How Much Water To Bring Camping

How Much Water To Bring Camping

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Hydration is crucial while camping. But how much water to bring camping is limited by the size and weight of various containers. One way to skip carrying large amounts of water when camping in the winter is to know how to filter water while camping or collect rainwater in clean potable containers. If it’s the winter time, you could melt snow in a large pot. Camping in the summer is what most people are interested in, however.

How Much Water To Bring Camping

How Much Water To Bring Camping

Generally, 1 gallon of water per person each day is sufficient for camping according to most campers. This covers drinking water needs, cooking water, and personal hygiene. Other campers recommend bringing more than 2 gallons of water per person for a single day of camping when there’s no nearby water source. You might also want to know how to filter water while camping.

Adults need 1 gallon of water per day

There’s evidence to suggest adults need to drink around 64 ounces of water per day. This covers drinking needs when camping in the summer. But drinking water isn’t enough for camping. You need water for cooking and for washing up. Water is a premium in some camping spots. This is why 1 gallon per adult is recommended.

1-gallon water jugs are ideal for adult campers for each day of camping. Those venturing off for a weekend adventure need at least 2 gallons per person for a couple of days of camping with a possible short hike. 2 gallons also cover light washing up and cooking needs for a weekend away in the backcountry.

Kids need 1 gallon of water per day

The amount kids drink depends on their age. Although children don’t need as much drinking water as adults. However, campers with kids should also bring 1 gallon of water per day for each child camping. Kids tend to get their hands dirty and their clothes dirty easily when out in nature. They need more water for personal hygiene compared to adults.

Pets need 0.5 gallons of water per day

Pets that camp also needs to drink water. While pets don’t need water for personal hygiene, they still need up to 0.5 gallons of water per day, especially in the case of large breed dogs.

Cooking water

Cooking water is often overlooked by new campers. However, even a soup and a cup of coffee need at least 24 ounces of water. It’s best to think about bringing a bit more water than initially planned.

Cleaning water

Cleaning water for pots, pans, and all other camping objects such as camping knives is limited. Its best to be a bit frugal with cleaning water when camping as you need to carry large water jugs already.

Bring a least one 1 gallon water jug

A 1-gallon water jug is ideal for carrying water to the campsite. A water bottle with a strap is a good alternative as well. The main idea is to get a container that has a built-in handle or strap which allows you to easily carry water to and from the car.

5 gallon jugs

For multiday trips, you’ll want an easy way to bring 5 gallons of water per person. This would be good for about 3-4 days.

Consider small water bottles

Those who can’t carry water bottles or who don’t have the space for large 1-gallon containers can always choose smaller water bottles instead. Bringing smaller water bottles also ensures they can be kept cool in the portable freezer better.

Get multiple camping water bottles

Camping water bottles are made with robust materials that last. These are ideal for keeping water warm as well as simply for carrying water to the camp. Camping water bottles come in all sizes and it’s still recommended to bring at least 1 gallon of combined water with the bottles per person for one day of camping.

Invest in a water filter

Water filters and purifiers are recommended for all campers. Even those bringing their water need to bring a water filter which makes water drinkable in case of emergency.

Water from lakes and rivers isn’t safe to drink without purification. This is where water filters prove practical. Often small and easy to carry, camping water filters provide an excellent alternative to carrying large water bottles and water jugs to the campsite.

Water filters are the ideal option for hiking trips from the camp. Hiking while carrying heavy gallons of water is not easy. This is why those hiking in areas with known water sources can drink water straight out of streams, rivers, and lakes while using a camping water filter. This allows campers to travel light and cover longer trails when day hiking from the base camp.

How much water is enough for a day hike?

At least 60 ounces of water are needed for a day hike. Those who tend to sweat a lot might need even more water. It’s best to bring water in the backpack together with a water filter to avoid running out of water on the trails. Campers might also need to check possible water sources in advance if they don’t know their location on the hiking trail.

Why bringing enough water is essential for camping?

Not drinking enough water while camping is problematic. While not drinking sufficient water can cause certain health issues at home, these issues tend to aggravate when camping. This is why not drinking enough water as recommended above can cause the following health concerns.

1. To avoid dehydration

Dehydration is real and problematic for campers. Dehydration tends to cause multiple other health problems such as nausea and even vomiting in extreme cases.

2. To avoid dry skin

Dry skin and dry lips are common reactions to dehydration. Camping and hiking in the summer typically come with dehydration if not drinking water constantly through the day. But dehydration can also occur in wintertime camping.

3. To avoid excessive fatigue

Fatigue is common in camping. However, drinking sufficient water tends to delay fatigue and to maintain common reactions such as awareness when fatigue sets in. Drinking water constantly is one of the key elements of avoiding excessive fatigue.

4. To keep muscle cramps away

Muscle cramps are a common sign of dehydration. Camping activities tend to be highly physical. This is why they are more demanding than they first appear. Cramps are common in campers who don’t drink enough water. Furthermore, cramps can easily be kept away when drinking, eating, and resting properly while camping.


Most adults need around 1 gallon of water per day while camping. This covers drinking water needs, cooking water needs, and personal hygiene water needs. Children need a lesser amount of water but its’ recommended to bring as much water as for adults since kids tend to get dirty easily outdoors.

Water in the camp can be carried with 1-gallon water jugs or 1-gallon water bottles. These need to have a handle design or an included carrying strap to avoid fatigue while carrying multiple bottles to the camp.

Alternatively, campers can consider backing water they bring from home with a water filter. Camping water filters are small and they often fit a pocket. These filters are ideal for drinking water straight from the source such as from lakes and rivers when away from the camp to explore the backcountry or when going on a day hike.

Combining both freshwater sources and water filters is the best method of staying hydrated while camping. This avoids having to suffer from dehydration and common reactions to dehydration such as cramps and excessive muscle fatigue.

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