Note: All prices in US Dollars
Wilderness Hydration Pack
Essential to the survival of all organisms, water has always been an important and life-sustaining drink to humans. Excluding fat, water composes approximately 70% of the human body by mass. It is a crucial component of metabolic processes and serves as a solvent for many bodily solutes.
Nearly all the bio-chemical reactions that occur in body cells depend on water and electrolyte (sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, phosphorous, magnesium, etc.) balance. These balances are not only vital to maintaining life but also affect physical and mental performance.
Water is necessary for most life on Earth. Humans can
survive for several weeks without food, but for only a few days without water.
The exact amount of water a human needs is highly individual, as it depends on
the condition of the subject, the amount of physical exercise, and on the
environmental temperature and humidity. In the case of a backpacker, he or she
will most likely encounter all three of these conditions at once. A good
quality hydration pack is a necessity, not a luxury. A hydration pack will help keep your bodies metabolism functioning at its best.
It is a common misconception that everyone should drink two
liters (68 ounces, or about eight 8-oz glasses) of water per day and is not
supported by scientific research. Various reviews of all the scientific
literature on the topic could not find any solid scientific evidence that
recommended drinking eight glasses of water per day. For example, people in
hotter climates will require greater water intake than those in cooler
climates. An individual's thirst provides a better guide for how much water
they require rather than a specific, fixed number.
A hydration pack is a type of hydration system built as a backpack or waist-pack containing a reservoir or "bladder" commonly made of rubber or flexible plastic. The reservoir contains a capped mouth for filling with liquid and a hose that allows the wearer to drink hands-free. Most hoses end with a "bite valve" that opens when the user bites down on it; the valve may be protected by a dust cover. Some hydration packs are insulated to keep water from freezing or becoming warm.
Becoming more popular with outdoor adventurers is the use of a separate water bottle and a backpack that has one or more drawstring pockets fitted for the 32oz/1L Nalgene or Aluminum water bottle. The separate water bottle is easier to clean and re-fill.
When you are preparing for your next day long or overnight wilderness
backpacking adventure, you can take your water in a couple bottles with you and refill them as the opportunity arises. These backpacks and Versipacks are roomy enough to hold your water bottles and still have lots of room for your other essential gear.
A constant supply is needed to replenish the fluids lost through normal physiological activities, such as respiration, perspiration and urination. Food contributes 0.5 to 1 litre, and the metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrates produces another 0.25 to 0.4 litres, which means that 2 to 3 litres of water for men and 1 to 2 litres of water for women should be taken in as fluid in order to meet the RDI.
Tips to help you stay hydrated:
Before heading out on the trail remember to pre-hydrate. Drinking 14 to 20 ounces of fluid two hours before becoming physically active can make a big difference in performance.
Try to start your day with a cup of hot water with a squeeze of fresh lemon instead of caffeine. Caffeine in coffee and tea acts as a diuretic and causes the body to lose water.
Always have water available; keep a water bottle with you when walking or hiking to fight against dehydration.
Drink a glass of water before and during each meal. Not only will this help with hydration but will also make you feel full without overeating.
If you are cold, drink warm water instead of coffee or tea which can dehydrate you. Don’t forget to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables as these have a high water content and will contribute to your daily water intake.
Even mild dehydration - 1% of body - which would represent approximately .75 to 1 litre of water (1% of 75 Kg = 750 ml.) can create a reduction in muscle performance and start to show dehydration symptoms. Early symptoms are headaches, dry eyes, drowsiness, loss of concentration and irritability. If the dehydration is 2 - 3 %, serious performance inhibition occurs. This is not what you want to have happen when hiking, backpacking or during a survival emergency.
Dehydration is a serious situation that can arise quickly when the body is in a warm environment and doing mild physical exertion, as in hiking and backpacking. For the serious wilderness backpacker a hydration pack is the best defense against dehydration.
Don't forget to keep the water bottles filled in your disaster / survival kit, ready to go.