The first requirement for sustaining life in the wilderness is shelter and clothing (both covered in the earlier chapters). The second is water. Your need for water far exceeds your need for food, which explains why it precedes any discussion of food in these notes. You can live many days without food, but you can be in serious trouble within hours if you run out of water.

Water Quantity

This is one of the serious considerations when packing for any trip. Remember that water is one of the heaviest things you will carry (1 Kg/L). Here are some of the factors to consider:
  • Will water be available on the trail? If so, how far will you have to travel to reach it? Is the water source a reliable one, or will it be a dry creek bed by the time you arrive in late summer or fall? You will soon recognize the importance of planning your trip so that you end up camping by a water source each evening.
  • How much water will you need for drinking? Budget at least a litre for an average day on the trail in warm weather, more if it is hot. This only covers the water you will drink on the trail.
  • How much water will you need for cooking and cleanup? When you need to carry all water, you will suddenly discover how little water you will want to use to wash pots, ...