Drinking enough fluid while hot-weather hiking or similar physical activity is essential to avoid issues of dehydration.

Desert hiking hydration needs extra caution and more fluid intake to compensate for the buckets of sweat lost and constant high heat. Planning for a hot-weather hike should include factors like the temperature of the trip, weather condition, and amount of water packed.

Hot-Weather Hiking

Here are three tips to help stay hydrated on the hiking trails:

Drink enough

The most effective method to avoid issues with dehydration is to sip fluids at regular intervals. Sipping fluids – sports drink or water – will help to keep the body in much better shape.

Plus, it benefits to constantly sip fluid and not stop every so often for a large gulp of water. An ideal intake is approx 1-quart of water per 30-minutes hiking – although this will differ with the humidity, dryness, and temperature of the hot-weather hiking region.

National Parks and other hiking destinations often give guidelines on the most appropriate fluid intake to remain fit and healthy.

Early signs of starting to feel dehydrated include a dark urine and foamy or sticky saliva. But it is easy to avoid these issues and prevention is the most desirable action to avoid problems and stay hydrated.

Plan Ahead

Plan ahead and make sure to have enough fluid in place to complete the individual legs (available water sources en route) or the entire trip.

The weight of water is likely to be the most noticeable in the backpack so make sure to carry only enough to match the needs. Plus, if using the hiking trails with the occasional freshwater source, make sure to pack the proper hiking filtration system to ensure the water is drinkable.

Avoid passing any water source without getting a refill which should limit the weight carried and prevent issues with rationing out water until arriving at the next stop.

Water bottle Vs hydration system

The most effective ways to carry water on the warm-weather hike is the water bottle (aluminum or plastic) or a hydration system.

If planning to travel with the water bottle make sure to pack enough to last the duration if not carrying a purification system.

Popular choices include Nalgene for the water bottle and CamelBak for the hydration pack. Hydration packs give the benefit of being easier to sip from at regular intervals thanks to the purpose-made drinking tube.

Plus, this type of pack is favored if planning to carry a high volume of water on the shoulders.

Dangers of Dehydration

While staying hydrated is essential for any physical activity, it is much more a concern when hot-weather hiking. Desert hiking hydration is a concern when it is possible to lose up to 2-quarts of electrolytes and water per hour.

Plus, sweat will evaporate immediately, which means dehydration can take effect more quickly.

After 2-quarts of water have been lost the system starts to slow and the body performs with about 20% less efficiency.

This can lead to a difficult thirst cycle, which makes it tiring to continue and results in heat stroke or exhaustion.

Best Hydration Packs for Hiking

ImageNameCapacityFeatures
Camelbak Men’s Rogue

70-OuncesHigh-quality material
Extremely light
70 oz pack is great for 15-50 miles
Respectable storage
Quick access to drinking tube
CamelBak ThermoBak 3L100-OuncesTough and durable
Doesn't have issues with leaks
Easy to refill with large opening
Long drinking tube
Bite valve w/protective cover
Teton Sports Oasis 1100 70-Ounces45% below the brand name products
Great storage options for the day hike
Easy to use tube mechanism
Solid zipper quality
Multiple attachment points
Platypus Hoser1L, 1.8L, 2L, or 3L Holds a lot of water (make sure to purchase the right size pack)
Easy to use
Releases no rubbery taste
BPA-free
HyperFlow bite valve
Osprey Packs Hydraulics LT 70-OuncesEasily accepts a high volume of water
Its ridged construction makes it simple to refill.
Magnetic clip
Plastic free taste
Labeled water markings
Teton Sports TrailRunner 2.0 70-OuncesEasily holds 2L of water
Simple to clean
Lightweight to use
Easy to use mouthpiece
Great at keeping water cool
Quick and easy to refill
Outdoor Products H20 Performance 70-OuncesSlim and compact build
Easy to lift the bladder in and out
Light and easy to carry
Non-leaking
Quick adjustable straps
Outdoor Products 2L Reservoir 70-OuncesWide drinking cap, which is taintless and flavorless
Accepts ice cubes
Low cost
Ispeed 70 oz Sport70-OuncesMess-free and easy refill
The shoulder straps are adjustable, rubberized, and non-slip
Long tube for easy access to the water
Non-leak bite valve
Strong nylon zippers