As hunters and anglers explore deeper into the wilderness in search of wild trout, bugling elk, or remote waterfowling holes, backcountry hunting and fishing is becoming more and more of an athletic pursuit for active adventurers. Those who are willing to push where trucks and four-wheelers can’t go will find millions of acres of public land to use and enjoy. This also means, however, that modern backcountry hunters and anglers need to treat their bodies like mountain athletes, which requires a more attuned approach to hydration.
When you need to put some miles behind you in search of game or to get to a secret fishing hole, it’s essential to carry enough water with you and have it accessible so you can replenish fluids regularly. It’s no surprise that hydration reservoirs are our favorite systems for hydration in the field. They can easily be adapted to almost any backpack, and some of our partners—like Badlands—offer hunting and fishing specific packs compatible with hydration systems.
Of course, some people prefer a water bottle and it’s nice to have one to drink from while replenishing fluids in camp. Our Stash and Stow are excellent options to use while traveling in the backcountry: they weigh mere ounces and pack down incredibly small while not in use. Our Stow 500 mL and SoftFlask 250mL are small enough to fit in some exterior pocket or hip belt pocket on some backpacks.
Hiking all day with a pack and hunting or fishing gear is physically demanding enough, but throwing in altitude and varying weather conditions can expedite dehydration and hinder you from not only finding success in the field, but also potentially creating dangerous situations. Make sure to take elevation and exceedingly hot or cold temperatures you may encounter into consideration when making a plan. And, like many outdoor athletes do, you should consider supplementing with electrolytes if you’ll be going over a few miles, especially if it’s over difficult terrain. Keeping all this in mind and having a solid plan for hydration will ensure you’re ready when you come across your quarry in the wilderness.