Here are some of our nuggets of experience mixed in with some important and commonly known tips for staying hydrated while on your backcountry adventure:
- Begin your trip fully hydrated. Start hydrating before your scheduled departure. Even days before!
- Avoid diruretics – reasonable amount of coffee, tea and caffeine drinks are okay.
- On warm days, keep your body covered from direct sunlight.
- Don’t over-dress on cold days – you will sweat more.
- Take small frequent sips of liquids throughout your day. Drinking a liter of water when you wake up is not going to keep you hydrated all day. Your body can only absorb so much liquid at a time.
- Drink liquids with meals.
- Avoid alcohol – although a small sip of scotch is often required kit for any trip.
- Remember, at higher elevations your body needs more liquids
- Electrolytes are an important part of keeping hydrated. You need salt.
- Drink before you are thirsty.
- Pace yourself if possible to avoid over-heating. Long steady pace is what wins it for the Hare!
- Don’t over-hydrate. Too much water can potentially lower your appetite, plus you will be up all night heading to the biffy.
- Drink fluids at the end of your activity. This is essential to maintain your hydration-level for the next day.
- Consider using a water filter or some other purification process if you are relying on rivers, streams or lakes to refill your water bottle. Even glacial fed streams can contain bowel-disrupting bacteria. Diarrhea is the ultimate dehydrator.
Planning for proper hydration in the backcountry is critical for physical performance, and it is essential for your overall experience and success!