Food and Drink
A small flask of hot drink is
useful in cold weather. Water should always be carried but especially in
summer. You will perspire even in winter if working hard and the fluid loss
should be replaced. A minimum of half a litre is recommended. In summer, for
a full days walk, this could rise to 2 litres depending on what you
are doing. The problem then of course is the weight but unless you are sure
of a source of water en route, you need to ensure you are adequately
Isotonic drinks can be
beneficial as they contain a balance of salts and minerals which might have
been lost through exertion/perspiration.
Some people like the bladder
containers. These have a handy tube which fastens to the rucksack strap, the
bladder being inside the rucksack. Drink on tap is very handy. However,
there can be problems keeping the bladder clean and free from unpleasant
tastes or algae. This can be avoided first by not leaving water in the
bladder and by periodic cleaning with denture cleaner, babies bottle
steriliser solution (e.g. Milton), baking soda or campden tablets (as used
for home brewing). Storing a bladder in a freezer is also a possibility but
there might be detrimental effects on the plastic.
As far as food is concerned,
simple sandwiches suffice with some additional high energy (sugar) foods
such as chocolate to enjoy and have in reserve. Dried fruit and cereal bars
are also useful as they are light.
The idea of a brandy or other
spirit to "warm you up" in cold weather is a fallacy. It feels
warm as you drink it but what it actually does is dilate the capillary blood
vessels causing greater cooling and potentially increasing the risk of
hypothermia. Alcohol also dehydrates the body and of course sufficient will
impair judgment and balance.
Visit the Happy Hiker
Store to buy drinks containers.
All information on
this site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect
of any damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.