While it may seem incredibly obvious that you need to drink extra water while hiking, millions of people each year suffer from dehydration when exercising, running, biking, or hiking. The problem stems from your body not telling you quick enough that you need more water because you’re using it up faster than usual. You need to drink water before you start and while you’re exercising, even when you don’t feel thirsty.
You should take regular breaks to rehydrate. There are some great ways to get the water you need without having to hold a water bottle in your hand all day long, and one of the best ways is a hydration backpack. Here are some great tips on choosing the right one and using it correctly.
One of the reasons that people have trouble staying adequately hydrated while doing many activities is that carrying the water bottle in your hand is cumbersome. Your hand gets tired, you have to keep switching back and forth and if you are running, the extra reciprocating weight throws you off balance.
The advantage of most backpack located water sources is that you then no longer have to hold the water bottle which frees up your hands. Plus, you can comfortably carry a lot more water on your back than you can in your hands as well. But finally, since most backpack water packs have convenient drinking tubes, you don’t even need to stop when you need a drink. This comes in really handy if you’re biking, hiking with a group, or running since all you need to do is grab the tube and drink.
Most water bottles are smaller, about 20 ounces, but you can buy larger ones if you don’t mind holding them in your hand all day long. On the other hand, a backpack water reservoir will range from about 32 ounces all the way up to 48. That can make a huge difference if you’re on a long journey where clean drinking water is not available. The beauty of the water bladder type reservoir is that, even if you get the largest one, you can fill it half full for short trips and it won’t take up extra space, it’s flexible.
Make sure that all of the plastic components and BPA free. Nearly any product now available will have large letters exclaiming this in their advertisements and descriptions but you should check. If possible, fill the unit with water and try it on at the store to see if it’s comfortable. If you can’t test it, read through the online customer reviews to see what other purchasers have to say about how well it fits and feels when it’s full of water. This is an important consideration.
You should also consider how easy it’s going to be to keep clean. If you only carry pure water, you’ll have very few problems, but if you like to put sports drinks, or powdered mixes in it, make sure you can clean it thoroughly and easily. Otherwise, you may end up with an infected mess.
Finally, if you plan on drinking while you’re on the move, make sure you get the bite valve on the end of the hose. That way, all you have to do is chomp down on the end and suck as much fluid as you want and it automatically closes when you’re done.
Keeping yourself well hydrated can be a challenge when you’re exercising. But if you have the right equipment, you can make carrying and drinking water convenient and plentiful. A hydration backpack comes in many sizes, shapes, and configurations to accommodate any sport or activity you want to participate in.