You’ll find me at preparedness fairs from time to time to share tips and information. One frequently asked question: What method did I use for carrying water in my Bug Out Bag?
My Answer: I carry (2) 32 oz water bottles filled with water and water purification straw.
Why? FEMA suggests drinking 1/2 gallon of water per person per day (64 oz). The two water bottles shown above hold that amount. If you read the back of these Emergency Drinking Water bags (picture below), which have the US Coast Guard’s approval, it tells you to drink (2) 4.225 oz bags per day per person. That’s a little over 25 oz for three days. These water bottles are great because they mark every 4 oz. so its easy to regulate how much to drink and ration water if I need to.
Weight is an important factor to consider as you determine what items to put in your bug out bag. Water is most often the heaviest item in a bug out bag. Depending on “how good a shape you’re in”, your backpack should weigh no more than 1/3 to 1/7 of your body weight. So take your bug out bag on a lengthy hike and see what you can handle. After many hikes, I know I can comfortably carry 64 oz of water weight. It is the best way to carry water backpacking! I also carry a couple of options of water purification (purification tablets and a LifeStraw) so I can collect water along my bug out path and drink safely.
Below are pictures illustrating the differences in weight for 64 oz of water in bottles vs 64 oz of water in pouches.
Even though the water bottles weigh a little bit more, I still prefer carrying water in the water bottles instead of the pouches. The water is cheaper, it tastes better, and the water bottles are easier for me to carry because I attach them to my belt loops.
If you carry a LifeStraw, you may want to consider also carrying a wide mouth water bottle so you won’t have to drink directly from the water source.
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