View Full Version : Water bags

2005-04-29, 08:21
Hi everyone, I wonder how the members of this community approach the necessity of carriying along water bags on a trail. I ve been arguing about the issue for some time, and still did not make it to a common denominator. The opponents say that it takes to much weight and space in ones backpack, where as there is always an opportunity to use 2-3 litres bottles fro almost all the purposes. Personally I stand for water bags, because at the expense of few ounces (when empty and folded up) you can have running water and a shower, everywhere where there is a place to hook it up (to a tree or something). :captain:

Lone Wolf
2005-04-29, 08:36
I carry one. Always have, always will.

SGT Rock
2005-04-29, 08:52
I keep a 3 liter platypus to fill in camp and it weighs almost nothing nor does it take up room in my pack. In the event I'll be on a dry stretch I can fill it as needed, but 4L total is a lot of water.

2005-04-29, 13:14
Generally, I carry a 1 litre Nalgene wide-mouth bottle. That's it. I don't drink much during the day, generally I'll guzzle a litre or so at lunch break. Reason being, if one guzzles too much H20 while working their system, you can very easily become sick, (throw up) if you have too much water in your system. I know this from experience. After I hit camp, before dinner, I brew up a mug or two of Lipton Soup which re-hyrdates me and puts some salt back into my system to hold more water. Similiar idea to Boonie Rats taking salt tablets.

Camelbaks (Platypus) are a great idea, but have a couple problems in my opinion:

1) Seeing as they are a narrow-mouth bottle, one cannot fill them with snow in the winter to replenish water. I don't mean shove your bottle full of snow, but as your water supply diminishes, a handful or two of snow will soon turn to water. That's why I have the Nalgene bottle.

2) They freeze in Canadian winters. Not the bag, but the drinking tube. Yes, you can buy insulators for them, but they still freeze. Then you can't drink. I've seen it. A canteen in your pack is well protected by your clothes, and I've never had one freeze.

That's just my $0.02.



2005-04-29, 16:05
I have a 3L bag that I carry in my pack as well. I also have a Nalgene bottle as well. I'll take the extra weight in order to avoid dehydration - no real cure for not drinking water.

I like to start the morning with both the bag and the bottle being full. I drink out of the 3L bag - which has a drink tube for convenience.

When I stop for lunch, dinner or even breaks I pull out the Nalgene for cooking and such large uses of water.

I have found that by having the drinking tube I keep well hydrated which is very important.

While hiking I felt the results of dehydration once in Maryland-really didn't feel good at all. We had passed many water sources in the lower elevations but didn't bother to stop -wish I had:

We soon pass the side trail to Devils Race Course shelter that marks 4.7 miles to go. I finish the rest of my water and am feeling my engine slowing down again so I drop down in the snow and fill me Nalgene bottle with snow and then put it down my shirt to melt it (eating snow drains much energy-melt it first). Kev and Tim give me some of their gator-aide and more jerky. That helps a lot!

I try to keep my water as full as possible. You really never know when a source will dry up - especially in the summer months.

2005-04-30, 00:34
I carry a 1L gatoraid bottle for on the trail then about 30 min before I am going to get to my camp(or whenever is convenient) I will fill up my 2L platypus bag. Most convenient way that I know of.

2005-04-30, 12:48
A fabric water bag takes up just about no room at all, and is a great labour saver around camp. I don't know why everyone doesn't have one.


2005-05-01, 20:11
How much water would you carry if you're in an area where there is no water or the nearest water is a couple of miles away?

2005-05-01, 21:09
Just a couple miles? Half a litre. If there is no water in the area, then I'll carry whatever it takes to keep me alive.



SGT Rock
2005-05-01, 22:24
Sort of depends on the distance and time of day. For example, if it is a mile or two walking to the next point I'll just carry a quart. If it is the same distance to where I plan to make a dry camp at the end of the day I'll carry 4 liters.

2005-05-02, 11:48
... I'll carry 4 liters.

2 liters for cooking and 2 liters for coffee? :smile:

2005-05-05, 09:32
:confused: How come no one mentioned the opportunity of having running water on a trail, or off the trail, if you like. Just to wake up in your tent with the thought that there is a wash stand with a tap at the entrance is wonderful...

2005-05-06, 07:32
I never thought of having running while hiking (other than in a stream)...

I try to keep myself comfortable while remembering that I have to carry it all in and out...

Rock has a great qoute:

The more I carry, the more I enjoy camping; the less I carry, the more I enjoy hiking.

2005-05-06, 17:00
There are a few variables to consider...how much water to carry? 1 or 2 liters is a pretty comfortable amount for me most of the time in most places. Like SGT Rock, I like 3 or 4 liters for a dry camp. I've found that I like to have even more water in an arid place like the Grand Canyon.

2005-05-22, 23:43
*ignores dates*

First off..I've trashed 5 camelback canteens and two "un-bottles" Screw camelback. Complete Junk IMO. So what if they have a shutoff valve.

I've got two 5yo platys and they're fine. Can't clean them worth a crap and I won't buy the ziplock version so that's a drawback.

Most times I carry a few platys and some patch kit. I like to hook the tubes right onto my pump when I filter lake water. That way I don't have to empty the pack to get at them. Boaters sure can pollute the water with some nasty stuff. Iodine just isn't alwasy enough.

If I'm way out there I always carry at least one hard nalgene. They NEVER have let me down. Only piece of gear I've never broken or disabled.

Winter... I used to take a thin Wiggy Aluminum drinker. I would throw it fulla snow near the fire at nights for some easy water.

I carry anywhere from a liter to a gallon and a half dependent on estimated availability and weather. I usually go heavy. I need the excercise and being even slightly dehydrated sends a body into headache and a slew of other problems. I suggest a gallon a day.

Kind of funny how the most precious gear is the heaviest.

2005-07-19, 00:44
I carry 3 nalgene 1 liter bottles. 1 for on the trail, 1 for cooking/emergency, and 1 for treatment of the water.
Normally when I come apon fresh water I dump what's left in the bottle I'm drinking from, fill it with new water and iodine, and start drinking from one of the bottles I treated earlier.

I don't like to "drink" while hiking as it makes me feel loggy and sometimes nauseous, for me just moistening my mouth with about a teaspoon of water every so often works best.
-When I have a ready water source I rinse and spit a lot - which overjoys the people with me.

2005-07-19, 04:28
We carry an 1L aluminum bottle each. We also have a 4.5L Source waterbag that we fill for camp and hang it on a bush or three to use as tap.
We've attached a strap to the Source water bag so we can throw it around the neck/shoulder or back. Very seldom we carry more than 2L of water since where we hike, there is fine sweet water all over.

2005-07-19, 16:10
I carry a GI 5 qt. water bladder in my pack and fill it at the site. I make sure it's purified. Squirts aren't any fun.

2005-08-07, 17:49
I'll be doing an overnighter in big bend national park this week. Not near any natural water sources. I'll be taking two 2.5 liter bags and my 2L douche bag.

Before you tell me that's too much h2o, keep in mind, it will be SW texas summer weather.

2005-08-08, 17:38
depends where i'm hiking/camping.

if hiking here in LA with my daughter, i carry 2 x liter aquafina water bottles, with a 6qt Reliance/campmor/walmart bag with spout (empty). my favorite camping spot is about 3/4 mile from any water, so i fill it there, purify, and then hump it to the site. if it were longer, i'd probably not fill it all the way.

if i'm car camping or canoing, i just fill them all at home and dip from the creek and purify if i run out.

if alone, i can get with one bottle and a 2qt platypus bag (which i love-weighs nothing, empty).

don't like army canteens (too heavy, odd plastic taste, bad memories)
don't like nalgene (too heavy)
never tried camelbak, but don't buy into the idea that you have to drink all the time while hiking. i can easily 'camel up' at a water stop, as i'm seldom in a hurry to get anywhere, and i sort of like sitting and just thinking. and waiting for water to 'purify' is good thinking time... never drank so much i got sick (water anyway!), even in the army, even when physically exhausted and badly dehydrated.

2005-08-08, 17:56
I like the nalgene bag canteen, even used one for a pillow. Very light and reasonably durable. The drawback is, that at 96oz if something bad should happen to it, you've kind of got all of your eggs in one basket.


2005-08-08, 19:56
dang it, I can't find the link, but there was a study on poor, hapless soldiers- they recovered from dehydration, not so much from over hydration. (not that they died, but required hospitalization I think- dehydration just required a little rest and water)
something about marathon runners and too much water. also.


Rage in a Cage
2005-08-08, 23:15
th, you can google the term Hyponatremia and probably find what you are looking for. Some people refer to it as water intoxication. I was treated for hyponatremia when I was 16. It sucks.