How to stay hydrated on treks

Keeping oneself hydrated during a trek is the perhaps the first thing on a trekker’s To-Do list. But it doesn’t end with just sipping on a water bottle. There are a few other things to keep in mind too.

Drinking plenty of water while trekking is a no-brainer. Yet how often do we see trekkers struggling with dehydration and fatigue. Hydrating adequately is a critical aspect of trekking. Water keeps the body energized and the mind alert.

As you trek the body uses water to keep muscles moving and maintaining a right pH balance. To maintain a healthy balance your body will require an increased fluid intake. Dehydration can kill the fun of trekking. It can lead to a lot of unpleasant problems and makes you vulnerable to altitude sickness.

The good news is that dehydration can be easily avoided if you keep a few things in mind.

1. Know how much water to drink. Your day starts from the time you wake up in the morning. Drink half a litre of water as you wake up on an empty stomach. You can have another half litre after a duration of an hour. When you start trekking for the day, have regular sips of water in brief intervals. Your water intake while trekking should be 2 to 3 litres. When you feel tired, take a break and hydrate. When you reach your camp site, have a litre of water in small breaks. Aim to drink 6 to 7 litre of water each day.

2. Getting yourself used to taking in those copious amount of fluids is not easy. Most people are just not used to drinking right amount of water. A solution to this problem is to use ORS/Energy drink packets and dilute them in the water. They are excellent for helping you recover on essential minerals and salts you lose due to sweating. They also come in flavours like orange, lemon etc and it can help you with your aversion to drinking water. Drink at least 1 litre of ORS diluted water while trekking.

3. Planning how much water to carry in a day is very important. Keep with you an extra water bottle while trekking. We recommend carrying 2 bottles, each of 1 litre capacity. A hydration water pack is a better option to have. It makes sipping water easy and you can drink water without stopping.

4. Find out details of availability of water for the day. It is always good to know what are your water-points on the trail. You should also find out what quality of water is available and if you need to carry a water filter with you.

5. Walking in shaded areas is a great way to reduce water loss. Your body will lose a great deal through sweat, and you can avoid this by sticking to the shade. Always carry a hat with you. Start your trek early in the morning if the weather is likely to be hot in the afternoon.

6. Eat healthy and nutritious food. Avoid carbonated drinks or alcohol. Have lot of warm beverages like tea, soup, hot chocolate, etc.

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Vaibhav Chauhan

Vaibhav Chauhan

Vaibhav was associated with Indiahikes as a Writer & Chief Explorer. He is an avid traveler with a passion for trekking in Indian Himalayas. With his roots in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh, the love for the mountains is in his blood. When not travelling he likes to spend time interacting with like-minded trek enthusiasts and read books on travel and mountaineering.

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