How Much Water Should You Bring To Camping?

How Much Water Should You Bring To Camping

Are you planning for an outdoor stay and thinking about how much water should you bring to camping? Indeed essential as a survival need and we help you with finding what type of water needs you would encounter. Take experts’ words and you would never go thirsty!

The rule, in general, is to bring two gallons of water, or nearly seven and a half liters, per person per camping day. Does it sound like a whole heap? But remember, the water you bring to camping is not only for drinking. On a typical camping trip, there are more activities involved.

Although it is heavy and takes more space, water is one of the most vital things on your list. And bringing an adequate amount of water means you have enough water to drink, cook, clean things, and take care of personal hygiene. Defining how much water should you bring to camping depends on how many people and animals are coming with you, how long you stay, and what plans you have. And in case if you find any potential water sources in your area that would be a help too.

Let’s read on the facts to help you out with calculating how much water should you bring to camping and stay hydrated and happy for all the adventures.

Water for drinking during your stay

Water for drinking during your stay

The fact is that a healthy adult should drink about 64 ounces or about two liters of water every day. So think about bringing at least one gallon of water that is fit to drink per person per camping day. But, this is going to be changed with what kind of camping activities you are planning to engage in during the stay. Maybe you hit the trails, take a lot of swimming, and take a long way cycling or anything.

When we are outdoors, we need more energy to stay fit. Especially when camping with a lot of activities involved, water is essential to keep everyone hydrated and fueled. But the amount of water you will need to drink on each camping day may vary for different reasons. In fact, that comes with where you go, in what weather, how long to stay and what plan to do and etc. Here we go with the things you should count on.

Activities planned:

While some go camping to sit and relax, a majority go to get active in various activities. When thinking about how much water should you bring to camping for drinking purposes, consider the plans you have and the amount of energy you will have to put out. If your body is working a lot, you will need more water to stay hydrated even if it is cold outside.

If you plan to hit the trail, go long hiking, get involved in adventurous climbing, swim a lot, play with kids and so much to be active, make sure you take more water drink along with more water to clean yourselves. But if your plan is just to sit and read a book or have a great snap on your camping hammock, only seven and a half liters, per person per camping day will be adequate.

Climatic changes:

For hydration, climatic changes effects heavily and you should consider when you are going to camp in any preferred destination. If you camp when it is too sunny and red hot outside, you will sweat more even not participate in activities and have to take more water. In a moist climate, you will need a different amount of water than in dryland but will keep sweating and you will need to take adequate water.

Note: When winter camping, you do not need to take plenty of water with you as you can melt snow as required by using your camping stove. And by boiling water, you can ensure they are safe to consume


If you are fond of great views and going to higher elevations, you will definitely need more water. As to Wilderness Medical Society, we lose more water through respiration when at a high altitude and that is twice as fast as at sea level. Therefore, get prepared for it if you are focusing on higher elevations.

Once you are decided on the above facts, you can multiply the amount of water for each by the number of teammates and think about how long you are going to stay.

Special Notes to you:

  • How much water for children while camping?

Children between the age of 1 to 4 need about 1.3 liters of water per day and those are between the ages of 5 to 8 should take about 1.5 liters on average each day.

If they are more active, increase the intake and do not move to alternatives like sugary juice or carbonated drinks that may lead to dehydration easily.

  • How much water for dogs while camping?

It is really fun to take your dog with you when camping but consider its health a priority and take enough water for your dog too.

Dogs are different in breeds, size, and the level of fitness and the amount of water they take easily vary. But in general, per pound of bodyweight, they drink about 0.03 liters. Therefore, calculate the bodyweight in 0.03 liters to know exactly how much water should you bring to camping.

Water to cook and clean while camping

Water to cook and clean while camping

At home, we use gallons of water each passing day for cooking and things like cleaning. But when camping, you have limited water, and being conservative can save a lot for more uses. Therefore, using water to cook at your campsite should be well managed to prevent running out of the water you have.

When you cook while camping, you will need some amount of water and we could not exactly say how much. From meal to meal and person to other, it would change that amount of water. However, if you have freeze-dried packs, you will definitely need some extra water.

As to the most experienced campers, having a proper meal plan is a smart way you can think about how much water should you bring to camping for cooking. And after the meals, use the minimum amount of water to clean up all of them. Make sure your cookware, cups, and plates are easy to clean after use.

Water for personal hygiene

Water for personal hygiene

To keep personal hygiene while camping you need a considerable amount of water. Under this, brushing teeth, showering, washing your face, shaving if needed or anything similar can count to stay clean during camping.

From person to person, the amount of water for hygiene care would vary. But we can roughly take it at 2 liters or 72 ounces of water per camping day for a person to manage with all kinds of things above said.

However, if you have access to some kind of shower or toiletry, you can totally ignore this and cut off some weight.

Is there any freshwater source while camping?

Is there any freshwater source while camping?

Packing gallons and gallons of water for your long way camping trip is not an idea that always works. There, you can check with potential water sources you have access to in the camping area to avoid packing a lot with you.

If you are car camping, you can easily find access to water sources and most of the campgrounds are having running water. And many campsites along the Appalachian Trail are sited near a stream or lake providing you with alternative options to find water. In case if you find them not good to drink, bring drinkable water as much as needed and use water from these sources for other things like cleaning.

Water filters are value additions in backpackers’ lists and they can also be useful for car campers as lakes, waterfalls, streams like water sources are quite possible in many camping areas. If you have a water filter, you can ensure water from anywhere is clean and safe even to drink.

For those who are planning to go to desert environments, water can be a bit challenging fact. Especially, it would be impossible to find water sources around making you strictly stick with what you have packed. In that case, you can cleverly map out your way for water stock-ups you can find in towns. But if it does not work, the only solution is packing enough water before you leave camping.

Did you know; our bodies are made of equal to 60% of water and even 1% dehydration can bring harm to memory, ability to focus, and complete mood.

Water is essential to keep our bodies functioning and while camping it takes some extra. How much water should you bring to camping is supported with various facts and we here just lead to basics. Make sure you consider each and every fact subjectively and leave no room for errors. So, pack right and never go thirsty!

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