Item 7 on the Boy Scout list of Ten Essentials for the outdoors is water. It is presumably part of item 10, extra food, on The Mountaineers classic list. On The Mountaineers updated list, it is given its own slot as item 9, Hydration (extra water).

For short hikes, we will each take a liter of tap water from home in a reusable plastic water jug or a collapsible water bladder. For full-day hikes, we carry along two liters each. We always carry along some type of water purification and filtration system, just in case.

Our Favorites

  • Nalgene 32 Ounce HDPE Wide Mouth – These are Mr. FamilyTrivium’s favorites, mainly because he is frugal. These are inexpensive and durable. Mr. Family Trivium has been using these for decades (and has some that are decades old). It’s wide mouth is a perfect for the bottle adapter that comes with the Katadyn Hiker water filter.
  • CamelBak Chute 1L – This is Mrs. FamilyTrivium’s favorite. She hardly ever goes out without one of the rest of us, who will likely be carrying their daypack with the Ten Essentials. If she doesn’t take her pack, she’ll take her water and the Chute has a comfortable two-finger carry handle.
  • Platypus SoftBottle – Mr. FamilyTrivium has been experimenting with one of these for the last year. It is very lightweight and it’s nice that it takes up less space as water is consumed. So far, it has proven durable and if it doesn’t it comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • Outdoor Products 1L Foldable Water Bottle – These have recently showed up in Walmart stores in our area. A couple of members of the FamilyTrivium household have been trying this model. Though it doesn’t come with a lifetime warranty, the comments about the SoftBottle, so far, also apply to this model. It’s shape is awkward to handle compared to the SoftBottle, but it is significantly less expensive than the Platypus.

In addition to the items mentioned above, depending upon the situation, we will also carry between two and seven gallons of water in a cooler or dedicated, non-insulated tank in the trunk of our vehicle just in case we’ve emptied our bottles and are thirsty when we get back to the trail head, or in case someone else could use it. Even if we are prepared to do so, this is safer, easier and quicker than purifying and/or filtering water onsite.


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