Staying hydrated when outdoors is absolutely vital. If you become dehydrated you put yourself at risk of falling ill, or injuring yourself. You can become disorientated, dizzy, and end up getting lost or worse.
Anyone who enjoys being outdoors will know how important this is and will be used to carrying water or other fluids with them. But heat waves, getting lost on a hike, or simply forgetting to take a drink catches out the most experienced outdoors people at times.
The easiest solution to keeping fluid available to you at all times is packing a hydration bladder. Commonly used by endurance athletes, and now by hikers and backpackers. Hydration bladders tuck away in your backpack, and provide fluid via a tube at all times. Simple.
Here are some of the pros to packing a hydration bladder, some tips to keep you hydrated and safe while outdoors, and some other helpful information;
Staying Hydrated with a Hydration Bladder
When it comes to staying hydrated easily and conveniently while hiking, hydration bladders tick all the boxes. They are affordable, easy to use, and provide a much easier solution to drinking than a water bottle.
If you are not familiar with what a hydration bladder is, they are water packs that fit inside backpacks and have a tube that stretches out to a convenient place for you to take on water/fluid.
They have soft silicone ends to the tubes, so you can bite down and suck to draw fluid out when you want a drink. Take it from me, once you use a hydration bladder instead of a water bottle you will wonder why you ever did without one. Plus, you will never go back to a bottle.
Here are three reasons why you should be using a hydration bladder;
- You Will Drink More Regularly
I’m sure everyone reading this will understand how this goes. With a water bottle you have to dig into your backpack, remove the bottle, take off the top and take a sip. With a hydration bladder you have to simply put the end of the hose in your mouth and take a drink. Simple.
- Hydration Bladders Keep Water Colder
Hydration bladders are designed to keep water colder for longer than a water bottle. You can even freeze the contents or add ice if you enjoy cold water.
- Hydration Bladders Are Stronger than Bottles
Compared to your usual water bottle, a bladder is a much stronger and better quality. You never need to worry about either losing or top or damaging the thread. If you have ever had a bottle leak out in your bag you will understand the value of this!
Here are 10 tips to be aware of to help you stay hydrated;
- Drink at regular intervals throughout the day. It’s easy to forget to drink enough, which is why a hydration bladder comes in handy.
- Start the day well hydrated. Don’t skip breakfast, and drink plenty before you start a day hiking.
- Avoid drinking alcohol the day before, or day of hiking. Alcohol dehydrates the body and you will require a greater amount of fluid.
- You can rehydrate though foods that contain salt and potassium. Soups and vegetable juices are the best examples. Continue to sip water as well throughout the day as well.
- Keep an eye for any warning signs that you may be dehydrated. These are outlined later on in the article.
- Wear appropriate clothing. If you wrapped up to much on a hot day you will sweat too much and dehydrate quicker.
- If you’re hiking hard, aim to drink a minimum of 8-10 ounces every 15-20 minutes.
- Hike during cooler times of the day. In the peak of summer it’s fun hiking and enjoying the sights, but avoiding peak times in the sun is advisable to avoid dehydrating.
- Take more than enough water with you. Even experienced hikers get lost or held up occasionally. Take more than enough water just incase.
- Look out for each other. If you’re camping or hiking with others, which is more than likely, keep an eye on each other. Check the other members of your party are drinking enough, and I’m sure they’ll do the same back.
Warning Signs That You’re Dehydrated
There are different stages of dehydration. But without doubt spotting the signs early on and taking some fluids on is the most important thing.
Two of the earliest signs that you are becoming dehydrated is feeling extremely thirsty, and having dark colored urine. These signs are you body’s way of telling you that you are in need of hydration.
Other symptoms that are easy to pick up on include;
- Dry mouth.
- Dizzy feeling.
If you recognize the fact that you are dehydrated early enough you can reverse the effects just by drinking some fluid. Leaving it too long is when you can run into serious problems.