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Dav Harzin

WATER - How much do you carry for the day ?

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WATER - How much do you carry for the day ?

The HOT days are here, and I want to bring the attention of hydration....

How much do you carry ? How do you carry water 'specifics on bladers, canteens etc.

What kind of climate is your operating area ?


Im in southern new mexico 90*- 110*   below 15% humidity in the summer.

seven liters, three liter usa militery camelback, two usa militery cateens, one two liter soda bottel in pack.

5-9 hours up to 7 mile patrol ruck lightly loaded for the day, 'standerd' loadout'.


I still find myself down to less than a liter, after  pushing hard on ruck avg speed 2.5 mph.

What if its shtf and were out for real 12-24 hour patrol, how the heck can we carry the water we would need in the SW deserts for patrols/manuvers.

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Another thing to consider is, are there sources of water on your course/heading, and do you carry a filter for water so you can drink it safely.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Dav Harzin said:

Good point, I forgot to add that I do carry a sawer mini, water tabs, and powderd chlorine. .....

need to get some iodine, good for other uses too.

Iodine...yuck!!  Worst tasting stuff I can think of.  Be careful too, it's very poisonous.  If it were me, I'd carry chlorine bleach (unscented) instead of iodine.

Edited by John Last

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22 hours ago, John Last said:

Iodine...yuck!!  Worst tasting stuff I can think of.  Be careful too, it's very poisonous.  If it were me, I'd carry chlorine bleach (unscented) instead of iodine.

Ya iodine taste bad, But if ya taste it that bad thats to much iodine. and used with other dissinfectants.

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How ya carrying that liquid?  I have a 3L on my pc, a 3L in my pack, and a nalgene molle pouch strapped to the side.  I also have lifestraws.  I could theoretically strap a second nalgene or canteen on my pack.  But, I'm not in as much of an arid climate as you are.  They advise against using liquids other than water in the bladder systems.  You could go for something like power/gatorade in your canteen to help keep you hydrated a bit better.  

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Pretty much the same setup 3l cambak 2 mil canteens and 1/2 two liter bottles in pack.

sawer mini, water tabs, and about 4oz of powderd chlorine.  

sometime that extra 2l kills me on weight,,but on the long rucks in mid summer here I need it.

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Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink!

Water; Importance, Purification Methods, Storage and Carry

§  The human body is about 97% water by weight. 

§  On average a human cannot live longer than 72 hours without taking in water to their body.

§  A person who is adequately hydrated will urinate about every 90 minutes while awake.

§   If you are going 2 hours or more between urinations, you are already in the early stages of dehydration!


Signs and symptoms of inadequate hydration may include;

  • Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of coordination
  • Mental confusion
  • Irritability
  • Dry skin
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Diminished urine output


Intake of the proper amount of clean potable water is important daily to help prevent dehydration and heat injuries such as;

Heat Cramps

Grasping or massaging a limb (arm or leg) or bending over in an effort to relieve the pain of an abdominal cramp.  Skin wet with perspiration.  Unusual thirst.

Heat Exhaustion

Profuse sweating with pale, cool skin, Weakness or faintness, Dizziness, Headache, and Loss of appetite.





Skin that is hot, dry, and red, Headache, Weakness, Dizziness, Mental confusion, Nausea or stomach pains, Seizures, Weak and rapid pulse and respiration, Sudden loss of consciousness.


Clean water is also important for sanitation reasons;

§  Washing and cleaning our clothing

§  Washing and cleaning our eating utensils a and flatware

§  Washing and cleaning our bodies


Hazards and dangers to potable drinking water include;

Protozoa, Bacteria, Cryptosporidium, Chemicals and Toxins.

Of these hazards, Protozoa, Bacteria and Cryptosporidium will be the most important to defend against in the immediate circumstances.  Chemicals and Toxins tend to be long term exposure problems over months or even years.  Also Chemicals and Toxins require higher grade filtering systems to eliminate from water that also usually takes more time for the water to run through the filter.


Store bought filtering systems;






Home made and emergency needs water filters;

A last resort method would be to dig down a few feet away from the water sours and drink the water that has filtered through the ground.

Homemade Gravity Fed Water Filter



Note, the charcoal used in homemade filters is activated charcoal for filters which may be found in pet supply stores or water conditioning stores.  Do not use grill charcoal.


Boiling of Water

Boiling water for 5 minutes will be sufficient to kill off Protozoa, Bacteria and Cryptosporidium.  The disadvantages of boiling water are that you have to have an appropriate container, you have to have heat which could give off  unwanted light in a tactical situation, it doesn’t get rid of particulates, you would still want to filter it with cloth after, and you have to wait for it to cool down to a drinkable temperature.  If you distill the water by condensing the steam in a collector this would also get rid of particulates as well as chemical and toxin contaminants.


Chemical Treatment of Water


Water may be sterilized chemically with commercial water tablets or bleach.  The disadvantages are similar to boiling water but with the added factor of some chemical bad after taste.

Water tablets;





Purifying with household bleach and also calcium hypochlorite the active ingredient of bleach:



Water carry systems and equipment for field and camping;

Hydration systems;









Cheers to safe water drinking!

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8 hours ago, VTConcernedCitizen said:

remember you need to stay properly hydrated in cold weather as well


most fail to see this fact

Very true.  Granted, snow and ice often found in colder climates can provide an abundant source of water whereas in the desert/arid regions you don't have readily available water sources just laying around on the ground.  The key is to remember to not eat snow or ice as they lower your body temp - stick them in the canteen and use your body heat to melt or use a heat source to melt into warm/hot water.  Also, as we all know, the yellow snow is not lemon flavored.  

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