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Staying Hydrated in the Desert

How many quarts of water per person per day should you carry when packing in the desert Southwest in the middle of May?

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Question:

How many quarts of water per person per day should you carry when packing in the desert Southwest in the middle of May?

Submitted by – David, Cedar City, UT

Answer:

The classic answer, and one I also believe is true, is to drink enough water to keep your urine clear—or at least close to clear. Say no to yellow. But that probably doesn’t help too much. Here’s another classic answer: 3-5 quarts per day for the average desert spring hiker. It’s a range because individual responses to desert heat and dryness vary, partially due to how acclimated you are to desert heat and dryness. If you’re new to desert travel, I strongly suggest you pack water on the heavy side instead of the light side, until you figure out how much you need to keep peeing clear. —Buck