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Why So Much Water?

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Why So Much Water?

Postby Swede » 03 30, 2020 •  [Post 1]

I read about elk hunters carrying a gallon or more of water on their daily hunts. It is heavy to pack that much and I think unnecessary. I only carry a quart with me. Except in my stand, I go to a nearby spring or stream and draw out a fresh cold supply through my filter. A good pump filter weighs very little and a filter straw weighs nothing.
So the question is do you carry a lot of water because you don't have a filter, or you don't know where to find good drinking water in your hunting area, or You just like packing a lot of extra weight?
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby Lefty » 03 30, 2020 •  [Post 2]

Swede when I hunted the desert on hot days a gallon would be gone before noon
The fellow that converted me to an archery elk hunter . At one time he was an extreme athlete and still in great physical shape
I don’t recall how much water we had but he was a big water guy and likely had more than a gallon
We got back to the truck he was dehydrated . His body temp was crawling up . Once to the truck I stripped him down then hosed him down . He was too sick to work for 3 days


I carry a 2 liter or 3 liter bag some times with a canned bottled or boxed drink


But back to why
Most of us do not drink enough water . Ever

Hunting partner Andrew , his dad is a kidney specialist His dad is always checking that Andrew is drinking enough water more than Twice the water I drink ,

A body needs water to function at peak performance, even overweight out of shape fat guys need to be hydrated

Again coming from an older fat guy I and when I wasn’t so fat and out of shape and burning huge numbers of calories running a trapline water reduces the incidences of cramps.
I sometimes carry a filter I also know where all the head of the springs are with good clean water that the cows haven’t been in

I understand not wanting to pee from the stand
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby 7mmfan » 03 30, 2020 •  [Post 3]

I carry 100 oz when I leave the truck. I do carry a filter with me. I'm with Lefty, virtually none of us drink enough water. We all muddle through life running lean, and don't notice, but would be better off with a lot more. I am definitely prone to leg cramps if I don't drink enough water. I know immediately if I'm getting dehydrated. On a normal day of elk hunting with a long hike in, I will drink the 100 oz, and usually filter another 50.

For comparison, during normal daily life, you should be drinking an oz per # of body weight, so I'm finally reaching that on my hard elk hunts. I probably drink less than half of that on a normal day at home.
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby Swede » 03 30, 2020 •  [Post 4]

I understand the need to drink water, but why pack so much where it is so abundant? I have a good topographic map a GPS and can easily find good water even when I am out scouting. I don't haul firewood out to the forest either since I have a good chainsaw.
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby saddlesore » 03 30, 2020 •  [Post 5]

I carry 16 oz bottle in my day pack, one in my saddlebag and two in the panniers on the pack mule. I try to drink all four every day.
I am never very far from my mules so I don't carry any purifier pump or such.I do have small bottle of Aqua Potable in my pack for an emergency though.
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby Lefty » 03 30, 2020 •  [Post 6]

Swede wrote: why pack so much where it is so abundant?
I don't haul firewood out to the forest either since I have a good chainsaw.

Says the guy from the Cascade range with 140 inches of water. :lol:

Why not pack it in if your not packing it out. Our forests is covered with cow crap, loaded with nitrates. I know the water I pack in is very good, ( our well at home is tested every 30 days , we have very good drinking water).
Ive carried Lifestraws and straw filters for hunting ,using any filter is a hassle for me,.. my body doesn't work like a well oiled machine anymore. Bending over to a water source and sucking, pumping drawing or filling a container I end up with wet knees, and or sore knee caps. I do a bit of backpacking,and hiking From experience I know what I need to carry. And may be more aware of weight than most. But I don't short myself on water when doing a 1/2 or whole day hunt.

I know the water sources , But I may not be hunting those source elevations.
I also want to hunt the where and way I want to, walking 100 -500 foot elevation difference or 300 yards north when the elk are the opposite direction. I want to follow the elk. and sucking water from a bladder on my back is easier than slipping a bottle out of the holster on a pack or opening up my pack at water.

Now during a hunting season , water is a nothing "deal" or "time and energy taker". The pack gets lighter through out the day.
Some days I barely haul water and just suck on snow

We heat with propane or I add a better sleeping bag. I may have Spent $10 on propane heating and cooking for 17 days

I no-longer care for the smells of gas and oil All our chainsaw work at camp is done outside of elk season.
Do I understand having an outside fire at camp. Yep; had those for my grand daughter If I leave the saw at home I cant be temped to use it, ( we did have a saw in camp,.. but I never used it.) We cut wood in August, and left 1/3 cord of split and stacked at the end of season Now days Depending on group/tent size a good Buddy heater and tank of propane is much easier to deal with than all the fixings of a chain saw and even the best camp wood stove .
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby Swede » 03 30, 2020 •  [Post 7]

I think packing a lot of water is similar to buying out the store stocking up on groceries or toilet paper. Are we as a nation really using that much more toilet paper for due to a respiratory virus? Why are we stocking up on flour?
Lefty, I hunt so close to Idaho that I get my cell service from that side of the draw. I have hunted southeast Oregon for many years. If bending over gets you all wet, and hurts your knees, take along a plastic cup and dip with that. You can stand up and drink. :D
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby wawhitey » 03 30, 2020 •  [Post 8]

I typically drink a lot of water before i get moving in the morning, kind of "top off the tank." Then i bring two 32oz nalgene bottles full, and my pump filter. Water is heavy, id rather take a couple minutes to top off as needed. And a lot of the areas i hunt, i hunt regularly, and i know the locations of many springs and creeks. Ive learned the hard way though not to pass up an opportunity to top off my water bottles. Ran out in 95° heat last august right when i killed a bear, because i had passed up a chance to top off. No big deal, ill just top off at the spring right over there when i get done cutting him up. Nope. Damn bovine land sharks had taken over the spring and wouldnt let me near it. This particular area, the free range csttle can be flat out aggressive, no joke. Im way more worried about them than about moose or bears. Ended up having to go over a mile to the next water source, hot as hell out with my pack loaded to the max. Man was i glad to finally hit the creek on my way out. Lesson learned, top off whenever you get the chance.
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby WapitiTalk1 » 03 30, 2020 •  [Post 9]

I've went through a lot of "how much water to bring and in what container" contemplations over the years. I finally went to an bladder system in the early 90s and will never go back. I drink a lot of water while hunting, hiking, etc. Anymore, I carry filter with me also and as WAWhitey mentioned "top off when you get the chance". My buddy Joe and I topped off our 3 liter bladders at the bottom of a steep draw last year before we headed up after the singer that I shot last year.... damn good thing we did. We both ran out of water at the top of the mountain, right before we got the first load of that bull outa there. If you'll remember the story of that bull, we pretty much hiked all night through hell and didn't hit the top till the crack of dawn. Fun times.
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby Marble » 03 30, 2020 •  [Post 10]

I carry 3 quarts generally. If I know there is a lot of water around, I may only carry two. But I would rather have that water than not.

It really depends on how much water is available.
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby Elkhntr08 » 03 31, 2020 •  [Post 11]

I run a 2L bladder and a 1L Nalgene bottle. For me, it’s easier to filter into the bottle if/when I need to. I’m still struggling drinking enough water. As a old school Jarhead, we packed full canteens around all day cause if you took a drink, they’d make noise.
Most of the time the bladder is dry and the jug has been filled a couple times. Try to take the jug back to camp full for the evening meal. Have a gravity filter hanging unless I have a good water supply close.
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby Tigger » 03 31, 2020 •  [Post 12]

I carry 3L in my water bladder in my pack. Love it. I don't typically drink it all.

Water is not toilet paper, bringing extra water on your daily elk hunt will not impact anyone else. I would not in any way try and dissuade anyone from bringing more. Water sources can dry up, be icky, or be guarded. As Lefty said, I don't want to go out of my way looking for water when I can just bring it. If the extra couple of pounds creates a problem, you have bigger issues and probably should look into joining a knitting circle instead of elk hunting!
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby Swede » 03 31, 2020 •  [Post 13]

Tigger wrote:Water is not toilet paper, bringing extra water on your daily elk hunt will not impact anyone else.


I never thought about it that way before Tigger. If this Covid 19 is still a force in September, carrying extra toilet paper could impact someone else. Good argument I guess. :roll:
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby Lefty » 03 31, 2020 •  [Post 14]

Tigger wrote: and probably should look into joining a knitting circle instead of elk hunting!
:lol: :lol:
Swede wrote:I think packing a lot of water is similar to buying out the store stocking up on groceries or toilet paper.

t me a lot of water is more than you need for the day As a kid I used the wrong leaves once,.. A buddy got gardenia, once

Evidently our household was ahead of its time. Or just cheap or financially smart. We still had toilet paper from when it was on sale at Costco during Thanksgiving And lots of leftovers from last season

Are we as a nation really using that much more toilet paper for due to a respiratory virus? Why are we stocking up on flour?
It got around flour is a cheap source of calories. Flour wheat and sugar were booted from our household

Lefty, I hunt so close to Idaho that I get my cell service from that side of the draw. I have hunted southeast Oregon for many years. If bending over gets you all wet, and hurts your knees, take along a plastic cup and dip with that. You can stand up and drink. :D


Its the bending that hurts filling a cup still hurts
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby ishy » 04 02, 2020 •  [Post 15]

I have never been good about drinking during the season, but after getting a bad GFR (kidney function) when I was 40 and thinking best shape of my life, you bet I watch it closer now and drink enough to keep urine clear even when hiking all day. My Ironman coach taught me to drink every 15 minutes during an Ironman, that is really hard to do. Impossible if you are carrying your own any distance during an elk hunt. A filter has become a must for me.
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby Marble » 04 11, 2020 •  [Post 16]

ishy wrote:I have never been good about drinking during the season, but after getting a bad GFR (kidney function) when I was 40 and thinking best shape of my life, you bet I watch it closer now and drink enough to keep urine clear even when hiking all day. My Ironman coach taught me to drink every 15 minutes during an Ironman, that is really hard to do. Impossible if you are carrying your own any distance during an elk hunt. A filter has become a must for me.


I've had some issues with my kidneys and cancer 6 years ago. I always found myself thirsty at the end of the day and I never could keep track of how much water I drank. I was busy...I was hunting...

So I started carrying a 20 oz. bottle and would a 3 liter bladder. That was too much. I would stop at every water source and drink the 20oz and refill. Filter, pill or steri pen. Since then, I switched to a nalgene and general 2 to 4,16 oz bottles of water. It helps me keep track of what I drink.
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby Lefty » 04 12, 2020 •  [Post 17]

ishy wrote:,,,drink enough to keep urine clear even when hiking all day. ,,,

My daughters boyfriend dad is was kidney surgeon. Andrew is always drinking and carries more water than I could drink in a day.

A good habit
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby saddlesore » 04 13, 2020 •  [Post 18]

Lefty wrote:
ishy wrote:,,,drink enough to keep urine clear even when hiking all day. ,,,

My daughters boyfriend dad is was kidney surgeon. Andrew is always drinking and carries more water than I could drink in a day.

A good habit


A bout with kidney stone will make a believer out of anyone. I have had at least 1/2 dozen. Now I try to drink at least 60 ounces of liquid a day including a big glass of lemonade

Knock on wood, my last one was in 2014
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby 7mmfan » 04 13, 2020 •  [Post 19]

saddlesore wrote:
Lefty wrote:
ishy wrote:,,,drink enough to keep urine clear even when hiking all day. ,,,

My daughters boyfriend dad is was kidney surgeon. Andrew is always drinking and carries more water than I could drink in a day.

A good habit


A bout with kidney stone will make a believer out of anyone. I have had at least 1/2 dozen. Now I try to drink at least 60 ounces of liquid a day including a big glass of lemonade

Knock on wood, my last one was in 2014


YIKES :shock: 1/2 dozen? I'm young, so I have a lot of time ahead of me to possibly experience one, but I hope never to. I'm pretty religious about drinking 100 ounces a day even when I'm at home doing nothing. I start every day with a big glass of luke warm water so my body can re-hydrate after a night of sawing logs. I think it makes a huge difference.
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby Swede » 04 13, 2020 •  [Post 20]

I am enjoying reading people's experience and learning about their problems from inadequate water. It is a helpful conversation, and please don't stop. Just a point of clarification here. My original point has nothing about how much water you need or want to drink. The question was designed to get people to consider carrying a filter where there is abundant enough water and not pack the water on your back. I pack a quart at all times and that is enough to get me to the next cold spring or creek.
Poor Lefty, he can't even bend down and dip water with a cup. I do not know what position he gets into to pray, but his bed is probably three plus feet off the floor. Lefty has the best lousy excuse so far. Can anyone top his?
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby Trumkin the Dwarf » 04 15, 2020 •  [Post 21]

I try to drink 3-4 32oz nalgenes per day. and my water use is closer to 4-5 liters per day if I'm backpacking in the mountains. I really hate using a hand pump for that much water so I'm setting up a gravity filter system right now. With the Sawyer squeeze I think I will be able to actually cut down to 1 liter in the pack while I'm carrying camp on my back. That's going to cut 4 lbs off my pack weight! But I always rock a full 3L bladder when it's time to hunt. I don't like stopping to get water while I'm busy chasing critters.
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby 7mmfan » 04 15, 2020 •  [Post 22]

Swede is right, as much as I hate to admit it. In areas with ample water, there really is no reason to not carry a filter and lighten your pack by a few pounds. I always carry a Katadyn squeee filter, and I can filter a liter of water in about 5 minutes. There are places that I know I can do this, but often my day changes course in a second when I spot elk in unexpected locations. Because of this, I usually default to carrying all my water with me, and the filter as a back up.
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Re: Why So Much Water?

Postby saddlesore » 04 15, 2020 •  [Post 23]

Usually at the elevations I hunt at, there isn't much water. I would have to drop down 1000 ft to get a sip
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