How To Carry Water On The Trails

Updated: Jul 14



It goes without saying that adequate hydration is one of the critical components of running. When you take your run off-road, your body's demand for water increases because of the frequent terrain changes, especially when your run includes significant climbing. However, finding a suitable way to carry water on your trail run may take some trial and error. Here are a few points to consider when deciding how to haul your water through the backcountry.


Determine Your Specific Hydration Needs

According to the National Institute of Health, "Water requirements during exercise in the heat depend on fluid loss from sweating. Sweat rate is proportional to metabolic rate and can amount to 3 to 4 liters per hour. Training and heat acclimatization can increase sweat rate by 10 to 20 percent or 200 to 300 ml per hour." Using this example, if you plan to run for an hour, be sure that you select a bottle (or two bottles) that can accommodate. When you're running, try to consume between 4 to 6 oz every 15 - 20 minutes (Specific needs may vary by individual).


How Do You Prefer To Carry Water?

These days, there are numerous options available to haul water during trail runs. What works for you comes down to individual preference. Some runners insist on carrying water in hand for easy access. This prevents you from having to fumble trying to locate the nozzle. Other runners may decide to keep their hands free by using a hydration vest. If you are new to running trail, consider how comfortable you feel navigating switchbacks, rocks, and roots; while the risk of taking a tumble is always there, it may help you in determining which methods suits you best.


How long do you plan to run?

For shorter distances or runs between 30 - 45 minutes, carrying a small 12oz water bottle may suit your needs. If you're running in significant heat, you may want to consider using an 18oz bottle to accommodate the increased sweat rate.


Longer distance trail runs in which you plan to be out greater than an hour, you may decide to carry a hydration belt or vest. You may need to plan to stops to refill as needed. In either case, you should expect to consume a more significant amount of fluids, so plan accordingly.


Handhelds


Nathans SPEEDSHOT PLUS Insulated

Handheld Flask

  • 12 oz

  • Adjustable strap

  • Small pocket for nutrition, keys, or other supplements

  • Really too small to fit a cellphone on the go


Osprey DYNA Handheld With Soft Flask

  • 250 ml

  • Right or Left hand fit with adjustable strap

  • Small pocket for keys or hydration


Nathans EXOSHOT 2.0

Handheld

  • 18 oz

  • Adjustable strap

  • Small pocket for nutrition, keys (may fit a smaller cellphone)

  • Soft flask can be used in hydration vests as well


Hydration Belts


Nathans TRAILMIX Plus

Insulated Hydration Belt

  • 2 (10oz flasks)

  • Adjuatable wais strap with reflectors integrated for night runs

  • Insulated flasks to accomodate the summer heat

  • Pocket for nutrition, keys, cellphone +


Camelback Flash Belt

  • 17 oz

  • Adjustable strap, breathable mesh for summer runs

  • Zipper pocked for nutrition, cellphone, and keys


Hydration Vests


Nathans VAPOR ZACH

  • 2.5 L capacity

  • Adjustable straps for secure fit during races

  • Pockets for nutrition, keys, or cellphone

  • Medium size rear comparment for additional storage


Solomon AGIL 6

  • 7 L capacity

  • Unisex/ One size fits all

  • Large rear compartment for extra gear

  • Breathable fabric


Nathans VAPORAIR 2.0

  • 7 L cpacity

  • Mens or Womens Adaptive-Fit technology for all body types

  • Large rear storage

  • 360 degree reflective points for night safety






feoes without saying that adequate hydration is one of the critical components of running. When you take your run off-road, your body's demand for water increases because of the frequent terrain changes, especially when your run includes significant climbing. However, finding a suitable way to carry water on your trail run may take some trial and error. Here are a few points to consider when deciding how to haul your water through the backcountry.y.

Solomon AVD SKIN 12

  • 12 L capacity

  • Adjustable chest straps to prevent bounce

  • Breathable fabric

  • Plenty of storage compartments for nutrition, keys, cellphone, small aid kit, and space to tuck away extra clothing.