How Much Water to Bring Camping

bring camping water with you

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Many things are needed when leaving the comfort of your home for camp. Failure to pack the right things would result in discomfort and regret.

Water is a key resource that you can’t do without – you need it at camp, and almost everywhere else. I have often wondered how much water should I bring camping? The truth is that there isn’t a standard answer.

The amount of water to be used at camp is determined by the number of people camping and the activities that will be done at camp.

Your ability to conveniently carry the water without being weighed down also matters – not everyone is able to carry heavy weights.

How Much Water to Take Camping

Before you carry too little or too much water, make sure you’ve properly planned out your camping activities.

If you know you cannot carry heavy gallons of water, tailor your activities to satisfy a smaller water requirement.

In case you’re wondering how much water to bring camping, here are some things to consider:

1. Drinking Water

Drinking is among the factors that determine how much water to take camping. Before having your bath with water or washing dishes with water, you’d want to drink some first. You cannot be effective at camp if you’re thirsty and don’t have any drinking water.

Humans can do without water for just a few days, after that, really unpleasant experiences happen. The human male ideally needs 13 cups of water daily, while females need 9.

Considering how many cups of water can be poured from a gallon, you’ll need a gallon daily if you’re a man – females can survive on half of this requirement.

While calculating how much water per day camping is needed, factor in the rigors of physical exercise. When you go hiking, kayaking, or perform other exercises, you dehydrate. This means you’ll need more water or need to use a water purifier in addition to the earlier daily recommendation.

2. Cooking Water

Cooking is another activity that requires water. If you know that you’re going to cook your own food at camp, it’s advisable to factor it in when planning how much water to bring camping.

Different meals would require certain amounts to cook – some might need more than others. You might want to take some hot tea early in the morning – the water needed would vary based on the number of cups you normally drink.

Hence, in addition to drinking water, there should be provision for food cooking. If you’re cooking for just yourself, you won’t need as much water as when the cooking is for several people.

3. Cleaning Water

Water has many uses and cleaning is one of them. Water is used for bathing, and is also used for washing utensils and equipment.

When you’re done eating with plates and spoons, or forks, you’ll need water to wash them clean. The number of plates being washed affects the amount of water used.

If the entire family just finished eating, more water is needed to wash dishes. After hiking or biking on a dirt trail, you’ll have equipment to clean.

There isn’t a fixed volume of water that I can recommend for your cleaning needs. It’s your responsibility to make calculations and provisions based on your individual plans.

Bathing requires water too. Some might even want to boil water for a hot bath. If this applies to you, factor it in when planning for camp.

4. Pet Water

Will you be taking your pet to camp? If yes, factor that into your plans for water supply. Just like humans, pets also need water for various reasons. Your pet gets thirsty and needs to drink clean water.

Before determining how much water to bring camping, you must have thought about your pet too. Treat your pet like it’s another person on the camping trip; this way you won’t be short of water.

After you’ve done all your calculations and approximations, ensure that you have the necessary resources to carry the gallons of water without stress.

If you have a road van or some other large vehicle, extra gallons of water shouldn’t be a problem. However, those who are backpacking would have to find an alternative to heavyweight gallons.

Extra Tips

You must also learn to manage water. Failure to properly manage water only leads to wastage.

You should keep in mind that you’re at camp, and probably far away from an alternative source of clean water. There are certain methods that you can adopt for effective water management.

They include:

Drink Before You Start the Journey

You drink water when you’re thirsty. So, if you aren’t thirsty, you’ll be able to preserve some water.

Using this principle, fill up on water as you leave home for camp.

Doing that keeps you hydrated for most of the remaining hours that day. You won’t need to gulp down much water on your arrival day at camp.

Reuse Your Water

Instead of wasting water that can easily be reused somewhere else, save it up, and utilize it later.

For instance, if you boil an egg, you shouldn’t throw the water away. That water can be used to wash some dirty plates and cutlery later.

The same applies to cleaning gear. Water used to rinse neater items like plates and spoons can be used to clean messier equipment like mud-stained boots.

Consume Water-Rich Foods

Apart from its pure form, water is also found in other foods. That means you can get an alternative for water in certain foods.

Such foods provide you with nutrients and also keep you hydrated. Lots of water can be found in natural fruits like watermelons and oranges.

If you have such water-rich fruits to eat at camp, you can save some water by simply eating those fruits. In the end, you’ll have a full belly and you’d have also quenched your thirst.

With these methods in mind, managing water shouldn’t be that difficult.

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My name is Chester and I'm on a mission to help families, single people, and just about everyone to have the best outdoor experience when exploring the exciting world of camping. I believe that life becomes more meaningful when you spend time outdoors and commune with nature. My mission is to educate you about the benefits of spending time in the great outdoors and inspire more people to embrace an active life outside their homes.


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