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Water amount


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How often is there possible to refill your water bottle, every X-km? How large amount of water do you carry (enough with 1 litre bottle to fill up), to not have too much to carry? We will be there during the hot period of the end of June and July.

Thanks in advance.


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Hola Daniel,
I carried two 500ml plastic bottles and filled them up whenever neccessary. There are fuentes (fountains) all along the route in villages and towns - most have signs saying "Potable" or "Non Potable". You can also fill up in cafe bars or buy water.
You will be fine! Keep hydrated, especially if you are walking in summer.
Buen Camino
i wouldn't bother carrying a liter of water. i carried a half a liter and it was fine. every pueblo no matter how small has a pilgrims' fountain and almost all of them have potable water.

however i found that drinking water was useless. it ran straight through me, in the top and out the bottom. i developed the policy of never passing a bar without going in. i'd walk in, order a beer, a pot of tea, and a glass of pineapple juice. that seemed to work, but this time i'm going to try adding emergen-c to my water.

in hospitalero training they told us to be sure to eat something every time we drank in order to avoid hyponatremia (pissing your electrolytes away) so i'm also gonna carry dried fruit (potassium) and salted nuts (sodium).

an amusing (to me) sidelight to this question is that before i made my first camino, every time (every time!) i told people what i was planning to do, they'd get this dreamy look in their eyes and say "you're going to have to carry a canteen." apparently in the american psyche there's something very romantic about carrying a canteen. i soon gave up on pointing out to people that europe is the home of bottled water.
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I agree with not carrying too much water - I carried a 500 ml bottle myself. The one place I had problems were crossing the Cize Pass from SJPP to Roncesvalles as there are few water sources on that climb and I ran into an extremely strong head-wind almost wearing me out.
Otherwise, even if it was extremely hot days, I made sure to empty and refill the bottle whenever I could.

- Zohar -
I carried something like 1 litre of water in two bottles, one plastic, the other aluminium and still suffered on one day as a result of fountains being out of service... To the extent that my gums were bleeding!

Be careful!
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Monitor yourself

Water discipline is extremely important when exerting yourself.

The best way to gauge whether you're drinking enough is to check your urine:

If it's clear, you are well hydrated and only need to continue to drink as regularly as before.

If it's yellow, you need to drink more.

If it's dark yellow and has an odor, you are running a risk of dehydration and need to drink much more.

It helps to begin hydrating a week or so before you begin your walk. This is doubly true if you're flying, as the plane will dry you out.

I also drink at least a pint (250 ml) of water in the morning before I start walking to ensure I start well hydrated.

For the record, coffee, tea & beer shouldn't be counted as water input. They are dieuretics and will also dry you out.
On my camino there were stretches somtimes as longas 17km and I was doing these in the early morning. There was no town or villages between along some of these routes. Each night I would plan my route the next day and based on the route plan I would decide what to carry. In actual fact I carried a platypus of 1.8 Litres and I just filled it when it was empty. I always drank a least 300mils before starting in the morning and also always drank coffe when i could as it was refreshing.
The bottom line is first not to become dehydrated and this is quite specific to the individuals needs and also to ensure you have enough and not just enough for your journey that day.
Remember in the heat of the afternoon it can be very uncomfortable if you have NO water and a final 5km to walk.

Buen camino

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I walked from SJPdP in May/June in great heat and always carried 1.5L of water. By topping up at every opportunity I seldom had to break into the last 0.5L but would not walk without it. The danger is that you start rationing yourself and then you start wondering why you feel so tired. I never felt the need for mineral supplements or fancy drinks - I suspect that a lot of it is marketing hype.

I've had a good deal of experience with Gatorade/Powerade.

One important thing to know is that those drinks are approximately twice the strength of what they should be. I guess the diluted drink doesn't taste right to people.

I dilute the drink by half with regular water, which is the right strength to help you.

If you don't dilute, the sugar in the drink pulls water out of your body and into your digestive system, and therefore dehydrates you.
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Re: Monitor yourself

JustRob said:
The best way to gauge whether you're drinking enough is to check your urine:
If it's clear, you are well hydrated and only need to continue to drink as regularly as before.
If it's yellow, you need to drink more.

I too am a keep hydrated nut but I always though a touch of colour was the ideal as too much water might drain the body of salts and nutrients. So that eating the odd nut and dried fruit at the same time a dinking is a good idea.

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