You’re planning an incredible national park vacation and going through your packing list. Sunglasses. Check. Warm layers. Check. Raincoat. Check. Sunscreen. Check. Sturdy hiking shoes. Check. But it’s likely you may have left one of the most important hiking accessories off your list— a reusable water bottle. Not only can you refill it in the park, but it’ll keep you hydrated on your park adventures. Our partners at EcoVessel, a maker of high-quality reusable water bottles, helped us develop this list of 5 tips on how to stay hydrated and travel with your reusable water bottle.
1. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Bringing a reusable water bottle helps reduce your footprint in the park. Think about it. If all 5.97 million travelers who visited the Grand Canyon in 2019 used at least one single-use plastic bottle during their visit, they would have left a mountain of nearly 6 million plastic bottles in the park. And as bad as that sounds, the reality is the majority of people don’t refill their bottles. They buy new ones, creating even more waste. In pristine places like the Grand Canyon, single-use plastic water bottles have made up 20% of the park’s waste and 30% of its recycling streams. Most national parks have refillable water stations in convenient locations, making it easy to refill your reusable water bottle. If you have an insulated bottle, you can keep your water cold or your tea hot for hours at a time.
2. Start the Day Right
Start your day by waking up and drinking water, be it from a glass or your water bottle. It’s important from a health perspective to replenish the fluids you may have lost while sleeping. Why? Water helps carry nutrients and oxygen to our cells, prevents constipation, aids in digestion and regulates body temperature, according to Harvard Health experts. If you’re not drinking enough water and you’re on the trail in the West where the air is dry, you can get really dehydrated, leading to headaches, dizziness and heat-related illnesses.
3. Pay Attention to How Much Water You Drink
Health experts recommend adults get eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day. If you use a reusable water bottle throughout the day, it’s easy to measure how much you’re drinking. For instance, EcoVessel makes an insulated 24 oz. Summit water bottle. If you’re out on the trails exerting yourself, you’ll want to drink a little more than 64 oz., so filling your bottle three times per day will get you where you need to be in terms of being adequately hydrated.
4. Keep Your Water Bottle Accessible
There’s no point in bringing your water bottle on the trail if you bury it deep in your backpack where it’s inaccessible. The same goes for if you bring your water bottle to your work desk but never bother to fill it up. Keep your water bottle full and accessible, so you can stay hydrated with little effort.
5. Make Drinking Water Fun
Staffers at EcoVessel recommend adding a flavorful twist to the water in your reusable bottle by adding strawberries and lime. Or add some lemon slices, cucumber slices and basil. Another favorite staff combination is orange slices and ginger. The EcoVessel Boulder bottle has a really cool strainer at the top of it, which prevents the fruit from leaving the bottle every time you drink.
Looking for a great reusable water bottle? You can find EcoVessel bottles online and in a number of national parks, including Death Valley, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone and even the gift shop at the Grand Canyon Railway. You can even buy an insulated EcoVessel Growler Bottle to bring your favorite micro-brewed beer to the campsite. Based in Boulder, Colo., EcoVessel gives 5 percent of its online sales to Water for People, Protect Our Winters and Leave No Trace. We bring our EcoVessel bottles everywhere from staff meetings to the trails we hike in Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Yosemite and beyond.
Tori Peglar is co-brand and content director of National Park Trips Media. She loves The Boulder EcoVessel water bottle. She takes the 20 oz. bottle to the office to keep her coffee hot, on hikes to keep her water cold and in the car to stay hydrated during Boulder’s summers.