A Simple Backpacking Hydration Tip to Make The Most Out of a Water Source

Water is liquid gold when you're backpacking. On hot days I find myself planning my breaks around water sources. It's easy when they're close together, but what if they're farther apart or if it's late summer and the creeks have gone bone dry? Beat these problems by learning how to make the most out of your water source with this simple backpacking hydration tip.



As we rolled out of Red's Meadow on the John Muir Trail we planned for a water break on the far side of the valley. There were three water sources clearly mapped out before a big ascent. We couldn't find those water sources anywhere, so it was good that we had followed a simple and practical tip to stay ahead of the game.

Andy using a Steri-Pen for drinking water Andy using a Steri-Pen for drinking water


Instead of simply topping up your water bottles and moving on, rehydrate yourself at your water source. Here's what I like to do:

  • Drink what's left in my water bottles,

  • Purify another liter or two,

  • Drink those two liters,

  • Purify two more and then move on.


Let's be clear, I always bring more water than I think I need, this is simply a method to give yourself extra insurance in hot weather.

Hydrating on the John Muir Trail

On a hot day, you're typically behind the curve when it comes to water intake. By following this trick, you're making sure you're well hydrated before you leave a good creek or pond. If your next water source isn't where you expected and you have to push on a few more miles, you're not risking dehydration by doing so.

What's your favorite outdoors hydration tip?

TeamSierra Outdoor Blogger

**Paul is a regular contributor to the Sierra Trading Post Blog as part of #TeamSierra. Visit Paul's blog for more tips and gear reviews.**
Paul Osborn
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Paul Osborn
Paul Osborn is an avid outdoor adventurer and frequently tweets about his trips. He's loved being outdoors since he was a kid and is always game to try something new. Currently, he's trying to instill a love for everything wild in his own kids. Paul's website, The Outdoor Adventure, encourages others to open their doors and get outside by giving them the tools and confidence necessary to do so. He did just that on the John Muir Trail in June 2013 with a group that included members of Sierra Trading Post's own social media team. Team Sierra bloggers receive promotional consideration from Sierra Trading Post.
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