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What Size Water Bottle?

ricksca

New Member
I am trying to bring the smallest pack/weight I can. How small a water bottle can I get away with to last between refills? Or, put another way, what's the longest distance between water? I'm sure that my Camelback would be plenty, but who wants to carry 100 ounces of water if you only need 32? I'd prefer to carry my one liter steel bottle if it is sufficient. (I realize that i can fill the Camelback halfway. But my smallest pack doesn't have a sleeve for it, and I like not using the plastic if I can. Using it would add 2 lbs just for the larger pack). Thanks.
 

Janeh

Active Member
I walked with a camelbak water bottle that was 750ml. It was fine. There are a few stretches where water fountains are few so just for those days I added a 500ml water bottle I bought at the shops and then threw it out once I'd gone past the long stretch. I am a thirsty walker, so the golden rule is, always, always refill your water bottle at every fountain, even if that means stopping and drinking a good dose of it and refilling.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Hi, I took a 750 ml bottle and there was only one stretch on the meseta where there were no facilities , so I took extra that day. Sorry can't remember the stretch, but it is clearly pointed out in the guidebooks. The trick is to down 1/2 to 1 litre of H2O before you leave in the morning, especially when hot. There was one day where I got lost, just past the wine fountaind, I carried straight on instead of turning sharp right within the monastery grounds and it was perilously hot and I had next to no water left, I thought I only had a short distance to go. That was not good. I felt very dry overheated, not a good moment. Regards, Gitti
 

ricksca

New Member
gittiharre said:
Hi, I took a 750 ml bottle and there was only one stretch on the meseta where there were no facilities , so I took extra that day. Sorry can't remember the stretch, but it is clearly pointed out in the guidebooks. The trick is to down 1/2 to 1 litre of H2O before you leave in the morning, especially when hot. There was one day where I got lost, just past the wine fountaind, I carried straight on instead of turning sharp right within the monastery grounds and it was perilously hot and I had next to no water left, I thought I only had a short distance to go. That was not good. I felt very dry overheated, not a good moment. Regards, Gitti

Yeah, I'm a water wimp. I live in California where we don't fool around with dehydration. I think I'll carry the 100 oz's. Thanks!
 

Annette

Member
...750ml would never be enough for me.

I drink a lot of water when walking as the body is in motion the whole time... and if it hot as well the body needs more fluid.

I carried a 2 liter camelbag... on all my 4 caminos, which I filled up at every fountain... - I would usually drink 1/2 liter of water before beginning every morning no matter what the weather was like... and sometimes I would run out of water...

I remember filling my camelbag up in Carrion de los Condes... - the next 17 km there is NOTHING... no bar, no restaurants, no houses, and no fountains... 17 km is a long way in the heat with "only" 2 liters of water... (for me it is....) Dehydration is not a game and it takes time for the body to recover again...
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
I agree with Annette. I carried two liters of water on the Camino Frances, and on the Via de la Plata. My routine was to drink half a litre before starting in the morning, a litre by lunch time and a litre in the afternoon, finishing off with 1/2 a litre in the evening.

Plus lots of coca cola each day on the Via de la Plata.

To do this, each evening I purchased two 1.5 litre bottles of water.
When I go again, I plan to carry a couple pouches of re-hydration salts and electrolytes. These replace the salts and electrolytes that you sweat out when you are in the heat.

Purchasing water may not be necessary. Spain is a developed country and the tap water is drinkable in every village. I wouldn't trust the fountains on the Via de la Plata though.

I met one peregrina who became dehydrated and ended up spending 36 hours in hospital getting fluids intraveneously. Not something anyone wants to have happen on the Camino.

David, Victoria, Canada.
 
I am in full agreement with the 2L water people! This is especially so if you are not particularly fit, walking uphill or in hot weather. I would always top up my camelbak at every fountain with drinkable water. Having too much water is a WAY better situation to be in than running out and still having 5 or 10km of walking left. I remember the 17km stretch after Carrion de los Condes. I had my 2L camelbak plus an extra 1L in a plastic bottle and still drank all of it before arriving at the end (it was very hot and we did this bit in the afternoon). There is also some villages between Burgos and Leon where the public fountains do not have drinkable water. Our guidebook said that there were fountains in the villages, so we just took our normal 2L each. However, the fountains had signs saying that the water wasn't drinkable so we didn't risk it. As it was a Sunday, all the shops were closed. We were very parched by the time we arrived at the albergue at Villamayor del Rio. The stretch before you reach San Juan de Ortega is also very dry.
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
For those using water bladders--where did you keep them (in a pack pocket/sleeve or laying on top under your lid?) and if you used a pack sleeve, how did you refill them? I am debating taking my MSR water bladder but the thought of unpacking my pack in order to refill is causing me some hesitation. My other packs do not have this sleeve (I always simply laid the bladder on top under my lid which made it a no brainer), but my new Osprey has a sleeve. I think a water bladder in a sleeve would make for a much better balanced pack weight than carrying water bottles in side pockets but I keep vacilating around the refil issue.
 

ricksca

New Member
I have never had to unpack everything to fill the bladder. The sleeve is accessible from the top of the pack. Maybe if the pack was packed drum tight it would be hard to slip the full bladder back in, but i have not had that problem.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Everyone's different and everyone drinks water differently.
I eat a lot of fruit and do not drink much water.

On the Frances, I carried two regular sized water bottles - one in each side of my pack - and filled them at each fountain. I had plenty of water. There are fountains all along the Frances - .
 

Janeh

Active Member
if I remember correctly, water marked as 'non portable' is still OK to drink - ask the villagers. It just means they haven't paid a fortune to have their water tested by the authorities and so can't by law advertise that it is drinkable. Rebekkah who is on the forum and lives on the camino explained this to me. (she will hopefully correct my post if I am wrong :) ) Also, I asked a local if they could fill my water bottle for me when I couldn't find a fountain in the village. They happily obliged. cheers, Jane
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Take limotil if you plan to drink from sources that are actually labeled non-potable. There is a lot of inertia-of-rest in Spanish government, so keep in mind that it was overcome to post that sign!
 

jeff001

Active Member
Also keep in mind that each liter of water weighs 1 kilo. Something to think about when you are carrying 2L of water uphill.
 

dutchpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, 2005, 2008, 2012
Hi all,

Am I missing a point?
It depends on the time in the year you are walking.
I walked in autumn, and did well with a 1 Liter bottle.
Summer on the meseta might be a different story though.

Ultreya,
Carli Di Bortolo
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
It's a good question - what you will find is that before you start the next day you will have info about how long/difficult it is and the availability and distances between water so you can plan daily ...

I thought that I had been thirsty in my life but realised that I hadn't when I became really thirsty on the Camino - I ran out and it was so hot .. I slowed, wore a hat, put a pebble in my mouth but just became more and more frantic ... eventually I entered a small town and there was a supermarket just off the road .. I almost barged through people in there (most rude) and stopped at the first liquid I could find, which was a stand of orange juice. I grabbed one, sat on a pallet of somethiong or other, cracked the lid, and emptied a litre straight down .. didn't touch the sides ... had another, moved on a bit looking for the water and then saw another chap coming stumbling in and doing exactly the same, stopping at the first liquid!

what it must be like to be thirsty for days I shudder to think - just some hours was enough for me ...

oh, carrying it? - two 750ml plastic bottles on either side of my pack (for balance) - and fill them to the level I expect to need plus a margin for error.

hope this helps
 

Hermanita

Active Member
Br. David said:
oh, carrying it? - two 750ml plastic bottles on either side of my pack (for balance) - and fill them to the level I expect to need plus a margin for error.

hope this helps
Br David
I like the 750ml size water bottles, that's what use here. I just buy a bottle of water and refill it.
Are 750ml size readily available in Spain or should I bring bottles with me?
Rita
 

Sheesh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2009, 2013);
? (2020)
jeff001 said:
Also keep in mind that each liter of water weighs 1 kilo. Something to think about when you are carrying 2L of water uphill.

Being a lady of ample girth, the only thing worse for me than walking uphill with too much water, would be walking uphill with not enough. I never drank so much in my life! (water that is :wink: ) Strange thing was, food lessened considerably in imporatance to me -- and I wasn't hungry much of the time, eating only because I knew I had to.

I took two 500 ml bottles in my knapsack and also a nifty 375 ml mini (that I got on the plane over) in my pant-leg pocket, and refilled all whenever the opportunity arose.

I ended at Burgos because of a family crisis back home, but I would and will take more on the long Meseta stretches.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
It´s true what someone quoted me saying above, that the "Agua Non Potable" signs just mean the water has not been tested. Still, though... a lot of those wells are alongside fields where tons of agricultural chemicals are used. I would think twice before drinking anything there! (btw, the "dry" wells with pumps really do work, but you have to "prime" them by pouring WATER down them first!)

I live on "the dry part" of the meseta. There are many many silly tall tales about this being a desert. It may LOOK a bit desert-y here in late summer, after the crops are cut and before the new seedlings come up, but don´t be foolish enough to take the bus to Leon unless injury intervenes. The Meseta is the heart and soul of the camino. That said, it´s a no-brainer to walk around here in mid summer without enough water. Your little half-liter bottle is fine when there are lots of towns and wells about, but here you are being foolish if you´re carrying anything less than two 1.5 liter bottles. Carry water in reuseable plastic bottles, (the metal ones are often jettisoned). (Can´t tell you how many pilgrims´teeny tiny water bottles I´ve refilled out in the lonely stretches in the past month! C´mon, people!)

Also, for God´s sake, do NOT throw your empty bottles on the ground for someone else to pick up. You carried it in here, you can carry it out again. If I see you do that I will embarrass the hell out of you, I promise. (camino litter is my pet peeve.)

Travel Wet!
Rebekah
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Listed in my signature
Most packs have mesh pockets on both sides, within fairly easy reach. Put a large water bottle in each (for balance),ie. 1L or greater, and fill as needed for the day. Read your guidebook ahead of time and if there aren't any clean fountains or places to refill them, start with them full. If there lots of places to stop or you plan a shorter day, then fill them less... Better to have the facility to carry lots of water, than not....
 

JaneofNorwich

New Member
I started out with a litre bottle but found a 500ml plastic bottle much more practical and it fitted well in the outside sleeve of my bag. I rarely filled it though as water sources are so plentiful on all the camino. Even in the stretch after Carrion de los Condos there is a makeshift bar half way and in other stretches there were buckets of ice and cans of drink you could help yourself to in exchange for money in the box or a row of old men sellng fruit and coffee. The longest stretch without anything is on the via Romana after Calzadilla de los Hemanillos (22km) , which I did on a very hot morning, but was ok as I drank a lot before hand and on arrival at Mansilla de las Mulas. The secret is to drink a lot before you set out and keep drinking thoughout the afternoon and evening when you arrive.
 

Emerson

New Member
I walked with a normal sized water bottle on either side of my backpack and I was never thirsty. That's 1 liter, max, of water. More likely 800 or so milliliters. I only ran out of water a couple times, and it was never a long walk to the next water station before needing to fill back up.

– Emerson
 

Caminamos

New Member
Although we are walking the camino in November/December, I take my hydration seriously (I'm from Western Australia, which is mostly desert, so maybe it's ingrained paranoia! :) ) and so I plan to take one BPA free 600ml bottle, plus two 1 litre flat-packing flexi-bottles which weigh next to nothing. I know that means I could be carrying 2 and a half kilos of water, but I only plan to fill them ALL on days in which we don't pass through many towns. Even in cold weather, when exercising, it's easy to become dehydrated and as has already been pointed out, it's not much fun to recover from. (I bought my bottles from these guys - I also work for them so they were muy barato for me! http://www.kathmandu.com.au/Accessories ... ration.htm)
 

Susanna

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2008 2014
Hi,
I walked in Autumn and didn't need my camelpack I sent it back to Australia. Just used a smaller bottle and filled up at villages and yes most water safe to drink just ask the local people. I had too much weight in water!! The main thing is having your bottle accessable.
Susanna
 

andy.d

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Levante 2009
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2011
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2014
Pilgrims Way Winchester - Canterbury
Camino Ingles (Ferrol) 2015
Cistercian Way (Wales) 2016
Can I stress this depends on what route you are walking. On the Levante, towards the beginning, there are 40km stages with no water. As it was more than 30 celsius, I ended up carrying and drinking 5 litres on those stages. At least you are not carrying that 5kg all day.

On one of them I was stopped by a car full of forest rangers who checked my amount of water, as well as my map, before I went on.
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
Andy d..I agree that it depends on the route,as usual most seem to think the CF is the only one when,in my opinion, it's the worst.As for water I carry a 1 litre camelbak and like others drink as much as possible in the morning.The only time I was on the CF was as the continuation from Le Puy and it amused me to see all the novices filling up their water bottles at the fountains then emptying most of it out at the next fountain...why carry the extra weight? I've seen several times that the longest distance between bars on the CF is 17 kms-not exactly a huge distance. And yes coming from Oz I uderstand dehydration.
 
A

AJ

Guest
I also agree that it depends on the route and also time of year.

On the VdlP in spring I needed 2 litres, in 4 half litre bottles.

On the CF in summer one litre was sufficient because there were plenty of fountains.

On the Norte one litre was sufficient, though some people might need more.
 

Pacharan

Member
We just walked the Frances in Sept/Oct and took 2 750ml plastic sports water bottles each (if anyone saw us we were the people with the AFC Wimbledon bottles), although it was pretty rare for us to actually need more than one bottle in the course of day, taking into account extra coffees, colas etc. I can imagine if I would have needed a lot more in hot weather though. One thing, don't forget to wash out your bottles every couple of days in hot soapy water as they can get a bit grubby.
 

BPS

New Member
I carry a 3 liter Platypus big zip for all my hikes and fill it to match the hike I'm going on. Some days I put in 1 liter others I may put in 3. In terms of weight there is little difference between a 1 liter or 3 liter bag but the flexibility to take more or less water is terrific.
 

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