Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

I know that I have touched on this subject before but I recently received an e-mail from a moron, er, I mean, a guy I know, who was out treasure hunting, ran out of water and thought he was going to have to call for a rescue. He wasn’t planning on going into his site as far as he did and he wound up out of water and far away from a refill.

We are getting into the hot months of the year, really hot in some places and if you just feel the need to get out in the heat then be prepared! Figure out how much water you think you will need and then double it! I know that adds a lot of weight to carry around but if you going to hunt in the heat, start working out so you can carry the extra weight.

I have found that the easiest and most comfortable way to carry a lot of fluids is in a camelback. I have several different styles of these and the water reservoirs are all 100 ounces each. Depending on where I am hunting and the time of year I will carry up to four of these at a time plus two quarts of Gatorade. The only saving grace here is that as the day goes on the load gets lighter!

You can buy name brand equipment like Camelback or Hydra-Storm if you want but there are others out there that are almost as good and less expensive. I prefer Camelback’s bite valves and shut-off systems but even Wal-Mart carries a generic 64-ounce bag that you can slip into a backpack you already own. These are fairly cheap, just ten bucks the last time I checked. Any of these will allow you to fill it full of ice first and then add your water. Depending on how your backpack is set up this will help keep your back cool and give you cold water to drink at the same time. Full of ice and inside a backpack the water in a camelback will stay cool for several hours.

If you are lucky enough to hunt in an area that has a water source such as a creek, pond, river or lake then invest in a backpacker's water filter, something like the ones made by Pur or Sweet-Water. Make sure to get one that kills viruses. If the area you are hunting in doesn’t have a water source then make sure you carry more water than what you think you will need.

I also can’t say enough about Gatorade. I hate to sound like a commercial for them but when you are really sweating a bottle of Gatorade will do more for you than water will. I always carry both when I’m hunting. I prefer cold clean water when I’m thirsty but there are times I know I need what is in the Gatorade so I keep it handy too.

I don’t want to have to have this conversation again.

Think before you hunt, plan ahead and be prepared.

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