You should never set out on a hike or adventure without the proper hydration – I recommend having at least 2L in a hydration reservoir, and more depending on how long you plan to be out for, and a filter to make sure that if you do run out of water, you have the ability to filter water you find on the trail.
A hydration reservoir is a great tool because it keeps your water in your pack against your spine (for better stability and weight distribution) while allowing you to easily drink while on the move.
Despite using a Gregory Backpack, I use an Osprey Hydraulics 2.5L Reservoir, which has a few key features that I really like:
- A rigid backplate that keeps the reservoir upright in your bag
- Flexible, two piece tube from reservoir to mouthpiece for easy disconnection and cleaning
- Wide-mouth filling area
- Compatibility with many different backpacks
- Magnetic clip for mouthpiece to easily attach to shoulder strap
- Leak-proof bite guard
Click Here to Buy the Osprey Hydraulics 2.5L Reservoir
Having a portable water filter on hand keeps you from finding yourself in a situation without clean water – most filters on the market can easily take even dirty, standing water and turn it into something drinkable. If possible, you want to always look for flowing water (less chance of bacteria and debris), but in an emergency, a filter gives you that ability to just use whatever you can find. Do not ever rely on being able to find water on a trail if you have the ability to carry the full amount that you need.
I use the Sawyer Squeeze portable filter and attached bottle. Its lightweight, and can easily fold up to take up just a tiny amount of space in my pack. I really like this unit for several key reasons:
- Filter attaches to included 16oz collapsible bottle – meaning you can quickly fill the bottle, and then filter as you go
- Standard water bottle thread – the filter can easily attach to many standard type plastic bottles
- Quick, low effort filtration – it is not difficult to push the water through the filter (an issue I have seen with some other filter systems)
- Portable and lightweight
One time this system really came to the rescue was when I was hiking in Yosemite – I had forgotten to top off my reservoir, and ran out of water halfway through a 9 mile hike. Luckily, I found a small trickle of water flowing down the side of a rock face, and was able to take a few minutes to filter out enough water to refill my reservoir.