There are many options for carrying water and other liquids while hiking and backpacking. These range from simple, lightweight empty sports drink bottles to stainless steel water bottles to durable plastic Nalgene bottles. The Mayo Clinic advises that your fluid intake may be adequate if “you rarely feel thirsty and produce 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) or more of colorless or slightly yellow urine a day.” Heavy exercise such as backpacking and running increases our need for water. Several reliable drink bottles or hydration bladders are important pieces of gear.

A reminder: Check your old plastic water bottles and food containers to make sure they aren’t made from BPA — a polycarbonate plastic that was used to make hard-plastic drinking bottles. It may be time to buy some new drink bottles. Chemicals leaching from the BPA plastic has been shown to interfere with reproductive development in animals, and has been linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes in humans, among other things.


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