Your camping trip may include some hiking and swimming, or you may just be hanging out and relaxing, but you’re going to need water for everyone in your party. Rather than worrying about purifying found water, try to bring in freshwater for everyone to use.
How Much Water to Bring Camping
The quickest rule of thumb is to bring two gallons of water per person per day. One gallon is for drinking, and the other gallon is for the necessities, such as washing up, brushing teeth, cooking, and doing dishes.
How Much Does a Liter of Water Weigh?
Water isn’t light. A liter weighs 2.2 pounds or 1 kilo, while a gallon is more than 8 pounds. If your tap water is drinkable, consider stocking up on reusable containers that you can use to carry water on your next camping trip. For example, there are many beverages, including teas and almond milk, that come in a plastic bottle that you can clean up and refill with water for your travels. These are already designed for transport and make it easy to carry them from place to place.
How Do You Pack Water for Camping?
Until you know you’re going to be doing a lot of camping, keep things simple. Consider recycling beverage containers that you already have, as suggested above. The first investment you want to make is to treat yourself to a personal water bottle with purifying filter that you alone drink. Invest in a bottle for everyone on your camping trip and get a couple of extra filters for each member of your party.
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The best way to make sure that you’re drinking enough clean water is to always have a bottle with you. This investment will keep you safer and healthier as you get more time in the great outdoors.
How Do You Wash Dishes While Camping?
The simplest way to wash dishes while camping is to use a spray bottle filled with white vinegar. However, the first step is to ensure that your pots, pans, and plates are as clean as possible before you start washing up.
If you’re cooking over a fire pit, make sure you bring aluminum foil and some heavy leather gloves as well as tongs for reaching. There are a lot of foods that can be
- washed before you get on the road
- wrapped in foil at the campsite
- cooked over a fire pit or grill
- enjoyed fully while you recycle the cooking pot
Please make sure you also travel with a few whole wheat tortillas or wraps and encourage your fellow diners to do a little cleanup of their personal dish to cut down on waste. Once you have the dirty dishes in front of you,
- spray them down with white vinegar
- wipe everything out with a paper towel
- spray everything down with water
- wipe dishes one last time and let everything dry
The trick to keeping your camping gear as clean as possible is to clean up quickly after eating and get any grease off the plates. If you find that things are getting a little crusty on this camping trip, invest in a stiff dish brush before your next adventure.
Many folks hate the scent of vinegar. If you really can’t bear to wash up with vinegar, you can fill your spray bottle with rubbing alcohol or cheap vodka. Take care to rinse everything fully, and never use alcohol around a flame.
Is it OK to Purify Lake Water With Water Purification Tablets?
Water purification tablets are a good thing to have in your emergency kit but don’t rely on lake water as a primary water source. Chemical purification tablets can’t protect you from cryptosporidium. However, if it’s a choice between dehydration and chemical tablets, use the tablets while you get to a better water source.
The United States National Parks Service reminds campers to plan ahead. If you get stranded and must stay out for longer than you expected,
- collect water near the source, or at the highest elevation you can get to
- don’t dunk your bottle; gather from the surface
- filter the water through an absolute pore size of 1 micron to reduce the risk of giardia and cryptosporidium
- boil the water for at least a minute; three minutes if you’re over 6,500 feet
Ensure that you, your pets, and all your traveling companions do everything possible to avoid drinking contaminated water. Yes, packing it in can be a serious hassle and will add a lot of weight to your gear. However, giardia and cryptosporidium are nothing to play around with and will make you sick for a long time. Worse, they can be fatal to your pet if not caught early.
If you are camping near a source of water that looks clean, you may be able to get in a daily swim and feel pretty clean for the whole of your camping trip. This will reduce the amount of water you need to pack in. However, any water that you get from a local tap or from the water source itself will need to be purified.