Hydration is Key
At BottlePro, our motto is Health Through Hydration. One major health risk that can be avoided through proper planning is to have enough water for your hike.
We've lived in the desert in Utah and western Colorado for 10 years, we've done A LOT of hikes in these areas where planning water needs is absolutely critical. We learned early on how essential it is to bring more water than you think you might need.
In this video, we talk through how much water you should bring on a hike, including best practices and recommendations so you can adventure safely.
And one major recommendation that we didn't specifically say in the video is to time your hike properly. If it's July and you're in the hot desert, you might want to start hiking before sunrise and finish by noon. We indirectly covered this in the video when talking about taking temperatures into account, but we wish we had made this recommendation more explicitly in the video. You wouldn't believe the number of hikers we've seen around here start long trails in the middle of the summer heat with just a small disposable water bottle!
Hiking is a great activity both for your physical and mental health, but if not planned properly, hiking can be dangerous. Every year, there are stories about people who have close calls or even die while hiking due to dehydration or hyperthermia, aka an overheated body.
Most incidents involve people who are hiking a new trail and may be unfamiliar with the area and the climate. This is especially true with tourists in desert areas like in Arizona, California, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado, but it can happen to anyone, anywhere.
Here we’ll review best practices and guidelines to help you stay properly hydrated on your next hiking adventure.
Step 1: Research Your Route
The first rule of hiking is to plan ahead and know how long you’ll be gone. There’s a big difference between a 3 mile flat hike in the forest and a 3 mile hike with 2000’ of elevation gain and no shade in the desert.
Always look up the trail details from a site like:
(Click on an image below to link that site's Mt Garfield hike entry as an example.)
Step 2: Estimate How Long You'll Be Hiking
In general, it takes most people between 30 and 60 minutes to hike 1 mile. That’s a pretty big range, and your rate depends on a variety of factors including your own personal fitness, the elevation gain, the terrain (like if it’s sandy or involves scrambling), and the weather. And if you have children in your group or if you like to stop to take a lot of pictures, it will almost certainly take longer.
Again, Alltrails.com is a great resource you can use to estimate the hiking time, and it’s based on results from other hikers so it takes factors like elevation gain and terrain into account. But it may still be a good idea to plan on needing more time if you’re not in the best shape or if you’re hiking a new trail.
Step 3: Estimate How Much Water You’ll Need
According to REI, a good rule-of-thumb is to have roughly 17 ounces (a half-liter) of water for each hour of moderate activity in moderate temperatures.
You’ll have to use your own judgement on how to adjust that number based on factors for each hike, like your familiarity with the hike, your fitness level and health, your age, the temperature and humidity, and the elevation gain and terrain.
If you’re new to hiking or are trying a new route, we recommend doubling the rule-of-thumb and bringing 34 ounces, or roughly 1 liter, per hour that you expect to be hiking, especially if temperatures will be over 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once you get through these steps, you should have a good idea on how much water you should bring on your next adventure. Check out our next video to see our recommendations on the best water bottles and bladders to bring on hikes.
Follow along as we tackle this tough, but fun hike!
Located in Palisade, Colorado off of G Road.
Hydration products we used (follow the links to Amazon)
1) Hydro Flask 40oz Wide Mouth
2) BottlePro Cup Holder Adapter
3) SplashPro Splash Guard
4) HikerPouch Leather Bottle Sling
Loose Leaf Tea in Hydro Flasks - A Match Made in Heaven
Many people search Google for things like:
We get a lot of questions about this too. Hydro Flasks are primarily used for water, but plenty of people would love it if they could have different flavors, like fruit infused water, coffee, or tea. In particular, tea is what we're focusing on today.
And check out our FlavorFuze Steel Mini demo video at the end!
Can You Make Hot Tea in a Hydro Flask?
And unlike some concerns with plastic and even aluminum, from what we have found, stainless steel won't leach chemicals or pollutants into your beverage. Flaske has a great article covering more details about the question of "Are Stainless Steel Water Bottles Safe to Drink From." So does Elemental Bottles, where they recommend looking for bottles that are either made from #304 or 18/8 stainless steel (Hydro Flasks are made from 18/8). We highly recommend checking these articles out if you have any other questions or concerns.
Best Hydro Flask Bottles for Tea
You should also consider what type of Hydro Flask you want to use, since that can have an effect on which type of tea infuser will work best.
Tea Infusers for Wide Mouth Hydro Flasks (like the 12/16/20oz Coffee Bottles and also 32oz/40oz Bottles)
Now that we know putting hot tea in stainless steel bottles like Hydro Flasks is safe, let's look at the best ways to do it!
OPTION #1: MAKE IT SEPARATELY
Historically, the most common way to enjoy tea in your Hydro Flask has been to brew it outside of your Hydro Flask first. Then just pour the tea into your flask, and you're good to go. This is great for many people because they already have tea-making equipment.
You'll also need to go this route if you are using a narrow-mouth Hydro Flask bottle.
OPTION #2: MAKE IT IN YOUR HYDRO FLASK
You can save yourself some extra dishes and time by brewing your tea right in your Hydro Flask!
But this option can be a little trickier because not all tea infusers and strainers will fit in Hydro Flask bottles. The inside diameter of wide mouth Hydro Flasks is right around 2.1 inches across, so be sure that your strainer is smaller so it can fit!
FlavorFuze Steel Mini Demo
My Soda Habit Story
I'll be 35 years old tomorrow, and I've had a soda habit since I was a kid. Growing up, it wasn't uncommon for me to drink 2, 3, or even 4 sodas per day. As you might guess, I've also been overweight most of my life too, which is certainly not a coincidence. But at 35, I finally kicked my soda habit. I'm down almost 10 pounds this year, and best of all, I feel like what I'm doing is sustainable.
Here's what's working for me, and hopefully it'll help you on your journey too.
Step 1: Know the Problem
If you're reading this, then you've likely already heard or read about the major health issues that can result from regularly eating or drinking high levels of sugar.
And a lot of other people have too, judging Google Trends. The interest-over-time for "Low Sugar" has been slowly-but-steadily increasing over the last several years.
Google Trends - Searches for "Low Sugar" for the Previous Five (5) Years
Of all the ways that consumers regularly ingest sugar, sugary beverages are the primary culprits. These include:
According to the American Heart Association, the maximum recommended sugar intake is 36 grams of sugar per day for men. For women, it's 25 grams. Each one of the drink examples above is either right at those limits or way above them, all from one drink.
Seeing how bottle and can sizes vary, it's also interesting to look at the sugar concentration as shown below.
One of the more surprising realizations for most people is how most fruit juices really aren't good for you. Sure they provide some benefits like vitamins and other nutrients, so in that way they are better than sodas. But the sugar content per ounce for Minute Maid orange juice is essentially the same as a Coke!
There are plenty of people smarter than me that study this topic for their day jobs, so I'll leave it to them to provide additional details and research about sugar and health. Here are some of the more helpful articles we've read.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Guidance on Added Sugars
WebMD: How Sugar Affects Your Body
American Heart Association: How Much Sugar is too Much?
Healthline: 11 Reasons Why Too Much Sugar is Bad for You
And keep in mind that diet sodas aren't free-and-clear of problems either. There is growing evidence that drinks with artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose are bad for you as well, as discussed here.
Step 2: Find Your Real Motivation
You can always have a combination of motivations, and many of these are related (like weight loss and long-term health). But whatever the situation, the key is to figure out what primary focus and goal really motivates you.
A Personal Story - My New Motivation
After reading articles about how sugar essentially acts like a poison and how sodas in particular are "empty calories" that provide no nutritional benefit, I knew it was in my best interest to quit.
Each time I tried to change, I would start off a few days or weeks without sodas, but then I would slip and start drinking them again. The most common backfiring strategies I used were:
The reason that these backfiring strategies worked on me was that I hadn't determined what my real motivation was yet. I said I wanted to lose weight, and that can work for many people. But the problem, for me, is that I'm fairly comfortable in my own skin already. Also, I have always been overweight so it's not easy for me to truly realize how much better I might feel to achieve a healthy weight. It was more abstract.
But as I got older, something happened. I started thinking more about how little time we truly have, and how chronic diseases that we always read about and learned of back in school are very real. And then someone very close to me passed away. He smoked most of his life, and though he was finally able to quit a few years ago, by then the damage was done. He developed cancer and passed away earlier this year. He urged me to improve my habits now and to learn from his life experiences. This changed my motivational focus.
Instead of just wanting to lose weight, my new focus became achieving better long-term health. This seemingly small change in my focus and goals made all the difference for me.
Step 3: Strategies for Change
Once you know what really motivates you, it's time to start thinking about how you'll make changes.
There are many strategies that you can use to cut out soda from your diet. Here are a few.
A Personal Story - My New Routine
Honestly, I've used all of the strategies listed above to varying degrees. But the ones that helped me the most are #1 and #4. By drinking more water, I've been able to feel fuller and am less likely to drive to the store for a soda. And by using a flavored drink alternative, I can still take a break from "boring" water each day and satisfy my need for flavor.
This is what's working for me.
Need another bottle? Check out Hydro Flask's Amazon store.
Step #4 (If Needed): Don't Be Afraid to Reset
Stopping any habit can have its ups and downs. It took me over a dozen attempts over the years before I reached sustainable change. Don't feel ashamed if you don't succeed initially. Re-evaluate your motivations and strategies, and keep trying.
Follow us for more hydration-focused updates!
Try searching for things like "infusers" or "hiking".
Amazon Associates Program
BottlePro is part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. We strive to provide helpful information and product recommendations, and we receive a commission on purchases made after you click through our links.