A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Camino Forum Store


Is 1 litre of water enough to carry?

Are there regular opportunities along the way to refill water bottles? Also what have pilgrims found to be the most convenient way to carry the bottle? My daughter said it is very annoying if you have to take off your pack to get at the water.
I know this sounds trivial but little things can mean a lot. I have a rather sexy looking transparent plastic bottle that is meant to be tough but by the time I pack my 30 litre backpack my fat (but sexy) bottle won't jam into the outside pocket. Any suggestions?



Active Member
For me 1 l is not enough, my camel pack inside my backpack is 2 l and I sometimes had to refill it once or twice, when available, over and above liquids purchased along the CF in bars and restaurants.

Your question depends on which Camino and what sections of the Caminos. Sometimes water is plentiful and available, sometimes it is rare and it becomes your no1 priority.

You could carry your sexy bottle (nobody will notice....) in a pouch on your belt or you could get it to fit in a pouch on your pack.

Remember water IS important and essential; I would create some space in my backpack if I were you. I would rather sacrifice a second shirt or pants for a larger water bottle.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Overhydration dilutes electrolytes

I agree with Jeff. Two 500ml bottles should be sufficient. Have one on your waist belt and one in the pack. There are more than enough places to replace if you need to. Also, if you are not able to wash your plastic bottles thoroughly every day, rather buy new bottles every few days.
The March 2007 issue of UltraRunning Magazine ran an article about the dangers over over-hydration.
"Over-hydration is more likely in the back-of-the-pack runner who is moving slower ( sweating less ) and has time to drink to excess. With the excess water comes stomach sloshing, poor absorption of food ( because you need an adequate sodium concentration for absorption ), and vomiting. Salty foods taste unusually good if sodium is simultaneously low. Thirst is low. Physical signs can be hands and wrists getting tight and puffy, urination may be absent early in a run but appear later with a high volume of crystal clear urine, and there may be shivering in
temperatures that would otherwise be warm enough for no shivering.
If your stomach is not happy, or wrists and hands are getting puffy, increase your sodium intake. If that does not relieve the puffiness or stomach problems, then cut back on the fluid intake.
Beware of extreme conditions, especially when traveling to distant places where the weather conditions are not what you are used to: altitude, very hot, very cold, very dry, or very humid conditions can require
different drinking patterns than what you have used in your normal training. Dry conditions can easily fool one into dehydration as the runner thinks that sweat rate is low simply because the sweat is evaporating too fast to be seen. If the course has many water stops, there’s no need to drink any surplus as you can correct a deficiency a little further down the course."
PS: A Boston Marathon died in 2002 due to over-hydration and a woman in California died after a contest to see who could drink the most water without urination.
Hey all

2 half liter bottles , one on either side of the backpack for balance, should help you tide over the walk. But keep in mind, sometimes the places donot have water or the stores are closed.

Always choose either to fill in water at fountains where "agua potable" is mentioned or buy bottled water. I for one would always buy bottled water. I did the camino twice and always got infected with water borne diseases. so I never drink water from the tap.

Always check the guide book for distances with no stores or pubs to buy water or fill from the tap

Cheers and Good luck


No bottles

Some carry bottles but there is, for me at least, a better way. I started carrying the little 2 liter reservoir with the hose and drinking valve made by Platypus and it has some serious advantages over bottles. You stuff it anywhere on or in your pack, run the hose and bite valve across one shoulder strap and clip it to the sternum strap so as to always be just beside your mouth while you walk. This way, you never have to stop to take a dring, just do so as you walk. It helps immensely to keep me properly hydrated because I dont have to stop and fiddle for my water in separate containers someplace.

A newer one is:
http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/produc ... GoogleBase

Here is a review of the 2 liter hoser by platypus:
http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews ... 2%20Liter/

Here is the manufacturer, Cascade Designs:
http://www.platypushydration.com/produc ... x?ProdID=9

Try one. You'll love it.

Fill it from the tap in the morning before you leave from whatever albergue you spend the night in and you are set for the day, augmented of course by a few cafe con leches in some of the little villages you will pass through plus an occasional cold beer or two or three...

Spain has good water. I never became sick. There was mention of one place upon the meseta though, where I heard that the water might have been suspect but it did not bother me at all


Veteran Member
Donating Member
I took 2 SIGG 1-litre bottles in April/May but next time will try 2 0.6L bottles - but will need to carry an extra 1L (just in ordinary bottles or Platypus plastic flat bottles that are very light) for the meseta or when there are few chances to refill; for me, there's less to worry about over-hydration and I'd rather carry a little more just to make sure that I'm very unlikely to run out
When I walked the Frances last year, I didn't bring my own bottles; instead I bought, used a few days and then discarded the containers, and then bought new bottled water. Kinda expensive :)

When I walked last month on the Portugues, I brought a 500ml Katadyne bottle with a portable filter. I refilled this as I walked, though I always made sure I had an extra 500ml bottle in my pack. It was better for me, since I filled up at the potable fuentes I saw along the way.

When I hike in general, I use one 500ml Platypus collapsible container and three 250ml Platypus collapsible containers. The small ones I wedge in my pants pocket and in the external pack pockets, and the larger one I stuff in my pack as a reserve. Usually works, and the smaller ones are more versatile and I need not stop to open my pack.

I would go with my Portugues experience, though, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. But yes, the water in Spain and in Galicia in particular is good. I drank from potable taps and didn't get sick.

Some advice is that you must drink water, however water is heavy. Water is frequently available, might make you sick if you drink the wrong water from a fountain in the middle of a town (I never got sick doing that though, and to be honest don't know anybody who has). When I first did the Camino, my pack started the trip heavy, and rather quickly lost a great deal of its weight (including the fancy platypus hydration system). I ended up carrying one .5 L bottle hooked onto a caribiner on the side of my pack which I could reach easily while walking, and also carrying one .5 L bottle inside my pack. I found that food (or carbohydrates specifically) was a big issue for me, and I purchased some sports drink powder in Leon or Burgos or some big city like that and I started keeping the second bottle mixed with the sports drink which I gulped down with a bag of raisins when I got really tired feeling. I think probably at the start, it is better to have on hand more water than you need, and as the days go by, adjust how much you carry based on how much you actually consume. Remember though, keep some water close by as you walk, maybe in a small container so that it doesn't cause discomfort or put you out of balance, and keep additional water in a larger volume in your pack. Good luck.
I'm at the other extreme. I usually started the day with 2 liters of water in a camelback, plus a partially filled half liter bottle in case I ran out. I could get away with this because, in all other respects, I packed very lightly.

It depends on what you personally need. I tend to get dehydrated, was walking in August, and really didn't want to run out of water. I never did run out, but I did occasionally empty my camelback and move on to my second bottle.

I had no problems drinking from fountains in towns along the way. Just avoid fountains with signs saying that the water is unsafe.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
I always like to carry plenty of water as well. especially if it is hot. I have just spent two weeks in the Northern Territory in Australia. The guides checked every time we went walking that we had plenty of water. Tourists in Oz are afraid of snakes, sharks, spiders and all the creepy crawlies, but apparently more tourists get into strife with dehydration than anything else. They had signs posted before many of the popular walks telling you how much water you needed to take. Of course, in Outback Australia you are not coming across villages every so often as you do on the Camino.
Better safe than sorry :)


I am of the opinion that it is always worth carrying a little extra water than you need. Unless it gets too cold you can do without EVERYTHING else in your pack for a few days but not the water ;)

But saying that, I think that 1L of water is enough for most of the pilgrimage. There are a few places where there is a reasonable distance between towns and if you plan before hand you will be fine.

But, I also think you should plan to have enough water to walk an extra 5-10kms between stops. You never know when you might take a wrong turn and funilly enough, from my experience it is always these times you run out of water :)




Active Member
Tis a funny one. I've got a 1l Sigg bottle and tend to get another 500ml plastic bottle and tuck it away somewhere. I use a Camelbak when I'm biking, but it tastes horrible, so would only really want to use it for short stints.


I think the camelbackpacks are not quite the thing. We aren't camels.

If you do use one of those fancy devices it may look all cool, futuristic and StarWars but you don't stop to drink. No other creature does this!

If you use bottles you have to stop, so you put the pack down, you look around, you stretch a little - you enjoy life! Also, with a bottle you can offer a drink to someone else. You can share. You can pour water over your head.

My best is two half litre bottles, one either side of pack for balance. Drink well before you start. Wrap them in aluminium foil to keep them cool. Fill them wherever you can. If you know it is going to be hard going carry more for that day.
Drink before you are thirsty. And if you find you have stopped sweating then you are in trouble. Get into the shade, rest, and drink.

By the way - don't forget that if you soak your hat it cools your head as it evaporates - verr nice.


Active Member
Br. David said:
I think the camelbackpacks are not quite the thing. We aren't camels.

If you do use one of those fancy devices it may look all cool, futuristic and StarWars but you don't stop to drink. No other creature does this!
What is so fancy, cool, futuristic and star wars about a pouch of water that you keep in your backpack ? You can stop to drink, you can drink while walking and the water keeps cool. Furthermore you don't pollute with all these plastic bottles littering the landscape.

My dear Br you must evolve with the times. Who says who have to stop if you use bottles ? who says you don't enjoy life if you use a camelpack ? who says you don't strech with a camelpack ?

People use whatever they feel comfortable with, be it bottles, gourds or camelpacks. Stop being so old fashioned and conservative. Enjoy life whatever you drink from....


Ouch - did that hurt then?

It is the mouthpiece on a tube that I find StarWarssie ...

Why would anyone want to suck on a tube of water whilst they are walking?

Why does using a bottle equate with litter?

Writing 'you have to stop' does not actually infer an imperative, it is just a manner of speech ... of course there isn't a water policeman who will jump out from behind a tree and issue a ticket if you happen to be caught moving when you drink. What I really meant is that drinking water from a bottle can become more of a pleasant break.

Why must I evolve with the times? And surely you actually mean 'adapt to the times'? Nothing evolves, everything adapts. There is no evolution, only adaptation (look at the fossil record for proof).

EErrmmm, sorry to be a bother, but why must I stop being old-fashioned and conservative? (If I am old-fashioned and conservative). -What is old-fashioned or conservative about believing that to stop for a waterbreak can be part of a pleasurable experience?

I do apologise for implying that the pilgrimage is more of a walk than a race - but I don't think I am telling anyone how to drink water, I think I wrote what was best for me?

Actually, I don't watch television or read newspapers either - is this also old-fashioned and conservative or is it liberal and futuristic?
You may be pleased to know that I am now a vegetarian is that old-fashioned and conservative or the opposite?

Please do, all of you, use thoseCamelbackpouchcontainertubiesuckingmouthpiecethingies if you wish, I shall stick to those terribly old-fashioned bottle things (the ones I don't pollute the countryside with).

As the Camelback discussion appears to be turning a bit heated, I thought I would put my two cents worth into the discussion as someone who started out with a Camelback, and stopped using it a week or so into the Camino. I found that the Camelback's greatest convenience while walking was to spray water into my hat, and on my head without wasting too much water onto the ground. I did not like the taste of the water, believe that it was too heavy given its utility, and ultimately preferred bottles. Certainly some will differ, but I really did like the showers I could give myself while walking along though.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:

You may be pleased to know that I am now a vegetarian is that old-fashioned and conservative or the opposite?
Remember this post?

Sausage doesn't go off. Nuts are ghastly things, I loathe them.... I know about the veggie response ... I disagree with it.... So let us not be smug.

Br David - you have evolved!
I am a big fan of the camelback. Especially when it is really hot. I have found that as it gets hotter i get lazier and if i have to get at a bottle, it doesnt happen as often as it should.

And also, if you get dehydrated, the best way to rehydrate is with little sips. If you have big drinks every time you stop most of the water cant be absorbed. So regardless of whether u use a camelback or not you should sip regularly, especially if you are sweating a lot.


AAwww, Sillydoll, really! That is why I put that in!

And .. sausage still doesn't go off and I still loathe nuts, ghastly things.

And, no, I adapted! (I'm an 'Intelligent Design' man) - It was like this ... I regularly drove past a place where some young rabbits could be seen on the grass verge. There is also a feral (house)cat that hung around trying to catch one. This concerned me and then the moral problem intrigued me ... I could chase the cat away to protect the rabbits, but the cat might have young which would then possibly die of hunger ... answer? There are two issues, not one - so, protect the rabbits and feed the cat .. but cat food is made of meat ... so I am still involved in abbatoir death ... so .. how can I be concerned for a rabbit or kitten but unconcerned that I encourage breeding and death of animals to feed me? Answer, stop doing that (was how my line of thought went) .... but I still kill mosquitos .... no way out I suppose.

anyway - nice response Sillydoll ... I laughed out loud!
In my opinion two half-litre bottles is enough. A rule could be, one litre each 10 km. But in summer may be necessary to drink more water. And, if you are walking the VDLP in summer ... buf, at least 2,5 or 3 litres because it's difficult to find water often.

The half-litre bottles are very cheap, it never break and the bottle weights nothing. Take as much you consider.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
Well in western canada, bikers call it a camelback. walkers use a bladder bag. It is a heavy material and the WATER TASTES great (2L) it sells at mountain equipment co op for $15. i have used it the last 2 years and i would NOT USE water bottles. I drink alot of water, and i couldn't image taking off my pack, or asking someone to get my bottle for me. i think with the bladder i drank more. and yes it is possible to run out. (especially on the north route!). it may weigh alittle more but for me, the bag inside the pack is the ONLY WAY to go.
have a great camino


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
having just finished from le puy to sdc i found most people carried too much water, me included and there was a procession of people at each fountain tipping out most of the water they had filled up in the previous fountain. i carried no more than 750ml through july august.admittedly i ran out once or twice but there are such things as shops and i survived to tell the story.somebody once suggested 5 litres on the meseta-ridiculous!!! thats 5kgs that you dont need-come to think of it thats roughly what my entire pack weighed.
Camino(s) past & future
June (2015) & June/July (2018)
Are there regular opportunities along the way to refill water bottles? Also what have pilgrims found to be the most convenient way to carry the bottle? My daughter said it is very annoying if you have to take off your pack to get at the water.
I know this sounds trivial but little things can mean a lot. I have a rather sexy looking transparent plastic bottle that is meant to be tough but by the time I pack my 30 litre backpack my fat (but sexy) bottle won't jam into the outside pocket. Any suggestions?
Aside from water bottles, I carried a simple steel camping mug that I drank out of more than my bottles. When I came to a water source, I used my cup instead of taking out my bottles to refill. I also used teh cup for coffee in the morning, wine, and other beverages on the camino.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
For CF 1 liter is enough. For other caminos like via de la Plata, better to carry more, especially if one can't refill along the way. If one includes lunch outside with sandwiches or bread then more water is necessary.

I take 1.5 liter. 1 liter bottle in the side of the backpack and 500/600 ml smaller bottle in front (I have a front fanny pack with a bottle holder. The front bottle will last through the morning. For lunch, I will refill half from the 1 liter to the front and drink the other half. Should easily last the day.


Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
I carry two 600ml bottles and that has been enough to date. I carry them in the front pockets of my Aarn pack, so no need to remove the pack to reach my water or to refill.

If I was going to be walking a section of over 16km with no way of refilling along the way, I would carry an extra bottle.
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (2017), plus more than 2000 Km/year of trekking, hiking and minor caminos since 2000.
I am always fascinated by the variety of solutions that pilgrims use to carry water. And I love so much hearing the discussions about bottle vs camel bag ( and also, BTW, poles/no poles, trails shoes vs boots...) in the albergues and even while walking.
There is always something to learn. :cool:
I shift the attention to the beginning of this thread: "Is 1 litre of water enough to carry?"
We all know the importance of drinking ALWAYS before feeling thirsty (that means a good gulp about every 15-20 minutes).
A friend of mine - a spots medicine professor at our local university, and pilgrim and trail runner too - teaches this rule of thumb to carry water:
in normal temperatures (average 20° to 25° C) and percentage of humidity from 40 to 70% a healthy person needs about 0.5 liter of water every 5-6 Km.
At "pilgrim speed" that means 0.5 liter every hour.
Of course, all of us know very well how much this indication can vary in extreme (low and high) temperatures and in relationship to age, weight and fat percentage in the body.
So, when you plan your leg, be sure to carry enough water to cover the maximum distance between a source (bar, public fountain, village, farm...) and the next.
Last edited:


Forever Pilgrim
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
About the importance of water: I always carry 2 0.5 litres bottles of water. All guides emphasize the importance of drinking enough... So, on the Frances, I stop now and then at one of the (frequent) cafes and drink beer. I always carry the water. ;)

Edit: This is not a wildlife trek: It is a walk between villages/towns, and they are many. You will find all you need mostly everywhere.
Last edited:

OLDER threads on this topic


Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 4 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 3 0.9%
  • March

    Votes: 17 5.1%
  • April

    Votes: 58 17.3%
  • May

    Votes: 82 24.5%
  • June

    Votes: 27 8.1%
  • July

    Votes: 9 2.7%
  • August

    Votes: 2 0.6%
  • September

    Votes: 86 25.7%
  • October

    Votes: 40 11.9%
  • November

    Votes: 4 1.2%
  • December

    Votes: 3 0.9%