One of the most important topics when it comes to the outdoors is hydration. Since many of us do several activities on different levels, the amount of water we intake can and will vary. We’re going to help guide you into figuring out the best way to be hydration savvy.
In this article we will be covering these three topics:
- How much water should you take with you?
- Signs of dehydration and what to do
- Tips for staying hydrated in the outdoors
How much water should you take with you?
It’s a simple question, but with no easy answer. When preparing for your activity, there are many variables to consider. Here are a few:
- Activity level (mild, moderate, or strenuous)
- Your age and body type
- If there is an alternate water source available
All the above factors tie in together. For example; in high heat on a moderate hike, you are more likely to need extra water, and if there isn’t an alternate water source, then you have placed yourself in a dangerous situation unless you have trained yourself to adapt to this. Since our body types and activity levels are all different, there is no one formula for everyone.
According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine they have determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
- About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
- About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages, and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.*
One thing to keep in mind is if you do any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to cover the fluid loss. This means it would be more than the recommended intake above.
One of the most popular ways to carry water in the outdoors is with a hydration pack. Most hydration packs come with a 2 or 3-liter reservoir in them. They are a great way to carry your water and any additional items you may need.
Signs of dehydration and what to do
What is dehydration?
Well, it is the point at which more fluids leave your body than entering it.
Our bodies are made up of roughly 75% water. We depend on water to survive, therefore depleting it and then not replenishing it can be very dangerous.
Here are some signs of dehydration (even low dehydration):
- Dry mouth
- Lack of sweating
- Low blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
If you feel dehydrated, you must consume fluids to replenish your body. This can be water, sports drinks, or broth. Try and avoid any caffeine or soft drinks. Any underlying conditions, such as headaches, may need to be treated with medications. If you’re in the outdoors, it’s a good idea to sit down in a shady area and consume the proper amount of fluids before continuing.
Tips for staying hydrated in the outdoors
Below are some helpful tips on staying properly hydrated in the outdoors.
- Drink water before, during, and after any activity.
- Try and avoid doing any strenuous activity during the middle of the day during high heat.
- Pack fresh fruits with you, they are a great source of water.
- Carry a water filter, just in case you run out and need to filter some clean water.
- Think about all the variables and make sure you pack enough water for YOU. If you have anyone else with you, they should carry their own water source as well.
We hope this information is both educational and helpful. Remember to be prepared and be safe out there.