.
Don't worry about getting lost.  You're biodegradable

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Offline okiehiker

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Water water everywhere...
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2007, 11:34:01 AM »
But how do you carry enough to drink.  

You can "get by" on a gallon a day or less, but it is really not a good idea, even in winter.

When you are 1 quart dehydrated your metabolism can be as much as 10% less efficient.   This is like adding 10% of your body weight to your pack.  You might as well carry the water AND DRINK IT.

For multi-day trips 1 gallon per day should be considered a minimum.  

Carrying it is another matter altogether.  Perhaps the most uncomfortable evening of hiking I have ever had was on a Grand Canyon dayhike in 2003.  It was June 21st and we went from the Esplanade to Thunder River, Tapeats Creek, along the Colorado River to Deer Creek and back to camp in one day.  From Surprise valley I carried 43 liters of water in 1 liter bottles crammed into two daypacks tied together and a fanny pack.  Although it was only for about four miles it was miserable.

When I have set caches including water over the years in BIBE I have put everything in a US Army surplus flame thrower case.  I have never had a problem with any of the contents.  For smaller groups the five-gallon buckets that paint or dry wall mud come in are excellent.  You can buy new, clean ones for a reasonable amount at most hardware/lumber yards or paint stores.

I own a ridiculous assortment of Nalgene water bottles, but there is nothing wrong with buying the cheapest liter of water you can find at the quick shop and carrying it that way.  You can also buy gallons of spring water (or distilled water... but I prefer having some mineral content) for about $.99 per gallon.  I have carried them inside or outside clipped on with a caribiner.  

Water bags and those collapsible clear plastic jugs are fine, but I have always had them develop leaks sooner rather than later, thus for large containers I've just used the gallon milk-jug style and thrown them away at the end of the trip.

You will probably get LOTS of varied and interesting advice on this subject.

Two things I am guessing most will agree on... DO CACHE water if you can and DRINK LOTS of it!
Funny... I have a story about that...

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Offline Undertaker

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Water: How much? Type of container? How, When, Where Cache?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2007, 12:43:36 PM »
Sounds like you have had good advice 1 gallon minimun winter or summer, winter is just colder desert (Key Word). Try and counter balance large load with front carry also. No easy answer due to water weight. If trail is near road cache and mark location. As okiehiker noted, stay away from 1 gallon jugs, almost always leak.

FLAME THROWER CASE????? :shock:  :shock:  :shock:  I am starting to be concerned about you okihiker, unless you are working on the one match one fire theory. :lol:  :lol:
Visiting BB since 1966, nothing like being lost and finding heaven.

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Offline Daryl

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Water: How much? Type of container? How, When, Where Cache?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2007, 01:08:11 PM »
Okiehiker,
As always, thanks for the excellent response.  :D  :D
Quote from: "okiehiker"
You can "get by" on a gallon a day or less, but it is really not a good idea, even in winter.
I should have been a little more clear on this.  Although I typically only carry one gallon per day, I consume more.  How is this possible you ask?  I've yet to go on three day or longer back country hike where I had to carry 100% of my water.  For the typical one or two day hike, I start hydrating the night before and drink more than my fill in the morning and all the way to the trail head (careful not to over do it and suffer water intoxication).  I then carry a gallon and drink most or all of it during the hike.  When finished, I have plenty of water waiting for me in the truck.

My current dilemma is that there are some 3-5 day hikes (based on my slow pace and constant photo stops) that I would love to take.  For those hikes, Iím trying to figure the best way to carry (or cache and carry) over a gallon a day (not to mention the extra dayís rations I would prefer to carry).
Don't worry about getting lost.  You're biodegradable

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Offline Daryl

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Water: How much? Type of container? How, When, Where Cache?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2007, 01:20:51 PM »
Quote from: "Undertaker"
Sounds like you have had good advice 1 gallon minimun winter or summer, winter is just colder desert (Key Word).
I agree.  Dehydration has more to due with humidity than heat.  However, the one big difference (at least for me) is perspiration.  My skin leaks like a sieve in the summer heat.  When working outdoors here in the desert, I pack a large ice chest and/or cooler with a gallon of water and/or Gatorade for a 8 hour day, summer or winter.  In the summer, I often finish it off in the car on the way home.  In the winter, I always have some left over.

Still, people should drink more than they think they need (especially if not acquainted with the desert).
Don't worry about getting lost.  You're biodegradable

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Offline mule ears

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Water: How much? Type of container? How, When, Where Cache?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2007, 01:26:56 PM »
Over the years I have paid attention to how much water I consume under normal (not scorching) conditions but with plenty available if I needed more.  It always comes out to 5 liters/quarts per day, slightly less in really cool weather.  Essentially it is one for each meal and one each in the morning and afternoon between meals.  This of course includes all cooking and other water use.  Like okie hiker I too will "tank up" before heading out.

In our Dec. 2004 Strawhouse-Telephone Canyon-Banta Shut In stretch we left late morning arriving at Banta Shut In at lunch time the third day.  I started with 2.75 gallons (11 liters/quarts) and arrived with about a liter/quart.

I now carry bulk water in 2.5 liter Platypus containers and one or two liter water bottles from the gas station or such.   The platypus are lense shaped when full so they nest with each other nicely when placed in the pack, next to your back, standing upright.  My favorite is the Aquafina with the large mouth.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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SHANEA

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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2007, 03:13:58 PM »
I find that if I have my hydrater-camel-bak on me, I'm constantly guzzling water.

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Offline badknees

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Water: How much? Type of container? How, When, Where Cache?
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2007, 04:10:33 PM »
You might find this link about water requirements interesting

This link is from the US Military and considers different work loads and temperatures.

http://www.usariem.army.mil/somalia/appenda5.htm
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Offline mountaindocdanny

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Water: How much? Type of container? How, When, Where Cache?
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2007, 07:40:14 PM »
Quote
From Surprise valley I carried 43 liters of water in 1 liter bottles crammed into two daypacks tied together and a fanny pack.

That sure sounds like "fun". Per my calculations that's in excess of 90 lbs without even the dignity of a proper pack suspension. Impressive.


Quote
It always comes out to 5 liters/quarts per day

That is right about what I calculate for my own needs. I usually have a little left over at the end of each day and I use this as my "buffer" supply.

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Offline okiehiker

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weight....
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2007, 08:02:45 PM »
No padding... no hip belt... 95+ pounds of water... with the bottles and packs it was probably right at 100 lbs.  but it was a great day  :)

On a nine day trip I did CCNP to Lincoln National Forest to GUMO, we hiked out of Devil's Den Spring with 53 gallons of water for nine of us.  We carried anywhere from 2.5 to 10 gallons.  My ten year old son carried 2 1/2.  When we got to our last camp at Bush Mountain we got all of our water together and used it for dinner, reserving enough for breakfast and two quarts each for the trip to Pine Springs.  

When I was cleaning out my pack at home I discovered two liters of water in the very bottom of the main compartment of my pack.  I had carried it for four days!  :evil:
Funny... I have a story about that...

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Offline Al

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Water: How much? Type of container? How, When, Where Cache?
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2007, 08:14:01 PM »
Even in my prime that would be enough to make me quit hiking!  The most I've carried plus my gear on an extended hike was about 3 gallons for a 3.5 day trip.  Pack weight was around 80 lbs.  Did the slow step up into the Bowl at the Guadalupes then down through McKittrick Canyon.

OUCH!

Al

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SHANEA

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Re: weight....
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2007, 08:35:39 PM »
Quote from: "okiehiker"
No padding... no hip belt... 95+ pounds of water... with the bottles and packs it was probably right at 100 lbs.  


Better man than I.  No way.  I'd punt if I had to carry that much.  Sherpas I tell you, Big Bend needs Sherpas to carry the 150qt igloo up to the south rim for me.

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Offline dryer

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Water: How much? Type of container? How, When, Where Cache?
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2007, 07:12:14 AM »
Water can be tricky in BiBe.  
For car camping, I haul in a 5 gallon plastic carboy (spring water bottle) and work out of that.  Even in five days I've never emptied it....bathing and all....when solo.   You can pick one up at the grocery store, and keep refilling it.  They last forever.
For hiking, I'm an ultralighter.  My last Outer Mountain Loop hike had my pack weight down to 20lbs, including water and food.  It's important to start out well hydrated.  Hiking in late February, desert floor high temp. about 80, I was able to carry only 4-1.5 liter Platypus bags.   That will get me from the Basin around to Fresno creek for resupply, and a reserve to the Sheep Ranch if Fresno is dry (so far it's never dried up for me).   Cached water at the Sheep Ranch for the climb up Blue Creek back to the basin.  I can usually end up with a healthy surplus back at the basin....sometimes dumping water along the way!  If you get your clothing right, and pack weight down to a minimum, your water needs will be dramatically reduced.  I hike with an umbrella too.....priceless in the desert.  
I've also gotten into serious trouble in the park, off road cycling!  On a 37 mile loop from Glenn Springs to Mariscal Mine/Solis and back, the desert temps spiked to 107!  Our water ran out 10 miles short of camp and we (two of us) were literally creeping along.  There is a point where your body temp makes it where no amount of water will help you because you can't process it.  So now, I always bring some emergency shade along, which I now consider equally important to hydration.   I've  a silnylon poncho shelter (4 oz.) that's a staple in the pack.  When hiking, a modified (lightened) umbrella makes you a heap cooler literally standing out in the desert sun!   Long sleeve, white, cheap cotton/poly blend dress shirts, wide brimmed hat, umbrella, convertible thin/light pants, trail runners, is my desert hike uniform.
So, lighten your load, protect yourself from the sun/heat, stay well hydrated day and night, and you'll actually find your water needs will decrease.   It's taken me 30+ years of hiking to perfect what works for me...in BiBe.  My pack weights started at around 70lbs!  
Caching water is important....it's more of a planning issue.   If your hike takes you by a road, cache water.  Period.   It might save you or someone else!
KD5IVP, Texas

Water: How much? Type of container? How, When, Where Cache?
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2007, 11:07:15 AM »
Badknees, that link about water consumption is great information.  I think it is right on with how much water I consume when carrying a full pack in warm conditions--about 1.5 liters per hour in moderate to heavy work intensity.  

I usually pack a MSR 10 liter Dromedary Bag, which empty weighs about 10 oz with its hydration hose.  The bag seems "next to bullet proof," which is an important criteria for me.  If needed, I'll supplement it with some 1 liter plastic bottles from the convenience store.

I also try to get one of the smaller plastic water bottles from the conveniece store that will fit in my shirt pocket, and use that to sip on as I hike.  This allows me to keep better track of what I'm consuming.

And as others have posted here, hydrate heavily beforehand.

When I do the Outer Mountain Loop, I plan to cache at the bottom of the Juniper Canyon Trail, and at the Homer Wilson Ranch.
"No, that did not happen to me.  You have me confused with someone else."

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Offline Daryl

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Water: How much? Type of container? How, When, Where Cache?
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2007, 12:04:22 PM »
Quote from: "Boot Canyon 1 Cougar"
I usually pack a MSR 10 liter Dromedary Bag, which empty weighs about 10 oz with its hydration hose.  The bag seems "next to bullet proof," which is an important criteria for me.

That 10 liter Dromedary Bag looks awesome.  I didn't know anyone made water bladders of that size and quality.  Thanks for mentioning it.  I Googled it and found this site.  I think I'll get one (or perhaps two of the 6 liters) as soon as I can budget it.

Looks like the webbing allows you to secure it to the inside of a pack to keep it flat to your back in order to maintain a better center of gravity.
Don't worry about getting lost.  You're biodegradable

 


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