Hydration Options For Hot Days
Now that the days are getting longer and hotter, many of us have found that our usual walks, hikes, and runs require more water. Hydration is important for comfort but is absolutely essential for health on hot days. We thought we’d take a look at some common ways to carry water along with you for your outside activities.
The first option we’ll look at is the hydration pack. This is simply a backpack with a built in water bladder. Many choose this option because of the convenience of being able to carry a lot of water while keeping both hands free. They typically come with an easy to use spout or straw for sipping and extra pockets or space to carry a few small things along with your water. For safety, many of them will feature a reflective or bright pattern on the back and straps as well as hold a safety whistle in one of the straps. These can range anywhere from $25 - $125 and are easily found in outdoors stores or through large online retailers such as Amazon.com. A typical volume is anywhere from 50-70oz. The drawback of the large pack is that they are cumbersome when doing something more vigorous such as running.
For an activity such as running, a hydration vest is more likely to be what you’d reach for. Some hydration vests have a bladder with a straw like the pack above but many have a series of pockets that carry refillable containers. Either way, the water is stored in multiple compartments on both the front and back of the vest. This distributes the weight more evenly around the wearer’s body and allows the vest to be more fitted, reducing the amount of unwanted bouncing and movement from the vest. These can also range in price from around $50 - $150 depending on the volume, style, and brand.
To get the water off your back you can try a running belt that will carry not just water bottles but also snacks, keys, and often a phone. These are a great choice if you tend to sweat a lot and don’t want the extra layers on your back but the belts do tend to carry less water. This might be a dealbreaker for a long run but running belts can be useful for many outdoor activities from long walks to gardening. The belts are a bit more budget friendly as well running from $15 - $50.
Handheld Water Bottles
If you don’t mind carrying something around in your hand, there are a number of water bottles designed for running that have easy-carry handles or sleeves that wrap over your hand like a glove. Of course these will not hold as much volume as a pack or even a belt but for a short stint it might be just right. The models with the large back of hand pockets and handle straps will run at about $30 but you can pick up a minimal version for about $12.
Whatever you choose, just make sure to stay hydrated because heat related illness can be difficult to notice at first. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are all common illnesses that can seemingly creep up out of nowhere and they can quickly turn into emergencies if not treated early. Keeping plenty of water nearby, even for short trips out of the house, can make a big difference.